The No. 3-ranked Georgia Bulldogs rolled the visiting Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders by a 49-7 score on Saturday afternoon at Sanford Stadium in Athens. The moved kickoff time did not appear to have any effect on the Bulldogs, who went 87 yards on their opening drive for a touchdown and dominated the game from start to finish.
Here are some observations from The Red & Black.
The Bulldogs easily took care of business on Saturday afternoon.
Georgia tallied nearly 500 yards of total offense and just under 10 yards per play. The Bulldogs ran for over 250 yards, as they have in all three games so far this season. Quarterback Jake Fromm was efficient once again, going 10-for-12 for 128 yards and three touchdowns and no turnovers. True freshman quarterback Justin Fields also did good work, finishing 6-for-8 for 71 yards with one passing touchdown. Fields also ran for 31 yards and another score.
The Bulldog defense forced two first-half turnovers to assert further dominance upon the Blue Raiders. Senior linebacker Juwan Taylor led the way with six total tackles for the Bulldogs.
All in all, it was an overwhelming performance by the Bulldogs, and the Blue Raiders never appeared competitive. It was an expected performance by the country’s third-ranked team.
Four players who mattered
Deandre Baker: The senior cornerback, once again, reaffirmed his preseason All-American status with a great performance on Saturday. Baker tallied an interception and a forced fumble in the first half against the Blue Raiders and thwarted any Middle Tennessee offense before it could even get going. The interception was Baker’s second of the season.
Mecole Hardman: Hardman is starting to build an early-season Heisman Trophy campaign. Not only did the junior wide receiver score the game’s first touchdown on a 5-yard reception, he recorded his first career punt return touchdown from 70 yards out in the second quarter. The pair of scores gives him four total touchdowns in the first three games of his junior year.
Elijah Holyfield: The junior running back is starting to emerge as the lead runner in Georgia’s backfield. After leading the team in rushing last week against South Carolina, Holyfield became Georgia’s first 100-yard rusher of the season when he hit the mark on his eighth carry of the day. An apparent injury to D’Andre Swift cleared the way for more work for Holyfield, and he took advantage, finishing with 100 yards on eight carries.
Jeremiah Holloman: Holloman scored his first collegiate touchdown on Saturday, when he reeled in an 11-yard touchdown catch from Fromm in the first quarter. He made his presence felt again later in the first half when he got behind the Blue Raider defense for a beautiful 65-yard catch on a throw from Fromm. The sophomore finished with three catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Swift and wide receiver Terry Godwin both appeared to be pulled from the game early on. Swift had just four carries and exited after the first few series while Godwin did not appear after halftime. Godwin was seen talking with Georgia head coach Kirby Smart just after halftime and gestured toward his right knee. Both Swift and Godwin appeared to have their helmets taken.
Georgia’s pass rush still struggled to get home on Saturday. The Bulldogs registered no sacks and have just one through three games so far. Players expressed a desire to improve the pass rush in the aftermath of the South Carolina game, but the sacks did not come in the blowout win over the Blue Raiders.