NEW ORLEANS — No. 5 Georgia football defeated No. 7 Baylor 26-14 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Wednesday in the Sugar Bowl. Here are some observations from The Red & Black:
Georgia’s offense rang in 2020 with a refreshing twist – some creativity.
Throughout the 2019 season, the Bulldogs’ offense was the Achilles' heel of the team. Seemingly monotonous, scripted play calling dominated the narrative. To start the Sugar Bowl, it looked like nothing changed. But with just under three minutes left in the opening quarter, offensive coordinator James Coley shook things up.
Georgia ran a flea flicker that resulted in a 46-yard pass to George Pickens, sparking what ended up as a record night for the freshman. As the half progressed, the Bulldogs dialed in a slew of misdirection plays with counters and reverses.
Midway through the third quarter, Georgia dug back into its bag of tricks as it stared down fourth-and-2 at the Baylor 19-yard line. The field goal unit took the field. Then, placeholder Jake Camarda took off. He took the snap and rushed ahead six yards for a first down. Georgia scored on the next play.
This time, sugar is sweet
Georgia avenged its 2019 Sugar Bowl loss with its victory over Baylor to begin 2020.
A year ago, the Bulldogs hardly competed against Texas. The Longhorns’ Bevo the bull attacked Georgia’s Uga during the pregame and that set the mood for what was an underwhelming performance.
Georgia was on the attack against Baylor. The Bulldogs never trailed and capped off a 12-win season with a top-10 victory. Georgia outgained Baylor 380-295 and Fromm threw for 250 yards in what could have been his last game in a Georgia uniform.
In the Bulldogs’ final game of the season, they turned in one of their most complete games. While it was far from perfect, Georgia controlled the majority of the contest. The defense forced four turnovers – two interceptions, a fumble and turnover on downs – and delivered another half of shutout football. The offense relied on the air raid, but kept Baylor in check with a modest rushing attack.
Despite over 15 ineligible players, Georgia still showed up and competed. And it resulted in the Bulldogs’ fifth ever Sugar Bowl title.
Zamir White had the best game of his young career. It was on perhaps his biggest stage.
White had a limited workload throughout the season behind the tandem of Swift and Brian Herrien. In the Sugar Bowl, there were no obstacles ahead of him. On 18 carries, White rushed for a career-high 92 yards.
With 7:11 left in the third quarter, White showed off why he dons the nickname ‘Zeus.’ He took a handoff on the right side and quickly powered through a gap. As he neared the 4-yard line, a Baylor defender leaped in to stop the power back. White bulldozed him into the ground without breaking stride and found the front corner of the end zone for a 13-yard score.
Should Swift leave for the NFL, Georgia’s next heir to the ‘RBU’ throne is White. And he looked more than ready.