It might seem strange to describe the winning effort in a 55-9 game as workmanlike, but aside from the longest touchdown run of the Mark Richt era, that’s pretty much the way Georgia’s Bulldogs went about their domination of Charleston Southern Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
But workmanlike for this superb Georgia offense doesn’t mean ordinary. It means business as usual for Mike Bobo’s troops, who came into Saturday’s game leading the SEC and ranked seventh nationally in scoring at 42.1 points per game. The Bulldogs scored 55 against Buccaneers and finished with 580 total yards of offense.
OK, call me jaded, but that’s what we’ve come to expect from this Georgia offense.
That’s not to say the Dogs didn’t have standout moments. Nick Chubb’s 83-yard touchdown run on Georgia’s third offensive play was scintillating, with the tailback kicking in the afterburners to take it all the way despite a couple of defenders having excellent angles on him.
Also, the Dogs scored on two of their first three offensive plays from scrimmage, including the very first play, a pretty 35-yard pass from Hutson Mason to Chris Conley, who also scored on an impressive diving touchdown catch. And fullback Quayvon Hicks simply would not be denied on his lone carry of the day, bouncing off the line where there was no hole and then taking the play outside, breaking tackles, on a pinball-like 33-yard scoring jaunt.
Jonathon Rumph also had another late-season big day, catching five passes for 67 yards, including his first touchdown catch. Coming back from an hurt ankle, Sony Michel played sparingly in the first half in relief of Chubb (not really enough to say whether he was back to full-speed or not).
And, for the second time in three games, the Dogs didn’t have to punt at all. They nearly did once, but Richt then called a timeout and decided instead to send out placekicker Marshall Morgan, who made a season-long 53-yard field goal. (If you’re going to complain at all about Georgia’s offensive showing Saturday, it’s for having to attempt three field goals, two of which they made.)
It was a short day for Chubb, who finished with 113 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries (a 12.6 yard average) while only playing about one and a third quarters, making him the first Bulldog of the Richt era to have six consecutive games with 100 yards or more rushing.
Others had abbreviated days in a game where Richt emptied the benches and gave some scout teamers their first playing time ever. Mason played only the first half and was 10-of-12 passing for 187 yards and three TDs. (When you’re throwing more touchdowns than you have incompletions, there’s not much to complain about.) Sophomore Brice Ramsey, who played most of the second half, was 8-for-12 for 92 yards, one TD and an interception. Third-string QB Faton Bauta also got some playing time late in the game.
For the most part, the defense (especially the starters) played splendid assignment football against CSU, which didn’t get into Georgia territory until there was only 2:04 left on the clock in the first half. And while the Buccaneers didn’t resemble Paul Johnson’s Georgia Tech offense on even its worst day, they did run a fair amount of triple-option, so that was at least some useful real-game experience for the Dogs’ D. The Buccaneers finished with 210 total yards; 190 of it was on the ground, but much of that came against UGA’s reserves.
Overall, on a late-fall day that was warm in the sun and a bit chilly in the shade of Sanford Stadium, the less-than-capacity and rather predictably laid-back crowd didn’t have that much to get excited about. (The biggest ovations of the day, besides for Chubb’s long run, were for Lee Greenwood’s halftime performance of “God Bless the USA” on Military Appreciation Day and an on-field recognition of former Bulldogs QB Aaron Murray.) Quite a few folks left at halftime and the stands thinned out markedly late in the third quarter after Georgia went up 55-3.
But, then again, an unexciting day is sort of what you hope for when your team is playing an FCS cupcake opponent the week before the annual grudge match with its in-state rival.
Feel free to share your own views of Georgia’s win over Charleston Southern.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg
Bill King is an Athens native and a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. A lifelong Bulldogs fan, he sold programs at Sanford Stadium as a teen and has been a football season ticket holder since leaving school. He has worked at the AJC since college and spent 10 years as the Constitution’s rock music critic before moving into copy editing on the old afternoon Journal. In addition to blogging, he’s now a story editor.