Rapid reaction: Georgia avoids upset with OT victory over Georgia Southern
Georgia avoided a nightmare by doing just enough to outlast Georgia Southern 23-17 in overtime in Saturday’s game at Sanford Stadium.
The heavily favored Bulldogs trailed late in the game before coming up with a big defensive stop in overtime to set up Sony Michel’s game-winning 25-yard touchdown scamper.
What it means: It wasn’t pretty, but the Dawgs escaped with the overtime win over Georgia Southern. The Dawgs still have a lot of problems offensively but managed to do enough to avoid an embarrassing loss at home on Senior Night. Georgia Tech awaits, but coach Mark Richt’s team still has a lot of work to do.
What I liked: Georgia was again struggling offensively, but the Bulldogs didn’t hang their heads and did enough things down the stretch to win ugly once again. The running game was struggling in the first half, but offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer stuck with it, and it paid off at the end when Michel broke loose from 25 yards on Georgia’s first offensive play of the overtime to hand the Dawgs the decision.
What I didn’t like: Georgia still lacks any offensive balance, and trying to win as a one-dimensional team is difficult. Quarterback Greyson Lambert still appears uncomfortable trying to vertically attack the field, and the entire offense suffers as a result.
Who’s the Man: Michel had to work hard for every yard as Georgia’s offensive line has struggled to consistently make holes. He responded like a champion and continued to run hard all night, finishing with 132 yards and a score on 23 carries.
Key Play: Georgia was struggling offensively and looked listless until recovering Georgia Southern’s muffed punt with 5:09 left in the third quarter. It was the Eagles’ lone turnover of the day and resulted in a Lambert 12-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Terry Godwin a few plays later that knotted the score at 14-14.
What’s Next: The Dawgs head to Atlanta to play rival Georgia Tech and will see more of the triple option from the Jackets. Georgia’s defense looks ready, but the offense has considerable work to do between now and then.