Rapid Reaction: Georgia holds off Texas A&M. Was it enough to impress the Playoff committee?
Georgia held on Saturday.
Will the Dawgs be able to hold on Tuesday, when the Playoff rankings are released?
Georgia’s defense was up to the challege in beating Texas A&M 19-13.
The Dawgs’ defense looked to be up for the challenge right out of the gate as it forced Texas A&M into back-to-back 3-and-outs to start the game. Meanwhile, the Dawgs’ offense had to settle for a 41-yard field goal after a promising 2nd drive paced by some strong running by D’Andre Swift fizzled out at the A&M 24. Missed opportunities early on, though, could have seen Georgia up by a little more early on.
Meanwhile, the Aggies found the scoreboard in the 2nd with a 37-yard field goal by Seth Small, while the Dawgs added another Rodrigo Blankenship field goal from 50 yards out on the ensuing drive to go up 6-3 despite a nice 41-yard kickoff return by Brian Herrien.
The Dawgs, though, finally found the end zone with under 7 minutes left as Jake Fromm fired a quick pass from near the A&M 20 to George Pickens, who caught it in stride for the score to make it 13-3.
It might as well had been 33-3 with the way the Georgia defense had been playing to that point: Despite Texas A&M gaining a little steam late in the half before being forced to punt, it was outgained 133-73 and was just 1-of-8 on 3rd down while rushing for -9 yards.
It didn’t take long for Georgia to add to its lead as they turned a fumble recovery into a 3rd Blankenship field goal to make it 16-3 at the 4-minute mark of the 3rd. And a bit of a roll of the dice nearly fell in its favor after nearly recovering an onside kick that ultimately went to the Aggies, but the visitors couldn’t take advantage of the good field position as Georgia’s defense held on a 4th-and-short.
On its next drive, A&M once again appeared to make headway against the Georgia defense, but the drive ended with another Small field goal as the Bulldogs lead shrunk to 16-6 with 4:14 left in the 3rd. Blankenship’s 4th field goal on Georgia’s next possession got it back to 19-6 as the Dawgs looked to drive its way to 6 points, but were hurt in part by an untimely illegal block by Pickens to back his team out of the red zone.
And the Aggies responded. A 10-play, 75-yard drive ended with a 19-yard touchdown catch by Jhamon Ausbon to cut it to 19-13 with 11:16 left in regulation.
The pressure shifted to the Bulldogs’ offense as it needed to put the game away with momentum shifting toward the Aggies, but it was forced to punt again with under 8 minutes left. A key sack, though, on the ensuing Texas A&M drive by Tyler Clark saw Georgia get the ball back with 4 and a half minutes remaining.
Georgia held on on another less than ideal day from Fromm, who finished 11-for-23 for 163 yards.