Rapid Reaction: Vince Dooley, Dawgs have their day in romp over Murray State
Saturday felt a little bit like 1980 in Athens.
Vince Dooley and Herschel Walker were in the house for the official unveiling of Dooley Field, and Georgia’s running backs couldn’t be stopped. What once was old was new again.
The Bulldogs finished with 270 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns in a 63-17 victory over Murray State.
The blowout was expected on a day meant to celebrate the coach of the 1980 championship team.
Dooley was in the ESPN2 TV booth early in the 1st quarter and barely had time to get out a Herschel story before Murray State scored a TD. Dooley quickly put his coaching cap back on after former Florida Gator Daquon Moore split the middle of Georgia’s secondary on a short crossing route and outran everybody for a 60-yard TD to tie the score at 7. Don’t take anything for granted, he said.
Georgia’s players obviously didn’t hear him, but they’ve heard the stories of 1980 since they signed up to be Dawgs.
A rushing TD and another scoop and score from the defense in a 33-second span gave Georgia a comfortable 21-7 lead and all but ended the suspense.
Nostalgia was in the air, if not the football. At that point, Jake Fromm had thrown exactly 6 passes, which was probably 6 more than Georgia needed.
Fromm then politely reminded the home crowd that he can play a bit, too.
On Georgia’s next drive, he hit George Pickens for 10 yards and then Eli Wolf for another 24. That set up Swift’s 2nd TD, a counter opened up by a Pickens block to make it 28-7.
After forcing a punt, Fromm went back to work. He hit Pickens deep along the left sideline for a 43-yard gain. That throw-and-catch is exactly the type of big play that Georgia will need in November and beyond.
His next throw found Wolf for 22 more. And his 3rd throw of the drive resulted in Pickens’ 1st career TD, a 15-yarder in the corner of the end zone.
Just your typical 10-for-11 1st half for 166 yards and 1 TD from Fromm, who then gave way to Stetson Bennett.
Bennett reminded Dawgs fans that Georgia is not quite the same team without Fromm under center, especially with Justin Fields at Ohio State.
After nearly throwing an interception on his 1st possession (no worries, that ended with Zamir White’s 1st career TD run), Bennett threw a pick-6 on his 2nd drive.
He rebounded though, hitting Demetris Robertson on a short wheel route for his 1st career TD throw. It was Robertson’s 2nd TD catch in as many games, another positive development given what lies ahead.
That’s what Saturday was, just another opportunity to create a few more memories and build a lather before the home crowd.
Notre Dame visits in 2 weeks. SEC East contenders follow.
Those games will reveal answers to the most important question: How close, exactly, is this team to the living legends of 1980?