ATHENS, Ga. — It was Senior Day at the University of Georgia and it was an emotional experience as quarterback Stetson Bennett, running back Kenny McIntosh and the senior class received their flowers during the final home game of the season. While the fans were focused on the College Football Playoff and the upcoming matchup in the SEC Championship game against LSU; Georgia stumbled out of the blocks. But, the top ranked Bulldogs were able to put away the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 37-14.
In the victory, Georgia averaged six yards per rushing attempt and exacted their physical dominance over the Yellow Jackets. McIntosh had 86 yards on fourteen carries with one touchdown. Running back Kendall Milton put the game on ice with a 44 yard touchdown run with 11:13 remaining in the fourth quarter.
“Well, we played much better after the half,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. “We made some adjustments. They did a really nice job. I mean, look, I got a lot of respect for Chip Long, Brent Key, Jim Chaney, those guys know football, they didn’t they just forget football. And now what do they know, football, they know us. And that part was good for us to make some adjustments and do some good things and, and come out and get our offense the ball back.”
Under interim head coach Brent Key, the Yellow Jackets beat two Top 25 teams in Pittsburgh and the North Carolina Tar Heels. For one half, they held their own against the number one ranked team in America. Georgia Tech held a 187-153 advantage in total yardage at halftime, when it trailed just 10-7, but was out-gained 254-68 and outscored 27-7 in the second half.
Moreover, Georgia Tech is one of only three teams to lead Georgia at any point during a game this season, joining Missouri (Oct. 1) and Tennessee (Nov. 5).
“We’re trying to outscore them in the fourth quarter, and that helps give you confidence that no matter what happens early, you’re going to be okay,” Smart said. “And you gotta keep chopping. And don’t don’t hit any panic buttons. Look, they were doing a good job. I mean, the more times we snap it, the more advantage we think we got.”
Next weekend, the Georgia Bulldogs will face the Western Division champions, the LSU Tigers in the SEC Championship game.
“He was an incredible coach when he was at Notre Dame, and he’s an incredible coach at LSU,” Smart said of opposing head coach Brian Kelly. “And I know he came to this league because he wanted an opportunity to play the best. And he wanted opportunities to go to the playoffs and win SEC championships. And he’s at storied place that’s got a lot of tradition and history.”