ATHENS -- Georgia proved Saturday that, like last year, it must be considered a frontrunner for the…
How they scored
Thanks to an interception, Alabama scored on its first trip without a first down, thanks to an early interception. The Tide wouldn't get another one for awhile. Georgia again settled for field goals after long drives, but showed a few different plays in the red zone. The Bulldogs defense gave Alabama nothing to work with on the ground or air.
Key stat: Georgia's offense racked up almost 30 times as many yards as Alabama, 146-5, the Tide getting five yards on nine snaps to the Bulldogs' 146 on 24.
A: Brian Bostick 42 field goal, 12:45. Drive: 4 plays, 7 yards, 1:33. Key plays: Charles Jones interception of David Greene on the game's second play, return of 33 yards; Zach Fletcher 6 pass from Pennington on 3rd-and-9, Decory Bryant saving tackle.
G: Billy Bennett 27 field goal, 6:44. Drive: 14 plays, 71 yards, 6:01. Key plays: Jeremy Thomas 41 pass from David Greene on 3rd-and-9 screen pass; Fred Gibson 6 pass from Greene on 3rd-and-4.
G: Bennett 44 field goal, 2:36. Drive: 7 plays, 35 yards, 2:38. Key plays: Thomas 13 pass from Greene on first play; Ben Watson 13 pass from Greene; Georgia 15-yard facemask penalty on 2nd-and-9; Watson 25 pass from Greene on 3rd-and-26.
Georgia 6, Alabama 3
Injured quarterback Brodie Croyle was inexplicably inserted with the Tide down 30-3, and he was knocked out of the game on his second snap. Pennington was sent to the side with about eight minutes left on a hit, putting the game in the hands of third-string quarterback Brandon Avalos, a freshman from Tuscaloosa. Points started going up for Georgia on offense - including one short but nice D.J. Shockley-led drive - and special teams, and it looked like Georgia could break the 50-point mark before the day was done. The Bulldogs scored 14 points in 61 seconds, 21 in 4:05.
Key stat: Georgia had 51 plays through two quarters, more than half of Alabama's 25. And the Bulldogs averaged 5.8 yards a play.
G: Bennett 52 field goal , 13:38. Drive: 9 plays, 37 yards, 2:20. Key plays: Michael Johnson 9 pass from Greene; Tyson Browning 11 run; Gary 11 pass from Greene; incompletes on second and third downs.
Georgia 9, Alabama 3
G: Thomas Davis returned blocked punt (Bennett kick), 12:32. Drive: None. Key plays: Toombs Academy alum Jarrett Berry smothered the punt of Bo Freeland on 4th-and-5.
Georgia 16, Alabama 3
G: Jamario Smith 10 pass from D.J. Shockley, 7:55. Drive: . Key plays: Shockley 11 run; Damien Gary 16 pass from Shockley.
Georgia 23, Alabama 3
G: Kregg Lumpkin 1 run (Bennett kick), 6:54. Drive: 4 plays, 13 yards, 50 seconds. Key plays: Thomas Davis recovers Alabama fumble on kickoff return giving UGA the ball on the 13; Lumpkin 10 run. Georgia 30, Alabama 3
A: Dre Fulgham 18 pass from Spencer Pennington (Brian Bostick kick), 3:51. Drive: 7 plays, 70 yards. Key plays: Alabama holding on first play with Brodie Croyle in for the first time; Triandos Luke 25 pass from Pennington on 2nd-and-20; Luke 8 pass from Pennington on 3rd-and-6; Fulgham 15 pass from Pennington.
Georgia 30, Alabama 10
G: Ben Watson 3 pass from Greene, :30. Drive . Key plays: Derrick White recovers Alabama fumble on first play of possession; Greene 7 run on 3rd-and-3; Mario Raley 12 pass from Greene on 2nd-and-10.
Georgia 37, Alabama 10
All the energy in Sanford Stadium after the halftime presentation of Bulldog fans Capt. Chris Carter and Lt. Col. Flip deCamp and the flag they flew in Iraq evaporated not long after the teams took the field. Everything Georgia's offense had in the first half stayed in the first half. The Bulldogs had two straight three-and-outs before Greene was picked off for a touchdown on the fifth play of the third possession.
Key stat: The Bulldogs muddle through 14 plays for only 36 yards, an average of 2.6 per snap.
A: Jones 30 interception return (kick failed), 1:06. Key play: None.
Georgia 37, Alabama 16
With a botched punt snap turning into an Alabama touchdown inside the first minute, suddenly a memorable rout was a squirm-in-the-seater for Georgia. The Bulldogs' defense gave up a few plays that tantalized Alabama fans and gave them hope, only to stiffen and keep the Tide from further threatening as the two teams finally and mercifully ran out the clock.
Key stat: After 37 points, 297 yards, and 16 first downs in the first half, the Bulldogs had 0 points, 73 yards, and five first downs in the second.
A: Juwan Garth 10 fumble return (Bostick kick), 14:05. Drive: none. Key play: Fumbled snap on punt.
Georgia 37, Alabama 23
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