By Justin Gray
The number-one ranked Georgia Bulldogs played host to Kent State for a noon kickoff. This was one last tune up before things get real and SEC play starts.
The Dawgs received the opening kickoff and on the second play of the game Brock Bowers, UGA’s do-it-all threat, took the handoff 75 yards for a touchdown. On Kent State’s first drive they were flattened by that Dawg defense and were forced to punt. They got the high spiraling punt away, when UGA WR Ladd McConkey, back deep to receive it, muffed it to give Kent State the ball back. The Golden Flashes didn’t do much of anything with it and settled for a field goal, making the score 7-3.
On the ensuing drive the Dawgs were rolling before the turnover bug bit again and QB Stetson Bennett threw his first interception of the season. Kent State started at their own 5-yard line and wouldn't move the ball at all and would be forced to punt out of their own end zone. The snap was away and the Dawgs blocked it! The play resulted in a safety making it 9-3.
After receiving the punt kickoff, the Dawgs went on a 12-play, 6-minute drive and settled for a field goal. Kent State was unable to move the ball again, but let’s be honest who has been able to? UGA got the ball back and started another long drive when Ladd McConkey fumbled again for UGA’s third turnover of the day. After recovering the fumble, surprisingly it only took Kent State two plays to score and make it 12-10.
The next offensive drive finished much better for the Dawgs as Brock Bowers ran in another to cap off a seven play 67-yard drive. Kent State hit on a screen play and ran it into Georgia territory to set up a 45-yard field goal and make the game 19-13. The Dawgs needed another score before the half and the offense provided just that going eleven plays, 72 yards with a Stetson Bennett rushing touchdown to finish the half with a score of 26-13.
After halftime Kent State received the ball and the UGA defense forced a quick 3 and out. The offense drove the ball down the field quickly but were stopped at the14 yard line and Georgia’s kicker Jack Podlesny knocked in a 31-yard field goal. Kent State responded fast with a long 13 play drive that also resulted in a field goal. The game began to be the same thing over and over again as Georgia kicked another field goal which made it 32-16. Kent State broke the rhythm finally as they drove down and scored as they went 12 plays for 75 yards on the drive.
They missed the two-point chance so the score remained 32-22. The Dawgs offense delivered the final blow as they drove down the field and scored on fourth and goal to make it 39-22. Kent State threw up a prayer and UGA DB Christopher Smith sealed the game with an interception.
The Dawgs didn’t look great on the first fall Saturday of the year, but that’s what these games are for. They head to Missouri next week to take on the Tigers at 7:30 P.M.