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Georgia routes Middle Tennessee for the third season win – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Georgia routes Middle Tennessee for the third season win – Atlanta Journal Constitution

ATHENS –

Georgia continued his early season dominance Saturday afternoon at Sanford Stadium and added a destruction of Middle Tennessee to his list of one-sided victories.

The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs took a 42-7 lead by halftime and continued to a 49-7 win over the Blue Raiders, an inherited Conference USA team that is paid $ 1.7 million by the UGA Athletic Association for making the trip to Athens.

Georgia has defeated the first three opponents this season with a cumulative margin of 135-24, with a 45-0 win against Austin Peay and a 41-17 win over South Carolina ahead of the Middle Tennessee match.

Photos of the game in Athens

Highlights of the Bulldogs' last victory were 100 yards rushing through Elijah Holyfield, all in the first half and 66 on one game, and two touchdowns by Mecole Hardman, one on a 5-yard reception and the other on a 70-yard point return.

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"We will certainly improve as the season progresses, but I am happy with where we are now," Hardman said. "Regardless of who the opponent is, we are going to play our football, we go out and play how we play."

Squeezed around the impressive victory in South Carolina, Georgia's two victories have come home against teams from outside the "Power 5" conferences.

"It was heavy sledding out there," said Rick Stockstill, trainer of Middle Tennessee after Saturday's game. "They took us in. They are bigger than us, faster than us. … That's why they are arranged where they are arranged."

The next seven matches of the Bulldogs are against SEC opponents, including next Saturday in Missouri.

Kirby Smart, coach of Georgia, gave mixed reviews of his team's performance against Middle Tennessee.

"We were sometimes somewhat sloppy in terms of replacement by defense and we had a few crazy stupid fines early in the attack," said Smart. But he was satisfied with the speed and physicality with which his team played.

"We have made a standard in recent years," he said, "and now we are the owner."

Georgia set the tone by scoring for the first time it had the ball, with Holyfield's career of 66 yards over a long distance of 87 yards. Quarterback Jake Fromm completed the ride with the 5-yard TD pass to Hardman.

Steve Hummer: appreciate the attack line

An interception and 26-yard return by Deandre Baker led to Georgia's next landing, which only reached a wide open Jeremiah Holloman in the first quarter of an 11-yard pass from Fromm.

The game turned into a flight of extreme proportions when Georgia scored four touchdowns in the second quarter.

During the first part of the quarter, a 56-yard "jet sweep" from the big receiver Tyler Simmons ran a distance of 94 meters with quarterback from freshman Justin Fields. Next, the 70-yard backs of Hardman, facilitated by blocks from Simmons and Jayson Stanley, brought the lead of the Bulldogs to 28-0.

Although Hardman led the SEC last season in point-return yardage, he had not returned to his Saturday career for a landing in his university career.

"That is my joy and dream," Hardman said at last. "… All I can remember was when I was going to catch it, I could hear Coach Smart say: & # 39; You have them. You have them. & # 39;"

After Middle Tennessee shortened Georgia's lead to 28-7, the Bulldogs only entered the final zone late in the second quarter. Riley Ridley caught a 12 yard touchdown pass from Fromm, three plays after Fromm had joined Holloman on a 65-yard roll. And over Georgia's last hold of half, Fields scored on a run of 15 yards.

Georgia's offense stacked up 382 yards in the first half and ended with 484. The bulldogs played extensive back-ups in the second half on offense and defense.

Fromm completed 10 out of 12 passes for 128 yards and three touchdowns. He was fired twice. He did not play in the second half.

"We had a few explosive actions and of course we also had help from the defense teams and special teams," said Fromm. "Negative actions and punishments (seven for 54 yards) have brought us somewhat."

Fields completed six of eight passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, a 9-yard pass for Stanley in the third quarter. Fields also had 31 meters of rushing on three carries.

Also: Georgia Tech falls to Pittsburgh