ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia continued his early season dominance Saturday afternoon at Sanford Stadium, adding a destruction of Middle Tennessee to his list of one-sided victories.
The No. 3 ranked Bulldogs built a 42-7 lead by halftime and advanced to a 49-7 victory over the Blue Raiders, an inherited Conference USA team that will be paid $ 1.7 million by the University of Georgia Athletic Association for making the trip to Athens.
Georgia has defeated its 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 Saturday's routing.
Highlights in Georgia's last victory included two touchdowns from Mecole Hardman, one on a 5-yard reception and the other on a 70-yard point return.
Georgia set the tone by scoring for the first time it had Saturday on the ball, with a 66-yard run by Elijah Holyfield, who accounts for the bulk of the game-opening seven-play, 87-yard drive . Quarterback Jake Fromm completed the ride with the 5 yard-throw to Hardman.
An interception and 26-yard return by Georgia defensive back Deandre Baker set down the next landing, which was left with four minutes in the first quarter on an 11-yard pass from Fromm to a wide open Jeremiah Holloman in the end zone.
The game turned into a flight of extreme proportions when Georgia scored four touchdowns in the second quarter.
During the first part of the quarterfinals, a 56-yard run by Tyler Simmons went on a jet sweep match – his first body landing – on a 94-yard six-speed gearbox with quarterback from freshman Justin Fields.
Subsequently, the 70-yard points return of Hardman – his first return in the career quarter for a touchdown – led the Bulldogs to 28-0.
Middle Tennessee briefly interrupted Georgia's attack when quarterback Brent Stockstill threw a short pass on the right flank to Patrick Smith, who broke for a 41-yard score. That led to a contraction of Georgia's gap to 28-7 by 4:21 in half.
But the Bulldogs quickly resume firepower.
Riley Ridley caught a 12 yard touchdown pass from Fromm, three plays after Fromm connected with Holloman on a 65 yard deep ball to the 14 yard line.
And finally, with less than a minute to go in half, Fields scored on a 15-yard run.
The 42 first half was Georgia's highest point since it scored 45 against Troy in 2014 in the first two quarters.
The Georgia offense was 382 meters high – 217 rushing and 165 passing – in the first half of Saturday. Holyfield had hurried another 100 meters over eight out of eight trotting. Fromm completed 10 of the 12 passes for 128 yards and three touchdowns in half.
Neither Fromm nor Holyfield played in the second half.
In the third quarter, Georgia expanded its lead to 49-7 on a 9 yard touchdown pass from Fields to Jayson Stanley, which covers a 10-play, 90-yard drive.
The afternoon was at least lucrative for Middle Tennessee. The $ 1.7 million guarantee is the most Georgia that an opponent has paid to play this point at Sanford Stadium, and it corresponds to the second-largest payoff to an opponent by a school in the nation this season.
The announced attendance was 92,746, due to a Sanford Stadium sale, but the stadium was more than half empty at the beginning of the fourth quarter of the rout.
This article was written by Tim Tucker with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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