Richt's Redemption? Dawgs' D Slams Jackets

ATLANTA - Georgia’s defense shut down the Yellow Jackets’ triple-option offense for most of the game, limiting the home squad to seven points and 276 yards en route to a 13-7 win at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta.

The Bulldogs fell 3:24 short of registering their first shutout of Georgia Tech (3-9, 1-7) since 1964.

Offensively, Sony Michel surpassed 1,000 yards rushing on the season, finishing with 149 yards on 24 carries, leading the Bulldogs to their 13th win over their in-state rival in the past 15 tries. Georgia (9-3, 5-3) has not lost in Atlanta since an overtime defeat in 1999. Greyson Lambert finished the game 18-of-25 passing for 224 yards, and freshman Terry Godwin led the way for the receivers with a career-high eight catches for 78 yards, including a long of 30.

Much of the game was dominated by the visiting team as the Bulldogs held Georgia Tech to 276 yards of offense and just 2-of-13 on third down. Georgia out-possessed its run-heavy opponent by a 31:18-to-28:42 margin and forced three turnovers in the contest. Safety Dominick Sanders reeled in his fifth interception of the year and set the school record for interception return yards in a season with 205.

The Dawgs came out swinging, punching in a touchdown to cap an eight-play, 75-yard drive to start the game that was punctuated by a Michel 34-yard scamper on 4th and 2. Lambert was a perfect 4-for-4 on the drive as well as Georgia jumped on top 7-0 less than five minutes into the game.

The story for Georgia then shifted to the defense, as coach Jeremy Pruitt’s unit came up big on back-to-back drives, pinning its ears back in key situations. James DeLoach first broke through for a tackle for loss on 4th-and-short for Tech on the Georgia side of the 50, then it was Sanders hauling in an interception at the goal line on the following possession to keep the Yellow Jackets off the board. Tech was held scoreless in the first half for the first time since 2008 and limited to only 145 total yards.

It was more of the same to open the third quarter, as the Bulldogs forced a fumble as Tech entered UGA territory, and DeLoach came up with the ball to take over. The offense, sparked by a 22-yard screen to Michel, marched down to the field and cashed in with a 19-yard field goal to build on the lead to 10-0. The Bulldogs got a big boost that drive from the legs of Keith Marshall, who pounded the Georgia Tech defense on the ground to the tune of 28 yards on three carries.

After a missed 55-yarder from the home team, the Bulldogs added on with a drive that started in the final minute of the third with a 33-yard gallop down the middle by Michel. Marshall Morgan’s 37-yard kick split the uprights at 14:10 of the final quarter, and the Dawgs went up 13-0. 

The defense held strong in the fourth quarter until a late drive that was aided by an unsportsmanlike penalty on the Bulldogs on a third down. Two plays later, the Yellow Jackets hit pay dirt on a flag route to cut the Georgia lead to 13-7. The offense stepped up, immediately cashing in for a 25-yard pass from Lambert to Jeb Blazevich after taking over on the 7-yard line. They also tallied another first down on a long run from Michel on a counter play, enabling them to run the game clock down to 0:28 before punting the ball back to the Yellow Jackets, who tossed an interception on the last play of the game.

Georgia finishes the regular season 9-3 and will await a bowl invitation


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