*Historic Season Opening Win: For the first time in school history, Georgia notched a season-opening win over a ranked team away from home. Coming in, Georgia was 8-9-1 against ranked teams to open a year, going 8-2 in Athens, 0-5-1 on the road and 0-2 in neutral site games. Tonight, the Bulldogs posted a 33-24 win over No. 22 UNC in the debut of coach Kirby Smart. Georgia now is 93-27-3 in season openers including winning 17 of its past 20. Georgia now leads the UNC series 17-12-2.
Chubb With Impressive Return: In his first action since the Tennessee game last year (Oct. 10, 6th game of year) when he went down with a knee injury, junior tailback Nick Chubb returned to action, finishing with a Chick-fil-A Kickoff game record 222 yards on 32 carries (6.9 avg.) and 2 TDs. He went over the 200-yard mark with a 55-yard TD scamper with 3:34 left in the game to put Georgia in front 33-24. It marked his 3rd career game of more than 200 yards, only Herschel Walker (nine) had more in UGA history.
Chubb started today, and at the half, he had 20 carries for 118 yards and one TD. It marked his 14th career game with at least 100 yards, good for fourth in school history. He had a streak of 13 straight until the injury at UT. Georgia’s starting offensive line paving the way today featured Tyler Catalina (LT), Isaiah Wynn (LG), Brandon Kublanow (C), Lamont Gaillard (RG) and Greg Pyke (RT). In the first half, Georgia tallied 35 offensive plays with 28 on the ground and seven through the air. The quarterbacks of Greyson Lambert (2-4, 31 yards) and freshman Jacob Eason (2-for-3, 36) combined to go 4-for-7 for 67 yards.
*Nice Debut/Opener: Freshman RB Brian Herrien cruised in for a 23-yard TD on his first career carry. It gave Georgia a 14-7 lead following the PAT, capping a 56-yard drive in 2:19. Junior Isaiah McKenzie had his first career TD, a 17-yarder from freshman Jacob Eason (his career first TD pass) to close the gap to 24-21 with 1:19 left. McKenzie finished with a career-high six receptions for 122 yards including a career-long 51-yarder in the 4th quarter. At QB, freshman Jacob Eason finished 8-for-12 for 131 yards and one TD. Redshirt sophomore PK William Ham kicked the go-ahead field goal, a 29-yarder with 5:27 left in the contest for a 26-24 lead. It was his first successful one after missing from 42 yards in the first half. He saw action in kickoffs and on PATs too.
*Defensive Tackle Leaders: Georgia was led by junior Malkom Parrish with seven stops followed by sophomore Roquan Smith with six. At the half, Georgia’s leading tackler was graduate transfer Maurice Smith (Star) and true freshman David Marshall (DE) had four tackles apiece. Marshall had the team’s only sack. Carolina’s offense was held to 159 yards, including 89 on the ground, and 10 points. For the game, UNC had24 points and 315 yards of total offense. Last season, UNC set school records for points in a season (570), points per game (40.7) and TDs (73).
*For Starters And Captains: No. 18 Georgia had six first-time starters: On offense, Lamont Gaillard (RG), Michael Chigbu (WR), freshman Charlie Woerner (TE) and Tyler Catalina (LT); On defense, Roquan Smith (ILB) and Maurice Smith (DB). Also, on special teams, the kickers were all newcomers, redshirt-sophomore William Ham (PK), redshirt freshman Rodrigo Blankenship (KO) and true freshman Marshall Long (P). Long is the first true frosh punter to start a season opener since Collin Barber in 2012. Long finished with four punts for an average of 38.5 yards. Senior center Brandon Kublanow has the longest starting streak now at 26 games. The longest active streak on defense belongs to junior CB Malkom Parrish now at 14. Today’s captains were Kublanow, juniors Nick Chubb and Dominick Sanders.
*No Points Off Turnovers: Georgia did not create any turnovers. The Tar Heels forced a fumble at their own 12. It led to a punt after three plays and a net of four yards.
*Last Time: Georgia registered a safety (Roquan Smith tackle on a pass) with 48 seconds left in the 3rd quarter to make it 24-23 UNC. It was the first by the Bulldogs since 2013 when the Bulldogs blocked a Louisiana-Monroe punt out of the end zone. UNC’s T.J. Logan took the second half kickoff 95 yards for a TD for a 17-14 lead. It marked the first KOR-TD against Georgia since 2013 (Brelan Chancellor-North Texas, 99 yards).
*Up Next: Georgia (1-0) plays host to Nicholls (0-0) next Saturday, Sept. 10 at Noon on SEC Network. It will be the home opener at Sanford Stadium and season opener for the Colonels.
Inside Carolina/Jim Hawkins
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