After a 14-14 stalemate at the half, Georgia scored 13 points in the third quarter to pull ahead 27-14; however, a 94-yard touchdown drive followed by capitalizing on a Georgia interception led to the visitors sealing the late win.
“This team has grown up,” said head coach Kirby Smart about the team’s improvement this season. “The young kids aren’t freshmen anymore. We’ve had some tight ballgames and some tough situations. We will continue to grow and develop. We will get better through a willingness to work and through good practice habits.”
For the game, Georgia got most of its offensive yards on the ground with junior Sony Michel leading the attack with 170 yards and a touchdown. Junior Nick Chubb finished with 88 yards, pushing him to third all-time with 3,282 career rushing yards. Chubb now trails only Todd Gurley (3,285) and Herschel Walker (5,259) in the ranking.
Freshman Jacob Eason went 14-for-27 on the day with 139 yards, finding sophomore Terry Godwin for a team-best five catches and 53 yards while junior Isaiah McKenzie had the lone receiving touchdown.
Sophomore Roquan Smith guided the defense with a career-high 13 tackles, including seven solo stops, while juniors Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy collected eight tackles each.
The teams traded points in the first two quarters, as Georgia Tech struck first with a 42-yard touchdown run by Clinton Lynch. Georgia countered with Michel finding the endzone with 1:38 remaining in the first.
The Jackets increased their lead to 14-7 with Justin Thomas completing a 64-yard throw to Brad Stewart before Marcus Marshall ran it in for the score. The Bulldogs again responded with Michel breaking off a season-long 42-yard run to the Georgia Tech 15 before Eason found McKenzie for the tying score.
The third quarter was all Georgia, as a stifling defense held Georgia Tech to just 21 yards in the frame. Smith forced a Jacket fumble in the visitors’ opening drive with Dominick Sanders recovering it for 13 yards. Rodrigo Blankenship gave Georgia the lead with a 27-yard attempt before Chubb ran into the endzone untouched in the Bulldogs next drive. Blankenship made his second field goal with just under 30 seconds to give Georgia the lead at 27-14.
Momentum changed in the final quarter, as Georgia Tech cut the advantage by six with its long drive. After taking over in Bulldog territory with Lance Austin’s interception, Qua Searcy marched in on a six-yard rush to steal the win.
Georgia will be making its 52nd appearance and 20th-consecutive bowl game as it owns a 29-19-3 mark. Georgia’s destination and opponent will be announced on Sunday, Dec. 4.