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  • Writer's pictureDAWG NEWS DAILY

Bulldogs Rout Seminoles, 63-3, In Orange Bowl

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The No. 6-ranked Georgia football team wrapped up its season with a dominant performance against No. 5 Florida State in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium. The Bulldogs amassed 673 yards of offense, scored touchdowns on nine consecutive drives at one point, and rolled to a 63-3 win.

Playing in its 27th consecutive bowl game, the longest streak in the nation. Georgia (13-1) led 7-0 after the first quarter. In the second, the Bulldogs turned the game into a rout, outscoring FSU 35-3 thanks to explosive plays on offense, strong defense and three takeaways, including one on special teams.

With the victory, the 2023 senior class improved to 50-4, the most wins ever by a class in school history. Georgia is now 38-21-3 all-time in bowl games, including seven wins in a row.

Georgia amassed 383 yards of offense in the first half, including 180 rushing yards, and averaged 11.3 yards per play. The 42-3 lead was the largest halftime advantage in Orange Bowl history. For the game, the Bulldogs rushed for 372 yards on 47 carries, and out-gained the Seminoles 673-209.

The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first, going 69 yards on seven plays on their second drive to take a 7-0 lead on running back Kendall Milton’s 15-yard touchdown run with 4:05 to play in the opening quarter. It was the fourth play of 15 yards or more on the drive. Quarterback Carson Beck had completions to Dillon Bell (15 yards) and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (16), and Daijun Edwards had a 17-yard run before Milton’s score.

After the Bulldog defense forced a third straight Florida State (13-1) punt, the Georgia offense went back to work. Edwards combined for 12 yards on two runs, Beck hit wideout Ladd McConkey for a 22-yard gain, and then Milton, on the final play of the first quarter, ran through one defender on his way to a 43-yard gain down to the FSU 5.

Milton had 86 yards on six carries in the first period, and on the first play of the second, he scored on a 5-yard run to put the Bulldogs ahead 14-0.

Florida State answered with a couple of long completions to get down to the Bulldog 3-yard line. The Georgia defense kept the Seminoles out of the end zone, and FSU cut the lead to 14-3 with a 22-yard field goal by Ryan Fitzgerald with 12:34 to play in the half.

Georgia needed just four plays to get back into the end zone on the ensuing drive. Beck hit tight end Oscar Delp for 14 yards, followed by a 31-yard completion to Bell. Edwards then ran 15 yards to the 15, followed by a 15-yard touchdown run to make it 21-3 with 10:38 to go. Through four drives, the Bulldogs were averaging 10.9 yards per play.

The Bulldogs scored again 20 seconds later. On the ensuing kickoff, Chaz Chambliss forced a fumble and Cole Speer dove on the loose ball at the FSU 27. On the next play, McConkey caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage and appeared to be setting up to throw a pass. Instead, he took off running and worked his way through the defense for a 27-yard touchdown. Peyton Woodring’s fourth extra point of the half made it 28-3.

After the Georgia defense got a stop on fourth-and-6 at the UGA 38, the offense again moved the ball and found the end zone. This time, Beck threw a screen to wide receiver Arian Smith, who ran it in for a 12-yard score and a 35-3 lead with 3:39 left until halftime.

The Seminoles had the ball at the Georgia 25 late in the half when outside linebacker Mykel Williams strip-sacked quarterback Brock Glenn, picked up the fumble and returned it 10 yards to the Bulldog 49. Two plays later, Beck connected with Bell for a 35-yard gain. Soon after, Beck hit Dominic Lovett for a two-yard touchdown and a 42-3 lead with 26 seconds left in the half.

Safety Malaki Starks intercepted a Glenn pass on the final play of the half, giving the Bulldogs three takeaways in the second quarter. It was Starks’ third INT of the season.

Milton had 104 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries in the first half, while Beck was 13 of 18 for 203 yards and two touchdowns. Neither player played in the second half.

Georgia got the ball to start the third quarter, and with Gunner Stockton at quarterback and numerous other backups in, went on a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended on Edwards' two-yard touchdown run, pushing the lead to 49-3. Later in the third, Stockton hit tight end Lawson Luckie for a four-yard touchdown, pushing lead to 56-3. It was Stockton’s first career touchdown pass and Luckie’s first TD catch.

Cornerback Daylen Everette snagged his first career interception on FSU’s next drive. Georgia’s offense took full advantage of the turnover, taking a 63-3 lead on Stockton’s four-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Evans III. It was Evans’ first career touchdown catch. Stockton finished 6 of 10 passing for 96 yards and two touchdowns, and added 46 yards rushing on seven attempts.

On Georgia’s final drive, Jackson Muschamp, a junior backup quarterback and the son of co-defensive coordinator (and former Bulldog defensive back) Will Muschamp, entered the game. He ran for 14 yards on his first play.

The Bulldogs open the 2024 season against Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta on Aug. 31.

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