***Story Via UGA Sport Communications***
ATHENS, Ga.– Forty-nine Bulldog points and a definitive Georgia defense backed a resounding 49-7 victory against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Sanford Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldog offense completed the contest with 484 total yards, including 382 in the first half. Averaging 45.3 points per game this season, the Bulldogs have scored 40-plus points through three consecutive matchups.
Junior tailback Elijah Holyfield led the Bulldog run game, becoming the first Georgia running back to record a 100-yard game this season, reaching the mark in the first half.
He was joined by sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm, who threw for an efficient 10-for-12 clip with three touchdowns and 128 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Jeremiah Hollomanpaced the pass game with 90 yards on three catches, becoming the third different Bulldog receiver to do so in as many games.
Senior inside linebacker Juwan Taylor and sophomore inside linebacker Monty Rice led the Georgia defense with six and five tackles apiece. The Blue Raiders were held to 288 yards on 68 plays with one touchdown.
"We started off a little rough with some penalties and organizational stuff that we'll clean up" Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. "But I thought we came out physical and played hard. I like the toughness we show during the week. We've created a standard the last couple of years, and now we're owning it with players holding other players accountable."
The Bulldogs opened Saturday's contest with a seven-play, 87-yard drive, highlighted by Holyfield's career-long 66-yard rush, which set Georgia up at the Blue Raiders' 17-yard line. Three plays later, tight end Charlie Woerner provided a timely block to set up the Fromm-Hardman five-yard connection. Junior wide receiver Mecole Hardman leads the receivers with three touchdowns this season. At the 6:02 mark, senior defensive back Deandre Baker stepped in front of the intended Blue Raider receiver to snag his second interception of the season, which he returned for 26 yards. The following drive featured 35 yards from junior tailback Brian Herrien on three carries, including a 21-yard rush. To cement the 14-0 lead, Fromm found Holloman in the end zone for his first career touchdown. To usher in the second quarter, junior wide receiver Tyler Simmons broke free for a career-long 56-yard rushing touchdown, the first of his career. At the 12:23 mark in the second frame, Stockstill connected with Brad Anderson, but an incoming Baker stripped the ball from Anderson's hands, sending it to sophomore defensive back Richard LeCounte, who returned it for seven yards to the Georgia 29-yard line. With 7:19 remaining in the second quarter Hardman widened the Georgia lead to 28 on a 70-yard punt return, the first since Isaiah McKenzie in 2016. The Bowman, Georgia native finished the game with 111 all-purpose yards. Georgia allowed its first points in Sanford Stadium this season in the second quarter with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Stockstill to Patrick Smith. With 2:14 left in the half, senior wide receiver Riley Ridley capped a 4-play, 74-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown, sneaking in a foot at the edge of the end zone on a pass from Fromm for the 35-7 advantage. Freshman quarterback Justin Fields sent the Bulldogs into intermission with his first rushing touchdown of his career, a 15-yard dash to the end zone. Georgia's 42 first-half points were the highest output since Troy through the first two quarters in 2014. With 6:33 left in the third quarter, Georgia tacked on another career-first touchdown with a nine-yard pass from Fromm to senior wide receiver Jayson Stanley in the middle of the end zone. Up next, the Bulldogs head to Columbia, Missouri to take on the Tigers. The matchup is slated for 12 p.m.