– By Kameron Farmer –
It’s a Saturday in Athens once again! The Georgia Bulldogs began their second consecutive title defense against the UT Martin Skyhawks. With a completely new roster, the pressure is on several new faces, but that doesn’t worry the defending champs.
The Bulldogs defeated the Skyhawks 48-7 and once again held an opponent to single-digit points in the season’s first game.
Starting QB, Carson Beck threw for 294 yards, and completed 21 of his 31 attempts, adding one touchdown. Beck also had help from the running back duo of Kendall Milton and Roderick Robinson II. Milton (9 ATT, 53 yards) and Robinson II (8 ATT, 50 yards, one touchdown) were a huge factor in tonight’s win having accounted for 103 of Georgia’s 159 rushing yards.
Tight End Brock Bowers also had a great game with five receptions, 77 yards, and one rushing touchdown.
QB Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton had the opportunity to play later in the game. Vandagriff threw for 77 yards on two completions and one touchdown, respectively, while Stockton threw for 29 yards on three completions.
UT Martin was held to seven points; it should not go unnoticed that they were competing with Georgia before the second half got away from them. They were down 17-0 at halftime but had a productive defensive line in the first half. Skyhawks QB threw for 128 yards, completing 56% of his passes, and added a touchdown, as well.
Georgia’s defense was in the spotlight, as well. DB Malachi Starks, Tykee Smith, and Javon Bullard accounted for 18 of the team’s 56 total tackles. Freshman Kyon Jones made an interception with 1:59 left to go in the game. The defense also received multiple contributions from Freshmen Troy Bowles and Julian Humphrey with each having three total tackles.
“It’s a completely new team,” Starks said. “Just us realizing that we are not the same team as last year, and I don’t mean that in a bad way, we just have new guys, new experience. Last year was a season of itself; this year will be a season of itself. So, being able to create our own identity is going to get us started.”
Although Georgia took care of business at Dooley Field, it is no secret that there are things to improve upon. From Carson Beck’s very first game as a starter to the second-half dominance they showed, this game allowed the players, staff, and fans a glimpse of what is to come as they look to Ball State next Saturday at noon.