ATHENS, Ga. – Senior running back Nick Chubb rushed for 131 yards and two scores, freshman quarterback Jake Fromm hit 8-of-13 passes for 165 through the air and the Bulldogs from Athens moved to 3-0 with a 42-14 victory against Samford Saturday evening.
In front of a capacity crowd of 92,746 at Sanford Stadium, the Georgia defense was also impressive as it continued its strong start to the 2017 season. The Bulldogs, paced once again by Roquan Smith’s six tackles, held Samford to 249 yards of total offense.
“We’ve made some improvements in some areas, but we’ve got more improving to do,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “It’s frustrating with some of the decision-making and the lost yardage plays. If we continue to improve, we can be a good football team. It’s a good group to be around. They do what we ask them to do. They are continuing to grow.”
Georgia scored on its second offensive possession of the game thanks to a 10-play, 87-yard drive that included just two pass plays — one coming on a 5-yard touchdown reception by Mecole Hardman. That TD was the first of Hardman’s young career.
Up 7-0, the Georgia defense forced another three-and-out. The Bulldogs took advantage and scored in just 27 seconds. The two-play drive consisted of a 47-yard completion to Riley Ridley, followed by a 32-yard touchdown run from Chubb.
Fromm and Terry Godwin then connected on a 51-yard score — the longest of Godwin’s career — to put the Bulldogs from Athens up 21-0 with 10:32 left in the first half.
Georgia withstood a Samford surge the rest of the second quarter to take a 21-7 lead going into the locker room. Samford’s only score came on a 10-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a 9-yard TD pass from Devlin Hodges to TaDarryl Marshall.
“I was a little disappointed at halftime,” Smart added. “Samford had a momentum swing just before the half and give them credit for that. In the second half, we made a stop, got a turnover, the young quarterback showed he’s growing up and we cashed in.”
The Bulldogs from Birmingham started the second half with the ball, looking to get back in the game. Instead, Hodges fumbled, Georgia recovered and then Chubb went 14 yards over left tackle on the next offensive possession to put UGA up 28-7.
On Samford’s ensuing drive, Smith busted through the offensive front and made a big stop on 4th-down to set the Georgia offense up at the Samford 45-yard line. The Bulldogs capitalized as Godwin reeled in a 9-yard TD pass to put the home team ahead 35-7.
Georgia added a score from D’Andre Swift and the Bulldogs went on to defeat Samford by a 42-14 final.
Next up, Georgia hosts Mississippi State in a nationally-televised game on ESPN next Saturday at 7 p.m. ET inside Sanford Stadium.