ATHENS, Ga. – A 35-point second quarter helped the No. 3-ranked University of Georgia football team defeat Murray State, 63-17, Saturday afternoon in front of 92,746 fans at the newly-named Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium.
Before kickoff, former head coach and athletic director Vince Dooley was joined by his family and captains from each of his 25 Georgia teams for the unveiling of Dooley Field.
The 2019 Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0 SEC) then used an efficient 10-of-11 passing effort from junior quarterback Jake Fromm, as well as 269 rushing yards from seven different running backs to run past the Racers.
Redshirt-freshman tailback Zamir White led all rushers with 72 total yards and scored the first touchdown of his career off a six-yard scamper in the second quarter.
“We’re always proud to get a win,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “At the end of the day, a lot of work goes into a game, and I want the kids to be able to celebrate that. We just need to fix a few things. … We’ll work this week, like we always do, on fundamentals. We’ve got to tackle better. We had sloppy, sloppy tackling. Against good people, that will come back to haunt you. We’ll work on that.”
Fromm directed a four-play, 56-yard drive, capped off by D’Andre Swift’s first touchdown of the season to open the game.
Murray State quickly answered as quarterback Preston Rice connected with wide receiver DaQuon Green for a 60-yard score to knot the game at 7-7 with 6:36 remaining in the first quarter.
The opening frame ended with Georgia driving at the Murray State 15-yard line. The Bulldogs scored back-to-back touchdowns early in the second, thanks to a Brian Herrien two-yard rush and a J.R. Reed fumble recovery that he took back for a 14-yard score.
With Georgia up 21-7, Swift added a 10-yard touchdown rush, followed by freshman wide receiver’s George Pickens’ first career score — a 15-yard reception from Fromm. That set up White’s six-yard touchdown that put Georgia up 42-7.
On the Bulldogs’ first offensive possession of the second half, Racer defensive back Nigel Watson intercepted a Stetson Bennett pass and ran it back 35 yards to cut into Georgia’s lead.
The home team quickly answered as Bennett connected with Demetris Robertson for a 15-yard strike — the quarterback’s first career touchdown pass.
The Bulldogs led 49-17 at the end of three quarters, and maintained their lead the rest of the game.
Georgia will now host Arkansas State next Saturday, Sept. 14 at noon ET.