Bulldogs top Tech, set SEC consecutive wins record
ATLANTA, Ga. — The top-ranked Georgia football team continued to make Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium a home away from home Saturday night. In the Bulldogs’ regular-season finale, they rushed for 262 on their way to a 31-23 win over the Yellow Jackets, winning their 12th straight game on their in-state rival’s home field.
With the win, the Bulldogs’ 29th in a row, Georgia now has the longest winning streak in SEC history. The Bulldogs entered the game tied with a pair of Alabama squads over the years that won 28 straight. The win was also the 49th by the 2023 senior class, tying the program record set by the 2022 seniors.
Its regular season complete, and its run of consecutive regular-season wins at 39 games, Georgia (12-0) now turns its attention to next Saturday’s SEC Championship Game matchup against No. 8 Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Georgia has now won six in a row over Tech (6-6). Saturday’s win didn’t come easily, especially with the offense playing without weapons Brock Bowers, Ladd McConkey and Rara Thomas, who were out while nursing injuries. The trio have a combined 100 receptions this season. Georgia also hurt itself with a two turnovers and six penalties for 60 yards.
Running back Kendall Milton rushed for a career-high 156 yards — his previous high of 127 yards was set against Ole Miss two weeks ago — and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
Quarterback Carson Beck finished 13 of 20 for 175 yards and a touchdown, completing five passes to Dominic Lovett for 68 yards and a touchdown, while Dillon Bell caught three passes for 37 and also had a 29-yard rush. Linebackers Smael Mondon Jr. and C.J. Allen led the defense with eight tackles each.
The Yellow Jackets struck first, forcing a Bulldog fumble on Georgia’s first offensive play, and then later taking a 7-0 lead on a nine-yard touchdown run by quarterback Haynes King.
It appeared that Tech had forced another turnover on Georgia’s next drive, this one a red-zone interception on pass intended for Lovett, but a review showed that the ball hit the ground. On the next play, Beck hit a wide open Lovett on the left side for a 29-yard touchdown, tying the game at 7-7 with 7:23 left in the opening quarter.
Tech regained the lead, 10-7, with a Aidan Birr 25-yard field goal with 35 seconds left in the opening quarter. The Yellow Jackets had a 108-86 advantage in total offense and about a five minute advantage in time of possession after the first quarter of play.
Georgia took its first lead with 12:40 to go in the first half on an impressive seven-play drive that covered 75 yards. It included a third-and-11 conversion on a screen to running back Daijun Edwards that gained 26 yards. On the next play, Milton ran hard up the middle for 18, followed by a seven-yard run. A quick screen right to Bell resulted in a 22-yard gain down to the 3, and Milton ran the ball in for a 14-10 lead on the next play.
Tech answered with a 12-play drive that ended with a 45-yard Birr field goal, cutting the Bulldog lead to 14-13 with 6:06 left in the first half. Georgia followed that with an 11-play touchdown drive that ended with a three-yard Edwards touchdown run and a 21-13 lead with 1:14 to play in the half. Edwards not only scored the touchdown, he kept the drive going with a 12-yard run on third-and-9 at the Tech 35.
Kicker Peyton Woodring booted a 39-yard field goal with 5:15 to play in the third quarter to make it 24-13 Bulldogs. Nearly five minutes later, after Tech came up empty on a fourth-and-7 pass from the Georgia 45, Milton rank the ball in for a four-yard touchdown and a 31-13 lead with 31 seconds remaining in the third. The drive was sparked first by a 29-yard Bell end-around rush to the left side, down to the Tech 26.
Tech broke loose for a 57-yard completion down to the Georgia 13 on the ensuing possession, but then the Bulldog defense got tough. On third-and-7 at the 10, linebacker Marvin Jones Jr. sacked King for a loss of 13, forcing Tech to settle for a 40-yard field goal that cut Georgia’s lead to 31-16 with 12:13 remaining.
With a 10-play, 80-yard drive late in the fourth quarter, Tech cut the Georgia lead to 31-23 with 3:46 remaining. King closed out the drive with a five-yard run up the middle. Tech got the ball after a Beck pass in the Yellow Jacket end zone on the previous Bulldog drive was tipped and intercepted.
Now only up by eight points, Georgia needed to close out the win. It started on the ensuing kickoff, an onside kick that the Bulldogs recovered at the Tech 48. Facing a third-and-3 at the Tech 41 with 2:49 remaining, Edwards ran for five yards and a key first down. Two plays later, Milton ran for 15 yards down to the 19, sealing the win.
*Extending The Streaks: With tonight’s 31-23 win, Georgia (12-0, 8-0 SEC) extended its school record for consecutive victories to 29, which is the longest in SEC history and the longest nationally since 2018-19 when Clemson won 29 straight. Georgia’s winning streak began during the 2021 season (Dec. 31) when the Bulldogs beat #2 Michigan 34-11 in a CFP semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl.
*Georgia has won 15 straight road games which leads the FBS.
*The Bulldogs extended their school record for consecutive regular season wins to 39 which leads all of FBS. This streak began during the 2020 season with a 31-24 win over Miss. State. on Nov. 21.
*The Bulldogs are now 45-1 in their last 46 games including 15 straight wins in an opponent’s stadium.
*Georgia improves to 12-0 for the 3rd straight year (a school mark in regular season). The Bulldogs under Kirby Smart are 93-15 overall.
*With the latest victory over Tech, Georgia now holds a 71-39-5 edge in the series history including 6-1 in the Smart era.
*Summary Of The Offense: In tonight’s 31-23 win, Georgia finished with 437 yards on 59 plays. In the first half, Georgia had 236 yards of total offense on 28 plays in building a 21-13 edge and did not punt.
*The Bulldogs were 4-for-6 in the Red Zone with three TDs, a field goal, one turnover (INT) and one running out the clock for the win.
*Junior QB Carson Beck finished 13-for-20 for 175 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT and completed a 12-0 regular season.
*After trailing 7-0, Georgia responded by going 83 yards on nine plays in 4:09 capped by a 29-yard TD pass from Beck to Dominic Lovett,his third TD catch of the year. On the drive, Beck was 4-for-5 for 53 yards.
*Then, Georgia trailed 10-7 with 35 seconds left in the 1st, and the Bulldogs answered with a 75-yard TD drive on 7 plays in 2:55 to take their first lead at 14-10 with 12:40 left in the half. On the drive, Beck hit Daijun Edwards for 26 yards to convert a 3rd-and-11. Senior Kendall Milton finished the drive with a 3-yard run for his ninth TD of the year.
*After Tech cut it to 14-13, the Bulldogs marched 64 yards on 11 plays in 4:46 for a 21-13 advantage with 1:13 left in the first half.
*Senior RB Kendall Milton was the leading rusher with a career-high 156 yards on 18 attempts and tied his career-high with 2 TDs (also vs. Ole Miss this year). His second TD capped a 55-yard drive on five plays to put Georgia in front 31-13.
Sophomore WR Dillon Bell had three catches for 37 yards plus a career-long 29-yard rush and a career-long 39-yard kickoff return .
*Junior Dominic Lovett posted five catches for 68 yards including a 29-yard TD.
*Senior RB Daijun Edwards tallied two catches for 31 yards plus 55 yards rushing on 13 carries with one TD.
*Juniors Brock Bowers (TE) Ladd McConkey (WR) and Rara Thomas (WR) plus sophomore Tate Ratledge (RG) did not see any action tonight.
*Defensive Review: Tech finished with 363 yards of total offense on 65 plays. They were 2-for-12 on 3rd Downs and 2-for-3 on 4th Downs.
*Georgia blanked Tech in the 3rd quarter while extending its lead to 31-13. Tech ran 15 plays for just 43 yards.
*Tech turned a fumble into a 37-yard TD drive to take a 7-0 lead in the 1st quarter.
*Tech became only the second team this season to score 10 points on the Bulldogs in the first quarter, joining Auburn.
*While Tech was 3-for-3 in the first half in the Red Zone, it was only one TD and a pair of field goals.
*The leading tacklers tonight were freshman CJ Allen and junior Smael Mondon with eight each. Redshirt freshman Christen Miller notched his first career sack while sophomore Marvin Jones Jr. picked up a sack to give him 4.5 this year.
*A Look At The Special Teams: Freshman PK Peyton Woodring made a 39-yarder FG and was 4-for-4 on PATs for seven points. His 39-yarder made it 24-13 with 5:15 left in the 3rd quarter. For the season, he has 119 points, which ranks eight in school history.
*Redshirt sophomore Mekhi Mews had three kickoff returns for 76 yards including a 33- and 37-yarder plus one punt return for two yards.
Sophomore P Brett Thorson’s first punt came in the 3rd quarter. He finished with one for a 41.0 avg. Junior Jared Zirkel handled the kickoffs.
*Captains, Coin Toss and For Starters: Seniors Daijun Edwards (RB), Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (WR), Nazir Stackhouse (DL) and Tramel Walthour (DL) served as the game captains. Tech won the toss and elected to receive. Junior center Sedrick Van Pran made his team-leading 42nd career start. There were no first-time starters.
*Honoring #77 Devin Willock: Redshirt freshman Earnest Greene III (LT), normally #71, wore #77 tonight in honor of his late teammate Devin Willock. A different Bulldog offensive lineman will be wearing #77 each game this season.
*Up Next: Georgia (12-0, 8-0 SEC) faces Alabama (11-1, 8-0 SEC) in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta on Sat., Dec. 2 at 4 pm (CBS). Earlier today, UA rallied to beat Auburn 27-24 on the Plains.