Bulldogs rout Seminoles, 63-3, in Orange Bowl
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Bulldogs rout Seminoles, 63-3, in Orange Bowl

Kendall Milton
Photo: Tony Walsh/UGAAA

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The No. 6-ranked Georgia football team wrapped up its season with a dominant performance against No. 5 Florida State in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium. The Bulldogs amassed 673 yards of offense, scored touchdowns on nine consecutive drives at one point, and rolled to a 63-3 win.

Playing in its 27th consecutive bowl game, the longest streak in the nation. Georgia (13-1) led 7-0 after the first quarter. In the second, the Bulldogs turned the game into a rout, outscoring FSU 35-3 thanks to explosive plays on offense, strong defense and three takeaways, including one on special teams.

With the victory, the 2023 senior class improved to 50-4, the most wins ever by a class in school history. Georgia is now 38-21-3 all-time in bowl games, including seven wins in a row.

Georgia amassed 383 yards of offense in the first half, including 180 rushing yards, and averaged 11.3 yards per play. The 42-3 lead was the largest halftime advantage in Orange Bowl history. For the game, the Bulldogs rushed for 372 yards on 47 carries, and out-gained the Seminoles 673-209.

The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first, going 69 yards on seven plays on their second drive to take a 7-0 lead on running back Kendall Milton’s 15-yard touchdown run with 4:05 to play in the opening quarter. It was the fourth play of 15 yards or more on the drive. Quarterback Carson Beck had completions to Dillon Bell (15 yards) and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (16), and Daijun Edwards had a 17-yard run before Milton’s score.

After the Bulldog defense forced a third straight Florida State (13-1) punt, the Georgia offense went back to work. Edwards combined for 12 yards on two runs, Beck hit wideout Ladd McConkey for a 22-yard gain, and then Milton, on the final play of the first quarter, ran through one defender on his way to a 43-yard gain down to the FSU 5.

Milton had 86 yards on six carries in the first period, and on the first play of the second, he scored on a 5-yard run to put the Bulldogs ahead 14-0.

Florida State answered with a couple of long completions to get down to the Bulldog 3-yard line. The Georgia defense kept the Seminoles out of the end zone, and FSU cut the lead to 14-3 with a 22-yard field goal by Ryan Fitzgerald with 12:34 to play in the half.

Georgia needed just four plays to get back into the end zone on the ensuing drive. Beck hit tight end Oscar Delp for 14 yards, followed by a 31-yard completion to Bell. Edwards then ran 15 yards to the 15, followed by a 15-yard touchdown run to make it 21-3 with 10:38 to go. Through four drives, the Bulldogs were averaging 10.9 yards per play.

The Bulldogs scored again 20 seconds later. On the ensuing kickoff, Chaz Chambliss forced a fumble and Cole Speer dove on the loose ball at the FSU 27. On the next play, McConkey caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage and appeared to be setting up to throw a pass. Instead, he took off running and worked his way through the defense for a 27-yard touchdown. Peyton Woodring’s fourth extra point of the half made it 28-3.

After the Georgia defense got a stop on fourth-and-6 at the UGA 38, the offense again moved the ball and found the end zone. This time, Beck threw a screen to wide receiver Arian Smith, who ran it in for a 12-yard score and a 35-3 lead with 3:39 left until halftime.

The Seminoles had the ball at the Georgia 25 late in the half when outside linebacker Mykel Williams strip-sacked quarterback Brock Glenn, picked up the fumble and returned it 10 yards to the Bulldog 49. Two plays later, Beck connected with Bell for a 35-yard gain. Soon after, Beck hit Dominic Lovett for a two-yard touchdown and a 42-3 lead with 26 seconds left in the half.

Safety Malaki Starks intercepted a Glenn pass on the final play of the half, giving the Bulldogs three takeaways in the second quarter. It was Starks’ third INT of the season.

Milton had 104 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries in the first half, while Beck was 13 of 18 for 203 yards and two touchdowns. Neither player played in the second half.

Georgia got the ball to start the third quarter, and with Gunner Stockton at quarterback and numerous other backups in, went on a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended on Edwards’ two-yard touchdown run, pushing the lead to 49-3. Later in the third, Stockton hit tight end Lawson Luckie for a four-yard touchdown, pushing lead to 56-3. It was Stockton’s first career touchdown pass and Luckie’s first TD catch.

Cornerback Daylen Everette snagged his first career interception on FSU’s next drive. Georgia’s offense took full advantage of the turnover, taking a 63-3 lead on Stockton’s four-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Evans III. It was Evans’ first career touchdown catch. Stockton finished 6 of 10 passing for 96 yards and two touchdowns, and added 46 yards rushing on seven attempts.

On Georgia’s final drive, Jackson Muschamp, a junior backup quarterback and the son of co-defensive coordinator (and former Bulldog defensive back) Will Muschamp, entered the game. He ran for 14 yards on his first play.

The Bulldogs open the 2024 season against Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta on Aug. 31.

POST-GAME NOTES

*Historic 50th Win For Seniors: With today’s 63-3 victory over No. 5 FSU, Georgia’s 2023 senior class set a school mark for career victories as they finish with a 50-4 mark including two national championships. During their career, they beat three teams they faced in bowl games/CFP that were undefeated (2020 Peach-Cincinnati, 2021 CFP Semifnal/Orange-Michigan, 2023 Orange-FSU). The Bulldogs finish this year 13-1.

*UGA’s 60-point win is the largest ever in a bowl game by any team. The old mark of 58 was set last year by UGA in a 65-7 win over TCU for the 2023 title.

*The Bulldogs in the Kirby Smart era are now 94-16 overall including 46-2 in their last 48 games. The Bulldogs are now 9-2 in bowl games/CFP appearances under Smart including winning the last seven contests.

*Georgia extended the nation’s longest active bowl streak to 27 seasons and now has won its last seven bowl/CFP appearances.

*The Bulldogs are now 4-1 in the Orange Bowl and improve to 38-21-3 in bowl games. The 38 wins and 62 games rank second nationally.

*Summary Of The Offense: The Bulldogs finished with a season-high and Bulldog bowl record 673 yards of total offense (4th most overall in school history) on 76 plays in a record 63-3 victory in front of 63,324. Coming in today, Georgia ranked ninth nationally in Scoring Offense at 38.4 points a game. Georgia’s 372 rushing yards was a Bulldog bowl record too.

*After turning it over on downs on its first possession, Georgia scored TDs on its next nine possessions before having to punt in the 4th quarter.

*Georgia’s 39-point first half lead set an Orange Bowl record and also was school bowl record.

*Georgia’s 35-point outburst in the 2nd quarter tied an Orange Bowl record and was a Bulldog bowl record, the previous schol mark was 21 twice (2006 Sugar Bowl vs West Virginia and 2023 CFP National Championship Game vs TCU. The 42 points in a half was a Bulldog bowl record.

*The Bulldogs were 8-for-8 in the Red Zone with 8 TDs.

*Senior RB Kendall Milton, named the Most Outstanding Player of the Orange Bowl, was the leading rusher with 104 yards on nine carries (11.6 avg.) with 2 TDs, all in the first half. He had the game’s first two TDs, a 15-yarder and then a 5-yarder. It was his fourth career 100-yard game. 

*Georgia took a 7-0 lead with 4:05 left in the 1st, going 69 yards on seven plays in 2:40, capped by a Kendall Milton 15-yard run. 

*The Bulldogs went up 14-0 with 14:57 in the 2nd, going 82 yards on six plays in 1:56 as Milton ran in for a score from five yards out.

*Georgia made it 21-3 with 10:38 left in the first half, going 75 yards on four plays in 156 as Daijun Edwards capped it with a 15-yard run.

*The Bulldogs extended the lead to 28-3 on a 27-yard rushing TD by Ladd McConkey. It was a one-play drive in 13 seconds.

*Georgia made it 35-3 with a 12-yard completion to junior Arian Smith from Beck. It capped a five play, 62-yard drive in 2:20.

*The Bulldogs went up 42-3 on a four play, 51-yard drive in 23 seconds following a turnover. Dominic Lovett caught a 2-yard TD.

*In the second half, Georgia went up 49-3 as Gunner Stockton led a five play, 75-yard drive in 5:37 as Edwards finished it with a 2-yard TD. Stockton connected for a four-yard TD with freshman Lawson Luckie to make it 56-3. It was the first TD pass and catch for each. The drive covered 90 yards in 10 plays in 4:31. Freshman Anthony Evans notched his first TD, a 14-yard catch to finish a 69-yard drive in nine plays for a 63-3 lead. Also, Evans had one punt return for 17 yards.

*A Look At Beck: Junior QB Carson Beck was 13-for-19 for 203 yards and 2 TDs in directing Georgia to a 42-3 halftime lead. With 203 yards, Beck moved up to 2nd in single season history for passing yards with 3,941 yards, passing Aaron Murray (3,893 in 2012). Beck is 5-1 against Top 25 opponents.

*Sophomores Dillon Bell (5 rec., 86 yards) was the leading receiver. Georgia got TD catches from juniors Arian SmithDominic Lovett, Lawson Luckie and Anthony Evans.

*Defensive Review: FSU finished with 209 yards of offense on 53 plays and just three points. FSU had 185 yards on 41 plays in the first half.

*Coming in today, Georgia ranked ninth nationally in Scoring Defense, allowing just 16.6 points a game.

*FSU was 2-for-12 on 3rd Downs as the Bulldogs came in today leading the nation with opponents converting just 26% of the time on 3rd Downs.

*FSU cut it to 14-3 with a 22-yard field goal, going 71 yards on six plays. The big play in the drive was a 55-yard reception by Kentron Poitier that gave them a first-and-goal at the 3, and the Bulldogs held them to a FG.

*Sophomore Mykel Williams registered a sack/forced fumble and fumble recovery with 49 seconds left in the first half. He now has 4.5 sacks on the year. It was his first career caused fumble and fumble recovery. It led to a TD. Also to end the first half, sophomore Malaki Starks had an INT, his third.

*Tonight’s leading tacklers were freshman CJ Allen with six while Jalon Walker and Mykel Williams had four apiece.

*Sophomore Daylen Everette registered an interception, the first of his career.

 *A Look At The Special Teams: Freshman PK Peyton Woodring tallied 9 points, going 9-for-9 on PATs which is a bowl record. He now has 134 points this season, which ranks third in school history.

*Early in the 2nd quarter, Georgia forced a fumble (Cash Jones) on a kickoff, and it was recovered by Cole Speer. It led to a TD one play later and a 28-3 edge. It was the fifth forced fumble and second recovered by the Bulldogs this year. The Bulldogs are +3 in Turnover Margin.

*Sophomore P Brett Thorson’s first punt came with 7:02 left in the game. Junior Jared Zirkel handled the kickoffs.

*Captains, Coin Toss and For Starters: Senior Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (WR) and juniors Sedrick Van Pran (C), Javon Bullard (S) and  Kamari Lassiter (DB) served as the game captains. UGA won the toss and elected to defer. Van Pran made his team-leading 44th career start while freshman Raylen Wilson (ILB) made his first career start. Georgia improves to 7-4-1 all-time against FSU and snapped the Seminoles 19-game winning streak which was the second longest active streak in the FBS.

*Honoring #77 Devin Willock: Senior Xavier Truss (RT), normally #73, wore #77 today in honor of his late teammate Devin Willock. A different Bulldog offensive lineman has worn #77 each game this season.

*Up Next: The Bulldogs will enter the 2024 season on a school record streak of 39 consecutive regular season victories (dating to 2020) that leads in the FBS. The Bulldogs open 2024 against Clemson in the Aflac Kickoff Game in Atlanta.

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