Recap: Georgia vs. Clemson
Athens, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Todd Gurley scored two of his four touchdowns in a strong second half, posting a career-high 198 yards rushing, and No. 12 Georgia rolled past 16th-ranked Clemson by a 45-21 count in an interconference battle from Sanford Stadium.
Hutson Mason threw for 131 yards on 18-of-26 efficiency and Nick Chubb contributed 70 yards and another score on the ground for the Bulldogs (1-0), who also benefited from a 100-yard kickoff return from Gurley in the second quarter.
"It was a game of momentum, and I think by far the biggest play was the kickoff return for a touchdown. It just got us back in it," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said.
Michael Bennett led the hosts with five catches for 60 yards as Georgia produced 459 yards of total offense.
Cole Stoudt ended up 15-of-28 for 130 yards and was sacked three times for the Tigers (0-1), while Mike Williams posted 88 yards on three receptions. C.J. Davidson and D.J. Howard picked up a rushing score each in defeat.
"We talk a lot about the game within a game. We cannot give a good offense the ball in great field position like we did tonight," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said.
Deshaun Watson threw a first-half TD pass to Charone Peake.
Gurley broke free for runs of 38 and 17 yards to set up Georgia deep into Clemson territory on its first series of the final quarter. He completed that drive with an 18-yard run up the middle to make it 31-21 with 10:26 to play.
Clemson went three-and-out, before Chubb broke several tackles along the right side on the next play from scrimmage and boosted the Bulldogs' edge to 38-21 with a 47-yard TD gallop.
The Tigers again failed to pick up a first down, and Gurley capped Georgia's ensuing possession with a dynamic 51-yard touchdown run for a 24-point spread.
Clemson punted once more and Georgia ran the remaining 5:24 off the clock thanks to picking up a pair of first downs.
Each team reached the end zone early in the opening quarter. Howard's 1- yard plunge gave Clemson the lead on the game's first touch, and that was countered by Gurley's 23-yard dash to paydirt to draw Georgia even on its second series.
The Bulldogs led 14-7 after one thanks to Mason calling his own number and scoring from the 2-yard line, but the Tigers came back to tie just over a minute into the second quarter on a 30-yard strike from Watson to Peake.
Davidson's 1-yard TD run midway through the second was countered immediately by Gurley's 100-yard kickoff return to forge a 21-21 deadlock, a score which stood at halftime.
Marshall Morgan converted a 27-yard try on Georgia's first drive of the second half.Game Notes
Clemson won 38-35 at Death Valley last season, but Georgia has now taken six
of the seven matchups between the programs dating back to 1991 ... Davidson
ended up with 66 yards on 13 carries, but Howard was limited to 29 yards on 11
totes ... The Tigers finished with 291 yards of offense.