Top-ranked Georgia will look to avoid a historic letdown when it hosts Charleston Southern in a nonconference game on Saturday in Athens, Ga.
The Bulldogs (10-0) are coming off a 41-17 win at Tennessee that capped their first undefeated season in Southeastern Conference play since 1982.
The Bulldogs are hoping to use the game against Charleston Southern (4-5) — a Football Championship Subdivision school — to get their second- and third-team players some snaps before concluding the regular season at in-state rival Georgia Tech (3-7) on Nov. 27.
“I hope everybody gets to play, but I don’t control that,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “What I control is how we prepare and how we go out and play the game. The hope is that we go out and play our best game.”
Quarterback Stetson Bennett is expected to make his seventh straight start since replacing JT Daniels, who was sidelined for several games with a strained oblique and hasn’t beaten Bennett in practice to regain the job.
Against Tennessee, Bennett completed 17 of 29 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown, in addition to running for 40 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. He spread the ball around, completing passes to nine receivers, led by Adonai Mitchell’s five catches for 65 yards.
Bennett has gone 97-for-149 (65.1 percent) for 1,625 yards, with 15 touchdowns against four interceptions, in addition to rushing for 233 yards on 35 carries, an average of 6.7 yards per attempt.
Running back James Cook powered the rushing attack on a day when Georgia amassed 487 total yards. He scored on runs of 39 and 5 yards and caught a 23-yard touchdown pass to finish with 104 yards on 10 carries and three receptions for 43 yards.
Cook has rushed for 487 yards on 76 carries — an average of 6.4 per attempt — to go along with six scores, while Zamir White has rushed for a team-high 574 yards and nine scores on 118 carries.
Freshman tight end Brock Bowers leads the team in receptions (30), yards (516) and receiving touchdowns (6) and redshirt freshman Ladd McConkey has 22 catches for 352 yards and three scores.
Charleston Southern rallied from a 14-0 deficit in the first quarter to pull out a 32-24 double-overtime win over host Gardner-Webb on Saturday.
Quarterback Jack Chambers’ 2-yard run followed by his successful pass to Ja’Rell Smith for the two-point conversion was the difference.
Chambers completed 23 of 39 throws for 286 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception, in addition to rushing for 28 yards and a score on 13 carries.
Danuel Oscar rushed for 101 yards and a score on 25 carries and Geoffrey Wall had 12 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Chambers has thrown for 2,455 yards, with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions, and he’s also leading the team in rushing attempts (127), yards (464) and touchdowns (7).
“We just have not been able to put it together from week to week, so it has been frustrating,” Charleston Southern coach Autry Denson said. “But at the same time, I’m not wired to get down.”
–Field Level Media