Short of a bye, Idaho State was the best matchup Georgia could have hoped for ahead of their showdown with No. 2 Auburn next week. As expected, the Dawgs handily beat the Big Sky Conference Bengals, 55-7.
Georgia evens out the season at 5-5 and needs one more win for bowl eligibility.
In Saturday's contest, the Dawgs outmatched the FCS Division Bengals (1-8) on every front. Idaho State's best stat was holding Georgia to two field goals in the first quarter. But the defense ran out of gas after spending 9:45 out of the first 15 minutes on the field. Georgia scored 35 points in the second quarter—the most points they’ve put on the board in a single quarter since 1988.
Although the competitive caliber was low, the Dawgs had some noteworthy moments.
Georgia’s defense produced a trio of turnovers and converted all of them into seven points. Bacarri Rambo picked off quarterback Russel Hill early in the second quarter and ran 39-yards for a touchdown. A couple minutes later, Brandon Boykin intercepted Hill on Idaho State’s 21-yard line and picked up 18 yards. A.J. Green got a three-yard touchdown reception on the next play.
Late in the third quarter, Vance Cuff took one away from backup quarterback Kyle Morris and returned it 30-yards for a touchdown.
True freshman safety Alec Ogletree made some big plays in his inaugural defensive start. Near the end of the first quarter, Ogletree tipped a punt and brought it down on Idaho State’s 43-yard line. The partial block set up Georgia’s first touchdown, which came at the top of the second quarter. Ogletree also recorded some key tackles on special teams.
After the Florida game, Mark Richt took some heat for A.J. Green’s lack of time with the ball. This week, Green caught a 14-yard reception on the first play of the game and was productive throughout. He stiff-armed defenders to pick up extra ground on several short passing plays and finished the day with two touchdowns and 103 receiving yards.
Green now has six career 100-yard games and moved up to No. 2 on Georgia’s all-time list of touchdown catches with 21.
The No. 12 kicker in the nation, Blair Walsh, hit a 53-yard field goal, matching his career-long. He also booted in a 38-yarder, got all six extra points and averaged over 67 yards on kick-offs.
30-Plus Point Game Record
With the win against Idaho State, Georgia scored 30-plus points in five straight games for the first time in school history. Ahead of Saturday’s contest, Georgia was ranked No. 38 in the nation in scoring offense.
Reps for Backups
Mark Richt pulled most of his starters out of the game after the first play of the third quarter.
True freshman quarterback Hutson Mason replaced Aaron Murray during the second half and managed the ball well. Although he only completed 3-of-8 passes for 41 yards, he got valuable playing time. Mason was able to avoid getting intercepted but did fumble the ball toward the end of the fourth quarter.
Other offensive players saw their first action of the season, including Wes Van Dyk (RB), Josh Sailors (FB), Derek Rich (TE) and Rhett McGowan (TE), who caught a 12-yard pass from Hutson.
Next up, Georgia faces undefeated Auburn, their oldest SEC rival.
Auburn’s defense is ranked lower than Georgia’s on most key stats. They are vulnerable defending against the pass.
The Tigers' high-powered offense is fueled mostly by quarterback Cam Newton. He is the team's leading rusher, with 1,122 yards compared to running back Michael Dyer’s 723 yards. Nationally, Newton is ranked No. 7 in rushing and No. 3 in passing efficiency. Auburn is ranked No. 6 in total offense.
Newton is possibly facing an NCAA investigation following allegations of a play-for-pay scandal involving Mississippi State.
Weigh in Dawg fans—what are Georgia’s chances against Auburn?