ATHENS—Things just wouldn’t be right with the world if the Georgia Bulldogs didn’t win on Vince Dooley’s day in Athens.
Prior to Saturday’s home opener the school officially stamped the name of their legendary former head coach and athletic director on the field at Sanford Stadium.
From Saturday forward the home of the Bulldogs’ home stadium will Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium. Though Georgia players were still tucked away in their locker room in the East end of the stadium, the occasion was far from lost on their minds.
Seeing the love and respect for the school’s former head coach and some of the school’s legends, who joined Dooley on the field for, left a mark on some of the Bulldogs.
Some of the older Bulldogs who could be making their final go-around at the school took notice of the lifelong commitment that seems to come with playing at Georgia.
Saturday could only be a peak into what the future potentially holds for a team expecting to be competing for another shot at the College Football Playoff in 2019.
“It’s amazing to be a part of it,” senior safety J.R. Reed said. “You always know you have a home no matter how big you are or how small you are. You’ve always got a home here at Georgia.”
Once the game began not many, if any, really expected much of a challenge for the Bulldogs in between the lines on Saturday at the christening of the newly named field.
The third ranked Bulldogs put on their bully hat and took care of the task assigned to them on the first Saturday of September as they trounced the Racers of Murray State 63-17 to earn their second win of the 2019 season.
The Bulldogs got on the board first with a 3-yard touchdown run by junior D’Andre Swift.
The Racers briefly tied the game after a 60-yard touchdown pass about halfway through the first quarter.
Any unfamiliarity vanished and the Bulldogs took control.
By the end of the evening Georgia had rolled up 561 total yards of offense.
Junior quarterback Jake Fromm was nearly flawless going 10-for-11 for 166 yards and a touchdown toss. Backup quarterback Stetson Bennett came into the game in the second quarter. The Bulldogs began their rout to go 9-for-13 with 124 yards passing with 2 touchdowns and interception that turned into six points.
Zamir White was the Bulldogs’ leading rusher with 72 yards on nine carries.
White also found the endzone for the first time in his Bulldogs’ career in his return from two ACL surgeries in the last two years.
Swift ended the afternoon with 67 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bulldogs’ defense stayed true to their preseason conversations of wreaking havoc as they racked up six total sacks.
Nolan Smith was credited with a sack and a half.
The Bulldogs’ attack features a group that comes at opposing offenses in waves and they got an opportunity to flex that depth on Saturday.
Six different players were credited with a sack on Saturday.
As one made a play the energy spread to the others.
There’s a connective tissue running between the Bulldogs’ outside rushers and the chemistry has become the straw that pushes chaos around the quarterback in the first two weeks of 2019.
“We come in every week and we feed off each other and that energy,” redshirt freshman Azeez Ojulari said. “One person gets a sack and everyone gets hyped. It’s just like, ‘man I want to get the next one’ and we’re just competing and everyone wants to be the guy to make a play and create havoc...We’re all close. We keep each other up every day. It’s like a brotherhood.”