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Monday January 17th, 2022 11:36PM

DT Jordan Davis runs for TD as No. 1 Georgia rolls, 56-7

By The Associated Press
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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Standout defensive tackle Jordan Davis scored his first career touchdown and No. 1 Georgia's defense was again dominant in a 56-7 rout of Charleston Southern on Saturday.

Davis, a leader of Georgia's top-ranked defense, scored on a 1-yard plunge out of the Bulldogs' jumbo package in the first quarter for the game's first touchdown.

Davis had previously played in the jumbo package as a blocker, but fans roared in anticipation when the 6-foot-6, 340-pound tackle shifted to the backfield. Davis was stopped on his first run from the 2. Fans again cheered when he was given a second carry and scored from the 1.

Georgia (11-0) was as dominant as expected against Charleston Southern (4-6), the Football Championship Subdivision team from the Big South. The Buccaneers fell to 0-25 all-time against FBS teams.

The Bulldogs allowed only 126 yards — 68 rushing on 31 carries and 58 passing.

Brock Bowers had two touchdown catches and four Georgia players, including Davis, had scoring runs. Zamir White ran for 83 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown, on only four carries.

Stetson Bennett and JT Daniels split time at quarterback. Bennett threw scoring passes of 32 yards to Kenny McIntosh and 4 yards to Bowers.

Daniels, who began the season as the starter, took over in the second quarter and added a 7-yard touchdown pass to Bowers. Carson Beck, Georgia's third-string quarterback, took over in the second half after Georgia led 49-0 and added the Bulldogs' fourth scoring pass.

Georgia's defense, which recorded back-to-back shutouts over Vanderbilt and Arkansas in the first half of the season, began the day leading the nation with only 7.6 points allowed per game.

The popular Davis, who has received Heisman Trophy hype, also was cheered as one of 30 seniors to be honored in a pregame ceremony before the final home game of the season. Following the game, he stood on a ladder in front of the student section and celebrated the win.

Coach Kirby Smart encouraged all eligible seniors to participate in the ceremony, though many have the option to return for an extra year granted by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charleston Southern strong safety Hombre Kennedy was carted off the field with an apparent right leg injury in the first quarter.

THE TAKEAWAY

Charleston Southern: The Buccaneers finally were given reason to celebrate — and were penalized for doing so — when they scored on a two-turnover play in the third quarter to avoid the shutout. Jack Chambers' pass was deflected and Georgia's Xavian Sorey caught the deflection for an interception before losing the ball on his return. Garris Schwarting grabbed the ball from Sorey and ran 65 yards for the touchdown. The Buccaneers were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct following the score.

Georgia: Bennett's second pass of the game was intercepted by linebacker Garrett Sayegh. It was not an indication of a letdown by Georgia, which had few mistakes after that. Most importantly, Georgia avoided injuries as it prepares for its Southeastern Conference championship game on Dec. 4. Smart gave valuable playing time to backups. The Bulldogs had six players with carries of 11 yards or more. Ten players had catches of at least 10 yards.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Georgia did nothing to harm its No. 1 standing in the AP Top 25 and College Football Playoff rankings. Smart challenged his team to honor seniors with a strong start. Georgia led 35-0 and had outgained Charleston Southern 280 to minus-10 early in the second quarter. The Bulldogs' 49 first-half points tied a school record for points in a half.

UP NEXT

Charleston Southern opens its 2022 season at home against Western Carolina on Sept. 3.

Georgia will play its final regular-season game next week when it visits Georgia Tech. It will be the first meeting between the state rivals since Georgia's 52-7 win in 2019, the Bulldogs' third consecutive win in the series. The game was not played last season due to the pandemic.

___

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