Georgia’s No. 2 defense dominates in Samford shutout

By CHARLES ODUM, AP sports journalist

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Stetson Bennett passed for 300 yards while throwing and running for touchdowns and Georgia’s rebuilt No. 2 defense delivered another dominating performance in the Bulldogs’ 33-0 win over Samford on Saturday .

A week after allowing just one field goal in a then-season-opening 49-3 rout. 11 Oregon’s defense in Georgia has once again reached the level it set by winning the national championship last season. Samford (1-1) was limited to 128 yards and three first downs.

Georgia (2-0) reloaded its defense after losing eight players in this year’s NFL Draft, including five in the first round. Overall, Georgia had a record 15 players taken in the draft.

Bennett completed 24 of 34 passes, including a 3-yard pass to rookie Dillon Bell.

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A year ago, Samford scared another SEC East team, leading Florida 42-28 in the first half before the Gators rallied for a 70-52 win. Samford couldn’t repeat that offensive performance against Georgia.

Kendall Milton led Georgia with 85 rushing yards on 10 carries. Kenny McIntosh ran for 1 yard and caught five passes for 61 yards.

Georgia conceded only one first down in the first half and led 30-0 at the break. Late in the third quarter, Carson Beck replaced Bennett and Georgia third quarterback Brock Vandagriff finished the game.

Samford’s second possession ended with Georgia safety Dan Jackson forcing a fumble from quarterback Michael Hiers. Xavian Sorey’s recovery set up the second of Jack Podlesny’s four field goals.

Samford’s Michael Hiers completed 13 of 21 passes for 62 yards.

Samford: Yesterdays, who impressed in a season-opening win over FCS Kennesaw State, was unable to establish a consistent offense. The visiting Bulldogs were held to 59 yards in the first half. Substitute Quincy Crittendon’s 36-yard pass to Ty King in the fourth quarter was the biggest gain of the day.

Georgia: There was no evidence Georgia was planning to open next week’s Southeast Conference in South Carolina — or back to its rout of Oregon. The only disappointment was the Bulldogs’ inability to reach the end zone when they moved inside Samford’s 10 on their first two possessions. The only bad news came when receiver Adonai Mitchell limped off the field during the Bulldogs’ opener and was ruled out with a left ankle injury.

Georgia is expected to retain its No. 2 spot in the AP Top 25 and could receive more support for the No. 1 spot after No. 1 Alabama’s 20-19 win over unranked Texas.

Samford: Plays at FCS Ohio Valley conference member Tennessee Tech next Saturday.

Georgia: Opens the SEC schedule in South Carolina next Saturday. The Bulldogs have won the last two games of the series, including a 40-13 home win last season.

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