ATHENS, Ga. (AP) – After waiting for this moment for nearly 15 months, JT Daniels knelt down and soaked up the cheers of the socially distant crowd.
There were only about 20. 000 fans at Sanford Stadium, but it sounded more like the usual 92. 000.
Daniels made quite a debut between the hedges, throwing for 401 yards and four touchdowns as No.. 13 Georgia celebrated a 31:24 victory over the state of Mississippi on Saturday night.
Daniels played with Southern Cal for the first time since the 2019 opener and was the third quarterback to start for the Bulldogs (5-2, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) this season.
« This is the first time since the 31. August 2019 that I took snapshots in a completely different part of the country, « said Daniels. “It still hasn’t really worked out that I have to play football again. ”
The USC transfer didn’t just play – it delivered one big moment after another, limited by a 40-yard touchdown pass to Kearis Jackson who broke a 24:24 tie at 9:50.
What made it even more impressive: Jackson and George Pickens had dropped potential TD passes in two consecutive games, and a holding penalty left Georgia in third and twentieth place .
But Jackson slipped behind secondary school in the middle of the field and Daniels spotted him to take down the understaffed state of Mississippi for good (2-5, 2-5). .
Daniels became the first Georgia quarterback to walk more than 400 yards since Aaron Murray against Auburn in 2013 – and the first to do so on his debut.
When asked if he could have predicted such a performance in his coming out with the Bulldogs, Daniels replied, “Absolutely. It is something that you visualize and dream about. ”
Freshman Jermaine Burton was Daniel’s favorite recipient, scooping eight passes for 197 yards – including TD catches of 18 and 48 yards, not to mention another catch of 49 yards.
Burton only had 130 yards in the first six games of the season when Georgia struggled to get his passing game going while Daniels watched from the bench.
Pickens also picked up a 4 yard scoring pass, ending up with eight receptions for 87 yards.
« That guy, the ball is just bouncing out of his hand, » said Jamaree Salyer. “That makes my work a lot easier. I’m happy when the ball is 50 meters away and I only have to block once. ”
Daniels had to do it all through the air because Georgia’s running game was completely choked up and ended at only 8 meters when three sacks were included in the numbers.
Mississippi State, who lost four of five games in the season opener since a shocking surprise from defending champions LSU, got in touch with Georgia for most of the night behind freshman quarterback Will Rogers, making its second straight start.
Rogers distributed the ball to 10 receivers on the offensive « Air Raid » and made 41 of 52 passes for 336 yards, including Jaden Walley, who caught a pass and turned the corner for a touchdown of 51 yards. Dillon Johnson added two lavish TDs for the state of Mississippi.
Daniels was one of the top high school candidates in the country in 2018 and earned Southern Cal’s starting job as a freshman. But he tore his knee at the start of his second season and missed the rest of the year.
Since the Trojans wanted to take a different direction at the quarterback, Daniels moved to Georgia and was immediately authorized to replace three-year-old starter Jake Fromm.
The newcomer didn’t snap a snap until the seventh game of the season after both Stetson Bennett and D’Wan Mathis got a bang.
After a number of defects and opt-outs, as well as an outbreak of positive COVID-19 tests, the state of Mississippi only brought 59 players on the trip to Athens.
« A really good performance and I think this is the best game we’ve played this year, » said coach Mike Leach. “I was very proud of the way our boys played. ”
Mississippi State: After beating Vanderbilt, Rogers put in another solid performance against Georgia. The freshman seems to have a stranglehold on the senior K quarterback job. J. . Costello started the first five games.
« We have a lot of young people who are getting better and they keep getting better, » Leach said. « We played extremely hard and I think mostly well. ”
Georgia: Daniels’ formidable performance is sure to make Bulldog fans wonder why it took so long for coach Kirby Smart to put him on a quarterback. Georgia has little chance of getting back to the SEC championship game, but it might have been different if Smart Daniels had called earlier in the season.
Smart said he fully understands those who would question his decision to see Daniels through game seven.
« Absolutely, » said the coach. “However, decisions are made based on the best chance of winning. Much of this has to do with JT’s mobility (after a knee injury) and Stetson’s play. If he fought, we would have to look elsewhere. JT took the opportunity. ”
Mississippi State: Takes a quick trip to Oxford to take on rival Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl next Saturday. The Bulldogs are aiming for their third straight win against the rebels.
Georgia: Travels to Columbia to face South Carolina during Thanksgiving week, usually reserved for the Dawgs’ rivalry against Georgia Tech. The teams don’t meet with the SEC this season, which only plays a league schedule.
Georgia Bulldogs Soccer, Mississippi State Bulldogs Soccer, JT Daniels, American Football, Southeastern Conference, Kirby Smart
World News – USA – What a debut! Daniels’ 401 yards, 4 TDs lead No.. 13 Georgia
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