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Sunday, November 25, 2012
3 up, 3 down: Georgia 42, Georgia Tech 10

By David Ching

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia took care of business and did it quickly in Saturday’s 42-10 win against Georgia Tech.

The third-ranked Bulldogs (11-1) removed any question of whether they might look past their in-state rivals (6-6), scoring four touchdowns in their first five possessions as they swept into next Saturday’s SEC championship game matchup against No. 2 Alabama (11-1) with their 11th win in the last 12 tries against Georgia Tech.

Let’s recap some of the highs and the few lows from Saturday’s victory.

THREE UP
1. No nonsense from the start
Georgia punted just once in five first-half possessions and easily scored touchdowns on the other four to take a 28-3 lead by halftime. It was exactly the fast start the Bulldogs needed to remove any second-half drama and cruise into next week’s SEC championship game with the highest stakes possible still in play.

Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo thwarted Georgia Tech’s attempt to score a touchdown on its first possession by snatching the ball from Robert Godhigh at the UGA 1 and returning it to midfield. The Bulldogs’ defense handled the Yellow Jackets more effectively for the rest of the half as the offense built a commanding lead.

2. New scoring standard
When Keith Marshall scored to put Georgia up 42-3 in the third quarter, he helped the Bulldogs set a new school single-season scoring record. Their 42 points on Saturday gave them 456 this season. The previous school record was 450 points, which the 2002 team scored in 14 games. With an average of 38 points per game, the Bulldogs are on pace to break the 2007 team’s school record of 32.6 points per game in a season of at least 12 games.

3. Making history
Along with the team goals the Bulldogs reached on Saturday, a couple of Georgia players also created some individual history of their own. Aaron Murray passed for 26 yards on the Bulldogs’ opening touchdown drive, pushing him past 3,000 passing yards this fall -- making him the first SEC quarterback ever to do that in three consecutive seasons.

Rambo’s second-quarter interception was the 16th of his career, tying Jake Scott for Georgia’s career lead.

THREE DOWN
1. Yellow Jackets gain ground early
This is extremely nitpicky, but we’ve got to come up with something here. Georgia Tech got only three points out of its first two drives, but the Yellow Jackets moved the ball effectively. They went 83 yards in 10 plays on their first possession before Rambo saved a touchdown with his goal-line thievery. Then Tech went 54 yards in 12 plays and scored a field goal on their second possession.

2. Getting to loose balls
Georgia Tech fumbled five times on Saturday, but Rambo’s takeaway was the only time Georgia came away with the ball. Prior to taking the ball from Godhigh, the senior safety previously forced a David Sims fumble on Tech’s first drive, but Sims recovered. Rambo was responsible for both of Georgia’s takeaways, also intercepting a second-quarter pass at the Georgia 5. The Bulldogs scored touchdowns after both turnovers.

3. Reserves struggle
Once Georgia took its foot off the gas in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs’ reserves were a bit sloppy. Backup quarterbacks Parker Welch and Christian LeMay each led three-play drives that gained 3 yards. And, immediately after replacing the starters, the No. 2 defense let Georgia Tech drive 71 yards for its only touchdown. The backups stopped Tech at midfield on fourth down in their second time out.