ATHENS, Ga. — Jake Fromm threw four touchdown passes and No. 4 Georgia cruised into the Southeastern Conference championship game with a 52-7 victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday — the Bulldogs’ biggest win ever over their state rival.
The Bulldogs (11-1) were 28-point favorites over the Yellow Jackets (3-9) and this one was never in doubt, even as Georgia struggled a bit offensively, fumbled the ball away three times, dealt with injury woes, and failed to cover an onside kick.
It was Georgia’s third straight win in the one-sided series known as “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” — all of them blowouts. The Bulldogs have outscored Georgia Tech 135-35 during that span.
When Tyson Campbell recovered a fumbled punt for Georgia’s final touchdown in the closing minutes, it surpassed the Bulldogs’ previous biggest margin over the Yellow Jackets, a 51-7 rout in 2002.
This was a mere speed bump on the way to next week’s SEC title game, where the Bulldogs will face No. 1 LSU with a berth in the College Football Playoff on the line.
Fromm failed to complete half his passes for the fourth week in a row, but it didn’t matter. He finished 14 of 29 for 254 yards, connecting on scoring throws of 20 yards to Charlie Woerner, 17 yards to Tyler Simmons, 41 yards to George Pickens and 9 yards to Dominick Blaylock.
The TD to Blaylock with 4½ minutes left in the third quarter was Fromm’s final throw of the game. Stetson Bennett went the rest of the way at quarterback.
Things got chippy as the game turned into a blowout.
On Blaylock’s score, a scrap broke out between Pickens and Georgia Tech cornerback Tre Swilling on the other side of the end zone, with each player throwing punches. The officials assessed them both unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and Pickens was sent to the locker room with an apparent ejection.
Georgia also suffered an injury that could have a big impact on the SEC championship.
Star running back D’Andre Swift fumbled twice, the second of which left him crumpled on the turf holding his left shoulder. He went to the medical tent, had his shoulder pads removed and watched the rest of the game from the bench with a towel over his head.
LSU 50, TEXAS A&M 7
BATON ROUGE, La. — Joe Burrow padded his Heisman Trophy resume with 352 yards and three touchdowns passing and No.1 LSU beat Texas A&M 50-7 on Saturday night to give the Tigers their first unbeaten regular season since 2011.
Burrow’s night was highlighted by a deep, pin-point accurate pass on a 78-yard touchdown strike to JaMarr Chase, who had 197 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches.
Burrow also hit Justin Jefferson with a 12-yard scoring pass, while his second scoring pass to Chase covered 18 yards.
Burrow has 4,366 yards and 44 touchdowns passing this season, smashing LSU single-season records in both categories. Burrow’s yards passing total also broke the SEC record, which had stood since 1998, when former Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch passed for 4,275 yards.
Burrow’s 44 TDs has tied the SEC’s single season mark set by Missouri’s Drew Lock in 2017. And LSU (12-0, 8-0 Southeastern Conference, No. 2 CFP) has at least two games — possibly three — still to play.
Chase’s touchdowns gave him 17 this season, building on his school record that the Biletnikoff Award finalist broke two weeks earlier. The sophomore receiver has 1,457 yards receiving this season.
LSU’s victory raised the likelihood the Tigers would receive a berth in the College Football Playoff even if they were to lose to No. 4 Georgia in next weekend’s Southeastern Conference championship game.
Currently, LSU is one of just three remaining undefeated Division I FBS teams in the nation, along with Ohio State and Clemson. Also, the Tigers had four victories over teams — Texas, Florida, Auburn and Alabama — that were ranked in the top 10 at the time of the matchup.
Last season, LSU and Texas A&M played seven overtimes before the Aggies prevailed, 74-72.
LSU entered the week talking redemption and emphatically backed it up, outgaining Texas A&M (7-5, 4-4) 553-169.
junior running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s 5-yard TD on LSU’s opening possession began a first-half onslaught in which LSU scored on its first five possessions, racing to a 31-0 lead by halftime.
Kellen Mond completed just 10 of 30 passes for 92 yards and was intercepted three times — once each by Grant Delpit, Jacoby Stevens and Kary Vincent. Isaiah Spiller’s 1-yard TD run provided the Aggies’ only score.
CLEMSON 38, SOUTH CAROLINA 3
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Trevor Lawrence threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 3 Clemson to its 27th straight victory and second consecutive 12-0 regular season with a 38-3 victory over rival South Carolina on Saturday.
Travis Etienne ran for two touchdowns to break Atlantic Coast Conference marks for career touchdowns (57) and rushing scores (53) as the Tigers dominated throughout on the way to a sixth straight win over South Carolina (4-8).
Lawrence had touchdown throws of 10 and 65 yards to Tee Higgins and of 16 yards to Justyn Ross. He completed 25 of 35 throws — tying an Atlantic Coast Conference single-game mark with 18 straight at one point — before coming out in the fourth quarter.
Lawrence also had 66 yards rushing to lead Clemson (No. 3 CFP), which will attempt to become the first program to win five straight league championship games when it meets Virginia next week in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Clemson’s defense did its part in the beatdown, holding the Gamecocks to 174 yards and continuing a run where the Tigers have limited all 12 opponents this year to less than 300 yards of total offense.
Lawrence connected with Higgins on a 10-yard score on a perfectly placed over the shoulder throw.
Higgins was on the other end of another beautiful Lawrence TD pass from 65-yards out.
Lawrence and the Tigers benefited from a couple of official reviews. On the first, Justyn Ross’ 33-yard catch after he was pushed out of bounds and returned was upheld when South Carolina challenged the call. Then Ross’ catch, initially ruled caught out of bounds, was overturned for a 16-yard scoring pass as his backfoot touched turf before going out.
It was South Carolina’s fewest points scored against Clemson in 30 years since a 45-0 shutout loss in 1989.
KENTUCKY 45, LOUISVILLE 13
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Lynn Bowden rushed for career highs of 284 yards and four touchdowns to lead Kentucky’s school-record 517-yard ground performance that blew out rival Louisville 45-13 on Saturday in the Governor’s Cup showdown.
Bowden, whose feet have led Kentucky’s 5-2 turnaround since he moved from receiver to quarterback, broke the game open with TD runs of 60 and 46 yards in the third quarter for a 31-13 lead. The junior also had a 32-yard run in the fourth along with a 6-yarder in the second as Kentucky (7-5) surpassed 400 yards rushing for the third consecutive game.
Bowden’s yardage total was 15 short of Moe Williams’ single-game mark of 299 against South Carolina in September 1995. He was named the winner of the Howard Schnellenberger Trophy as the game’s most outstanding player.
Chris Rodriguez added a 64-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter and AJ Rose had a 4-yard TD run in the first as the bowl-bound Wildcats cruised to their third consecutive win and third Governor’s Cup win in four years.
TENNESSEE 28, VANDERBILT 10
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee freshman Eric Gray rushed for 246 yards and three touchdowns — including breakaways of 56 and 94 yards — as the Volunteers trounced Vanderbilt 28-10 on Saturday to end the regular season with a five-game winning streak.
Gray more than doubled his previous season rushing total and had the fifth-highest single-game rushing total ever by a Tennessee player.
His 56-yard and 94-yard runs were Tennessee’s two longest carries of the season. Gray's 94-yarder was the second-longest run from scrimmage in Tennessee history, trailing only Kelsey Finch’s 99-yarder in a 27-17 loss to Florida in 1977.
Tennessee (7-5, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) clinched its first winning season since 2016 as it continued its rebound from a 1-4 start. The Volunteers went 4-8 in 2017 and 5-7 last year.
Vanderbilt (3-9, 1-7) was seeking its fourth straight victory in an annual series that Tennessee has traditionally dominated. Tennessee went 28-1 against Vanderbilt from 1983-2011, but Vanderbilt won five of their seven matchups from 2012-18 and had beaten the Vols by an average margin of 18 points the last three years.
But the Commodores couldn’t come close to extending that streak.
Gray was the dominant running back in this game.
On his first carry of the night, Gray ran through a big hole on the right side, then cut to his left and was untouched on a 56-yard breakaway that put Tennessee ahead for good. Gray’s first career touchdown run also was Tennessee’s longest carry of the season up to that point.
After Jarrett Guarantano’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Dominick Wood-Anderson extended Tennessee’s lead to 14-3, Gray would deliver an even bigger highlight.
Tennessee was backed up at its own 6-yard line midway through the second quarter after a 57-yard punt from Harrison Smith when the Vols handed the ball to Gray. The speedy freshman raced through the right side of the line, eluded safety Dashaun Jerkins’ diving tackle attempt just beyond the line of scrimmage and wasn’t touched the rest of the way.
Gray added a 4-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter.