EditorsNote: Adds detail to turnover in graf 4; corrects length of FG in last graf; other minor edits
Thanks to big nights from quarterback Jake Fromm and wide receiver George Pickens, No. 5 Georgia defeated No. 7 Baylor 26-14 on Wednesday in the Sugar Bowl at New Orleans.
Fromm completed 20 of 30 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns while Pickens tied a Georgia bowl record with 12 catches, amassing 175 yards and a score.
The Bulldogs (12-2) took a 19-0 lead into halftime and were never seriously threatened after the break.
The teams swapped touchdowns in third quarter. Baylor scored on a 12-yard pass from Charlie Brewer to Denzel Mims. Georgia answered with a 13-yard run by Zamir White to extend the lead to 26-7 on a drive that began following a sack and a forced fumble by Georgia linebacker Azeez Ojulari that gave the Bulldogs the ball on the Bears’ 47-yard line.
Baylor (11-3) scored again on its next possession to once again draw within 12, this time with Brewer running the football in from 1 yard out.
Unfortunately for the Bears, Brewer (24 of 41, 211 yards, one touchdown, one interception) never got to see the end after being knocked out of the game with 8:44 to play on a late hit along the sideline by Travon Walker.
The Bears would not come close to scoring again, with Georgia’s Richard LeCounte ultimately sealing the game with his second interception of the night.
Controlling, much less stopping, the freshman Pickens proved to be impossible in the first half.
Receiving single coverage, Pickens took complete advantage, making 11 of his 12 receptions in the game for 165 yards and one touchdown on a 27-yard pass from Fromm that made the score 10-0.
Fromm, a junior, finished the regular season poorly, failing to complete 50 percent of his passes for five straight games until Wednesday’s effort against the Bears that saw him complete 14 of 19 throws in the first half for 190 yards and two touchdowns.
His second TD toss went 16 yards to Matt Landers, a sophomore who produced his first career score.
Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship added field goals of 24 and 31 yards to account for the halftime score.
—Field Level Media