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Simplified Bulldogs topple Tech
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Forsyth County News
Football’s a simple game, really.

So simple, in fact, that Vince Dooley could have returned to the sideline and coached Georgia to victory over Tech on Saturday night.

And Dooley hasn’t combed a sideline in over 20 years.

How simple was Georgia’s 30-24 win?

They blocked. They ran. They tackled. They followed their assignments. They didn’t beat themselves.

They were downright Dooleyesque.

Georgia ran 58 plays at Tech. 44 were runs, which went for 339 yards.

Georgia used the passing game as a complete afterthought. Joe Cox put the ball up 14 times for a paltry 76 yards.

Both of those yardage figures were extremes for Mark Richt’s coaching tenure. They would have been commonplace during Dooley’s.

There’s an unmistakable beauty when the game is reduced to its purest, simplest form, and simple plays, run perfectly, achieve success again and again. Think Herschel Walker running the toss sweep.

Georgia’s opening drive set the tone for the entire game. Ten plays. 74 yards. 5:31 off the clock. All runs. Touchdown, Caleb King. Standing up, untouched.

Nothing fancy, nothing unusual. Not even a play-action pass once Tech’s defense was attuned to coping with the run. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo didn’t even try to outsmart himself by tossing in a trick play while the base offense was cooking.

No. It was simple. “Here we come. Try and stop us.”

And when Georgia needed a big play, a big answer, what did it do? It ran the ball. Right into the middle of Tech’s defense.

Josh Nesbitt had just tossed a little flat pass to Demaryius Thomas on third and three as the third quarter began. Thomas eluded Georgia’s Vance Cuff, and motored down the sideline without further interference.

Just 90 seconds into the second half, Tech had gone the length of the field to cut Georgia’s lead to 17-10. Sound familiar?

All too to Bulldog fans. Kentucky last week. Tech last year. A solid first half undone in the opening moments of the second.

Except this time, Georgia answered.

Caleb King took a handoff from Cox. Before he hit the line of scrimmage, all four of Tech’s defensive linemen had been peeled totally out of the play.

The hole was so big, and King accelerated so fast, he zipped past the two linebackers with barely a swerve. They didn’t even have time to raise an arm of resistance.

From there it was just a matter of outrunning the secondary. 75 yards, untouched. Straight down the field. You could have run the play through a door jamb. Simple.

King wound up with 18 carries for 166 yards and those two touchdowns. Running mate Washaun Ealey amassed 183 yards on 20 carries. “We had a lot of success,” Ealey told the Associated Press. “I hope we do it a lot in the future.”

For Georgia’s defense, the game plan was simple as well. Play laterally. Stick to your assignment. And tackle. Above all else, tackle.

You can’t really expect to stop Paul Johnson’s offense, only slow it down. That’s exactly what Georgia did.

Thomas’ touchdown was the only big breakdown for the Dog defense. Meanwhile, they were stopping Tech’s outstanding back, Jonathan Dwyer, almost in his tracks: 14 carries, 33 yards. They even held the elusive Nesbitt to 41 yards on 19 carries.

The only time the Tech offense really rolled was in the third quarter, after King’s long run. Tech went on an 80-yard touchdown march of its own to cut the lead back to a touchdown. They went 35 yards on the first three plays, but took nine to go the final 45.

Almost all night, Georgia made Tech work for every yard. And when nothing comes easy, that’s when you might get an interception here and a fumble recovery there.

“I just wanted to get this game,” safety Reshad Jones told the a.p. “It was real personal. I wanted redemption.” It was Jones who made the interception, an acrobatic, one-handed grab that set up Georgia’s touchdown drive for a 17-3 halftime lead.

Georgia won the turnover battle, 2-1. The penalties were virtually even, no small feat there. Likewise, the time of possession.

Simple things.

They add up to victories.

Just ask Vince Dooley.