Georgia running back D’Andre Swift carried the Bulldogs to a narrow win over Texas A&M on Saturday, finishing with 103 yards on 19 carries at Sanford Stadium.
Both programs played through undesirable conditions on the field with intermittent rain, but the fourth-ranked Bulldogs held the lead with field goals throughout the game.
Several alleged missed calls from the officials took over the narrative during the game, most notably where Georgia wide receiver George Pickens pulled A&M cornerback Debione Renfro’s facemask down in order to get separation for a touchdown reception in the second quarter.
“We were there,” A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said after the game. “There were some opportunities where things could’ve gone a different way, it was there. But you know, that’s ball. You’ve got to make your own breaks in life. If they don’t make them for you, you’ve got to make them for yourself.”
Georgia opened scoring with a 41-yard field goal on its second drive of the day, and would lead by as much as 13 during the contest.
Veteran quarterback Jake Fromm continued his streak of poor performances – completing just 11 of his 23 pass attempts for 163 yards and a touchdown. However, a late completion to wideout Dominick Blaylock for 11 yards sealed the game on Georgia’s last drive.
Swift and runningback Brian Herrien combined for 130 yards rushing for the Bulldogs, but did not reach the endzone against the Aggies’ defense. Combined with Fromm’s late completion, the two backs ran time off the clock late to guarantee a Bulldog victory.
Sophomore linebacker Anthony Hines said despite the low amount of yardage given up to the No. 4 team in the country, the Aggies need to find a way to get more three-and-outs from opposing offenses.
“There’s definitely improvement,” Hines said post-game. “But at the end of the day, we’ve got to make critical stops in big moments and we have to work on that.”
A&M’s offense was stymied by Georgia’s defensive front throughout the game, taking away the rushing aspect early on in the contest. Freshman tailback Isaiah Spiller carried the ball 11 times for seven yards, while junior quarterback Kellen Mond rushed nine times for a loss of eight yards.
Despite the Aggies ineptitude in the run game, the passing aspect kept them in the game. Mond found his stride in the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass to Jhamon Ausbon to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to six, but wasn’t enough to get the Aggies over the hump.
Mond finished with 275 yards in the air on 25-of-42 passing and a touchdown. The junior signal caller joined Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel as the only quarterbacks in A&M history to surpass the 7,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing mark in their college careers.
While Georgia’s College Football Playoff aspirations stay alive at 10-1, the Aggies fall to 7-4, losing their fourth game to a ranked opponent this season. In addition, A&M has not beaten a team with a .500 record or better.
Fisher said the team is still heading in the right direction in spite of the loss.
“I’m proud of this team,” Fisher said. “Wins is where you ultimately have to get it to, but we’re growing on pace to go where we want to go, we want to get over that hump … I’m not distracted at all, I’m encouraged like crazy. There’s no moral victories.”
A&M will continue its road trip with a game at No. 1 LSU on Nov. 30 to wrap up the regular season. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m., and the game will be televised on ESPN.