Friday’s AutoZone Liberty Bowl could reasonably be described as sloppy. Oddball clock management, four fumbles and three missed field goals make that an obvious assessment.
But for all the ugliness in Georgia’s 31-23 win against TCU, the teams stumbled into playing a game that was extremely compelling.
There were more than enough highlight-reel plays and lead changes to make for an entertaining Friday afternoon in Memphis.
There was a perfectly executed fake field goal by Georgia holder Brice Ramsey, extending a drive that ended with Eason's 4-yard touchdown pass to receiver Javon Wims in the back of the end zone after Eason faked a pitch to a running back. The TD put the Bulldogs up 21-16.
And there was a series of plays by Georgia’s star tailbacks Sony Michel -- whose two touchdowns included a slippery 33-yard catch and run -- and Nick Chubb, whose 142 rushing yards included a 48-yard burst that set up the Bulldogs for a field goal and a 24-23 lead early in the fourth quarter.
With Georgia’s defense holding TCU (6-7) to just seven points in the second half, the Bulldogs (8-5) finally inched away behind the running of Chubb and Michel.
The Horned Frogs' inconsistent run defense overwhelmed Georgia’s offensive line in the first half, preventing the Bulldogs' dynamic duo from running wild for a while. Georgia averaged just 2.7 yards per carry in the first half. However, the Bulldogs began to find creases as the game progressed. They averaged 7.7 yards per carry after halftime, with Chubb accounting for several long runs.
Chubb iced the Bulldogs' win with a tackle-breaking 27-yard run with a minute to play. That was the capper on an afternoon when he averaged 8.4 yards per carry.
Not a bad way to head into the offseason for a Georgia club that should return nearly every offensive player of note.