Bulldogs get 55-9 win in prep for Tech

Georgia tailback Nick Chubb gets past Charleston Southern defenders for his second touchdown run of the first half for a 31-0 lead in a college football game on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Athens. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

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Georgia tailback Nick Chubb gets past Charleston Southern defenders for his second touchdown run of the first half for a 31-0 lead in a college football game on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, in Athens. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Georgia will head into its annual rivalry game against Georgia Tech with its confidence intact.

Beyond that, it’s unclear how much the Bulldogs actually gained from Saturday’s 55-9 win over Charleston Southern at Sanford Stadium.

“We talked all week about respecting this opponent and you show that respect by giving them your best shot,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “We did just that. Our focus was where it ought to be. The energy level was high, the execution was outstanding and we got some breaks with some turnovers. I was proud of the effort. … We had great execution offensively and our defense didn’t give them much hope all day long. The defensive coaches had a great plan and the players did great job of executing it.”

Georgia was ahead of its paid visitors from the FCS 14-0 before Lee Greenwood could even get back to his seat after performing the National Anthem. And the Bulldogs didn’t even receive the game’s opening kickoff.

The Bulldogs scored two touchdowns on their first three offensive plays. Senior quarterback Hutson Mason connected with with receiver Chris Conley for a 35-yard touchdown on the team’s first snap. The eight-second drive — one of two of that length in the game — came after Damian Swann caused a fumble and Ramik Wilson recovered it on the Buccaneers’ third offensive play. It was the first time since 2007 against Oklahoma State that Georgia scored on its first offensive play.

On Georgia’s second offensive possession, Charleston Southern held Nick Chubb to a two-yard gain on his first rushing attempt of the day. But it failed to lay a hand on the Bulldogs’ freshman tailback on the next play as Chubb went off tackle for an 83-yard touchdown run on the next play. It was the longest touchdown run by a Georgia back since longest since Tim Worley set a school record with an 89-yard score against Florida in 1985 and eighth-longest rushing touchdown in UGA history.

The Bulldogs resisted the temptation to sequester Chubb to sideline then and there. He’d return to make seven more carries — including an 8-yard TD run — and called it a day with nine minutes remaining in the second quarter. He finished with with 113 yards, two touchdowns and a 12.6 yards per carry average.

Chubb’s played long enough to improve to a perfect 6-for-6 on 100-yard games as the starting tailback. Before Saturday, Chubb had not rushed for fewer than 143 yards as the No. 1 back. He relieved the suspended Todd Gurley as the starter on Oct. 11 against Missouri and started last week against Auburn only after Gurley rested after a 104-yard kickoff return. Gurley was later lost for the year to a four-quarter knee injury.

Georgia went up 38-0 on its second eight-second drive of the game. Following an interception, Mason connected with Conley on a 23-yard touchdown for Conley’s second touchdown of the game. It was the 19th TD catch of Conley’s career, which ties for fifth in school history.

It was another efficient day for Mason. The fifth-year senior from Marietta was 10-of-12 passing for 187 and three touchdowns.

There were some lowlights for the Bulldogs. They committed two turnovers in the game. Quarterback Brice Ramsey, who started the second half, threw an interception. And walkon tailback Kyle Karempelis fumbled on a run late in the fourth quarter.

And the Buccaneers finished with just 210 total yards, but 190 of it came on the ground.

Georgia suffered just one significant injury in the game. Dominick Sanders, a freshman defensive back from Tucker who has started every game this season, left the game with 7:30 remaining in the first qurter with a lower-leg injury. Richt said after the game that Sanders had been leg-whipped in the left shin but that X-rays were negative and he shuld be OK.