ATHENS, Ga. (AP) – Nick Chubb ran for 131 yards and two touchdowns, freshman Jake Fromm threw three scoring passes in his first home start, and No. 13 Georgia’s defense was dominant in a 42-14 victory over Samford on Saturday night.
With fellow senior Sony Michel held out with an ankle injury sustained last week in a victory at Notre Dame, Chubb had his busiest game of the season. Chubb’s season-high 16 carries, all in the first three quarters, helped him become the first Bulldogs back to run for 100 yards this season.
Chubb was stopped on a fourth-down run on the Bulldogs’ opening drive, and he rarely was stopped again. He had back-to-back 20-yard runs to open Georgia’s next drive and added a 32-yard scoring run late in the opening quarter.
Chubb scored on a 14-yard run early in the third quarter before watching backups handle the remainder of the carries.
Fromm, who took over after starter Jacob Eason suffered a sprained left knee in the first quarter of the season-opening win over Appalachian State, was impressive. He threw scoring passes of 51 and 9 yards to Terry Godwin and 5 yards to Mecole Hardman.
Eason, who leaned on a crutch on the sideline at Notre Dame, was not in uniform but shed the crutch while showing no sign of favoring the injured knee. Coach Kirby Smart has not said if Eason is close to returning.
Georgia (3-0) avoided a letdown following the emotional win at Notre Dame.
Chubb already had 94 yards rushing and a touchdown by the end of the opening quarter while Samford (2-1) was still without a first down.
Samford finally broke through with Devlin Hodges’ 9-yard touchdown pass to TaDarryl Marshall late in the first half. Hodges added an 18-yard scoring pass to Kelvin McKnight early in the fourth quarter.
Fromm completed 8 of 13 passes for 165 yards. He did not throw an interception but lost a fumble.
Georgia freshman D’Andre Swift had nine carries for 54 yards and an 11-yard touchdown.
Samford: The visiting Bulldogs of the Southern Conference couldn’t match their average of 38.5 points in their first two games. Hodges had some success with the quick, short passes that usually lead to more points, but he often faced pressure from Georgia’s speed pass rushers. Hodges had too little help from Samford’s running game, which was held to 22 yards. Hodges completed 26 of 35 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns.
Georgia: The Bulldogs gained more momentum, which was especially needed on offense, for the start of their Southeastern Conference schedule. It was a far more impressive showing than last season’s 26-24 win over Nicholls, another FCS team. Lorenzo Carter had two sacks, giving him three in two weeks. Chubb deserved credit for some of the freshman’s passing production. Samford’s defense was fooled by Fromm’s fake handoff to Chubb on his 47-yard pass to Riley Ridley in the opening quarter. The long pass set up Chubb’s 32-yard scoring run on the next play.
Samford: The Bulldogs visit Western Carolina next Saturday in their Southern Conference opener.
Georgia: After opening with three nonconference games, Georgia opens its SEC schedule next Saturday night when Mississippi State visits Samford Stadium.