UL Lafayette at Georgia

McKenzie's 2 TDs lead Georgia past Ragin' Cajuns 35-21

By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
  •  

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Nick Chubb said seeing Isaiah McKenzie making big plays early in the game was a great sign that Georgia was headed for a win.

McKenzie scored on big plays the first two times he touched the ball, including a punt return that set a school record, and Georgia beat turnover-prone Louisiana-Lafayette 35-21 on Saturday.

McKenzie scored on a 55-yard run on Georgia's first play and added another touchdown on an 82-yard punt return midway through the first quarter. McKenzie, a junior, set a school record with his fifth career punt return for a touchdown. He set another mark with his sixth touchdown on all kick returns.

''I enjoyed it,'' said Chubb of McKenzie. ''Every time he plays well, we wind up getting the victory. He's a big part of our offense.''

It was McKenzie's first return for a touchdown this season. He said he knew he needed one more for the school record but was starting to think time was running out this season.

''I've been thinking about that since I heard about being close to breaking it,'' McKenzie said.

Chubb ran for 108 yards and a touchdown and caught a 49-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Eason in the fourth quarter.

Georgia (7-4) has won three straight and avoided a letdown after last week's upset of then-No. 8 Auburn.

Louisiana-Lafayette (4-6) was hurt by four turnovers. Anthony Jennings threw three interceptions, all in the first half. He ran for 98 yards and three touchdowns.

Georgia led 35-7 after Chubb's scoring catch. The Ragin' Cajuns closed the deficit on Jennings' touchdown runs of 1 and 13 yards late in the game.

Seeing his backups struggle late sapped some of the joy out of the win for Georgia coach Kirby Smart.

''It was frustrating to walk out with that feeling,'' Smart said. ''You feel like you should walk out of a game and feel good about what you did. The guys we put in the game just didn't play real well on either side of the ball.''

Jennings' 64-yard pass to Al Riles set up his 9-yard scoring run late in the first half.

Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth said McKenzie's early touchdowns were too much to overcome.

''We dug ourselves a hole early in the game,'' Hudspeth said. ''... We just gave them a little too much too early.''

Eason's 9-yard scoring pass to tight end Isaac Nauta gave the Bulldogs a 21-0 lead in the second quarter.

Georgia wore black jerseys for the first time since 2008.

THE TAKEAWAY

Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin' Cajuns fell far short of the clean game they needed to beat Georgia. McGuire's 124 yards rushing helped move the offense, but the turnovers were too much to overcome. The Ragin' Cajuns must win their last two games to become bowl-eligible.

Georgia: The Bulldogs, perhaps motivated by a flat performance in a narrow win over Nicholls early in the season, showed good focus. The defense delivered three fourth-down stops. Chubb has back-to-back 100-yard games for the first time this season.

C FOR CAJUNS

Louisiana-Lafayette defensive back Tracy Walker said his team couldn't afford to fall behind 21-0.

''Early in the game, we played a C-plus game and against a SEC opponent like Georgia, we have to play an A game,'' Walker said. ''We can't just come out here and play them like they are just like any other team.''

NEXT UP, SEC MARKS

McKenzie is third on the Southeastern Conference records for punt and overall kick returns. Javier Arenas of Arkansas returned seven punts for touchdowns from 2006-09, and Kentucky's Derek Abney had eight total returns for scores from 2000-03.

UP NEXT

Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin' Cajuns return to Lafayette to play Arkansas State in a Sun Belt Conference game next Saturday.

Georgia: The Bulldogs will close their regular season against state rival Georgia Tech next week in Athens. The Bulldogs have won six of the last seven in the series.

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More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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April 24, 2017
Latest on Georgia and Zamir White (1:14)
 
Scoreboard
UL Lafayette  (4-6)0701421
Georgia  (7-4) «1477735
Scoring Summary
UGAIsaiah McKenzie 55 yd run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick)
UGAIsaiah McKenzie 82 yd punt return (Rodrigo Blankenship kick)
UGAIsaac Nauta 9 yd pass from Jacob Eason (Rodrigo Blankenship kick)
LALAFAnthony Jennings 9 yd run (Stevie Artigue kick)
UGANick Chubb 1 yd run (Rodrigo Blankenship kick)
UGANick Chubb 49 yd pass from Jacob Eason (Rodrigo Blankenship kick)
LALAFAnthony Jennings 13 yd run (Stevie Artigue kick)
LALAFAnthony Jennings 1 yd run (Stevie Artigue kick)
 
Team Stats
 LALAFUGA
First Downs2116
Third Down Efficiency7-137-13
Fourth Down Efficiency0-30-0
Plays-Net Yards70-46559-400
Rushes-Yds46-27639-235
Passing Yds189165
Kick Return Yds5676
Punt Return Yds-382
Passes14-24-313-20-1
Punts2-924-139
Fumbles-Lost1-11-1
Penalties-Yds5-352-15
Time of Poss.31:2228:38
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
LALAF: Elijah McGuire 19-129, Anthony Jennings 16-93, Al Riles 2-29, Dion Ray 3-13, Raymond Calais 3-5, Darius Hoggins 1-5, Jordan Wright 2-2
UGA: Nick Chubb 16-108, Isaiah McKenzie 2-50, Sony Michel 13-41, Riley Ridley 1-22, Brian Herrien 4-13, Greyson Lambert 1-2, Elijah Holyfield 1-0, Team 1--1
PASSING
LALAF: Anthony Jennings 14-24-189-3
UGA: Jacob Eason 13-19-165-1, Greyson Lambert 0-1-0-0
RECEIVING
LALAF: Al Riles 7-105, Keenan Barnes 3-42, Gabe Fuselier 1-24, Elijah McGuire 1-9, Gary Haynes 1-6, Tracy Walker 1-3
UGA: Terry Godwin 4-23, Isaiah McKenzie 2-32, Sony Michel 2-6, Nick Chubb 1-49, Javon Wims 1-21, Reggie Davis 1-14, Tyler Simmons 1-11, Isaac Nauta 1-9
 
Standings
TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
UL Lafayette5th Sun Belt 5-36-7
Georgia2nd SEC East4-48-5

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