Back Hot Read: Daniels Paces UGA to Victory

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Hot Read: Daniels Paces UGA to Victory

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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J.T. Daniels leads Georgia to a 31-24 win over Mississippi State.

1. USC-transfer J.T. Daniels was spectacular in his Georgia debut. He completed 28-of-38 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns, becoming the first UGA quarterback to top the 400-yard passing mark since Aaron Murray in 2013. Within a drive or two, Daniels answered every Mississippi State score. His 40-yard fourth quarter touchdown strike to Kearis Jackson, coming on a 3rd-and-20, was the difference in the game. Though the Bulldogs could not run the football at all, Daniels made up for it through the air. His timely throws were one of the themes of the night as three of Daniels' scores came on third downs.

2. Hello, Jermaine Burton. The freshman playmaker had a breakout night, catching eight passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. There has been considerable hype around Burton's potential, talent which was on display against Mississippi State. Both of his scores came in big spots. Burton tied the game right before halftime on an 18-yard strike from Daniels, then gave the Bulldogs the lead on a 48-yard haul early in the third quarter. The rise of Burton, fluid and natural in the open field, could be a significant one for Georgia.

3. In addition to Burton's breakout, Kearis Jackson was instrumental for the Bulldogs yet again. What turned out to be the game-winning touchdown from J.T. Daniels came from 40 yards out with Jackson on the receiving end. In a game with a number of big passing plays, it was Daniels to Jackson that was the play of the night.

4. The Bulldogs struggled some with Mississippi State's short passing game, but credit Georgia's pass rushers for coming through in the clutch at the end of the game. Jermaine Johnson sacked Will Rogers on a third-and-medium near midfield on the visiting Bulldogs' penultimate drive. Minutes later, Azeez Ojuari slammed the door shut with a game-winning sack of Rogers on a final fourth down.

5. What a gutsy effort from an undermanned Mississippi State side, one that could ultimately benefit the Bulldogs and their freshman quarterback Will Rogers. He completed 41-of-52 passes for 336 yards and a touchdown with zero turnovers. It wasn't quite enough for the upset, but Mississipi State played well, especially in run defense. The Bulldogs held Georgia to just eight rushing yards on 23 carries.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports