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Athens, GA

McKenzie's two TDs lead Georgia past ULL 35-21

1560 days ago
Associated Press
Photo: AP Images

ATHENS, Ga. -- Isaiah 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 school records with his fifth career punt return for a touchdown and his sixth kick return overall.

It was McKenzie's first return for a touchdown this season. He said he knew he needed one more for the school record.

"I've been thinking about that since I heard about being close to breaking it," McKenzie said, adding he thought time was running out to set the record this season.

Nick 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. After having no more than two interceptions in his first nine games, quarterback Anthony Jennings threw three interceptions, all in the first half.

Jennings 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 13 and 1 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.

"I'm proud of the way the team kept battling all day long," Hudspeth said. "We dug ourselves a hole early in the game. We sore of had to weather the storm early. ... 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.

THE TAKEAWAY

Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin' Cajuns fell far short of the clean game they needed to beat Georgia. Elijah 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.

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.