Top-ranked Georgia cruises to 45-19 win at Mississippi State

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STARKVILLE, Miss. – No. 1 Georgia is going to the SEC championship game.

Stetson Bennett and company just keep rolling along.

Bennett threw for three touchdowns, and undefeated Georgia beat Mississippi State 45-19 on Saturday night.

“I’m really proud of our team. When you go on the road in the SEC in an environment like this at night, there’s tremendous adversity and our guys responded again and again,” coach Kirby Smart said. “Our guys kept responding and competing.”

With the victory, the East Division champion Bulldogs secured a spot in the SEC championship. They will take on LSU in Atlanta on Dec. 3.

It was a dominating effort by the Bulldogs (10-0, 7-0, No. 1 CFP), who put up 468 yards of offense. Bennett led the way, going 25 for 37 for 289 yards with two interceptions. Georgia also rushed for 179 yards.

“It was a team win and we made plays when we needed them,” Bennett said.

Mississippi State (6-4, 3-4) struggled to consistently produce against Georgia on the offensive side. Will Rogers went 29 for 51 for 263 yards and a touchdown. Mississippi State rushed for just 47 yards on 15 carries. Rufus Harvey led MSU with six catches for 66 yards and a score.

“They have all five-star players. They’re pretty good on defense and coach Smart does a really good job,” Rogers said. “They had a really good scheme for what we were doing and it’s hard to finish drives on a good team.”

Georgia turned the ball over twice on interceptions by Bennett and had another near turnover in the red zone in the first half when a fumble was nullified after the play was blown dead.

Georgia grabbed control with a big second half. Receiver Ladd McConkey had a 70-yard touchdown run and a 17-yard TD reception to help Georgia open a 31-12 lead.

Mississippi State got off to a tough start, but Zavion Thomas‘ 63-yard punt return trimmed Georgia’s lead to 17-12 at halftime.

“I thought early on we did some good things. There was kind of a feel-out process to see what we were capable of doing,” coach Mike Leach said. “I thought we left two obvious scores out there which would not be too tough to have. We did more good things than bad, but I thought that we could have finished drives better.”


Georgia gave away a lot of momentum right before the half with Thomas’ TD, but the visiting Bulldogs quickly scored in the third quarter and regained control.

Mississippi State had another poor offensive performance and lost for the third time in four games.


With another win and the SEC East locked up, Georgia will stay at No. 1 this week.


Mississippi State will host East Tennessee State on Saturday.

Georgia will travel to Kentucky on Saturday.

Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey suspended after arrest

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey was suspended from the team after he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the team said.

The 23-year-old, who was a team captain last season, was booked at about 2:45 a.m. and released after posting $500 bond, according to online records from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are aware of the situation involving Chad Bailey,” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s been suspended according to Department of Athletics policy. We have high expectations for all of our student-athletes, on and off the field, and we will follow all departmental and campus policies.”

Bailey was Mizzou’s third-leading tackler with 57 stops last season. He started all 11 games he played, missing two with an injury. He’ll be a sixth-year senior this fall after opting to return for his final year of eligibility, the Post-Dispatch reported.

The Missouri student-athlete handbook says any athlete who is arrested must serve a minimum one-week suspension.

Bailey was pulled over at about 1 a.m. not far from the Columbia campus for an expired license plate and lane violation, a police statement said. Bailey told the officer he had consumed alcohol and then performed poorly on a field sobriety test, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Nebraska’s leading rusher Anthony Grant suspended indefinitely

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska opened spring practice with running back Anthony Grant suspended indefinitely to work on academics and other issues, first-year coach Matt Rhule announced.

Grant led the team in rushing with 915 yards and six touchdowns last season. He also caught 18 passes for 104 yards.

“Working on academics and general things. Nothing bad other than just our standards as a program,” Rhule said. “That will be day by day. Good kid. Just have to get him going in the right direction.”

Rhule said kick returner and reserve receiver Tommi Hill also is suspended. He did not specify a reason.

Backup tight ends Chris Hickman and James Carnie and reserve cornerback Tyreke Johnson left the team.