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

Tennessee v Georgia
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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.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”