NCAA Football News

Amari Cooper Injury: Updates on Alabama Star's Leg and Return

Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper exited the team's matchup with Western Carolina after suffering a leg injury in the first quarter.

The injury was reported by Rivals.com:

As CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd notes, Cooper returned to the sideline but didn't reenter the game:

Marc Torrence of Bleacher Report has more on Cooper staying on the sideline:

Cooper has been sensational this season for the Crimson Tide after seeing his numbers take a dip during his sophomore season. In 2013, he had just 45 receptions for 736 yards and four touchdowns. He's eclipsed each of those totals already this season, with 87 receptions for 1,303 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Heading into the 2014 season, coach Nick Saban referenced how lethal Cooper can be, via Andrew Gribble of AL.com:

The guy’s really an explosive guy. He’s got great speed, he’s got really good hands, he’s got good size. He can catch the ball vertically down the field. He’s difficult to cover coming out of a break. 

He’s good against press (coverage), so he’s a pretty hard guy to stop unless you put two guys on him.

Much of those struggles as a sophomore were due to a foot injury, but he has been explosive this year. Earlier this season, Cooper was hampered with another injury which wasn't ruled as a serious ailment.

That agility and explosiveness returned this season, as Cooper already set a school record against Tennessee, per ESPN Stats & Info:

Along with his talent on the field in college, he's also considered a coveted player by NFL teams. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report noted just how high he might go in the NFL draft when he decides to leave Alabama:

When he's 100 percent, the junior is easily one of the top receivers in college football. However, his draft stock could potentially take a hit due to questions about his ability to remain healthy.

If he is forced to miss any time, it will be up to DeAndrew White and Christion Jones to fill the void. Both have playmaking ability, but are far from the weapon that Cooper is on offense.

In a tough SEC West that isn't forgiving of any team, not having Cooper on the field would be a critical blow to the Tide's national title aspirations.

 

Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

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We Remember: Yale Pranks Harvard Fans to Say 'We Suck'

The rivalry between the Harvard and Yale football teams has gone on for quite some time, and although the Crimson got the 31-24 win on Saturday, the Bulldogs will always have this to look back on.

In 2004, a group of supposed Yale students disguised as a Harvard pep squad passed out signs to fans in the stadium. When the fans lifted the signs up, they ended up spelling out, "We Suck".

[YouTube]

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Bo Wallace Injury: Updates on Ole Miss Star's Ankle and Return

Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace left the team's game vs. Arkansas with an ankle injury.    

Barrett Sallee of Bleacher Report passed along the news as the quarterback headed to the locker room:

Wallace would later return to the game, via Dr. Saturday of Yahoo Sports:

A senior, Wallace has appeared in all 10 of the Rebels' games this season. Inconsistent for his first two years as a starter, he's shown marked improvements across the board in leading Ole Miss to its best season in recent memory. His three-touchdown day helped lead the Rebels in a surprising win over Alabama in October, and they were a fixture in the national championship race before consecutive losses to LSU and Auburn.

Despite the strong performances, injury questions have persisted. Wallace has dealt with persistent shoulder problems in his right arm for most of his career, which has limited his velocity and downfield passing ability at times. The shoulder has held up for the 2014 season but has nonetheless been a storyline fans point to whenever a pass falls short or comes off a bit wobbly.

For now, all eyes will be on Wallace as he manages the injury.

 

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter

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Samaje Perine Breaks FBS Single-Game Rushing Record vs. Kansas

Oklahoma Sooners running back Samaje Perine had a game to remember Saturday. Against the Kansas Jayhawks, the freshman broke the single-game FBS rushing record, as ESPN's Brett McMurphy noted: 

It's been an incredible debut season for Perine, who ran for more than 200 yards against West Virginia and Texas Tech and had 14 rushing touchdowns before Saturday's game. But what happened against Kansas was one of the best performances in NCAA history and came just one week after Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon established a new FBS single-game record with 408 rushing yards, which he accomplished in just three quarters.     

Here was the record-breaking 42-yard run by Perine, via Anthony Slater on Vine:

As hard as it is to believe, Perine's performance looks even better when you put it into context. First, as noted by ESPN's Jake Trotter, the freshman running back wasn't the starter for Oklahoma in this game: 

Second, weather conditions in Norman were terrible with heavy rain. Oklahoma quarterback Cody Thomas had two completions on 11 attempts through three quarters. 

So even though Kansas knew Bob Stoops was going to call a lot of running plays, the Jayhawks were powerless to stop them.

Perine broke the Big 12 record for rushing yards in a game late in the third quarter when a three-yard run pushed his total to 378, via Mark Followill of Fox Sports Southwest:

Eric Bailey of The Tulsa World also made an observation about Perine's all-around efforts before he broke Gordon's record:

Paul Myerberg of USA Today explained that 400 yards is becoming a new norm in college football based on the last two weeks:

The Sooners haven't had the season they expected to after starting the year ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press poll, losing three games in the Big 12. But Perine's performance all season and a young nucleus give Stoops a lot to build around. 

We saw how well Oklahoma finished last season, defeating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. It couldn't carry that over into this season, but things can change quickly in college football. All it takes is one dynamic talent to make everyone else better. 

It's safe to say that Perine falls into that category with his incredible performance against Kansas and exceptional effort all year. 

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Minnesota vs. Nebraska: Game Grades, Analysis for the Huskers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers proved they are worthy of being talked about as one of the better teams in the Big Ten, defeating Nebraska at Memorial Stadium 28-24. The final box score can be found here, thanks to NCAA.com.

The Huskers looked as if they were going to run away with the game, as they led 21-7 at the half. But turnovers on offense and a lack of discipline on defense proved to be costly, and they now have to fight for a decent bowl instead of having a chance to reach the Big Ten title.

It was a game the Huskers could have and should have won. But when you lose your top two receivers and a key offensive lineman, that’s an uphill battle for any team, no matter how good it is.

Here are game grades and analysis for the Huskers.

 

PASSING OFFENSE

For a team that does not throw the ball a lot, the Huskers did a solid job though the air with 223 yards. Tommy Armstrong showed great pocket presence and made some big throws, especially in the first half. But he did struggle in the second half, as the front seven for the Gophers got after Armstrong, and he could never get back in a rhythm.

Another aspect that did not help the Huskers' cause was De’Mornay Pierson-El fumbling two receptions that would have led to 14 points for the Huskers.

 

RUNNING OFFENSE

The run game for the Huskers was solid, but it was not at its best. Ameer Abdullah had only 98 yards on 20 carries, while Armstrong had 45 yards on 12 carries. Imani Cross played well, spelling Abdullah with 31 yards on six carries. Minnesota did a great job tackling Abdullah at the point of attack, which is why he could never really get going like he has all season long.

 

PASSING DEFENSE

The Huskers allowed only 135 yards though the air, but the Gophers aren’t really known for airing it out anyway. Nate Gerry had a big game in the secondary with 11 tackles and two pass breakups, while Randy Gregory had eight tackles and one sack. However, Mitch Leidner did have some big throws in the second half and was never really pressured.

The Huskers give up only around 200 yards per game through the air, and they were below that Saturday. But there was some miscommunication late in the game, which led to Leidner making some key throws.

 

RUNNING DEFENSE

The good news is that the Huskers did not allow a running back to rush for over 400 yards. The bad news is that the run defense still had some issues and was the reason the Gophers got back into the game. Leidner rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns, while David Cobb, who left the game with an injury, rushed for 80 yards and one touchdown.

The biggest problem for the Huskers is that they overpursue and lose containment. It’s something they can easily fix, but it’s been a huge problem the last two weeks.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

The special teams for the Huskers was the only thing that was consistent. The play of the game came when Nebraska blocked a field goal in the first half and it was returned for a touchdown. Drew Brown made his lone field goal, and the Sam Foltz was able to average 43 yards per punt. If the Huskers were able to win the game, it would have been because of the blocked field goal, but it just wasn’t enough.

 

COACHING

Bo Pelini did a good job getting the Huskers ready for this Big Ten contest, because they looked a lot better than what they showed against Wisconsin. But they did not make the proper second-half adjustments and were outscored 21-3 in the second half because of it.

Pelini has done a good job getting the Huskers to nine wins each season, but with a loss like this, have the Huskers reached the ceiling with this coaching staff?

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Indiana vs. Ohio State: Game Grades, Analysis for the Buckeyes

Coming off back-to-back road wins over Top 25 teams, No. 6 Ohio State University (10-1) looked sluggish in a 42-27 victory over Indiana University (3-8) in Ohio Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The Buckeyes coughed up three turnovers in the first half, which kept the Hoosiers within striking distance. Kevin Wilson's squad took a 20-14 lead midway through the third quarter, which officially put Ohio State on upset alert.

That's when Jalin Marshall came to the rescue, scoring four unanswered touchdowns (one punt return and three receiving) to seal the game for Urban Meyer

How did the Buckeyes grade out from a closer-than-expected 15-point victory over Indiana?

Pass Offense: J.T. Barrett has looked nearly unstoppable since Week 3 against Kent State University, but he got off to a rough start against the Hoosiers. The redshirt freshman threw for just 79 yards and a touchdown in the first half, but he also tossed two costly interceptions.

His poor play changed in the second half, though. Barrett connected on 15 of 22 passes in the second half and finished the game with 302 passing yards and four touchdowns. All three of his second-half touchdowns went to Marshall, who finished the day with five receptions for 95 yards.  

Run Offense: Ezekiel Elliott sparked Ohio State’s offense early when he broke free for a 65-yard touchdown run on the game’s third play. The Buckeyes piled up 166 yards on the ground in the first half, but they slowed in the second half, finishing with 225. Elliott registered a team-high 107 yards on just 13 carries, and Barrett chipped in 78 yards. Freshman Curtis Samuel was a surprise contributor, gaining 40 yards on six carries.

Pass Defense: Without Nate Sudfeld at quarterback, Indiana's passing attack has really struggled this year. Things were no different on Saturday, as backup quarterback Zander Diamont completed just 40.7 percent of his passes for 114 yards and no touchdowns. The Buckeyes came up with a game-clinching interception when Tyvis Powell picked off a Diamont pass late in the fourth quarter.

Indiana receiver Shane Wynn had success, accounting for 93 of the Hoosiers' 114 yards through the air. He was the only positive in an otherwise forgettable performance from Indiana's passing attack. 

Run Defense: Ohio State did a decent job of limiting the nation’s second-leading rusher in the first half, holding Tevin Coleman to 50 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. But the Buckeyes lost contain on a huge quarterback run from Diamont, who got loose for a 53-yard run to set up Indiana’s first touchdown.

Things went from bad to worse in the second half, though, when Coleman broke free on a perimeter run for a 90-yard touchdown. On Indiana's final possession, he broke free again for a 52-yard score. He finished the day with 228 yards and three touchdowns on just 27 carries. 

Special Teams: Ohio State's special teams have not only failed to produce big plays this year—they've been flat-out mediocre. That wasn't the case against Indiana, however. Sure, Sean Nuernberger missed a 46-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. But that negative play was negated by a pair of incredible efforts from Cameron Johnston and Marshall.

Johnston set things up when he pinned Indiana at its own 1-yard line with a line-drive punt late in the third quarter. After the defense forced a three-and-out, Marshall took the ensuing Hoosiers punt 54 yards to the house to give Ohio State a lead it wouldn't surrender. 

Those two plays sparked a much-needed Ohio State rally.

Coaching: The Buckeyes gained 130 yards on their first two drives, but they produced just 115 on their final five possessions to close out the first half. That stretch included three turnovers and two three-and-outs, as Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman failed to find a way to move the ball. 

The third quarter started in similar fashion, which opened the door for Indiana to take the lead. The pair of special teams plays from Johnston and Marshall got the Buckeyes back on track, which led the coaching staff to adjust and attack Indiana's perimeter defense. It was an uneven game for Ohio State's coaching staff, and Meyer will want to tighten things up before the University of Michigan comes to town next week. 

 

All stats via NCAA.com.

David Regimbal covers Ohio State football for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

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Georgia's Improved Passing Game Makes Bulldogs a Team Nobody Should Want to Face

The Georgia Bulldogs lost Todd Gurley, one of the best running backs in the nation, for the season last week, but this offense is still finding ways to get better on a weekly basis.  With a constantly improving passing attack, Georgia is now a team that nobody should want to face.

Though freshman sensation Nick Chubb has kept the Bulldog ground attack relevant, it’s the surprisingly efficient passing game that is now poised to give future opposition—the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, potentially a foe in the SEC Championship Game and a surefire bowl opponent—fits.  After all, the more teams prepare to limit Georgia’s rushing production (which is more commonly relied upon), the more open downfield wide receivers become.

And nobody knows that better than fifth-year senior quarterback Hutson Mason.  After a seemingly slow start, Mason has developed a close chemistry with a host of receivers, and the results have been staggering.

Mason has not thrown an interception in 135 attempts.  Over that time period, he’s thrown 12 touchdown passes, and in two of his last three games, Mason has tossed more touchdown passes than incompletions. 

Though it came against inferior opposition and over the course of just two quarters, Mason’s performance against Charleston Southern was indicative of just why opposing defenses should be so fearful.

On just 12 attempts, Mason completed 10 passes to five different receivers to the tune of 187 yards and three touchdowns.  Even beyond the stat sheet, the performance remained impressive. 

Mason was sharp on short passing routes, mobile as needed to extend plays and confident in deep passes.  And several other long plays were rewarded with defensive pass interference calls.

For Georgia, the stride that Mason has found could not have come at a better time, and it could not have come alone.  Accordingly, one would be remiss not to recognize the weapons who have made Mason such a viable passer over recent weeks.

Coming into the season, it was expected that seniors Michael Bennett and Chris Conley would lead a unit of experienced receivers.  That assumption has proved accurate, as the two typically sure-handed targets have combined to haul in 11 touchdown catches.  Along the way, Bennett has remained one of the Bulldogs’ more versatile weapons, and Conley has become increasingly adept in stretching opposing defenses.

Less expected—at least relative to early-season performance—is the return to relevance of two oft-injured Bulldogs.

Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley both missed the majority of the 2013 season with ACL injuries, and when this year’s campaign began, neither player was a contributor.  In recent weeks, however, Mitchell and Scott-Wesley have returned to old form and in doing so rejuvenated Georgia’s passing attack.

Though held without a catch against Charleston Southern, Mitchell has posted two 55-yard receiving games in November and caught touchdown passes against Kentucky and Auburn.  Scott-Wesley grabbed his first reception, a 19-yard touchdown catch, on Saturday.  His return is a welcome sight for head coach Mark Richt, per Bulldawg Illustrated's Logan Booker:

And for Mason and the Georgia passing attack, it’s not simply “more of the same.”  Senior Jonathon Rumph is contributing at a high level for the first time in his career, and at 6’5”, he gives the Bulldogs their best red-zone target since Marlon Brown in 2012.  Rumph post 81 receiving yards against Kentucky and 61 yards against Charleston Southern.

Toss versatile and elusive weapons like Isaiah McKenzie into the receiving rotation along with Chubb and Sony Michel, two very capable receivers out of the backfield, and suddenly, Georgia’s passing attack isn’t just looking like what folks expected when the year began.  It’s looking better.

To be sure, Georgia remains a run-first offense, and that isn’t likely to change.  But Georgia fans should be able to match Hutson Mason’s confidence in the passing game.  The steady senior may soon get a chance to win a game with his arm.  Undoubtedly, he’s ready.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com.

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Harvard Kicker Wears Glasses During Live Play vs. Yale

The Harvard Crimson are playing their annual rivalry game against the Yale Bulldogs, and their kicker drew a lot of attention with his choice of eyewear.

Instead of wearing sports goggles or contacts, Harvard senior kicker Andrew Flesher wore regular glasses during Saturday's game. 

Flesher's decision to wear glasses is pretty perfect considering the stereotypes regarding Ivy League football players.

[Vine]

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J.T Barrett Sets New Ohio State Record for Total Offense, Most Touchdown Passes

When Braxton Miller went down with season-ending shoulder surgery in August, Ohio State fans were concerned. And with good reason. Redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett, who had never taken a collegiate snap, was the Buckeyes’ new starting quarterback.

Turns out, no one had any reason to worry. Following a slow start, Barrett has been exceptional as Ohio State’s starter. Saturday afternoon, he set Ohio State records for total offense in a season and touchdown passes in a season in the Buckeyes’ 42-27 win over Indiana. OSU also clinched the Big Ten East title and a berth in Dec. 6's Big Ten title game. 

Barrett’s fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Jalin Marshall was his 31st touchdown pass of the season, breaking the record held by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Troy Smith in 2006. He also passed Miller’s single-season total offense mark of 3,310 yards, set in 2012.

Barrett finished the game completing 25 of 35 passes for 302 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions, adding 78 yards rushing. 

It was his fourth 300-yard passing game of the season, and Barrett also has a pair of 100-yard rushing games this season. He has emerged as a legit Heisman Trophy candidate, and while OSU coach Urban Meyer began the season by saying Miller would get his job back without question next fall, that isn’t an open-and-shut case any more.

Last week, Meyer told Doug Lesmerises of The Cleveland Plain Dealer that "competition brings out the best" in players and said that OSU was “fortunate” to have both players in the fold.

Barrett is a dangerous passer and runner. He entered Saturday as the Buckeyes’ No. 2 rusher and has clearly improved with every week. He’ll be a huge asset for Ohio State’s program going forward, and these will be far from the last records he breaks in an OSU uniform.

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Colorado vs. Oregon: Live Score and Highlights

Oregon 30, Colorado 3 ; HALFTIME

Looking to solidify their standing as one of the top teams in the country, the No. 2 Oregon Ducks (9-1) will play host to the Colorado Buffaloes (2-8) Saturday afternoon in Eugene. 

The game will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET. It can be seen on the Pac-12 Network. 

Odds Shark has Oregon as a 34-point favorite. A full box score can be found here, courtesy of NCAA.com. 

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Kansas Punter Fumbles After Botched Snap, Nopes out of Recovering It

The Kansas Jayhawks were trying to pull off an upset against the Oklahoma Sooners, but after the first half, it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

In the first half, Kansas punter Trevor Pardula couldn't catch a high snap, but instead of trying to dive on the ball, he watched as the Sooners jumped on top of the ball.

The Jayhawks trailed 24-0 at halftime.

[Vine, h/t College Spun]

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Treon Harris Injury: Updates on Florida Star's Knee and Return

Florida freshman quarterback Treon Harris suffered an apparent knee injury in Saturday's game against Eastern Kentucky. 

OnlyGators.com had the news:

Harris' injury occurred late in the third quarter on a quarterback run, and he was immediately replaced by junior Jeff Driskel. He was 4-of-12 for 162 yards and two touchdowns before coming out.

The freshman had supplanted Driskel as Florida's starter after leading the Gators to a win at Tennessee. He went on to lead Florida to wins over Georgia and Vanderbilt before an overtime defeat to South Carolina at home led to the firing of head coach Will Muschamp.

Driskel will almost certainly finish out 2014 at quarterback should Harris be unable to return.

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Western Carolina vs. Alabama: Live Score and Highlights

Alabama 38, Western Carolina 14 - Halftime

With all eyes and minds in the Yellowhammer State on next week's Iron Bowl, there won't have to be much emotional investment in Alabama's tune-up game Sunday against Western Carolina.

The Catamounts are a decent Southern Conference team—or a "good little team," in Alabama coach Nick Saban's words—that sits at 7-4 after a strong season, but they aren't in the same stratosphere as the newly anointed No. 1 team in the College Football Playoff rankings.

'Bama is 9-1, with its only loss coming at Ole Miss, and after wins over LSU and previous No. 1 Mississippi State in consecutive weeks, the Crimson Tide are playing their best football of the year.

But the Tide is really sputtering in the first half of this game, and WCU came to Tuscaloosa to shock the world. Bama is just too strong, however, and pulling away late in the half.

The Catamounts are taking advantage of tons of Tide miscues, and this one's interesting.

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Boston College vs. Florida State: Live Score and Highlights

Florida State 17, Boston College 17 -- End of 3rd Quarter

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Samford vs. Auburn: Live Score and Highlights

After a very tough road trip, the Auburn Tigers look to bounce back against Samford at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game will kick off at 7 p.m. EST, and it will air on ESPNU.

The Tigers have lost two straight SEC games and are now out of the College Football Playoff picture as well as the race for the SEC title. But all is not lost because the Tigers need to win out to have a good shot of reaching a New Year's Day bowl.

And it starts with a contest against Samford, which is having a solid season in the FCS. This should be a game where the Tigers can fix some things they need to correct before facing Alabama next weekend.

Be sure to come back here when the game kicks off for the latest scoring updates, highlights and analysis.

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Maryland vs. Michigan: Live Score and Highlights

Michigan 16, Maryland 9 (Late 3rd Quarter)

Devin Gardner's 15-yard rushing touchdown makes the difference for Michigan. 

Keep your browser locked to this live blog for the latest score updates, news, gems from the Web and more as the Wolverines and Terps square off for the first time since 1990. Michigan has won each of the three previous meetings. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter: @AdamBiggers81.

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Louisville vs. Notre Dame: Live Score and Highlights

Louisville 17, Notre Dame 20—Middle of the 3rd Quarter

For two big-named programs located in adjacent states, you wouldn't expect 2014 to mark the first-ever meeting between Notre Dame and Louisville, but that's exactly what's on tap Saturday in South Bend.

 

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College Football Week 13: Live Scores, Highlights and Reaction

Keep it locked right here as we bring you live Week 13 College Football coverage!

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Ole Miss vs. Arkansas: Live Score and Highlights

Arkansas 20, Ole Miss 0—Mid 3rd Quarter

The Arkansas Razorbacks (5-5, 1-5 SEC) are leading the No. 8 Ole Miss Rebels (8-2, 4-2) Saturday afternoon in Fayetteville.

Catch the conference tilt on CBS. Bleacher Report is providing live scoring updates and in-game analysis. Please add your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Georgia's Chris Conley Lays out for Impressive TD Catch vs. Charleston Southern

The Georgia Bulldogs had no problem putting points on the board against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, but that doesn't mean that everything they did was easy.

In the first half, Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley laid out for an impressive 23-yard touchdown grab. Take a look at the catch from another angle below.

The Bulldogs led, 38-3, at halftime and are looking to do whatever they can to sneak into the SEC Championship Game by the end of the season.

[Vine]

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