ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia tailbacks Isaiah Crowell and Carlton Thomas pledged this past week to earn back the trust of Bulldogs fans following their suspensions last Saturday.
They did, and quickly.
Crowell rushed for 132 yards and Thomas ran for 127 in Saturday's 45-7 thumping of Auburn, giving Georgia two 100-yard tailbacks in the same game for the first time since Washaun Ealey and Caleb King did so in a 2009 win at Georgia Tech. It was the fourth 100-yard game this season for Crowell but was a career first for Thomas, the 5-foot-7, 163-pound junior out of Frostproof, Fla.
Thomas amassed 72 yards in the first half, surpassing the totals of Crowell (18) and Auburn counterparts Onterio McCalebb (7) and Michael Dyer (4) combined.
"I wouldn't have believed that," Thomas said afterward when informed of the stat. "I really didn't know what was going to happen today. Obviously I got more time and we pulled out a big win.
"I just did what the coaches told me to do. They trusted me and gave me more opportunities."
The previous best for Thomas was 71 yards earlier this season against Coastal Carolina.
"Carlton works his tail off in practice every day," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "I am so happy for him to come out and have a great game. The line was doing an awesome job blocking, and for us to hit some of those early passes really loosened them up."
Thomas went over the 100-yard mark midway through the third quarter, which is when Crowell got going. The touted freshman had 77 of his yards in the third, but he did fumble twice in the game.
"One of the fumbles was caused by a defender," Crowell said. "The other just slipped out of my hand."
Piling On Points
Georgia has scored 30 or more points on Auburn in six of the last seven meetings.
"What year did we not?" Bobo said.
When told it was Georgia's 17-13 win in Auburn in 2008, Bobo said, "Oh yeah, we played a good first quarter and then didn't show up the rest of the game. This is just one of those rivalry games where our guys are excited from the get go."
Georgia's 38-point win marked its biggest over Auburn since a 41-0 thrashing in 1946.
The Bulldogs have scored 14 offensive touchdowns and attempted just one field goal in the two games since Mark Richt decided to rotate senior kickers Blair Walsh and Brandon Bogotay.
"Maybe it's good luck," Bogotay said, smiling.
Bogotay made his first career field goal midway through the third quarter -- a 26-yarder that put the Bulldogs up 38-7. His only other career attempt was a 35-yard misfire last season against Idaho State.
Odds and Ends
For the first time since 1981, Georgia has defeated Auburn, Florida and Tennessee in the same season. ... Georgia's 35 first-half points were the most against an SEC foe since leading Alabama 37-10 during an eventual 37-23 win over the Crimson Tide in 2003. ... Richt said the "most impressive play" was Quintavius Harrow's stick on Tre Mason on a kickoff return late in the first quarter. ... Bulldogs sophomore nose Kwame Geathers left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. ... Georgia's final touchdown drive consisted of 11 plays, all on the ground, and consumed a season-high 7 minutes and 23 seconds. ... Georgia has not lost the turnover battle once during this eight-game winning streak.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...