Bulldogs notebook: Rodrigo Blankenship becomes leading scorer in program history

AP photo by John Bazemore / Georgia fifth-year senior kicker Rodrigo Blankenship gets a celebratory lift from Charlie Woerner after kicking a 49-yard field goal in the second quarter of Saturday's win over Texas A&M in Athens, Ga.

ATHENS, Ga. - Three minutes into the second half of Georgia's 19-13 triumph Saturday over Texas A&M, Rodrigo Blankenship made a 37-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs a 16-3 lead and become the leading scorer in program history.

Blankenship's third of four field goals against the Aggies gave him 415 career points, breaking a tie with Blair Walsh, who tallied 412 points from 2008-11.

"In my five years here, I've tried to do everything I can to help out this team," Blankenship said. "We're doing some special things. It's amazing to set the record, but it's just a testament to our team developing and growing and getting better and better each year and being able to score points whenever we get the ball.

"It's amazing, and I'm going to treasure this."

Blankenship made field goals of 41, 49, 37 and 31 yards against the Aggies and now has 418 career points. He improved to 23-of-26 this year on field-goal tries, with his attempts marking a single-season high.

The Bulldogs still have at least three games remaining.

"That's a tremendous honor, and we have certainly helped him with it, because we kick a lot of field goals," coach Kirby Smart said. "What Rodrigo has done and overcome is just a story for the ages - to be a walk-on who didn't get a scholarship and then continued to work until he did get a scholarship and then continued to grind to be as consistent as he has been in some of the toughest conditions this year that you could as a kicker to be in.

"He's just been a tremendous weapon for us."

Blankenship is now second in Southeastern Conference history behind Auburn's Daniel Carlson, who amassed a whopping 480 points from 2014-17.

Before Saturday's game, Blankenship ranked fourth in Bulldogs history behind Walsh's 412 points, Billy Bennett's 409 from 2000-03 and Marshall Morgan's 407 from 2012-15.

"We've had so many great guys come through here - Billy Bennett, Brandon Coutu, Marshall Morgan and Blair Walsh," Blankenship said, "and we have a history here with Rex Robinson and Kevin Butler. We've got some of the most amazing kickers ever to play college ball and in the pros as well, so it's an incredible honor."

Watching in Ringgold

Chamberlain Smith, the sideline photographer and Heritage High School graduate who was injured late in the second quarter of last weekend's Georgia-Auburn game, watched the Texas A&M contest from her home in Ringgold.

"Me & my black eye will be cheering on the Dawgs from the safety of my living room today!!" Smith posted on Twitter. "See y'all on the sidelines again soon."

The Bulldogs will play their next two games in Atlanta, first at Georgia Tech and then inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the SEC championship, and it is not yet known whether Smith will be able to return to work at either. She was carried off the field last weekend on a stretcher and taken to East Alabama Medical Center, where she was treated for a concussion.

Odds and ends

Georgia held Texas A&M to minus-1 rushing yard, the first time the Bulldogs have held a team to negative yards on the ground since Florida had minus-19 in 2011. The only three teams yet to allow more than 21 points in a game this season are Clemson, Georgia and Ohio State. Although Jake Fromm wasn't overly sharp, he did improve to 33-6 as the starter and 12-5 against Associated Press Top 25 teams. D'Andre Swift now has 2,797 career rushing yards, ranking seventh in Georgia history. Sophomore punter Jake Camarda has 18 punts this season of at least 50 yards after producing 54- and 52-yard efforts during the first quarter. Senior receiver Lawrence Cager did not feel healthy enough during pregame warmups and sat out the win. Senior safety J.R. Reed now has 40 consecutive starts, a team high.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.