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Defensive gem lifts Georgia past Clemson, 10-3

The Bulldogs held the Tigers to 2 yards rushing and sacked D.J. Uiagalelei seven times
Credit: AP
Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is tackled by Georgia defenders during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Christopher Smith returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown and No. 5 Georgia turned in a defensive effort for the ages, toppling third-ranked Clemson 10-3 on Saturday in the opener for both teams. 

The Bulldogs held the Tigers to 2 yards rushing and sacked D.J. Uiagalelei seven times to position themselves for a run at the College Football Playoffs. 

Uiagalelei, who entered the season as a Heisman Trophy candidate, finished 19 of 37 for 178 yards with one interception. He bobbled snaps, was out of sync with his receivers and spent most of the day under heavy duress against a relentless Bulldogs pass rush.

Georgia's offense largely sputtered most of the night as well, but they were efficient in critical parts of the game to get the win.