Rodrigo puts game-deciding points on scoreboard for third time in Dogs’ bowl victory

Updated through Jan. 1, 2017

Quarterback Jacob Eason and offensive tackle Tyler Catalina make a Rodrigo sandwich after Rodrigo's game-deciding field goal against Kentucky.
Quarterback Jacob Eason and offensive tackle Tyler Catalina make a Rodrigo sandwich after Rodrigo’s game-deciding field goal against Kentucky.

Redshirt freshman walk-on Rodrigo capped an outstanding season by providing the eventual winning points for the third time this season as Georgia rallied for a 31-23 AutoZone Liberty Bowl victory over TCU on Dec. 30 in Memphis.

With the Dawgs trailing 23-21 early in the fourth quarter, Rodrigo tucked a 30-yard field goal inside the left upright to give Georgia a 24-23 lead. A late touchdown run by Nick Chubb followed by Rodrigo’s fourth extra point of the game gave the Dogs the final margin of 8 points.

Rodrigo also gave Georgia the lead against Kentucky (25-yard FG as time expired) and Auburn (45-yard FG in the fourth quarter to snap a tie at 7). He ended the Liberty Bowl with 7 points, increasing his season total to 68 as he finished as the team’s leading scorer. Trailing him were Isaiah McKenzie with 60 points and Chubb with 54.

Rodrigo attempted 18 field goals in the 10 games he was the designated place kicker, converting 14 of them (78 percent) with a long of 49; he also had a pair of 45-yarders and a 42-yarder. His only attempt from 50-plus came in the Liberty Bowl, a 53-yarder that was blocked as time expired in the first half. He converted all 26 of his extra point attempts.

Rodrigo established career highs in the 27-24 win over Kentucky with 13 points and 4 field goals attempted and 4 field goals made. He hit double figures in one other game — 10 points against Vanderbilt, and had 9 points against Georgia Tech.

Against TCU, Rodrigo managed one touchback among his five kickoffs, ending the season with 20 touchbacks in 55 kickoffs, 36 percent.

Game-by-game results

GAME ONE vs. North Carolina

Kickoffs — 3, no touchbacks

Points — none attempted

Auburn's defenders are too late as Rodrigo sends eventual game-winning field goal from 45 yards out over the crossbar in Nov. 12 13-7 win over the Tigers at Sanford Stadium.
Auburn’s defenders are too late as Rodrigo sends eventual game-winning field goal from 45 yards out over the crossbar in Nov. 12 13-7 win over the Tigers at Sanford Stadium.

GAME TWO vs. Nicholls State

Kickoffs — 6, four touchbacks

Points — none attempted

GAME THREE vs. Missouri

Kickoffs — 3, no touchbacks

Points — none attempted

GAME FOUR vs.Mississippi

Kickoffs — 3, two touchbacks

Points — 2 (0-for-1 FGs, 2-for-2 PATs)

GAME FIVE vs. Tennessee

Kickoffs — 6, no touchbacks

Points — 7 (1-for-1 FG, 4-for-4 PATs)

GAME SIX vs. South Carolina

Kickoffs — 5, two touchbacks

Points — 4 (4-for-4 PATs)

GAME SEVEN vs. Vanderbilt

Kickoffs — 5, three touchbacks

Points — 10 (3-for-3 FGs, 1-for-1 PAT)

GAME EIGHT vs. Florida

Kickoffs — 3, 1 touchback

Points — 4 (1-for-1 FG, 1-for-1 PAT)

End zone angle captures Rodrigo's game-winning field goal vs. Kentucky on Nov. 5
End zone angle captures Rodrigo’s game-winning field goal vs. Kentucky on Nov. 5

GAME NINE vs. Kentucky

Kickoffs — 6, 3 touchbacks

Points — 13 (4-for-4 FGs, 1-for-1 PAT)

GAME TEN vs. Auburn

Kickoffs — 4, 3 touchbacks

Points — 7 (2-for-3 FGs, 1-for-1 PAT)

GAME ELEVEN vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

Kickoffs — 6, 1 touchback

Points — 5 (0 for 0 FGs, 5-for-5 PAT)

GAME TWELVE vs. Georgia Tech

Kickoffs — none attempted

Points — 9 (2 for 3 FGs, 3 for 3 PATs)

GAME THIRTEEN vs. TCU (Liberty Bowl)

Kickoffs — 5, 1 touchback

Points — 7 (1 for 2 FGs, 4 for 4 PATs)

Rodrigo has outstanding spring game despite injury

Georgia’s G-Day spring game on April 16 marked Rodrigo’s debut as a Bulldog kicker, and it was an impressive one despite a recently incurred injury. A pulled glute muscle during practice four days before the spring game limited Rodrigo to only place kicking duties, but neither the lingering injury nor the noisy presence of more than 90,000 enthusiastic Bulldog faithful could prevent a successful debut by the redshirt freshman.

Rodrigo’s first appearance on the field for the Silver Britches was a 46-yard field goal attempt into a slight breeze for the starting offensive unit midway through the first period. His delivery was spotless — dead-center and about 6 yards above the crossbar to give the Black a 3-0 lead in a game it would eventually win by a final score of 34-14.

After a Black team touchdown in the second period, Rodrigo added the extra point, and another series later he added a chip shot field goal from 19 yards to give the Black a 13-0 lead. The Black team executed an impressive two-minute drill in the fading moments of the first half to give Rodrigo an opportunity to convert three field goals in one half, but he pulled the 44-yarder wide left of the uprights.

In the second half, Rodrigo finished off a pair of third period touchdown drives with successful extra points, giving him a total of 9 points for the annual spring game, second-highest among his teammates for the day; Tae Crowder scored a pair of touchdowns for 12 points.