With today’s 34-17 victory, defending SEC Champion Georgia (8-1, 6-1 SEC) has clinched another trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game (SECG). The Bulldogs will be making their 7th appearance in the game, and they are 3-3 including winning the 2017 SEC title over Auburn last year. The Bulldogs now have won or shared the SEC Eastern Division crown nine times (1992, 2002, ’03, ’05, ’07, ’11, ’12, ’17 and ’18). In 1992, UF won the tiebreaker over UGA to represent the East in the SECG and the same went for UT in 2007.
Today marked the end of a three-game road stretch versus ranked opponents as the Bulldogs return home for their final three games of the regular season at Sanford Stadium. Georgia went 2-1 over its last three games, falling 36-17 at #13 LSU, beat #9 Florida 36-17 in Jacksonville and defeated #9 UK 34-17 in Lexington.
*Perfect Versus The East Again: For the second straight season, Georgia has gone 6-0 against the SEC East. Last year marked the first time the Bulldogs had done that since the league split into divisions in 1992. With today’s 34-17 win, Georgia now leads the series with UK 58-12-2 including winning the last nine meetings.
*Scoring Defense: Georgia held UK to 17 points as the Wildcats ran 64 plays for 310 total yards. Georgia carried a 14-3 lead to halftime. In the first half, UK ran 36 plays for 133 yards and had the football for 18:08. Coming in, Georgia ranked 13th nationally in scoring defense (16.3 points per game) while the Wildcats ranked No. 1 nationally allowing only 13.0 points per game and had not allowed more than 20 points in a game. UK was forced to punt on its first two possessions of the game, and Georgia forced a turnover on its third. Also, freshman OLB Brenton Cox notched his first career sack. He saw extended playing time when senior D’Andre Walker went out early in the first quarter with a shin injury. Walker returned in the 2nd quarter. True freshman LB ILBChanning Tindall also picked up his first sack. Juwan Taylor forced a fumble, and it was recovered by freshman Tyson Campbell at the UGA 48. It did not lead to any points but rather a turnover. After the Bulldogs went up 28-3 in the 3rd quarter, UK responded with a 9-play, 75-yard TD drive in 4:11. With a 31-10 lead in the 4th quarter, UK answered with a 7-play, 75-yard TD drive to cut it to 31-17 with 9:01 left. Georgia’s leading tacklers were sophomores Monty Rice with eight including a sack, one of four by the Bulldogs today.
*Career Day For Swift & Holyfield: Sophomore D’Andre Swift finished with a career-high 156 yards on 16 carries and two TDs. In the 2nd quarter, he had a 20-yard rushing TD to make it 14-3 following the PAT. It capped a 14-play, 75-yard drive in 5:55. Swift’s TD came on a 2nd-and-17 play. In the third quarter, Swift raced 83 yards for a TD on a 2nd-and 8 play to make it 28-3. It was the longest rushing TD by a Bulldog since Nick Chubb went 83 yards for a score against Alabama in 2015. Sophomore Elijah Holyfield added a career-high 115 yards on 18 carries. Georgia opened the second half with a nine-play, 78-yard TD drive in 4:36 to go up 21-3. It was capped by a four-yard TD run by Holyfield. The duo came in today averaging 6.1 yards a carry, tallying 1,025 yards on 168 carries with nine TDs. Georgia finished with a season-high in rushing yards, the most since 381 on 44 attempts versus UK last year.
*Fromm Directs Offense: Sophomore QB Jake Fromm completed 14-for-20 for 113 yards and 1 touchdown. Georgia built a 14-3 edge by halftime and eventually won 34-17. He is now 20-3 as a starter including 7-3 versus top 25 teams. Sophomore Jeremiah Holloman was the leading receiver with four for 39 yards, all in the first half.
*Blankenship’s Afternoon: Junior PK Rodrigo Blankenship made two field goals (23 and 38-yarder, had 4 PATs and six touchbacks on seven kickoffs. For the year, Blankenship is now 15-for-17 in field goals, 40-for-40 in PATs and has 59 touchbacks in 66 kickoffs.
*Hardman On Special Teams: Georgia’s first TD-drive was set up by a 65-yard punt return by junior Mecole Hardman. It gave the Bulldogs the ball on the UK 23. Four plays later, they led 7-0 after a 4-yard TD pass from Fromm to Issac Nauta. Hardman came in today leading the SEC in punt return average at 22.4 yards.
*Points off Turnovers: Georgia scored no points off two Kentucky turnovers while the Wildcats recovered two Bulldog fumbles and turned them in to 3 points. Juwan Taylor forced a fumble that was recovered by freshman Tyson Campbell at the UGA 48. It led to a fumble on a high snap by back up center Trey Hill) at the UK 34. For the year, Georgia is +5 in Turnover Margin, scoring 48 points off 13 turnovers on the year. UK is now +1 turnover margin. Opponents have scored 16 points off nine Bulldog turnovers this year.
*For Starters: Senior C Lamont Gaillard started his team-leading 37th straight game while on defense, the team leader in starts is senior DB Deandre Baker now with 30 including a streak of 12 with junior RS J.R. Reed the most consecutive on defense with 24. Meanwhile, freshman DL Jordan Davis made his second consecutive career starts. Gaillard only saw action in the first quarter and then left with a knee injury.
*Captains: Today’s captains were seniors Lamont Gaillard, Jonathan Ledbetter and D’Andre Walker.