The Kentucky Wildcats tried to replay their favorite script Saturday, spotting their opponent several first-half scores and then clawing their way back into the game in the second half on the arm of quarterback Mike Hartline. But Georgia’s Bulldogs departed from the script, relying on a 157-yard, five-touchdown performance by Washaun Ealey and winning the take-away battle for a third consecutive win.
Ealey’s five TDs tied a Georgia record for a back held by Robert Edwards, and Ealey’s were all rushes while one of Edwards’ was a catch, so Washaun claimed his own spot in the record book.
Georgia mostly played it conservative in Lexington, at times looking almost like Dooleyball against a Kentucky defense that ranked next to worst in the conference against the run. Aaron Murray threw only a dozen times, completing nine for 113 yards, and at times in the second half it seemed Georgia had forgotten all about its air game.
On the other side of the ball, the Dogs seemed to spend most of the game in a soft zone that allowed Hartline to short-pass almost at will, completing 27 of 43 for 355 yards and four touchdowns. He victimized Vance Cuff on three of them.
Georgia’s D again had trouble getting off the field, with Kentucky converting on 10 of 16 third-down attempts (mostly on third-and-long) and two of four fourth down tries.
Georgia, for the third consecutive game, had no turnovers (wow, that’s fun to write!) while the Cats turned it over four times, three of them take-aways by the Dogs and one a nicely wrapped gift fumble deep in their own territory.
That proved to be the difference, as Georgia eliminated Kentucky from the crowded SEC East race and set up a showdown next week in Jacksonville against the Gators.
I’ll be back Sunday afternoon with more, but for now share your own thoughts on Georgia’s midseason turnaround, which is now official!
Find me on Facebook.
Follow me on Twitter.