A roundup of the AJC’s coverage of Georgia’s 44-31 win over Kentucky:
My game story, which starts with how much difference a few weeks have made for Washaun Ealey:
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Tailback Washaun Ealey, whose fumbles cost him a spot in Georgia’s starting lineup earlier this season, claimed a spot in the Bulldogs’ record book here Saturday night.
Ealey scored five touchdowns as resurgent Georgia extended its winning streak to three games and evened its record at .500 with a 44-31 victory over Kentucky in Commonwealth Stadium.
Ealey’s touchdowns — all on runs of 3 yards or less — set a UGA single-game record for most rushing touchdowns and tied the school’s single-game record for most overall touchdowns.
… Ealey called the record “a great honor” but gave the credit to the offensive line and fullback Shaun Chapas. “They blocked hard all night and were more physical than Kentucky was,” he said. As for his own performance: “I feel like I played up to my potential, and I have to keep doing it.”
Mark Bradley’s column, which starts with how much difference a few weeks have made for the Georgia team:
LEXINGTON, Ky. — On the morning of Oct. 9, the Georgia Bulldogs were 1-4. We mention this because … well, because it’s Oct. 25 and they sure as heck aren’t 1-4 anymore.
They’re a robust 4-4, having won three SEC games by the aggregate score of 128-45. They’re 4-4 headed to Jacksonville in a better frame of mind than the hated Gators, who’ve lost three in a row. They’re 4-4 and maybe they haven’t beaten the Who’s Who of BCS Bullies, but it wasn’t so long ago Georgia couldn’t beat anybody anywhere.
And now you’re asking: Is this apparent resurgence the real deal or just a red (and black) herring? And the answer is …
Jennifer Smith’s sidebar on the impact of Kentucky’s turnovers and Georgia’s defense:
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Justin Houston had a look about him before the game.
Georgia coach Mark Richt noticed it right away.
“You could just see it in his eyes that he was ready, that he was ready to play hard and make some noise,” Richt said of his junior linebacker. “Justin was fired up and ready to play. He knew there was a good chance to get some sacks today.”
… Houston was part of a defense that forced UK into nearly as many fumbles in the first half Saturday night (three) as it’s had all season. In all, the Georgia defense scored 21 points off of four Kentucky miscues.
My notebook, including an item on Brandon Boykin’s big kickoff return:
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Georgia’s Brandon Boykin, who twice returned kickoffs 100 yards for touchdowns last season, was up to his old tricks Saturday night.
After a Kentucky field goal cut the Bulldogs’ early lead to 7-3, Boykin fielded the Wildcats’ kickoff at the goal line and returned it the length of the field, mostly down the left sideline, for a touchdown. Blair Walsh’s extra point stretched Georgia’s lead to 14-3, although at that point the Bulldogs had run only four offensive plays.
Mark Richt’s postgame comments, including this:
“We’re very, very excited about winning a game somewhere besides Athens. It’s good to get three victories in a row. It’s good to even up our record in league play and overall. We’ve caught a good little bit of momentum, and I was really proud of how we came out ready to play again.”
Kentucky coach Joker Phillips’ postgame comments about the Dogs, including this:
“It’s the best pass rush team we’ve seen, no question about that. One of our offensive keys to the game was we felt like we had to handle the edge rushers. They’ve given a lot of people problems.”
And a photo gallery from the game, including this shot of Richt and cornerback Sanders Commings celebrating Commings’ first-half fumble recovery: