Bulldogs blast Kentucky in battle of unbeatens
ATHENS, Ga. – Carson Beck threw for a career-high 389 yards and four touchdowns, the Georgia defense shut down what had been a prolific rushing attack, and the top-ranked Bulldogs won a battle of unbeatens, 51-13, against No. 20 Kentucky on Saturday night in front of a rabid, sellout crowd of 92,746 at Sanford Stadium.
With the victory, Georgia (6-0, 3-0 SEC) extended its overall winning streak to 23 games. In addition, it was the Bulldogs’ 33rd straight regular-season win, its 22nd straight SEC regular-season win, and it was the team’s 23rd win in a row on Dooley Field.
Kentucky (5-1, 2-1) came in fresh off a 33-14 rout of Florida last week in which the Wildcats ran 329 yards, including 280 by Ray Davis, the SEC’s leading rusher. But the Bulldogs didn’t let their ground game get going, holding the Wildcats to 55 yards on the ground — just 34 through three quarters — and 183 yards of total offense.
Georgia’s offense, meanwhile, scored on all five possessions in the first half, including three straight touchdowns to start the game. The Bulldogs had more than 300 yards of offense in the first half and finished with 608 for the game, with Beck completing 28 of 35 passes.
Tight end Brock Bowers was again a popular target, ending his night with seven receptions for 132 yards — his third straight 100-yard game — and a touchdown. Running back Daijun Edwards was productive as a runner and receiver, combining for 105 yards of offense.
The Bulldogs started the game, their first against a ranked opponent this season, with their best opening drive. Beck completed all four of his passes, starting with a 7-yard screen to Edwards on first down and ending with a 40-yard completion to wideout Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint on a crossing pattern toward the left corner to make it 7-0 with 11:26 to play in the quarter.
Kentucky’s Ray Davis, the SEC’s leading rusher, was able to move the chains a couple of times with runs, but the Bulldog defense eventually forced a punt on fourth-and-long near midfield. Georgia’s offense took over at its 18-yard line and quickly marched all the way down for another touchdown.
Beck began the drive with a pass right to Rara Thomas for 12 yards, followed by a 2-yard completion to Bowers. Two plays later, a good play-action fake sprung Bowers free down the middle of the field for a 25-yard gain. Later, Beck hit Rara Thomas in the front left corner of the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 4:25 remaining in the first. The play was initial ruled incomplete, but a review showed that Thomas managed to get his left foot down before going out of bounds. Through two drives, Beck was 11 of 11 for 146 yards and two TDs.
After another Georgia stop, helped by a Kentucky penalty just like on the Wildcats’ first possession, the Bulldog offense got the ball at its 5. And kept the ball for a long time. Flags on both teams moved the ball forwards and backward, including a 15-yard personal foul on Kentucky after Beck threw incomplete on third-and-7 at the Georgia 20.
When Kentucky jumped offsides, Beck had a free play to make the most off, and he hit Rosemy-Jacksaint up the left side for a 30-yard gain to the UK 16. A couple of plays later, on first down at the 5, Beck faked a handoff and closed out a 12-play, 95-yard drive by dumping a short pass down the middle to a wide-open tight end Oscar Delp, making it 21-0 with 11:03 to play in the half.
Kentucky got on the scoreboard at the end of its next drive, taking advantage of a couple of Georgia penalties to keep moving the chains. On first-and-goal at the 4, quarterback Devin Leary hit tight end Josh Kattus in the back of the end zone for the touchdown, cutting the Georgia lead to 21-7 with 6:44 to play in the half.
On the first play of Georgia’s ensuing possession, Beck got good protection and made the most of his time, hitting Bowers for a 49-yard gain down the left side, down to the Wildcat 21. Beck and Bowers couldn’t connect in the end zone on third-and-6, so the Bulldogs had to settle for a 36-yard Peyton Woodring field goal, making it 24-7 with 5:15 on the clock.
Georgia ended Kentucky’s next drive with a 13-yard sack on third down by a blitzing linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson and cornerback Kamari Lassiter. Georgia’s offense then got right back to work, marching down the field for another touchdown, this one a 5-yard run by Kendall Milton, pushing the Bulldog lead to 31-7 with 61 seconds left in the half.
Kentucky threw a couple of incomplete passes on its next drive and had to punt, giving the Bulldogs one more possession. And Georgia stayed on the attack.
A 15-yard pass interference penalty on a deep ball gave Georgia 15 yards, followed by an 11-yard completion to Edwards, to the UK 36, with 10 seconds remaining in the half. Beck hit Edwards underneath for 12 yards, down to the 24, with 4 seconds remaining. And as time expired, Woodring connected on a 42-yard field goal, making it 34-7 at the half. Georgia out-gained the Wildcats 384-127 in the half, with Beck throwing for 307 yards on 21 of 26 passing.
Kentucky struck first in the second half, intercepting a Beck pass on third-and-long. Maxwell Hairston returned his interception 48 yards, to the UGA 28, and Davis took a short pass from Leary and ran it in 26 yards for the score. Davis was stopped on the two=point attempt, keeping the Georgia lead at 34-13 with 10:34 left in the third.
Georgia did some damage on the ground at the start of the ensuing drive, with Edwards and Milton both picking up nice gains and moving the chains. And then Beck hit Bowers up the right side for a 14-yard gain to the Kentucky 19. The drive ended with a 32-yard Woodring field goal that pushed the Bulldog lead to 37-13 with 3:27 remaining in the third.
The Bulldogs padded their lead with 39 seconds left in the third, when Beck hit Bowers running up the right hash for a 21-yard touchdown that made it 44-13. The play before, on third-and-8, Beck connected with Thomas on a back-shoulder throw for 19 yards.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs topped 600 yards of offense for the game and went ahead 51-13 when backup quarterback Brock Vangagriff hit running back Andrew Paul for a 7-yard touchdown pass with 2:38 to go. It was the first career touchdown for Paul, a redshirt freshman.
The Bulldogs are back in action next Saturday when they play at Vanderbilt.
*Extending The Streaks: With tonight’s 51-13 win, top-ranked Georgia (6-0, 3-0 SEC) has extended its school record for consecutive victories now to 23. The streak began during the 2021 season (Dec. 31) when the Bulldogs beat #2 Michigan 34-11 in a CFP semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl. This streak ranks tied for the fourth longest in SEC history (UT won 23 straight from 1937-39).
*Georgia now has won 23 consecutive home games which ranks second in school history behind a 24-game home winning streak from 1980-83. The current home streak began with a 21-0 shutout of Kentucky on Oct. 19, 2019.
*The Bulldogs extended their school record for consecutive regular season wins to 33, which leads all of FBS. This streak began during the 2020 season with a 31-24 win over Miss. State. on Nov. 21.
*Georgia now has won 22 regular season SEC games in a row dating to a 31-24 win over Miss. State on Nov. 21, 2020. The school record is 23, set during a stretch from 1980-83. The 22-game streak ranks tied for fourth in SEC history.
*Georgia improves to 6-0 for the fifth time in the Kirby Smart era (now 87-15 overall), joining the 2017, 2018, 2021 and 2022 clubs. With the latest victory over UK, Georgia now holds a 63-12-2 edge in the series history including winning the past 14 meetings. It’s the longest streak of success in the series. Tonight was the first time since 2021 when it was a matchup of ranked teams.
*Beck’s Big Night As Offense Tallies 608 Yards: Junior QB Carson Beck was 28-for-35, 389 yards, 4 TDs, all career-highs, in directing the efficient offense. In the first half, he was 21-for-26 for 307 yards and 3 TDs.
*The Bulldogs racked up a season-high 608 yards of offense on 73 plays, the first 600-yard+ effort since 2020 versus Missouri (615). In the first half, Georgia had 384 yards on 38 plays, scoring on its first six possessions.
*Beck is the first Bulldog QB since 2013 (Aaron Murray) to have three straight games of 300+-passing yards. Beck’s have come against UAB (338), Auburn (313) and Kentucky (307-in 1st half, finished with 389). Murray went for 323 against Clemson, 309 versus South Carolina and 408 against North Texas to start that season.
*Beck completed his first 13 passes for 158 yards and 2 TDs. The 13 consective completions to start a game ranks third best in school history. The record is 15 shared by Quincy Carter (1998 vs. LSU) and Eric Zeier (1993 vs Ga. Tech).
*Beck hit senior Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint for a 40-yard TD to cap a seven play, 75-yard drive on the opening possession for a 7-0 lead. It was the second TD catch of the year and fifth of Rosemy-Jacksaint’s career. It was the second opening drive TD for the Bulldogs, also versus UAB. Rosemy-Jacksaint finished the game with four catches for a career-high 99 yards and a score. The second possession resulted in a TD on a seven play, 82-yard drive capped by a 15-yard pass to RaRa Thomas, his 1st at UGA and 13th overall for a 14-0 advantage.
*After his first incompletion, Beck’s next pass was a 38-yarder to Rosemy-Jacksaint. On the drive, Beck notched his 3rd passing TD, a 5-yarder to sophomore TE Oscar Delp for a 21-0 lead with 11:03 left in the half. It capped a 95-yard drive on 12 plays in a season-long 5:58.
*Freshman PK Peyton Woodring made field goals of 32, 36, and a career-long 42-yars plus was 6-for-6 on PATs for a season-high 15 points. The three FGs made was a season-high too.
*Defensive Review: UK was limited to 13 points, finishing with 183 yards of offense on 50 plays. UK was just 2-for-11 on third down conversions.
*The Bulldogs had three sacks. Junior Jamon Dumas-Johnson (1.5 sacks), junior Kamar Lassiter, sophomore Jalon Walker and freshman Raylen Wilson each had half a sack.
*Leading tacklers: Sophomore Malaki Starks had five stops followed by Lassiter and Dumas-Johnson with four apiece. In the first half, UK managed just seven points, gaining 127 yards on 30 plays. The Wildcats were 2-for-7 on third down.
Rushing Attack Goes For 173: Georgia became the first team to gain 100+ rushing yards against UK this season, tallying 173 yards for a 5.6 yards/rush. Coming in, UK ranked 8th nationally, allowing just 2.54 yards/rush and 9th nationally at 75.8 ypg.
*Senior RB Daijun Edwards had 54 yards on nine carries while senior Kendall Milton had 47 yards on eight carries including a five-yard TD.
*Bowers Moving Up In Bulldog Record Book: Junior TE Brock Bowers had 7 catches for 132 yards including a 49-yarder and a 21-yard TD. He now has 2,369 career receiving yards, which moves him to sixth in school history. Also, he has 24 career TD receptions, which ranks second. Bowers had his 10th career game of 100+ yards receiving including his third straight.
*Red Zone Report: Georgia went 6-for-6 (4 TDs, 2 FGs) in the Red Zone while UK was just 1-for-1 (TD).
*Points Off Turnovers: Georgia did not force any turnovers; UK got a TD off one INT. Georgia is +1 in turnover margin this season.
*Captains, Coin Toss and For Starters: Senior Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (WR), juniors Carson Beck (QB) and Smael Mondon (ILB) plus sophomore Mykel Williams (DL) served as the game captains. UK won the toss and elected to defer the ball. Junior center Sedrick Van Pran made his team-leading 36th career start. There were no first-time starters.
*Honoring #77 Devin Willock: Redshirt sophomore Micah Morris (LG), normally #56, wore #77 tonight in honor of his late teammate Devin Willock. A different Bulldog offensive lineman will be wearing #77 each game this season.
*Up Next: Top-ranked Georgia (6-0, 3-0 SEC) visits Vanderbilt (2-5, 0-3 SEC) Oct. 14 at Noon ET (CBS). Earlier today, Florida beat VU 38-14.
Head Coach Kirby Smart
On the Saturday night environment in Sanford Stadium…
“It was an electric crowd and it energized our players. Our players started fast, finally, and that was great to get a start-fast game. We challenged them all week to have a connected physicality. We really wanted to be connected because we felt like we could be more physical if we were together. We talked all week about mass and acceleration equal force. We wanted to have a lot of mass and a lot of acceleration.”
On scoring on every possession in the first half…
“It’s incredible. You’re in the rhythm and you don’t realize that you score every possession. I knew offense was ticking and they ate up a lot of the clock because we actually didn’t play great defensively in the first half. Our offense had the
ball the whole Ame. Great job by our offensive staff, they had a great game plan. I had challenged them because this
defense has given us fits. We have really struggled with Kentucky’s defense, and they attacked them.”
On Georgia’s defense holding Kentucky to 55 yards rushing…
“Striking blockers. We took our kids after the Auburn game and showed them about 20 plays where we struck blockers, played blocks, knocked people back, played good run defense and I said, ‘you have it in you, we have the ability to do it and here’s what we did right and here’s what we did wrong.’ They bought into that. We tried to show a lot of confidence in them and knew that people were calling them out a little bit about the run defense and they answered the bell.”
#15 Carson Beck | QB | Jr.
On the offensive performance tonight…
“I think we can do it on all levels – the run game, the pass game. Our offensive line showed that. I think we had 180
rushing yards tonight. To be able to do that and then comfortably hand the ball, and then go play action, suck them up, and throw it over their head. Obviously, it helps when you have guys making plays with you and getting contested
catches, but I think we definitely had a better game as far as a having a complete performance.”
On the difference for Georgia tonight…
“I think the biggest thing for us each week is obviously to go out there and execute at the highest level, and obviously
come out with a win no matter the score. But tonight, it really felt like we couldn’t go wrong with any play that was
called in. We did what we did. We were able to execute at a high level, and then once we get the ball in the guy’s hands, then they’re making plays after the catch which moves the ball faster and you get down the field faster. It just ends up turning into touchdowns.”
#10 Jamon Dumas- Johnson | ILB | Jr.
On what was disappointing about tonight’s defense despite the positive result…
“The two scores. They shouldn’t have gotten scores. They had a good play for our call on that play — they had that
screen but –other than that, we still have to communicate better, we still have to strike better. Just because of the win that don’t mean we did everything good.”
On if tonight was a statement win..
“I don’t think a statement is made in one night. We have to keep progressing. We have to keep going.”
#19 Brock Bowers | TE | Jr.
On playing in front of the home crowd…
“Yeah, it’s always awesome. Those fans are always there being loud and rowdy, there’s no better place to play.”