– By Kameron Farmer –
The No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs defeated the No. 20 Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday night, a matchup between the top two teams in the SEC East. To say that the energy inside Sanford Stadium was electric would be a huge understatement.
Scoring on their first six drives, the Bulldogs got off to a fast start with QB Carson Beck leading the charge. He threw for a career-high 389 yards and four touchdowns on 28 completions.
Outside of this being his best performance yet, Beck was able to complete his first 11 passes. It is one pass shy of tying former QB Aaron Murray’s record of 12 consecutive completions against Vanderbilt in 2012.
“We’ve started slow in every other game this season,” Beck said. “Just try to have a different approach throughout the week during practice and then obviously leading up to the game. ‘How can we have more energy coming out?’ We were able to do that and execute at a high level.”
Georgia’s offensive unit embraced the next-man-up mentality during Saturday night’s game. There were 12 receivers who combined for 435 yards and 5 touchdowns led by TE Brock Bowers (7 REC., 132 YDS, 1 TD) and WRs Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (4 REC, 99 YDS, 1 TD) and RaRa Thomas (5 REC, 63 YDS, 1 TD).
The Bulldogs rushing attack was on full display as well. Daijun Edwards and Kendall Milton combined for 17 carries, 101 yards, and 1 touchdown, with both almost averaging six yards per carry, respectively.
The offensive line’s performance was outstanding on Saturday night and partially the reason their QB1 was able to have a great game.
“Tonight, I felt like I was sitting back there for a while on some of [the plays],” Beck said. “I was able to hold it for a second, two seconds more, which obviously helps to get guys open.”
Georgia’s defensive unit, led by DB Malaki Starks and LBs Chaz Chambliss and Jamon Dumas-Johnson, were able to limit the entire Kentucky receiving unit and RB Ray Davis to 187 combined rushing/receiving yards.
Saturday night’s dominance embodied the team effort that head coach Kirby Smart has been preaching about all season long. For them to find different approaches to winning and getting better, they believe that consistency is key to their success. However, Georgia, the most dominant oftentimes, recognizes the rest of their schedule is no cakewalk.
“Humility is a week away,” Smart said. “I’ve always said it. It’s been a mantra I’ve had all my life and humility is always one week away in terms of your preparation just like for us next week.
The defending champions look to have an encore performance next Saturday when they visit Nashville, Tenn., to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores.