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UGA Slaps Kentucky: Will Anyone Actually Beat the Dawgs?

UGA Slaps Kentucky: Will Anyone Actually Beat the Dawgs?

UGA SLAPS KENTUCKY: WILL ANYONE ACTUALLY BEAT THE DAWGS – Finally. Finally. The Dawgs played to their potential. Tthe back-to-back national champions looked like a contender. UGA got off to a fast start and played four quarters of football.

The team that fans knew was somewhere in there finally emerged to whoop the Kentucky Wildcats. This was a statement game for UGA on multiple fronts. Let’s check out what happened. 

UGA 51 – Kentucky 13

Game Recap

UGA took UK to the woodshed on Saturday night in front of a packed Sanford Stadium.

From their first possession, the Dawgs looked in complete control. QB Carson Beck found RB Daijun Edwards on a seven-yard screen where Edwards made two men miss to open the first drive.

Beck was mixing up the snap count early to keep UK from applying too much pressure. Eventually on third down, Beck opted to use his legs to convert on a short run.

After Edwards finished a bruising run for another seven, Beck found RoJack (what the team calls Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint) on a deep over for a 40-yard touchdown. After the offensive line picked up the pressure from UK, Beck hit RoJack in stride, allowing him to take it for six to put the Dawgs up seven. 

Ray Davis and the Not-So-Wildcat Running Game

At first, it looked like Kentucky would be able to use RB Ray Davis to punish the Dawgs.

His first carry he took to the edge for eight yards as Chaz Chambliss lost contain. QB Devin Leary had a deep ball dropped, but then found WR Tayvion Robinson for a first down. Davis again attacked the edge for gains of 12 and seven yards.

Yet, the second run was negated by a holding penalty, which would steal out the drive. Leary had to throw away the next ball, and then missed an open Robinson for a big gain which led to a punt. 


Gerogia stayed aggressive, finding RaRa Thomas on a 12-yard hitch. 

After two short gains to each of the tight ends, the Dawgs were in a third and short situation. They brought in Chad Lindberg as an extra offensive lineman, showing Kentucky they planned to power ahead for the first. Instead, OC Mike Bobo called a play-action pass to TE Brock Bowers for a big gain.

Beck started the game on fire as he once again turned to Bowers on a tunnel screen, and then checked a throw down to Edwards, each gaining first downs. Then, Beck threw a perfect ball to Thomas in the end zone, and he was just able to leap and drag his foot down for the score. What was initially ruled out of bounds was overturned as the Dawgs extended their lead. 

Kentucky seemed to find their footing on the next drive. After Davis ran for a short gain, Leary found WR Dane Key on a 36-yard gain. Key’s double move fooled DB Kamari Lassiter.

UK continued to attack through the air as they turned to Barion Brown on a seven-yard hitch. Brown was limited due to a hamstring injury and did not finish the game.

His only catch was negated by a personal foul after a UK offensive lineman hit a UGA defensive linemen who was already on the ground, earning an unnecessary roughness penalty. UK continued to move backwards after OLB Chaz Chambliss beat his man for a TFL, and the Cats then committed a false start. Leary again misfired, and UK punted, pinning Georgia back on its own 2-yard line. 

A Few Hiccups

Georgia made some mistakes of their own on the next drive. An opening end around to Dillon Bell was a huge gain, OL Xavier Truss brought it back after a block in the back. Daijun Edwards made a couple of nice cuts for 10 yards. RB Kendal Milton also was caught on a hold. Edwards fluidly moved in between the tackles for six, and then RaRa caught another hitch.

On third down, Beck’s pass attempted was batted down by DL Deone Walker, who then rammed is shoulder into OL Sedrick Van Pran-Grainger after the play, getting another unnecessary roughness penalty.

With a new set of downs, Kendal Milton attacked the edge for a 7 yard gain where he pushed outside and cut back nicely to get up field. Milton showed a noticeable burst we have not seen from him this year, and it appears he is closer to 100% after his hamstring injury.

Dominic Lovett caught a screen to convert the first down. WR Arian Smith dropped a high throw from Beck, who later took advantage of a UK offside call to find RoJack on a 30-yard gain. Deone Walker, who did not have his best game, committed the infraction. After a holding penalty, again by Milton, and an incomplete throw, Beck found WR Ladd McConkey for a first down on a hitch.

The next play, TE Oscar Delp faked a block and slipped just down the seam for an open touchdown. 

Down 21, Desperation Sinks In

Now down 21, the Cats turned to Davis to right the ship. His screen pass went for 11 yards, and Leary then threw to Key for another 16.

UGA was flagged for a bogus roughing the passer call on DL Warren Brinson. He hit Leary high but not too high, late but not too late and still was flagged.

Kentucky ran several unsuccessful plays and ended up attempted a 4th down conversion, where Leary found Robinson for a 7-yard gain. UK picked safety Javon Bullard to free up Robinson on the play.

After a screen pass and a 10 yard run from Davis, Leary hit TE Josh Kattus for a touchdown throw just out of reach of safety Malaki Starks. Starks was beat twice on the drive, but had decent coverage in both instances. 

To open the next drive UK blew a coverage assignment, leaving Bowers wide open for a 49 yard gain. Again, Beck’s throw was on the money, allowing Bowers to turn upfield after the catch. Later in the drive, Bowers showed he is in fact human as he dropped a touchdown pass. The Dawgs settled for 3 as Peyton Woodring hit a 36 yarder. 

UK’s next drive started well with a first down throw to Key, but Leary was off the mark. Kamari Lassiter dropped an interception, but the Dawgs still stopped the drive after a sack from LB Jamon Dumas-Johnson. 

A short punt put UGA in prime position to score before the half. RaRa Thomas drew a PI on a deep route before Edwards caught a check down for 10 yards. Edwards added another 12 yard gain, putting Georgia in position to kick a field goal that Woodring again converted. The Dawgs went into half with a 34-7 lead behind Beck’s 307 yards passing. 

The Second Half

UK got the ball to begin the second half. Ray Davis ran for 5, but an incomplete throw by Leary and a holding call from a LB Jalon Walker rush ended the drive quickly. 

UGA started slow in the second half after Beck threw an interception on a deep ball to RaRa.

Beck was greedy on the throw and UK managed a long return. Kentucky then hit Davis on a short throw which he took 26 yards to score, narrowing the lead. Kentucky attempted the 2-point conversion, which they pretended to snap over Leary’s head while actually making a direct snap to Davis. The Dawgs stuffed it, keeping the score 34-13. 

Georgia then decided to physically take over on a drive that saw only on pass. Daijun Edwards ran for five yards twice. Then he gained seven after a flashy spin move before Milton made a nice run to move the sticks.

Milton followed up with another gain of seven before turning to Bowers on a screen for about 15 yards. Dillon Bell took a carry for 10 more yards and showed that he has an athleticism that is unmatched in UGA’s backfield.

He was stuffed up the middle on the run before bouncing outside and out running defenders to the edge. After two short runs, UGA again settled for a field goal from Woodring. 

With the game in hand, UGA did not give up another point, but managed to score once more. RaRa caught a back shoulder throw on 3rd down for 21 yards before Beck hit Bowers up the seam for 6 more. UGA then put in the back ups. 

Brock Vandagriff came in to clean up the game. He managed some nice runs, and on a 4th down found RB Andrew Paul on a check down which he powered into the end zone. The Dawgs ended the game 51-13 behind a dominating performance. 


UGA had a few keys to the game. Start fast. Check.

Keep Ray Davis under control. Check.

It got ugly from there. Kentucky fans will be upset after this one, not just because of the scoreline, but because Kentucky did not come close to bringing their best effort on Saturday.

With multiple foolish personal fouls, dropped passes, missed throws, and busted coverages, the Cats never really got rolling.

Meanwhile, Georgia started fast and never really stopped. They showed that the Dawgs operate best as a passing team.

With RaRa Thomas coming a long, RoJack finding a groove, and Bowers becoming darn near unstoppable, Carson Beck just gets to pick whatever weapon he wants on a given down. Beck was nearly flawless, and of his 35 drop backs he only had 2 throws I think he’d want back. 

In the Trenches

Georgia’s offensive line has struggled so far this season, but it appears the light came on against their toughest competition in this one. UK has a formidable D-line, but Beck was only pressured one time and the Dawgs managed 5.6 yards per carry.

Both Edwards and Milton averaged at or just below six yards per. 

Thomas Fulfills the Promise

RaRa Thomas had a breakout game today, doing most of his work on hitch routes,.

Yet, it was his touchdown catch and his back shoulder catch that will worry defenses.

If UGA can add in an X receiver that can win one-on-one consistently, the whole offense opens up in the passing game. With all the attention Bowers draws, RaRa, RoJack, and Ladd should feast.

RoJack and RaRa did, with RoJack coming up a yard short of his first career 100 yard game.

Daijun Edwards had his best performance out of the backfield to date, notching six carries for 51 yards. Yet it was his ability to make men miss that really stood out. He rarely touched the ball without making a cut that caused a defender to whiff.

He seems fully healthy for game six. If Milton can continue to get healthy, he’ll provide power and a one-cut ability to bust a big gain. Georgia may quickly find itself with a threatening running game that may not be explosive, but will be near impossible to stop for negative gains. 

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Bobo Shows Up

If you had any questions about OC Mike Bobo or QB Carson Beck, I think the last couple of games should have put all of that to rest. Beck has shown he can win when coming from behind twice while adding in consistent mid-range balls.

His deep ball still needs some work, but honestly, UGA has enough playmakers that if he continues to hit players in stride as he did Saturday, they’ll do the hard work for him and turn 20 yard passes into 40+ yard gains. Just wait until Ladd McConkey gets fully healthy and Amarius Mims returns. If Georgia gets all of its weapons back, good luck stopping them. 

Georgia’s offensive line made a statement in this game. A unit that was maligned so far this year after sky high preseason expectations, it appears the Dawgs are finding a groove in their blocking game. Micah Morris is rotating in a guard a good bit with Dylan Fairchild.

Earnest Green has had some painful games so far, but I didn’t see anything upon my first watch where Green missed his assignment. Xavier Truss has proven a sufficient replacement at RT. Again, if this unit has come alive, UGA’s running game should return to form. 

Defense Wins SEC East Games

Defensively, the Dawgs also had one of their better performances.

They did give up a few big plays, but on the whole they suffocated the Cat offense. Ray Davis was limited to 59 yards on 15 carries while the whole offense only managed 183 yards on the day.

LB Jamon Dumas-Johnson also showed great improvement in this game. While this game suits his style of play perfectly, Pop responded well. He strikes so fiercely on blocks and also flashed his pass rushing ability in this game.

The defensive line had a great game on the whole, but again, I think this game suits their strengths. It was great to see UGA respond so well after Auburn had their way last week. I also want to shout out Chaz Chambliss.

Again, this game is built for him, but he even showed some improvement in coverage this week. There was one TFL Chambliss had, where he struck a pulling lineman, shed the block, and ate up the running back for a loss. It was beautiful, and exactly what Chambliss brings at his best. 

Additional Notes

  • Great to see Peyton Woodring seemingly find some rhythm in the kicking game. I’m still not 100% confident in him, but he’s improving nicely. 
  • Bowers and Van Pran exited the game at different points with injuries. Bowers seemed to have a calf injury and Van Pran a knee. Both returned to the game. I didn’t notice any other injuries. 
  • Georgia managed 608 yards of offense, throwing for 435. UGA doesn’t often see passing performances like this one. Beck just might be able to be that guy and he shows weekly improvement. We’ll see how he plays against good coverage, or when a team is able to get consistent pressure on him. It hasn’t happened yet. 
  • Georgia still committed a turnover. While it had little impact on the game, I’d like to see the Dawgs play a clean game. 
  • Keep an eye on a formation moving forward. One time, Bowers and Bell were in the backfield. Neither are RBs, but both could run it or go out for a pass. UGA ran a swing route on the play, but Bell was wide open on the other end of the field if Georgia wants to use that wrinkle in the future. Plays like this are stacking up, where UGA is using one look, but also has the option of slightly altering the play to attack a defense in a new way. Bobo called an excellent game, and he seems to be enjoying all of Georgia’s talent. 
  • It’s amazing how different a team can look from week to week. And I don’t just mean Georgia. UK looked physically dominant against Florida. They never came close to that against Georgia. Georgia looked inept against the run versus Auburn while they played dominant against UK. Georgia still needs to show it can shut down an offense with a running QB. 
  • PR/KR Mekhi Mews has play making ability, but I’m starting to lose trust in him. He continues to field punts while moving backwards or sideways, a risky move. This game he didn’t field a punt he should have, putting UGA deep in their own end of the field. He also fielded a couple of balls he should not have, taking punishing hits soon after the catch. Lastly, on a short punt, he didn’t even signal to his team that the ball was short. While nothing came of it, UGA players didn’t know a ball would be bouncing around them. That’s a ton of mistakes from your returner, and at some point UGA will pay again for these mistakes with costly turnovers. 
  • UGA covered the spread for the first time this season. 

Final Thoughts

Georgia played about as well as it can while UK played about as poorly as I think they could.

Given that UK”s big win this year is over Florida, I’m not sure Georgia has really played anyone all that talented yet. However, they finally won a game in the fashion they should.

UGA also seemed to find it’s offensive identity in this one. Beck dealing and the Dawgs’ numerous weapons on the outside have to be utilized.

Perhaps for the first time I can remember, UGA should embrace being a pass-heavy offense. It functions best when they lean on the passing game and keep the tempo rolling. 

Georgia still doesn’t fully know what it has on defense. They haven’t faced a balanced attack yet. Auburn, Carolina, and UK were all one-dimensional teams. Florida actually will be the most balanced team yet when the time comes.

However, this week’s performance should settle some of the worries. Georgia played fast and physical like we have come to expect from them. 

Finally, the team Dawg fans have been waiting for has arrived. If they can stay healthy and continue to get better each week, Georgia may be able to accomplish its goals. There’s still a tough stretch ahead, but this was a test that UGA aced. Tougher tests lie ahead. 


Offense: A

Defense: A+

Special Teams: A


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