Observations from the Cheap Seats: Georgia Bulldogs Boat Race Kentucky


The Georgia Bulldogs were on the Kentucky Wildcats faster than a mimosa hangover.

I wasn’t even ready with my popcorn and Coke in hand when Isaiah McKenzie ran the opening kickoff 90 yards for the touchdown. I guess the Wildcats weren’t either?

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Again with the mantra of saving money (hence, the cheap seats) and a chance to visit with my family, I drove the 90 miles from Midtown Atlanta to West Point, Ga, and watched the game on a 70-inch TV in the basement. I felt like 90% of America watching the game on high definition television. The only thing I was missing was a bourbon or beer.

Going into the game Georgia and Kentucky were ranked 7th and 8th respectively in team defense, so I knew eventually one of them would have to give. Georgia’s offense was ranked first in the SEC in points scored, and they lived up to their reputation with seven touchdowns, and another two touchdowns on special teams.

Kentucky QB Patrick Towles ranked 4th among SEC QBs, completing close to 60% of passes, but he only passed once on their first drive, when Georgia held Kentucky to a 3-and-out.

My Dawg-watching dogs, Athena andBrooklyn

Georgia did much better on their opening drive on offense, with 5 first downs, and a 15-yard TD catch by Chris Conley. Hutson Mason went 4-4 for 40 yards to four different receivers on the drive, and 6 run plays split between Mason, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb.

It looked like the Dawgs recovered the fumble on the ensuing kickoff, but a review went in Kentucky’s favor, but it wasn’t enough momentum for their offense.  The drive ended with Lorenzo Carter’s sack of Towles to force a punt.

It would end up being a very good day for Carter. Unfortunately, he gave Kentucky a free first down with a late hit on Towles and a little bit of running of the mouth after that on the Kentucky sideline.

Leonard Floyd’s absence wasn’t missed by Kentucky, or the ESPN announcers for that matter. I counted at least 4 mentions of it, including every time Lorenzo Carter made a play, or his late hit. Floyd did wear a green jersey during practice this week, and his performance last week in Jacksonville wasn’t anything to write home about. So was he benched, or was he injured?

Jonathon Rumph made his first appearance of the season, and it came at a great time, as he had two receptions for 29 yards on the Dawgs’ second drive.

Georgia has won 21 straight games after having at least a 14-point lead. The last time it lost after having a 14-point lead? The 2012 Outback Bowl vs. Michigan State, and let me tell you, it hurt worse to see it happen in person. Today, Georgia had a 21 point lead at the end of the first quarter, and a 35-24 lead at halftime.

The second quarter started off much like last week for the Dawgs – Kentucky scored its first touchdown of the day, but and then recovered the kickoff following. The defense held them to a field goal, which is pretty commendable considering the fumble gave Kentucky the ball at the Georgia 23-yard line. The field goal was pretty lucky too considering Kentucky was looking at a 2nd and 25 after a holding call and Carter’s tackle for loss.

Going into halftime, Hutson Mason looked to be the player of the game with only one incompletion and three touchdowns. His third touchdown pass to Conley was a beautiful over-the-shoulder fade that was reminiscent of his predecessor, Aaron Murray. Mason’s passes were accurate, receivers ran routes well, and the ball was distributed around to seven receivers. In addition, he knew when to call a timeout, on 3rd and goal on the 4-yard line with four minutes to go in the half.

Nov 8, 2014; Lexington, KY, USA; Georgia Bulldogs free safety Corey Moore (39) celebrates with teammates after intercepting the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium. Georgia defeated Kentucky 63-31. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The second half started off with a bang for the defense after they went out with a whimper in the first half. Corey Moore’s interception from the first play from the line of scrimmage set up another beautiful touchdown pass from Hutson Mason, this time to Jeb Blazevich.

In regards to special teams: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times for Georgia. The opening kickoff returned for a touchdown, the punt return for touchdown (both by Isaiah McKenzie), and then three botched returns, including a lost fumble.

Towles isn’t quite the second coming of Jared Lorenzon, but his 240 pound frame was enough to convert three fourth downs for the Cats.

Georgia’s defense struggled to bring Towles down on several occasions, including one play in the third quarter when Amarlo Herrera was about to drop him for a 10 yard sack, and he escaped to run for 14 yards for the first down. Georgia’s defense this season was defined in that one play.

At one point (after Sony Michel ran for a touchdown to make it 55-24), Georgia scoring touchdowns was getting so mundane, Dave Pasch and Brian Griese actually said that they need to find a new way to call a touchdown for Georgia. I missed most of the fourth quarter playing with my brother’s dogs, and I think Kentucky missed most of it as well.

I did tune in long enough to see a Georgia offense throw on 3rd and 10 with 2 minutes left in the game with a backup QB in. Who’s calling plays? Evil Bobo?

The offense converted every one of its 8 third down conversions, but Kentucky also converted its three fourth down conversions. Troubling.

It would be nice to win the turnover battle in another game. For the second straight game, the Dawgs were even in turnover margin, but it did not figure into the outcome of the game…this time.

Standout freshmen performances for Georgia: Jeb Blazevich (3 catches, 29 yds, 2 TDs), Nick Chubb (13 carries, 170 yds, 1 TD), Sony Michel (16 carries, 84 yds, 1 TD), Lorenzo Carter (2.5 sacks for 9 yds, and 1 TFL for 4 yds), Isaiah McKenzie (2 TDs on returns), Domenick Sanders (0.5 sack, 3 yds). More than halfway through the year, they aren’t really freshmen, and they aren’t playing like freshmen either.

Let’s hope the defense gets their act together for Auburn, because their offense, led by our favorite former Dawg, Nick Marshall, is a heckuva lot better than what Kentucky showed us, and they aren’t going to be happy, given the fact that they just got beat by a Texas A&M team who looked like they might now win another conference game this season.