Georgia football was too conservative in snooze-fest victory over Kentucky

Georgia Bulldogs running back Kenny McIntosh (6) scores a touchdown against the Kentucky Wildcats during the third quarter at Kroger Field. (Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports)
Georgia Bulldogs running back Kenny McIntosh (6) scores a touchdown against the Kentucky Wildcats during the third quarter at Kroger Field. (Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /

Georgia football is 11-0 and has gone undefeated in SEC play in back-to-back years, but this 16-6 win over Kentucky was not anything impressive. It was a dull, conservative win for the Dawgs, and while sometimes you need those, there were just too many glaring things that made us scratch our heads.

The blocking on short-gain situations was just not good against the Wildcats, and both sides of the ball played bend-don’t-break football. Georgia was not on its A-game tonight. It didn’t have to be perfect, but it would have been nice to see the Dawgs put it away early.

However, it sometimes takes fighting to get things done, and Georgia did that. Win, and you’re in the playoffs. Georgia is doing that, and sometimes it doesn’t matter how it happens.

It was ugly. This game was boring, but at the same time, the Dawgs accomplished something that hadn’t happened since 2008-2009 — go undefeated in conference play for two consecutive years. Alabama was the last to do that, and they went on to win back-to-back national championships.

Georgia football played ultra-conservative but didn’t need much spice to beat Kentucky.

There was good that happened in this game, but overall it looked too conservative. Sometimes fans need to take a deep breath and realize blowing out teams by 40-points each week isn’t sustainable. Georgia got a win, and it was by 10 points.

Doing what Georgia has this year is hard and should be appreciated. While I think Georgia was too conservative in this game, I understand why head coach Kirby Smart went with this game plan.

Kenny McIntosh was a bright spot for the Dawgs. He recorded 19 carries for 143 yards and one touchdown. He averaged 7.5 yards a touch, but Georgia went away from him too often instead of letting him just run with it.

As a whole, the Dawgs recorded 247 yards on the ground and averaged 5.4 yards a touch. While that is impressive, the offensive line struggled in short-yardage situations. If the Dawgs want to beat better teams, that issue must be fixed moving forward.

Starting quarterback Stetson Bennett was all over the place against the Wildcats. He went 13-of-19 for 116 yards and one interception. That performance is the fewest yards Bennett has thrown for all season, and while he did complete 68% of his passes, some of them just were not good. Bennett had a few questionable throws, including his pick, so it’s time to clean that up before the postseason.

Georgia went away from its tight ends, which felt odd but was part of the conservative game plan.

Defensively, there wasn’t much pressure, but the defense found ways to make stops. The only downfall was that 99-yard touchdown drive from Kentucky. That drive stung a bit against this elite defense, but that was all they got off the Dawgs.

Smael Mondon Jr. led the team with 11 tackles. Jamon Dumas-Johnson and Malaki Starks recorded eight tackles. Chris Smith tallied seven. The Dawgs finished with one sack and five tackles for loss, so not much havoc happened, but it was enough to limit Will Levis.

Must Read. Georgia football played vanilla, not sloppy, in the first half vs. UK. light

There were still a lot of silly mistakes that happened, but overall, Georgia stayed ultra-conservative and still won by 10 points. While it’s okay to be disappointed in not blowing out the Wildcats, our fans must remember, win, and you’re in the playoffs. A win is a win for Georgia, and close wins don’t count any less than a blowout does. The Dawgs have done their job, and now they have to win.