Georgia at Kentucky

Late field goal pushes Georgia past Kentucky 27-24

By GARY B. GRAVES
AP Sports Writer
  •  

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Georgia didn't just bounce back from a flat offensive effort against Florida. By executing in the clutch against Kentucky, the Bulldogs offered a reminder of how effectively they could move the ball.

Everything culminated in redshirt freshman Rodrigo Blankenship's 25-yard field goal as time expired that gave Georgia a 27-24 victory over Kentucky on Saturday night and ended the Bulldogs' two-game losing streak.

Bulldogs Jacob Eason completed four passes for 42 yards on the final drive before Sony Michel ran twice for 15 yards, including a 13-yarder to Kentucky's 15 with 20 seconds remaining. After a Bulldogs timeout, Michel ran another 7 yards to set up Blankenship, who put it through to help Georgia (5-4, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) avoid falling below .500 after entering with four losses in five games.

''Nobody panicked,'' first-year Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. ''Jacob managed it well. He made some good decisions with the ball. We threw and caught the ball on that drive. ... I was proud of the way our kids executed in that situation.''

Georgia's win follows last week's 24-10 loss to No. 10 Florida in Jacksonville, a game in which it gained just 164 yards.

Blankenship's game-winner followed kicks of 25, 42 and 49 yards that helped set a career best along with keeping Georgia in the game against Kentucky. His final field goal followed Austin MacGinnis' 25-yard field goal with 2:47 left for Kentucky that tied the game at 24. Kentucky couldn't stop Eason, who completed 17 of 31 passes for 245 yards, or Michel, who rushed 19 times for 127 yards - including a 26-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

Eason also threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah McKenzie on Georgia's first drive for an early lead and hit an important 2-point conversion pass on their go-ahead touchdown.

The Wildcats (5-4, 4-3 SEC), who looked to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2010 with a win, instead had their three-game winning streak snapped.

''It sucks very badly, especially when you lose on a last-second field goal,'' said Kentucky running back Boom Williams, who had 77 yards rushing on 14 carries including a 13-yard touchdown. ''It's probably one of the worst ways you can lose besides a Hail Mary at the end of a game.''

THE TAKEAWAY

Georgia: The Bulldogs weren't perfect, committing three turnovers and watching Kentucky convert one into a go-ahead touchdown. But they reasserted themselves offensively by outgaining Kentucky 460-308 - including 215 yards rushing - and moving the ball when it mattered. Nick Chubb added 85 yards on 21 carries after combining for just 60 on 25 attempts the past two games.

Defensively, the `Dawgs came up with two second-half turnovers that stalled Kentucky's momentum. ''Coach always says that turnovers come in bunches,'' cornerback Maurice Smith said, ''and we knew that once we got one that the second one would come.''

Kentucky: The Wildcats led 21-13 but couldn't build on the lead, and converting just 3 of 13 third-down chances was a reason why. Just as they seemed to get going late behind another strong rushing game from Benny Snell (21 carries, 114 yards), the offense stalled inside the 10 and they settled for a tying field goal. ''Players battled and we had an opportunity to win,'' coach Mark Stoops said. ''And we didn't. ... There were certainly things we could've done better, and I would like to execute better in that 2-minute situation at the end.''

UP NEXT

Georgia: Hosts No. 11 Auburn next Saturday in its SEC finale, looking for a third straight win over the Tigers. The Bulldogs have won the past two meetings by a 47-14 combined margin.

Kentucky: The Wildcats finish their SEC schedule when they visit Tennessee next Saturday, seeking their first win over the Volunteers since 2011 and first triumph in Knoxville since 1984.

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More AP college football: collegefootball.ap.org

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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April 24, 2017
Latest on Georgia and Zamir White (1:14)
 
Scoreboard
Georgia  (5-4) «7631127
Kentucky  (5-4)777324
Scoring Summary
UGAIsaiah McKenzie 38 yd pass from Jacob Eason (Rodrigo Blankenship kick)
UKBenjamin Snell, Jr. 3 yd run (Austin MacGinnis kick)
UGARodrigo Blankenship 25 yd FG
UKStanley Boom Williams 13 yd run (Austin MacGinnis kick)
UGARodrigo Blankenship 42 yd FG
UKBenjamin Snell, Jr. 1 yd run (Austin MacGinnis kick)
UGARodrigo Blankenship 49 yd FG
UGASony Michel 26 yd run (Isaac Nauta 2pt pass from Jacob Eason)
UKAustin MacGinnis 25 yd FG
UGARodrigo Blankenship 25 yd FG
 
Team Stats
 UGAUK
First Downs2316
Third Down Efficiency6-143-13
Fourth Down Efficiency0-00-0
Plays-Net Yards73-46061-308
Rushes-Yds42-21540-186
Passing Yds245122
Kick Return Yds4462
Punt Return Yds810
Passes17-31-011-21-1
Punts5-2067-280
Fumbles-Lost3-32-1
Penalties-Yds6-545-40
Time of Poss.33:5926:1
 
Individual Stats
RUSHING
UGA: Sony Michel 19-127, Nick Chubb 21-85, Brian Herrien 1-2, Jacob Eason 1-1
UK: Benjamin Snell, Jr. 21-114, Stanley Boom Williams 14-77, Stephen Johnson 5--5
PASSING
UGA: Jacob Eason 17-31-245-0
UK: Stephen Johnson 10-20-103-1, Benjamin Snell, Jr. 1-1-19-0
RECEIVING
UGA: Javon Wims 5-90, Isaac Nauta 3-47, Terry Godwin 3-35, Isaiah McKenzie 2-44, Sony Michel 2-15, Tyler Simmons 1-8, Reggie Davis 1-6
UK: Dorian Baker 3-42, Jeff Badet 2-34, Garrett Johnson 2-33, Ryan Timmons 2-7, Stanley Boom Williams 1-9, Stephen Johnson 1--3
 
Standings
TeamStandingsConferenceOverall
Georgia2nd SEC East4-48-5
Kentucky2nd SEC East4-47-6

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