No. 6 Georgia reasserted itself as the dominant force in the SEC East and knocked the pesky upstarts at No. 9 Kentucky down a few pegs with a physically overpowering 34-17 win on Saturday night. With the win, Georgia will head to the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 1 for the second straight season. Quarterback Jake Fromm went 14-of-20 passing with 113 yards and a touchdown pass to lead an offensive explosion in Lexington, Kentucky.
Wildcats QB Terry Wilson threw for 226 yards and kept his them within arm's reach at halftime down 14-3. But a nine-play, 75-yard drive by the Bulldogs coming out of halftime was capped off with a 4-yard touchdown run by Holyfield to push the lead to 21-3. The defense forced a Kentucky three-and-out, and Swift scampered 83 yards for a touchdown on the second play of Georgia's next drive to put the game out of reach.
The Bulldogs jumped to 8-1 (6-1 SEC) with the win, while Kentucky falls to 7-2 (5-2 SEC). Still, a great effort from the 'Cats in league play despite Saturday's result. Let's take a look at four key takeaways from the game.
1. Georgia's offensive line is dominant: Kentucky hadn't given up more than 165 yards rushing all season until Georgia came to town. UGA dominated the line of scrimmage opening up holes for Swift, Holyfield and Justin Fields to combine for 331 rushing yards on the night. Kentucky gave up 3.3 yards per carry on the season before Saturday night, and Georgia managed to grind out 6.6 yards per tote. The Bulldogs even did it with injuries mounting. Starting center Lamont Gaillard went out of the game in the first drive of the afternoon and was replaced by true freshman Trey Hill, the third freshman on the unit, and the group never missed a beat.
2. Georgia's 1-2 punch is emerging: After losing record-breaking backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to the NFL Draft in the spring, we've been waiting for the next great back to emerge at Georgia. On Saturday, we saw Swift and Holyfield take a big step forward and looked ready to pick up the torch. Swift finished the night with 156 yards rushing, including an 83-yard score. Holyfield added 115 more on the ground. The two consistently outran angles and gave Kentucky's defensive backs fits tackling on the perimeter.
3. A pass rush role reversal: Georgia has had a hard time getting to the quarterback this fall and Kentucky defender Josh Allen had as many sacks (10) as Georgia's entire team coming into the afternoon. Against Kentucky, Georgia was able to sack Wilson four times, its highest total of the season. On the flip side, Kentucky was never able to mount much pressure against Fromm and even Georgia's two turnovers were self-inflicted.
4. The SEC East is won: With the win, Georgia will represent the East in Atlanta for the second straight season and it has proven emphatically that it's the best team the division has to offer. While it holds a loss to LSU out of the SEC West, no SEC East opponent has come within 14 points of the Bulldogs, and they has finished a clean 6-0 sweep of the division. Remaining on the schedule is an Auburn game at home and home games with UMass and Georgia Tech.
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