Football Wildcats Fall to Georgia

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky drove 68 yards in 14 plays to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, but Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship hit 25-yard field goal as time expired to defeat the Wildcats 27-24 on Saturday night inside Commonwealth Stadium.
After Kentucky had tied the game at 24-24 on an Austin MacGinnis field goal with 2:47 remaining, Georgia went 67 yards in eight plays, setting up Blankenship for his fourth made field goal of the game.

Benny Snell paced the Kentucky offense, carrying 21 times for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Junior running back Boom Williams had 14 carries for 77 yards and a score of his own.

Georgia (5-4, 3-4 SEC) got on the board first. After forcing Kentucky to punt, the Bulldogs drove 64 yards in six plays, culminating in a Jacob Eason to Isaiah McKenzie scoring pass from 38 yards to make it 7-0 Georgia.

After the teams exchanged punts, Kentucky (5-4, 4-3) mounted its first scoring drive of the game. The Wildcats went 67 in five plays, ending with a three-yard touchdown run by Benny Snell to tie the game at 7-7. The big play on the drive was a 30-yard rush by Boom Williams, putting Kentucky into position to tie the game.

Georgia struck back on its next drive as Eason hit Javon Wims for 51 yards, bringing the Bulldogs into the Kentucky red zone. The Wildcat defense stood tall, holding Georgia to a 25-yard field goal by Blankenship, which made it 10-7 Bulldogs.

On the next possession, Georgia forced Kentucky to punt. But McKenzie muffed the punt and Kentucky’s J.D. Harmon recovered at the Georgia 38, giving Kentucky an opportunity for a short field.

A Georgia facemask penalty took Kentucky inside the Georgia red zone, and when Williams scampered into the end zone from 13 yards out of the Wildcat formation, Kentucky took a 14-10 lead.

Georgia answered with another scoring drive, but again it was a field goal rather than a touchdown. The Bulldogs went 59 yards in 11 plays, resulting in a 42-yard field goal from Blankenship, cutting Kentucky’s lead to 14-13, which would be the halftime score.

The Bulldogs started the second half with the ball, but Josh Allen hit Georgia running back Nick Chubb, causing a fumble that Kentucky’s Chris Westry recovered at the Georgia 33 yard line. But the Wildcats failed to get a first down, and after a holding penalty negated an Austin MacGinnis field goal, Kentucky was forced to punt.

But the Wildcats also forced Georgia to punt, then drove down the field behind the running of Snell, who scored on a one-yard run to increase Kentucky’s lead to 21-13. Snell accounted for 41 of Kentucky’s 56 yards on the scoring drive.

On its next drive, Kentucky’s Garrett Johnson fumbled and Georgia recovered at the Kentucky 32. But the Wildcats’ defense held, and forced Blankenship into a 49-yard field goal, which crept through the uprights, making it 21-16 Kentucky.

In the fourth quarter, Georgia drove 67 yards in seven plays, with Sony Michel rushing it in from 26 yards out. A two-point conversion made it 24-21 Georgia with 9:12 remaining.

Down three, Kentucky turned to Snell. The true freshman from Westerville, Ohio did as he has done all season and delivered. Carrying the ball out of the Wildcat formation, Snell rushed nine straight times, covering 35 yards, getting Kentucky inside the Georgia 10 yard line. But on third-and-long, Stephen Johnson could not connect with Dorian Baker in the corner of the end zone. Kentucky settled for a MacGinnis field goal, which tied the game at 24-24.

Kentucky returns to action next Saturday against Tennessee in Knoxville. Kickoff at Neyland Stadium is set for Noon ET, and the game will be shown on the SEC Network.