Cats Conclude Road Schedule at Georgia
Nov. 18, 2011
Kentucky will complete the road portion of its 2011 schedule when it travels south to face the Southeastern Conference East Division leading and No. 13/15 Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday at 12:21 p.m. ET inside Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.
Kentucky is coming off a 38-8 loss at Vanderbilt last weekend, while Georgia is fresh off an impressive 45-7 win over the defending National Champion Auburn Tigers. The Wildcats are looking for back-to-back wins in Athens for the first time in school history after defeating the Bulldogs 34-27 at Sanford Stadium in 2009. The win was Kentucky's first in Athens since the 1977 season.
Georgia leads the all-time series against Kentucky 50-12-2, including a 25-4-2 mark in games played in Athens. The Bulldogs wonlast year's contest 44-31 in Lexington.
The Wildcats are led defensively by the top two tacklers in the SEC in senior linebacker Danny Trevathan and senior safety/linebacker Winston Guy. Trevathan has an impressive 118 tackles this season, including a team-high four interceptions and three fumbles forced. Guy has 102 tackles this season with a team-high 12 tackles for loss and two interceptions.
Offensively, Kentucky has been led the past three weeks by true freshman quarterback Maxwell Smith, who has started the past two games. Smith has completed 67-of-119 passes for 686 yards and three touchdowns, including a UK season-long pass of 55 yards against Ole Miss.
Junior tailback Coshik Williams paces Kentucky's rushing attack with 89 carries for 407 yards and two touchdowns. Williams has two 100-yard rushing games this season. Sophomore tailback Jonathan George led Kentucky in rushing against Vanderbilt with six carries for 46 yards.
With the Georgia just one win away from clinching the Southeastern Conference Eastern division title, the Bulldogs (8-2, 6-1 SEC) will no doubt be motivated for a matchup on Saturday in Athens, Ga., with Kentucky.
Joker Phillips knows the Georgia faithful will sense the opportunity in front of their team, making for an environment in Sanford Stadium that will be even more raucous than usual. However, Phillips and the Wildcats (4-6, 1-5 SEC) won't concede their opponents are the only ones with a lot to play for... read the full preview
Georgia enter Saturday's contest with Kentucky having won eight consecutive games, marking the first time since 2002 that UGA has won eightstraight games. Georgia is coming off an impressive 45-7 win over the defending National Champion Auburn Tigers last Saturday in Athens. UGA can claim the Southeastern Conference East crown with a win over Kentucky.
While the Bulldogs have a high-scoring offensive attack, its defense has been the difference maker this season behind defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. UGA ranks in the top 15 in the nation in almost every defense category, sitting fourth in total defense, fifth in rushing defense and pass efficiency defense, 12th in scoring defense, and 15th in pass defense.
Individually, the UGA defense is led by sophomore linebacker Jarvis Jones, who is having a fantastic season. Jones is first in the SEC and tied for third in the nation with 10 sacks, while his 16 tackles for loss this season ranks him first in the conference and ninth in the nation. Jones also has 21 quarterback hurries on the season. Junior linebacker Michael Gilliard leads the team in tackles with 54.
Junior free safety Bacarri Rambo leads the UGA secondary with a team-high seven interceptions on top of seven pass breakups and 39 tackles. Junior cornerback Sanders Commings is first on the team in pass breakups with 10.
Offensively, Georgia sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray has completed over 61 percent of his passes for 2,284 yards and 27 touchdowns. Murray has done a fantastic job of spreading around his completions as four UGA players have 28 catches or more. Junior Orson Charles leads the team in receiving with 32 catches for 395 yards and five touchdowns, while junior Tavarres King has 31 catches for 363 yards and a team-high six receiving touchdowns. Freshmen Malcolm Mitchell and Michael Bennett each have 28 catches for four touchdowns.
True freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell leads the team in rushing with 170 carries for 821 yards and five touchdowns, while junior tailback Carlton Thomas is second with 59 carries for 327 yards and two touchdowns.
Last Time vs. Georgia
Senior quarterback Mike Hartline passed for a career high 353 yards and tied his career high with four touchdown passes, but it was not enough for the Cats as they fell to Georgia 44-31 in front of 70,884 fans at Commonwealth Stadium.
Following a Kentucky fumble on its own 26-yard line, Georgia drove down to the three-yard line where sophomore running back Washaun Ealey ran in the first of his school-record five rushing touchdowns.
UK responded with a 16-play drive spanning 56 yards to set up a 41-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Craig McIntosh. The 7-3 score didn't stay on the board long as Georgia's Brandon Boykin returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for the Bulldogs' second touchdown of the game.
A pair of two-yard touchdown runs from Ealey made the score 28-3 in favor of Georgia before Hartline threw the first of two touchdown passes to sophomore wideout La'Rod King. The first was a 35-yard pass to make the score 28-10 at halftime.
Georgia came out of the break strong with a seven-play, 70-yard drive capped off by a two-yard touchdown by Ealey. The extra point attempt was missed. King caught his second touchdown pass of the game in the final seconds of the third quarter to make the score 34-17.
Georgia responded with a scoring drive, including a one-yard touchdown run by Ealey. Kentucky senior wide receiver Chris Matthews followed that up with a nice catch-and-run down the left sideline for 39 yards and a touchdown. The Wildcats were successful in their two-point conversion attempt as Randall Cobb threw to Matt Roark.
Georgia tacked on a 30-yard field goal and Kentucky drove 59 yards on six plays, capped off by a nine-yard catch from freshman running back Raymond Sanders, to give the game its final score of 44-31. Sanders finished with a career-high 16 rushes for 79 yards, and a career-high seven receptions for a career-high 77 yards receiving.