Georgia defended its No. 1 rank in the Associated Press Top 25 poll thanks to how Kirby Smart’s reloaded defensive unit stymied Kentucky on Saturday.
The Bulldogs received 62 of the 63 first-place votes (Ohio State got the other), elevating them above the No. 2 Buckeyes, Michigan, TCU and USC, which rounded out the Top Five.
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The SEC has five teams in the Top 25 with one week remaining in the regular season before conference championship games take place on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3.
Georgia features the top-scoring defense in the nation (11.09 points per game) and is No. 3 in run defense, No. 5 in total defense and No. 7 in pass efficiency defense despite losing eight NFL draft picks of last year’s unit, including five first-rounders.
Saturday, the Bulldogs stopped the Wildcats twice on fourth downs and Kelee Ringo intercepted a pass at the UGA 2-yard line in Lexington.
UGA safety Christopher Smith is a finalist for the Nagurski Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive player, while defensive tackle Jalen Carter is a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy.
Quarterback Stetson Bennett, who has inked over $1 million in NIL deals, improved to 25-3 as a starter despite throwing for a season-low 116 yards and getting picked off for the fifth time in the last four games.
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Bennett’s mobility was on display as he had a 17-yard run, finishing with 25 yards on his five scrambles.
The AP Top 25 rankings for Week 12
2. Ohio State