Stetson Bennett IV needed to have a good game against Kentucky following a three-interception showing against Alabama. The Georgia quarterback decidedly did not have that.
Bennett was intercepted twice and fumbled — which Georgia recovered — in the 14-3 win over the Wildcats. But the win does not and will not quell any doubts about Bennett and the Georgia offense.
The first interception came in the redzone after Bennett’s pass was tipped and intercepted at the line of scrimmage by Kentucky defensive lineman Phil Hoskins. The play took points off the board for Georgia in a game when those were at a premium.
— TimeoutSPORTS__ (@TimeoutSPORTS3) October 31, 2020
Then in the second half, Bennett threw his second where there seemed to be a breakdown in communication between himself and freshman wide receiver Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint.
Bennett was still the only Georgia quarterback to take meaningful snaps on Saturday, with neither second-string quarterback D’Wan Mathis or third-string quarterback JT Daniels entered the game. The calls for either quarterback will only get louder in the coming week, due to the opponent and Bennett’s own play.
The Georgia quarterback completed nine of his 13 passes for just 131 yards.
To start the season, Bennett was often praised as being a great story. But it’s very clear now that Georgia fans are sick of said story and want something different.
Georgia defense bends a little but never broke
It wasn’t a perfect defensive performance but Georgia’s defense more than did its job on Saturday against Kentucky. After getting torched against Alabama, the group bounced back in a big way against the Wildcats.
Kentucky finished the game with just 3 points. The Georgia defense really made things difficult for the Kentucky passing offense and Joey Gatewood. The first-time starter threw for just 91 yards and was sacked four times. Gatewood was also stripped by linebacker Monty Rice, which senior Richard LeCounte recovered.
— GEORGIA HEROES (@GeorgiaHeroes) October 31, 2020
The Kentucky offense is not on the same level as either Alabama or Florida. But for all the talk and chatter around the group, the Georgia defense helped establish the narrative about itself with a strong performance on the road.
Georgia football ground game carries the day
For all the worries about the passing game, the Georgia ground game had its strongest effort of the season. The Bulldogs rushed for 216 yards as a team and got meaningful contributions from all three running backs.
Zamir White had his best day as a Bulldog, as he ran for a career-high 136 yards. He also found the endzone as he took a fourth-down carry 22-yards for the touchdown. It was the longest touchdown run of the season for the redshirt sophomore.
— GEORGIA HEROES (@GeorgiaHeroes) October 31, 2020
James Cook also shined as pass catcher once again, hauling four passes for 63 yards while also rushing for 39 yards. Following the Alabama game where he topped 100-yards, there an argument to be made that the junior running back might be Georgia’s best weapon in the passing game.
The Bulldogs also got freshman Kendall Milton involved early, as he even had touches on the opening drive. He finished with 31 yards on the day.
A lot will be made about the Georgia passing coming out of this game and rightfully so. But the rushing attack did at least provide some relief. The running backs and offensive line have made improvements since the opening week against Arkansas where both groups seemed to flounder.
Injuries prove costly on both sides of the ball for Georgia football
The Wildcats had some success running the ball on Georgia, as the Wildcats finished with 147 yards on the ground.
That can be chalked up in part to the injuries Georgia sustained during the game. The Bulldogs saw two of their top interior defensive linemen leave with injuries in the first half, as Julian Rochester had a lower-body injury while Jordan Davis had a brace on his right arm.
Defensive back Lewis Cine also picked up a foot injury and Quay Walker exited the game with a neck injury after taking a hit from teammate Richard LeCounte. On the defensive line, Georgia turned to freshmen in Jalen Carter in Nazir Stackhouse to fill in. Monty Rice took over for Walker, though Rice entered the game with a foot injury. Christopher Smith entered for Cine.
On the offensive side of the ball, offensive guard Ben Cleveland exited with a neck injury. He was replaced by Warren Ericson at right guard. The Bulldogs were also without George Pickens and Kenny McIntosh, as neither made the trip. Pickens had an upper-body injury while McIntosh had a knee injury that he picked up against Alabama.
These injuries all came at a costly time with the Bulldogs taking on the Florida Gators next week. The status of all these players will be worth monitoring going into a game that will very likely determine the winner of the SEC East. The Bulldogs
The Georgia-Florida game is set for 3:30 p.m. ET. The Gators are dealing with their own issues, as they are expected to be without three starters in their secondary as Florida plays Missouri.
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