Georgia football-Kentucky instant observations following win that leaves many cold

November 19, 2022 Lexington, KY - Georgia's defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) intercepts a pass intended for Kentucky's wide receiver Barion Brown (2) during the first half in an NCAA football game at Kroger Field in Lexington, KY on Saturday, November 19, 2022. (Hyosub Shin /

LEXINGTON, Ky. — They say good teams win and great teams cover. Georgia did not cover on Saturday and looked far from a great team in its 16-6 win over the Kentucky Wildcats.

Kentucky limited Georgia to just three drives in the first half. All of them ended in field goals. Georgia had another red zone drive that saw the Bulldogs get stuffed twice when they needed just one yard.

Then again in the fourth quarter, Georgia needed one yard to put away Kentucky and could not pick up said yard.

None of it mattered too much as Kentucky struggled to score. The Wildcats were able to move the ball into Georgia territory but couldn’t do much once getting onto that side of the field.

The win moves the Bulldogs to 11-0 on the season and a perfect 8-0 in the SEC. Kirby Smart will likely take the result, given the cold and windy conditions on Saturday.

But this was far from a great performance from the No. 1 team in the country.

Red zone issues persist for Georgia football

When Georgia went on the road against Missouri earlier this season, it didn’t score an offensive touchdown in the first half and struggled in the red zone.

It looked like the Bulldogs were following that same offensive script on Saturday. The Bulldogs were able to move the ball and only punted one time on the afternoon. But three red zone field goal attempts and a goal-line stand by Kentucky kept Georgia to just 16 points on the afternoon.

For most of the afternoon, the Georgia defense played up to its standard. It kept Kentucky out of the end zone for all but one drive, and at one point strung together three consecutive three-and-outs.

It forced stops once Kentucky got onto Georgia’s side of the field, with Kelee Ringo coming down with a first-half interception.

But then after the Bulldogs were stuffed to open the fourth quarter, Kentucky proceeded to go 99 yards on nine plays. It was the first time Georgia had given up a 99-yard drive since 2014.

The Bulldogs responded on the next drive, but not before Kentucky drove deep into Georgia’s end of the field once again. A sack by Javon Bullard and Robert Beal ended up forcing a Kentucky field goal, which was missed.

The Wildcats struggled to run the ball, as the Wildcats finished with 89 rushing yards on the afternoon. Quarterback Will Levis was able to move the ball thanks to a stellar effort by Barion Brown. The freshman receiver torched Georgia’s secondary for 145 yards on 10 receptions. He showed he was able to consistently get open on Saturday, against an otherwise stout Georgia secondary.

Holding Kentucky to just six points on the afternoon got the job done for the Georgia defense. Jamon Dumas-Johnson and Smael Mondon both had strong games for Georgia, as the former had 8 tackles while the latter had 11. Though both will most likely be upset about the fourth-quarter touchdown drive, as it is not up to Georgia standards.

Georgia football powers through speedy first half

Georgia had the ball for only three possessions in the opening half. Same for Kentucky.

The Bulldogs scored on all three of their possessions while Kentucky did not. Yet Georgia went to halftime with only a 9-0 lead as it had to settle for field goals to get on the board.

Kentucky deserves credit for keeping it close in the first half. It loses points though for possessing the ball for a total of 16:10 on its opening two drives and coming away with zero points. The Georgia defense stuffed Kentucky on a fourth and one on the first drive but Will Levis threw an interception to Kelee Ringo to end the second.

Offensively, Georgia proved it could move the ball even with the deep passing game unavailable due to windy conditions. Bennett’s longest completion of the first half went for 13 yards and both of those passes were to players behind the line of scrimmage.

Kenny McIntosh once again showed his all-around ability, factoring in as both a running back and pass catcher. His eight first-half touches noted Georgia 76 yards, with 26 of them setting up Georgia’s final field goal of the half.

This was not the first time this season Georgia struggled to score touchdowns in the red zone, with the Missouri game being the most obvious example. Other than that though, it’s hard to find too much at fault with Georgia’s play in the first half.

Georgia football news and notes from Kentucky game

Javon Bullard started this week after leaving last week’s game with a leg contusion.

Tate Ratledge made the trip for Georgia but did not get the start at right guard. That went to Devin Willock. Xavier Truss was the starting left guard.

AD Mitchell once again did not make the trip with Georgia. Tight end Arik Gilbert also did not travel with the team this week. Darris Smith traveled in his place.

Jalon Walker once again warmed up with the outside linebackers during warmups. He came in on Georgia’s opening drive to play a part in Georgia’s pass-rushing package.

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