Georgia safety Richard LeCounte returned for his senior season to win a national title, and he wasn’t about to let those hopes slip away at Kentucky on Saturday.
LeCounte recorded a career-high 13 tackles and three pass break-ups as the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (4-1) turned away the Wildcats’ upset hopes in Lexington with a 14-3 win.
LeCounte was around the football all day. The senior from Riceboro, Ga., made sure he was in the right place at right time in the third quarter when Kentucky (2-4) was driving into UGA territory.
Wildcats quarterback Joey Gatewood tucked the ball on a second-and-10 at the Bulldogs’ 40, and he was running up the middle when senior linebacker Monty Rice jarred the ball loose.
LeCounte scrambled into the play and on top of the ball, securing a valuable takeaway.
The Bulldogs had their hands full with a Kentucky team that seemed intent on running the ball and playing physical, just as coach Kirby Smart had said it would.
Georgia lost nose tackles Jordan Davis (arm/shoulder) and Julian Rochester (lower body) in the first half, along with safety Lewis Cine (left ankle).
In the third quarter, inside linebacker Quay Walker went down with an injury. Georgia defensive back Tyrique Stevenson left the game with an injury late in the fourth quarter.
It was up to LeCounte to keep the team held together in the road environment with the Wildcats staying within striking distance, and that’s exactly what he did.