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Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jonathan Ledbetter (left) and Adam Anderson sandwiched UK tailback Benny Snell on a day the SEC's leading rusher was held to 73 yards on 20 carries.

WATCH Georgia football senior Jonathan Ledbetter: ‘We’re not done’, Auburn up next

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Georgia football senior captain Jonathan Ledbetter brought an experienced tone to the postgame celebration at Kroger Field.

Beating Kentucky 34-17 to clinch the SEC East Division and fulfill lofty expectations felt good, but Ledbetter knows better than anyone the biggest challenges are still ahead.

Ledbetter and his defensive mates took care of the chatty Wildcats by shutting down SEC rushing leader Benny Snell (20 carries, 73 yards) while healed up Bulldogs’ back D’Andre Swift was justifying his 5-star talent rankings (16 carries, 156 yards).

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“We’ll get on the plane, watch the tape from this game, then I’m gonna go in on Sunday watch more tape, watch some Auburn tape and go to work,” Ledbetter said. “It’s a new week. You celebrate for an hour and it’s over with, that’s it.”

Indeed, the rival Tigers are headed to Sanford Stadium for a 7 p.m. game with visions of derailing No. 5-ranked Georgia’s season and saving their own.

A win over the Bulldogs (8-1, 6-1) would vault Auburn (6-3, 3-3) back into the Top 25 and salvage some respectability into what has been a lost season.

The Tigers, of course, humbled a much more experienced and potent Georgia team last season in Jordan-Hare Stadium 40-17 before the Bulldogs got revenge in the SEC title game, 28-7.

Georgia has visions of another strong finish this season after being written off following a 36-16 road loss to No. 9 LSU three weeks ago.

“We just keep chopping,” said sophomore inside linebacker Monty Rice, who led the Bulldogs with eight tackles in the victory over Kentucky. “We don’t listen to people on the outside.”

Good thing, because Georgia has been doubted in one game after another, from the crowing of South Carolina in September, to the Time Square campaign that Kentucky football was back.

Many had projected the downfall of the Bulldogs, and now some suggest the youngest team in the SEC will slip up before facing mighty Alabama in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Ledbetter said the team is still growing thanks to the young players emerging.

“You’ve got guys that are improving every day, and guys that want to be so much better,” Ledbetter said. “It’s the young guys that are obsessed with improvement, and they want to get better and make the older guys proud. It’s a selfless team.”

Auburn is up next, followed by home games with UMass (4-6) and the awkwardly placed Georgia Tech (5-4) game — a tradition that has outlived its practicality, with the SEC Championship Game just one week later.

“It feels great, we’re not done, the whole team is not done, Georgia is not done,” Ledbetter said. “Like we said last year, we’re here to stay and we are going to keep going forward.”

Georgia DE Jonathan Ledbetter

 

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