When will Georgia be in a competitive game in 2021?
The No. 1 Bulldogs hardly broke a sweat in a convincing 30-13 win over No. 11 Kentucky. Georgia led 14-7 at halftime and put the squeeze on the Wildcats in the second half as any thought of a Kentucky upset faded away.
Georgia got the ball first to start the second half and went 75 yards in six plays in less than three minutes to take a two-score lead. UGA went up 21-7 when Stetson Bennett hit Brock Bowers for a 27-yard TD.
The closest Kentucky got to the end zone in the second half came after the Wildcats got to the Georgia 15 at the end of the third quarter. The field goal attempt to cut the lead back to 14 was blocked by Georgia’s mammoth defensive line.
Kentucky had a hard time moving the ball against Georgia’s defense — though to be fair, everyone has had a hard time moving the ball against Georgia’s defense. Kentucky’s rushing attack was stifled and the Wildcats quickly realized that designed runs on first down weren’t going to get it done. Kentucky’s leading rusher was Kavosiey Smoke. He had five carries for 14 yards.
Passing the ball wasn’t much easier for Kentucky either. QB Will Levis threw the ball 41 times and averaged fewer than five yards an attempt. Kentucky’s longest pass play of the day went for 16 yards.
The difficulty Kentucky had with Georgia's defense played out over the final drive of the game. Kentucky got the ball with 11:27 to go after Georgia took a 23-point lead. The Wildcats then used all but four seconds that were on the clock before scoring on the 22nd play of the drive to cover a 21.5-point spread.
Georgia’s offensive gameplay was once again absurdly efficient. Bennett was 14-of-20 passing for 250 yards and threw three touchdowns. Two went to Bowers and his first of the day went to running back James Cook on a beautiful angle route out of the backfield.
Cook and White combined had fewer than 20 carries as Georgia didn’t have to lean on the run game much either. The Bulldogs rushed for over six yards a carry against a Kentucky defense that entered the game giving up fewer than 3.5 yards per carry.
If there was a downside for Georgia, it's a missed extra point on the final TD of the game. The miss broke a streak of 363 consecutive made extra points that dated back to 2014.
Georgia is by far the top team in the country
The gulf between Georgia and everyone else got even bigger on Saturday afternoon as No. 2 Iowa lost at home to Purdue. It'll be a shock if anyone other than Georgia gets a first-place vote in Sunday's AP Top 25.
The Bulldogs’ rivalry game with Florida also seemed to get easier on Saturday as the Gators lost 49-42 at LSU. While Florida hung with Alabama earlier this season, it’s hard to see how Florida can hang with Georgia in two weeks after both teams are off in Week 8. The Bulldogs will likely be favored by two touchdowns against the Gators and could be three-touchdown favorites (or more) in their final four games of the season before the SEC championship game.
Kentucky, meanwhile, still has a 10-win season to play for. There are no more ranked teams on the Wildcats' schedule and games against Mississippi State and Tennessee in Week 9 and Week 10 are very winnable. Expecting Kentucky to hang with Georgia was a large ask. Expecting Kentucky to hang with the rest of the SEC East is a much different question, especially after wins over Florida and LSU. The Wildcats are still the No. 2 team in the division until further notice.