In a battle of the two remaining undefeated teams in the SEC, No. 1 Georgia leads No. 11 Kentucky 14-7 at halftime. Here are some observations from The Red & Black:
Stetson’s next start
Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett earned his fourth start this season as JT Daniels remains out with a lingering lat injury. Kentucky’s stout defense stopped the run game to start the game, so Georgia looked to Bennett’s arm for the first down.
Despite totaling 746 passing yards prior to the start of the game against Kentucky, Bennett took off to a slow start in the first quarter. Over eight attempts and four completions, the senior had thrown for 57 yards.
By the first play of the second quarter, Bennett fired for his first touchdown of the game in a 19-yard pass to running back James Cook to give the Bulldogs a seven-point lead.
In Georgia’s second touchdown drive of the game, Georgia’s offense left a hole for Bennett to run the ball for a 17-yard gain. Three long rushing plays in a row by Bennett, Cook and Zamir White left the Bulldogs with a 14-point lead by the beginning of the second half.
By the end of the first half, Bennett had recorded 76 passing yards over five completions and 17 rushing.
Battle of the defenses
Georgia’s defense dominated the first half, holding Kentucky to one touchdown in the first half.
In Kentucky’s third offensive drive, it began at the 5-yard line after punter Jake Camarda fired the ball 50 yards. Three quick plays left the Wildcats at third-and-one, but defensive lineman Jordan Davis stopped Kentucky’s Chris Rodriguez Jr. from adding a yard, forcing Kentucky to punt the ball away.
On the Wildcat’s next offensive drive, it was held to another three-and-out after two short rushing plays and one 2-yard pass.
The longest drive of the first half came at the end of the second quarter in Kentucky’s 13-play touchdown drive. Levis threw seven complete passes to drive the ball 75 yards. His 1-yard pass to Justin Rigg put the Wildcats on the board, and Matt Ruffolo’s kick was good for the seven-point gain.
Georgia linebacker Quay Walker led the defense with six tackles in the first half, while Daniel Jackson and Jalen Carter had five tackles. Carter also recorded 1.5 tackles for a loss.
The Bulldogs’ defense held Kentucky to 38 rushing and 150 passing yards in the first half, continuing its dominance over the opponent.
Georgia fans show up loud
Georgia fans packed Sanford Stadium for its fourth home game of the season, showing up loud and early for the 3:30 p.m. kickoff.
Georgia won the coin flip and deferred to the second half. As Kentucky’s offense took the field for the first drive of the game, the stadium shook with noise.
Head coach Kirby Smart has challenged Georgia fans to be “elite” by being loud, and has praised the fanbase for its influence as opponents take the field on offense.
Georgia’s Spike Squad painted themselves pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and many dressed in pink to support the cause.
A small crowd of Kentucky blue came to Sanford, but were no comparison to the thousands of Georgia fans.