Georgia escapes ugly weather, Kentucky

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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) – D’Andre Swift’s 39-yard touchdown run in the third quarter snapped a scoreless tie, and No. 10 Georgia overcame a slow start to beat Kentucky 21-0 on Saturday night.

Swift, who ran for 179 yards, added a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Brian Herrien ran for 60 yards, including an 8-yard scoring run.

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Georgia (6-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) recovered from last week’s loss to South Carolina by finally taking advantage of its SEC-leading ground game in the second half.

Each offense was affected by Nestor, the former tropical storm which dumped rain on Athens throughout the day. The wet conditions contributed to the scoreless first half.

Kentucky (3-4, 1-4) got 99 yards rushing from Lynn Bowden in his second start at quarterback, but the Wildcats’ attack was one-dimensional. Bowden, Kentucky’s third starting quarterback of the season, didn’t complete a pass on his first nine attempts. He completed only 2 of 15 passes for 17 yards.

Georgia’s Jake Fromm did not have a turnover one week after throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble. He completed 9 of 12 passes for only 35 yards.

On the soggy Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium, Kentucky stayed right with Georgia until midway through the third quarter.

The Bulldogs took advantage of two mistakes by the Wildcats to grab control.

A shanked punt by Max Duffy went out of bounds at the Kentucky 39 early in the second half after carrying only 15 yards.

The poor punt allowed Georgia to start a possession outside of its 20 for the first time in the game. Swift needed only one play to take advantage of the excellent field position.

Running behind right tackle Isaiah Wilson and right guard Cade Mays, Swift broke a tackle by safety Yusuf Corker on the 39-yard scoring run.

Bowden’s fumble, caused by J.R. Reed, on the Wildcats’ next possession was recovered by Georgia’s Richard LeCounte at the Kentucky 31. Herrien’s scoring run on his fourth straight carry pushed the Georgia lead to 14-0.

Georgia held Kentucky to 52 yards in the first half.

The Bulldogs fought poor field position throughout the half, starting three drives inside their 15.

Fromm was stopped on a fourth-and-1 sneak at midfield midway through the second quarter.

THE TAKEAWAY

Kentucky: The Wildcats clearly have a unique talent in Bowden, who was the team’s leading receiver before last week’s move to quarterback. Still, more work is needed to add balance to the offense. Bowden led the Wildcats to a 24-20 win over Arkansas last week in his debut at quarterback, but now opposing teams will be better prepared for his frequent runs.

Georgia: The Bulldogs showed good poise in recovering from the ugly first half and capitalizing on opportunities in the third quarter. Still, the offense failed to produce like a unit capable of contending for a championship. The receivers again struggled to beat press coverage and the line failed to push back Kentucky’s defensive front on a fourth-down sneak. Fans booed some conservative play calls, perhaps influenced by the ugly weather, but the patient approach paid off. The Bulldogs, who lost four turnovers in last week’s loss, did not lose the ball against the Wildcats.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Georgia’s second-half recovery should save it from another drop in the Top 25.

UP NEXT

Kentucky: The Wildcats return home to play No. 22 Missouri next Saturday night. Kentucky scored 12 points in the fourth quarter to beat Missouri 15-14 last season.

Georgia: Following an off week, Georgia will look for its third straight win over No. 9 Florida on Nov. 2 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Bulldogs won last year’s matchup of top-10 teams, 36-17.

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Angela joined the News 12 team in November of 2017 as the weekend sports anchor and reporter. Angela is a proud member of an Army family, which means she has hometowns all over the Eastern Seaboard. Most recently, she calls Peachtree City, Georgia, home, where she graduated from Trinity Christian School and spent her free time driving her purple golf cart. She then headed to Milledgeville, Georgia, to attend Georgia College and State University. A proud Bobcat, Angela graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Mass Communication and represented her December 2016 class as one of three valedictorians. Angela comes to the Scenic City from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she worked at the NBC affiliate, WMBF News. Before the big move, she worked as Georgia College's Sports Information Assistant, which let her get paid to be the Bobcats' biggest fan. It all started in Savannah, Georgia, though, where she interned for SAV's number one station, WTOC. When she's not working, you can find Angela watching the New York Giants, Rangers or basically any other game that's on. She also loves traveling, hiking and exploring new places, all with her camera in hand. If you have any story ideas, big or small, feel free to reach out to her on Facebook and Twitter, or email her at amoryan@wdef.com."