ATHENS, Ga. (UK Athletics) – Playing in a downpour that created a slick playing surface, Kentucky fell to No. 10 Georgia 21-0 on Saturday night at Sanford Stadium.
Lynn Bowden Jr. rushed for 99 yards in the slippery conditions, while Asim Rose rushed for 37 yards. Bowden, playing quarterback once again in place of the injured Sawyer Smith, completed just two passes in the game for 15 yards through the air.
The Kentucky defense more than held its own against the powerful Georgia offense. The Bulldogs had just 270 yards of total offense in the game, including just 35 yards passing. Yusuf Corker led the Cats with 11 tackles, while DeAndre Square had nine and Chris Oats, playing for the injured Kash Daniel, had seven stops.
Kentucky (3-4, 1-4 SEC) was shut out for the first time since Nov. 12, 2012, a stretch of 83 games in which the Cats had scored.
The teams were unable to mount much offense in the first quarter. Each team had three possessions in the period, with each possession ending with a punt.
After each team punted to start the second quarter, Georgia had possession and elected to go for it on fourth down and one from the 50 yard line. But the Kentucky defense stood tall, forcing a turnover on downs and giving the Cats the ball in good field position. But Kentucky was unable to convert, and the Cats punted once again.
The teams would go scoreless in the first half, with neither team seriously threatening to score. Georgia had six first downs in the first half to Kentucky’s two. The Bulldogs outgained the Cats 123-52 in total yards in the first half, with all of Kentucky’s yards coming on the ground.
Kentucky took the second half kickoff and immediately marched into Georgia territory, largely on the legs of Bowden. The Cats got inside the Georgia 30, but were stifled by a key holding penalty on a third down and were forced to punt.
After the teams exchanged punts again, Georgia broke the scoring drought with a 39-yard rushing touchdown from D’Andre Swift. Rodrigo Blankenship added the PAT to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 6:20 remaining in the third quarter.
On its next possession, facing a third down and four, Bowden fumbled and Georgia took over at the Kentucky 31. And once again, the Bulldogs took advantage, as Brien Herrien scored on an eight-yard run. Blankenship’s PAT was good, and Georgia led 14-0 with 1:54 left in the third period.
On the ensuing kickoff, Kentucky got a 58-yard kickoff return from Zach Johnson, giving the Cats the ball at the Georgia 40. The Cats would drive into the Georgia red zone as the third quarter came to a close. But as the final stanza began, Kentucky was not able to convert on fourth and goal from the eight yard line as Bowden’s pass intended for Josh Ali was incomplete.
Georgia added another Swift touchdown later in the fourth quarter to close the scoring.
Kentucky returns home next Saturday to face No. 22 Missouri at Kroger Field. Kickoff is set for 7:30 ET and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.