Nov. 19, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia clinched a spot in the Southeastern Conference championship game with a 19-10 win over the Kentucky Wildcats in front of 92,746 fans and a locally televised audience in the final home game of the season. With the win, Georgia extended its win streak to nine games and moved to 9-2 on the season, and 7-1 in SEC play. Kentucky drops to 4-7 on the year and 1-6 in league play.
"Today was definitely a team victory," head coach Mark Richt said. "Everybody had to do their part. I thought the special teams played extremely well. The offense made enough plays and the defense did their thing. I left the South Carolina game encouraged. I wasn't encouraged that we lost, but I was encouraged that as we moved forward that we could win. I knew we had good leaders, good players and good coaches. We had to protect the ball and get after it. It's hard to win nine in a row, especially when you need every single one to get back to the Dome. I'm just so proud of them right now."
Aaron Murray finished with 162 yards and a touchdown on 16-of-29 passing. Blair Walsh was 4-for-4 on field goals, adding 12 points for Georgia. Brandon Harton hit the century mark on the ground, rushing for 101 yards on 23 carries. Orson Charles led the receiving corps with 40 yards, while Malcolm Mitchell finished with four catches for 26 yards.
Kentucky's Maxwell Smith completed 17 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown. Raymond Sanders led the team on the ground, rushing for 45 yards on seven carries. Matt Roark had three catches for 51 yards.
Georgia and Kentucky traded field goals on the first two possessions of the game to make it a 3-3 game early in the first quarter.
With just over four minutes left in the first quarter, Branden Smith picked off Maxwell Smith and returned the ball 57 yards to set up a 39-yard field goal that put the Bulldogs up 6-3.
Kentucky took advantage of a UGA fumble and answered with a two-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Robinson that gave Kentucky a 10-6 lead.
Walsh tacked on three points with 1:53 left in the half that pulled Georgia within three. The Wildcats fumbled the ensuing kickoff that was recovered by Brandon Bogotay. Georgia converted the turnover into three points, a Walsh field goal, that put Georgia on top 12-10.
Early in the fourth quarter, Jarvis Jones got to the quarterback and forced a fumble which Christian Robinson recovered deep in Kentucky territory. The Bulldogs converted a third-and-seven situation into six points on a seven-yard grab by Marlon Brown that helped Georgia take a 19-10 lead after the Walsh extra point.
Georgia will return to the field next Saturday when it travels to Atlanta, Ga., to take on Georgia Tech. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:01 and the game will be televised on either ABC or ESPN.