Well it was fun while it lasted. Kentucky got the early jump on the No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs with a Josh Allen interception and a field goal to take a 3-0 lead. The crowd was quiet and the Bulldogs hadn’t seemed to shake off their rust from the blowout loss they suffered last week. But it went downhill from there. Georgia outscored the Cats 21-3 for the rest of the half, which ended the way most Kentucky first halves do: poorly. Kentucky held serve in the third quarter and the Cats were within striking distance in the second half, but it all fell apart in the fourth quarter as Georgia’s run game took over. In the end, the Cats failed to even cover the spread.
Here are three things to know.
Another bad first half ending
Kentucky is just bad at end-of-half situations. This week they gave up a Sony Michel 37 yard touchdown run with 1:51 remaining in the first half. Then they proceeded to go for it on 4th and 2 in field goal range, and it led to a Tavin Richardson drop. Down 21-6, the field goal wouldn’t have cut it to a less than two-possession lead. But with Georgia on a 21-3 run, Kentucky needed any kind of momentum they could get. Instead they suffered a huge deflator with the drop and turnover on downs.
Kentucky is getting good at opening the second half
OK, so we’ve established that Kentucky isn’t good at closing out the first half. But maybe they’re making up for it by opening second halves well? Stephen Johnson and Benny Snell led a masterful drive coming out of the half, with a fearless scramble from Johnson and some great Wildcat formation work from Snell to cut the lead to one possession. It was the third straight touchdown drive coming out of the half for Kentucky.
Kentucky has now scored on three straight possessions to open second halves.— Jen Smith (@jenheraldleader) November 18, 2017
Georgia’s running attack gets the best of the Cats
Kentucky was within striking distance until Nick Chubb and Sony Michel really started getting loose. Chubb finished with 151 yards and two touchdowns, Michel had 87 yards and three touchdowns, and the team as a whole finished with 381 rushing yards. Kentucky, meanwhile, had 124 rushing yards. Snell led the way with 94.
Here is the postgame box score:
Now, let’s chat about what we just witnessed.