Georgia is back in control of its own destiny in the SEC East, but getting by Florida looks more daunting after the events of Saturday.
The Bulldogs were unconvincing in a 29-24 victory over Kentucky, which is winless in the SEC.
Florida stomped on South Carolina 44-11.
Quarterback Aaron Murray isn’t concerned if the Gators are big favorites in Jacksonville.
“We’re not worried about it,” he said Saturday night. “At the end of the day, it all depends on how we play next Saturday. We know we have to play an unbelievable game offensively, defensively and special teams if we want to have a chance to win that game. We’ve just got to be ready to go.”
Judging by the response on Twitter, Georgia fans didn’t like what they saw from the Bulldogs Saturday.
Georgia coach Mark Richt wasn’t complaining about a road win even in a game that was closer than expected.
“Very excited about the victory,” Richt said. “It’s great to be able to go on the road in the SEC and get the win. I think Kentucky did a fantastic job tonight. My hats off to coach (Joker) Phillips and his team but I’m also pleased with our team to do what they had to do to win the ballgame. A lot of big plays had to be made and then we had to play good down the stretch in order to win it. I’m very thankful and pleased with the victory.”
Asked if he expect the Bulldogs to be sharper coming off a bye week and with Kentucky struggling in a 49-7 loss to Arkansas the week before, Richt said: “I don’t know. Kentucky had time to get their plan together. They’ve got personnel. They do a lot of really good things. I have respect for what they have done in the past and how they played tonight. I think they have played a lot better at home then they have away. We caught them at home. We got a good SEC victory on the road. I think there’s a lot to be said for that.”
Some postgame items:
–Despite a four-touchdown passing game for Aaron Murray and a career-high 427 yards, there were some pass plays that got away. A wide open Marlon Brown dropped a pass inside the 10 yard-line in the first quarter on a deep ball. Bobo said Murray took two sacks “that I didn’t think he should have.”
–Kentucky rushed for 137 first-half yards.
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham didn’t like how Georgia handled third down runs and quarterback passes during a first half when the Widlcats converted 4 of 7 on third down.
“Third-and-7 or more the first four times of the game, they ran the ball,” he said. “You’ve got to play more physical than we did in that situation no matter what coverage you’ve got called. You shouldn’t give up 10 yards on a run.”
–All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones made the trip, but didn’t play due to a sprained ankle.
“It wasn’t precautionary,” Grantham said. “He couldn’t play. No.”
Richt didn’t want to blame Jones absence.
“It would be nice if Jarvis was back,” Richt said. “I’m not sure if he will be. He definitely could not have played tonight. We brought him on this trip just to get as much as rehab as we possibly could. We knew it was going to be a long day today so we had time to make sure he got some good treatment.”
Georgia also lost end Abry Jones early when he reaggravated a spained ankle. He may not go against Florida.
Safety Bacarri Rambo was banged up at end. “He sucked it up,” Grantham said.
Cornerback Sanders Commings also was banged up but returned after Devin Bowman came in.
–Georgia had personal fouls on Rambo (on a late hit out of bounds) and T.J. Stripling and a face mask penalty on Shawn Williams.
“You need to be a little bit lower in your tackles,” Grantham said of the facemask.
–Georgia used a combination with Mark Beard at left tackle and Kenarious Gates at left guard, but offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said it wasn’t because of injury.
“He deserved to play,” Bobo said of Beard.
–Georgia tried a fake punt in the third quarter with a direct snap to Malcolm Mitchell with fourth-and-on-1 at its own 46, but the 33-yard gain was wiped out by an illegal formation penalty and the Bulldogs punted.
“We were told that No. 38 Kosta Vavlas was basically a down lineman,” Richt said.
–Georgia had 77 rushing yards on 32 carries. Richt indicated the blocking from the line was the main issue
“We didn’t run the ball as well as I would hope,” he said. “Sometimes that’s an issue of a tight end or a fullback or a back not hitting it where he should hit it. Until I see the film I won’t be sure how well they did in the run game. My guess is there’s a little bit of everything.”
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