On Saturday, No. 7 Georgia defeated Kentucky 42-13 in what was the last home game in the careers of the team’s 31 seniors. Fittingly, it was a trio of seniors who helped secure that win for the Bulldogs.
The running back tandem of seniors Nick Chubb and Sony Michel ran wild on Kentucky’s defense, which ranked 75th in the nation coming into the matchup, combining for over 230 rushing yards and five touchdowns in what was a 350-plus rushing yard showing for Georgia’s run game.
Senior wide receiver Javon Wims led the team with 83 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Georgia’s offense ran into trouble early when quarterback Jake Fromm threw an interception on the team’s first offensive drive, but the freshman soon found his groove, passing for over 100 yards and a touchdown.
It's starting to sound like a broken record at this point in the season, but freshman quarterback Fromm did exactly as much was needed from him against Kentucky and no more.
When the run game struggled early on, Fromm was efficient and hit Javon Wims for a couple big plays to jump start things. In the second half, throwing the ball was simply not necessary. Fromm threw for exactly 0 yards in the third quarter, and hardly much more thereafter. He made one bad mistake early on with an interception on Georgia's first drive, but apart from that, Fromm was his usual, steady self.
Likewise, the running game met little resistance, as Chubb had his best game of the season, racking up 151 rushing yards. Chubb also broke the 1,000 rushing yard mark for the season, the third time he has done so in his time at Georgia. Before Saturday, Herschel Walker was the only Georgia running back to have accomplished that feat.
“It is hard [to run the ball] in the SEC… Nick Chubb has rushed for three 1,000-yard season in the SEC, which is the toughest conference in the country to run the ball,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said after the game. “That’s pretty remarkable.”
Despite starting redshirt freshman Ben Cleveland for the first time, Georgia’s offensive line bounced back against Kentucky’s defense after a dreadful performance against Auburn. Fromm, who was sacked four times by Auburn, had ample time to throw the entire game, while Georgia’s tailbacks found plenty of running room.
After surrendering 167 yards to the SEC’s top rusher, Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson, last week, the Georgia defense kept the conference’s No. 2 rusher Benny Snell in check, allowing 94 yards and a touchdown.
The Bulldogs held strong on late downs throughout the game, with Kentucky going 4-for-14 on third and fourth downs Saturday.
The win improves Georgia to 10-1 overall and 7-1 in the SEC. By beating the Wildcats, the Bulldogs completed a clean sweep of its SEC East opponents, the first time Georgia has done so since the SEC East split into two divisions in 1992.
“Running the table in the East is very impressive, and it just shows how hard we work in practice,” senior linebacker Davin Bellamy said. “Playing in the SEC is a grind, so to come out every week and play the physical brand that we play, it just shows how we’re built.”
Next up, Georgia will travel to Atlanta on Saturday to face Georgia Tech in its regular season finale. The Bulldogs also have a date in the SEC Championship game on Dec. 2, a result of winning the eastern division on Nov. 4.