It wasn’t pretty, but the Dawgs clinched the SEC Eastern Division title today with a 19-10 win over stubborn Kentucky. Former walk-on running back Brandon Harton rushed for 101 yards on 23 carries to lead a decimated Georgia running attack.
Freshman running back Isaiah Crowell left the game early with his latest injury while Carlton Thomas did not dress out for personal reasons. No specific reason was given other than Thomas was not being suspended.
The Georgia defense stepped up much of the day to keep the Dawgs close. While the offense was committing four turnovers, Todd Grantham’ stop troops held UK to 165 total yards and caused four turnovers. The Cats rushed for just 23 yards, as UK quarterbacks were sacked five times for minus-29 yards.
The issue was still in doubt into the fourth quarter when Aaron Murray hit Tavarres King for a seven-yard touchdown pass to extend a tenuous two-point Bulldog lead to 19-10. The nine-yard scoring drive was set up by a fumble recovered by Christian Robinson after Jarvis Jones stripped Kentucky QB Maxwell Smith.
With the Eastern Division title in hand, Georgia will travel to Atlanta next Saturday to face rival Georgia Tech. After that comes the SEC Championship Game in the Georgia Dome on Dec. 3. Georgia could face Alabama, Arkansas or LSU in that game. If LSU beats Arkansas next week, the Dawgs will face the Tigers.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: While the Dawgs didn’t exactly face a murderous schedule this season, they did what it took to win a championship. Somewhere, Steve Spurrier is spiking a visor. And when those things happen, it is a good day for Georgia fans.
Despite starting the season 0-2, Mark Richt held his team together amid a firestorm of criticism and watched his Bulldogs run off nine straight wins. A 7-1 record in the SEC is never anything to sneeze at.
-It was kind of a downer to see the student section just over half-full at kickoff time. While it was an early game, the students should show up to support the team on Senior Day when the Dawgs had a chance to clinch the Eastern Division title. They should have been eager to get in the stadium to see that feat, as the Dawgs have not clinched an SEC division title since 2005.
-Blair Walsh tied a career-high by going 4-for-4 on field goals today. It was Walsh’s best game since Vandy, when he also hit four FGs.
-Punter Drew Butler also had a fabulous Senior Day. The son of Georgia kicking legend Kevin Butler punted for times for n average of 47.5 yards, including a long of 55.
- Ken Malcome got a career-high nine carries today for 37 yards. He ran hard between the tackles fought for extra yards on most of his carries. This is what UGA thought they had when they offered the SW DeKalb product.
-It is Georgia’s sixth share of the division title, and will be its fourth berth in the SECCG. Despite the grey tone to the day, Bulldog fans and players celebrated happily after the final whistle. Regardless of how a team gets there, the division title is always an occasion to celebrate.
-After the game, Richt apparently did a sliding belly flop through the locker room floor.
-Bowl representatives from the Gator, Chick-fil-a and Sugar were in attendance.