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Kentucky falls to top ranked Georgia 30-13

Associated Press

Will Levis passed for 198 yards and two scores but it was not enough as No. 11 Kentucky fell at top-ranked Georgia 30-13 on Saturday.  Levis connected on 32 of his 42 passes, including one-yard touchdown strikes to Justin Rigg and Wan'Dale Robinson in the game. The Cats struggled to run the ball, amassing just 51 yards on the ground against the nation's number one defense.

Kentucky's defense was led by Josh Paschal, who had six tackles, including one for a loss, and Georgia native Yusuf Corker, who had five tackles, one for a loss and a pass breakup.

Kentucky got the ball to start the game and the Cats were able to move the ball into Georgia territory after getting two first downs. But an illegal formation penalty hurt UK and the Cats were forced to punt.

On Georgia's first possession, the Bulldogs were able to get one first down before UK forced them into a punt. The 63-yard boot by Jake Camara went into the end zone and the Cats took over at their own 20.

Kentucky went three-and-out on its next possession, then Georgia did the same. The UGA punt pinned Kentucky deep in its own territory and the Cats would be forced to punt yet again.

Georgia took over near midfield with its next possession and the Bulldogs took advantage of the opportunity. The Bulldogs would drive into the UK red zone as the first quarter ended with no score.

On the first play of the second quarter, Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett hit James Cook across the middle and Cook did the rest, scampering to the end zone for the score. Jack Podlesny added the extra point and the Bulldogs led 7-0 with 14:54 to play in the half.

The Cats would be forced to punt again on their next possession. Georgia took over at their own 20 and proceeded to march 80 yards, all on the ground, in five plays. Zamir White finished it off with a 24-yard touchdown rush and Podlesny added the PAT to make it 14-0 Georgia with 10:35 to play in the half.

Kentucky had its best drive of the first half on its next possession. The Cats used a nice mix of running and passing plays, including a hook-and-ladder, to get into the Georgia red zone. Levis connected with Chris Rodriguez Jr. on a swing pass to get the Cats to the UGA one. From there, Levis connected with tight end Justin Rigg for a one-yard touchdown pass. Matt Ruffolo added the PAT and Georgia led 14-7 after a 15-play, 75-yard drive.

Those were the first points that Georgia has allowed in the second quarter all season. And the first touchdown the Bulldogs have allowed in the first half in 2021.

Neither team would score the remainder of the half and Georgia led by seven at the break.

Georgia took possession to start the second half and the Bulldogs were impressive. UGA went 75 yards in six plays, ending with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Bennett to Brock Bowers. Podlesny made another extra point and Georgia led 21-7 with 12:13 left in the third quarter.

After Kentucky punted again, Georgia drove into UK territory and appeared to be going in for another touchdown. But the Cats defense stood tall, forcing Georgia into a 26-yard Podlesny field goal, which was good. Georgia led 24-7 with 7:21 left in the third quarter.

After the teams exchanged punts, Kentucky drove into Georgia territory again, eventually getting into the red zone. But on the final play of the third quarter, Ruffolo's field goal attempt from 33 yards out was blocked. Georgia recovered at the Bulldogs led 24-7 after three periods.

After a Georgia touchdown made it 30-7, the Cats were able to mount a late drive. And it was a long one. UK covered 75 yards in 22 plays, culminating with a one-yard touchdown pass from Levis to Wan'Dale Robinson. The PAT was blocked and Georgia led 30-13.

Kentucky is off next week before returning to action on Oct. 30 at Mississippi State.