Georgia Unloads on Cats

Sean Bailey

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- On the Thursday before the Kentucky game, Georgia coach Mark Richt said this: "We just try to secure the victory around here. The moment we can take a knee, we want to take a knee."

On Saturday, against the Wildcats, Mark Richt did this: No. 8 Georgia 62, Kentucky 17.

It was the most points the Bulldogs have scored in an SEC game since 1982, when they beat Vanderbilt 62-35. It was their second-highest total against anyone since 1958, trailing only the 70 against Northeast Louisiana in 1994. It also was the second-most they've ever hard against a conference team, behind only a 75-0 win over Florida in 1942, and the most ever scored on an SEC team's home field.

And it was almost unavoidably due to Kentucky's combination of ineptitude and aggressiveness.

"I guess it was just one of those things where everything we were doing was clicking," said backup quarterback D.J. Shockley, who took over for record-breaking starter David Greene. "You really can't do much about it if they're not going to be able to stop us."

Greene was the biggest story of the day, becoming the only quarterback ever to win 40 Division I-A games.

"If people would ask me how do you want to people to remember you," he said, "it would be as a guy who found a way to win a game."

He didn't have to look very hard Saturday. They were laying around everywhere. Georgia (8-1, 6-1 SEC) had put the game away with 13:44 left when Thomas Brown scored to give the Bulldogs a 41-17 lead.

But Kentucky (1-8, 0-6) kept taking chances and getting burned. In the final five minutes, the Wildcats tried to convert a fourth-and-one inside their own 20-yard line and threw an unnecessary pass from their own 14-yard line that was intercepted by Kelin Johnson and returned to the 2-yard line.

Georgia's last two touchdown drives totaled three plays and 10 yards and were led by fourth-string quarter Tommy Wilson. The Bulldogs had a season-high 589 yards of total offense by day's end.

"It's good to start matching up some points with the yards that you gain," Richt said, "but it was certainly skewed there at the end because of their aggressive nature. I was thankful to have a lot of points, but we weren't trying to prove anything."

There's plenty to prove in the week ahead. Georgia now will prepare to play No. 3 Auburn on Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium. The subject of the Tigers came up just moments after the horn sounded in Commonwealth Stadium, where 63,110 fans watched a three-hour, 45-minute game.

"The first time I got (the team) together after the game, I said, 'It was a good game, but it's time to get your mind right,'" Richt said. "It's going to be a heck of a game.

"If everybody would have come out healthy, I would have been more excited about it."

That was a reference to starting tailback Danny Ware, who left in the second quarter after spraining his ankle and knee. His availability for the Auburn game is unknown. If he can't go, Georgia still will be in good hands with Brown.

After Ware left the game, "Coach Richt told me I could have a big day," Brown said.

He did, carrying the ball 22 times for a career-high 130 yards and three touchdowns.

"I still can't envision how this game got away from us the way it did," Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said. "It cascaded down."

Kentucky was playing without defensive stalwarts Sweet Pea Burns and Mike Williams. Burns was out with an injury, and Williams was kicked off the team Friday. The only bright spot for the Wildcats, backup quarterback Andre Woodson, left the game with an ankle sprain in the fourth quarter. Woodson was 17 of 26 for 206 yards after replacing starter Shane Boyd in the second quarter.

But he had no chance of keeping up with the Bulldogs' offense. Wide receiver Fred Gibson and tight Leonard Pope each caught five passes. Gibson gained 129 yards, and Pope had 91 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Sean Bailey had two touchdowns.

"Regardless of who it is," said Shockley, who passed for 85 yards and rushed for 62, "to put up 62 points is always fun."

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