Georgia was trailing 3-0 and had managed just 40 yards on 13 plays when Coach Mark Richt gave the go-ahead for a fake punt. Two-hundred, thirty-four pound junior Gordon Ely-Kelso executed it beautifully and ran 34 yards to set up Georgia’s first score of the game.
“This game started so miserably. It felt like a morgue out there,” Richt said. “Everybody was waiting for somebody to do something exciting. That’s the play that really sprung the game for us.”
Credit for the call goes to tight ends coach David Johnson, who coordinates the punting team, Richt said. Johnson saw the opportunity for the play early in the week and lobbied for it all week, mentioning it before the start of the game and again after Georgia’s first punt of the game, Richt said.
“When I got tired of punting, I said, ‘Let’s go ahead and call that son of a gun,’” Richt said.
The play was wide open for Ely-Kelso, who showed some impressive speed and was untouched until he was bumped out of bounds at Kentucky’s 19-yard line. At the time, the run was Georgia’s third-longest from scrimmage this season.
“It was wide open in practice,” Ely-Kelso said. “I was hoping it would be that open in the game. I was hoping I wasn’t going to get lit up and fumble. I took a little shot in the leg, and that’s all the contact I wanted.”
The fake was the Bulldogs’ first successful one since the Florida game in 2001. Georgia scored four plays after the play and never trailed again.