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CATS Fall Hard in Athens

photo Elliot Hess - UK Athletics

CATS dominated by Dawgs for first Loss

ATHENS – October 7, 2023

Devin Leary passed for two touchdowns but No. 20 Kentucky lost at top-ranked Georgia 51-13 on Saturday night.

Leary went 10 of 26 through the air for 128 yards and the pair of touchdowns. Ray Davis rushed 15 times for 59 yards and caught two passes for 36 yards and a touchdown in the game.

Kentucky (5-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) got 11 tackles from linebacker D’Eryk Jackson and eight tackles and an interception from Maxwell Hairston.

Georgia (6-0, 3-0) had the first possession of the game and the Bulldogs wasted little time getting on the board. Georgia went 75 yards in seven plays, ending with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Carson Beck to Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint. Peyton Woodring added the PAT and Georgia grabbed a 7-0 lead with 11:26 to play in the first quarter.

Kentucky got a pair of first downs on its first drive and got into Georgia territory before being forced to punt. Georgia took over at its own 18 with 8:06 left in the first. The Bulldogs again marched down the field and Beck connected with Rara Thomas for a 15-yard touchdown, extending the UGA lead. Woodring added the PAT and Georgia led 14-0 with 4:25 left in the first.

The Cats were able to quickly get into Georgia territory on the ensuing possession. Leary connected with Dane Key on a 36-yard completion to cross midfield but a pair of penalties stalled the drive and UK punted it away again. The Bulldogs took over at their own five with 2:01 left in the first. Georgia would lead 14-0 through 15 minutes of play.

Early in the second quarter, the Cats appeared to have Georgia stopped but a personal foul penalty kept the Bulldogs’ drive alive. UGA proceeded to drive 95 yards in 13 plays, ending with a Beck to Oscar Delp touchdown pass. Woodring made the PAT and Georgia led 21-0 with 11:03 left in the first half.

Kentucky again moved the ball on its next drive. Leary connected with Davis, then with Key to get the Cats to midfield. UK would face a fourth and three when Leary hit Tayvion Robinson for a first down. Leary then connected with Josh Kattus to get the Cats to the UGA 14. Davis would rush for 10 yards to get to the Georgia four. On the next play, Leary hit Kattus again for a four-yard touchdown. Alex Raynor added the extra point and the Georgia lead was cut to 21-7 with 6:44 left in the half.

Georgia would respond with another scoring drive. This one ended with a Woodring field goal, stretching the lead to 24-7 with 5:15 remaining in the half. The Bulldogs would add another touchdown and a field goal late in the half and would lead 34-7 at the break.

Kentucky got the first possession of the second half but the Cats went three and out. However, on Georgia’s next drive, Maxwell Hairston intercepted Beck and returned it to the Georgia 28. Two plays later, Leary connected with Davis for a 26-yard touchdown pass. The Cats went for two, and it failed and Georgia led 34-13. With the touchdown, Davis became the first Kentucky player to ever score a touchdown in each of UK’s first six games in a season.

Georgia would add a field goal, then a touchdown and would lead 44-13 after three quarters. The Bulldogs added a score in the fourth quarter to provide the final margin of victory.

Kentucky returns to action on Saturday, facing Missouri at Kroger Field. Kickoff will be at either 7 or 7:30 ET and the game will be on either ESPN or the SEC Network.

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