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Rodriguez Rushes for 108 Yards, But CATS Fall to Georgia 14-3

Chris Rodriguez, Jr. - photo by Mark Cornelison - SEC Photo

Kentucky snapped a seven-game streak of allowing at least 27 points to the Bulldogs.


Entering Saturday’s game at Kroger Field, the No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs were expected to defeat the unranked Kentucky Wildcats in a fairly convincing fashion. While UK was never more than two touchdowns away from taking the lead, it always felt as though the Bulldogs were going to emerge victorious. In the end, Georgia defeated the Cats 14-3.

The Kentucky defense surrendered 215 rushing yards, but only allowed 14 points. A standout on the Cats’ defense was middle linebacker Jamin Davis who made 13 total tackles and even blocked a field goal.

Prior to Saturday, the Bulldogs’ lowest-scoring game of the season occurred in a 24-point outing against Alabama. Ultimately, despite the defense’s stellar performance, the UK offense was unable to generate enough points to pick up the victory.

“Defensively, the guys played with good energy; played extremely tough and played physical,” UK head coach Mark Stoops said after the game. “Had a couple takeaways to give us an opportunity to change field position, but in the end, you have to play really perfect and make some big plays to beat a team like that and we didn’t do it.”

While the UK offense produced just three points, the Kentucky rushing attack posted impressive numbers. Georgia entered the game allowing 65.5 rushing yards per game, which ranked fourth nationally. Despite this, the Cats tallied 82 rushing yards on 24 carries in the first half alone, and Chris Rodriguez finished the game with 108 yards on 20 carries.

“We’re playing physical enough on both sides of the line of scrimmage to win a game like that,” Stoops said. “We have to be able to create some opportunities for big plays. We have to get the ball in the end zone.”

Sophomore quarterback Joey Gatewood made his debut start with the Cats. The Florida native went 15-of-25 through the air for 91 yards. Gatewood also had 16 carries for 23 yards and one fumble.

Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Joey Gatewood (2) runs for yardage in the first half as Kentucky played Georgia on October 31, 2020. Photo by Mark Cornelison

“You know going into it, it’s going to be a tough day,” Stoops said. “Any quarterback that goes into playing Georgia, there’s going to be some good and some bad because they’re going to create some havoc in there with the way they can rush (the quarterback).”

Stoops later said, “We have to create explosive plays in the pass game.” When asked about throwing the football down the field towards the end of the game, Stoops said, “Joey was told to look for certain routes, and he must have felt they were covered. I can’t see exactly what was happening, as far as until we look at the film.”

Following the loss, Kentucky has lost 11 straight games against Georgia, which marks the Cats’ longest losing streak against the Bulldogs. UK is now 2-4 on the season; Georgia is 4-1.

Kentucky is on a bye next week, but will return to play on Nov. 14 against Vanderbilt at Kroger Field.

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