The University of Georgia Bulldogs beat the Kentucky Wildcats Saturday 27-24 thanks to a last second (literally, there were 2 seconds left in the game) field goal kick by embattled Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship.
Pic: Jay Newman pic.twitter.com/eLcs12t0zB
— Matthew Hall (@Loyal_To_The_G) November 7, 2016
Georgia fans no-doubt held their breath when they saw how the final drive was shaping up, which is to say when they saw the outcome was likely going to hinge on a field goal attempt from Blankenship. UGA fans had, after all, recently taken to calling him “RodriGOAT” on Twitter.
RODRIGOAT ???????? https://t.co/jWupsQZ1s6
— Brooks Tilley (@brookstilley) November 6, 2016
He probably shed that nickname after Saturday’s game.
4 FOR 4 INCLUDING A LONG OF 49 YDS
In a year that sees Georgia building leads and then losing to teams they’re unaccustomed seeing as much of a challenge, the young Georgia kicker is yet another testament to the work of the Bulldog coaches. Week after week, no matter the outcome of the game, individual pieces of this team come back stronger and more impressive. If there’s one consistency with the 2016 Bulldog season it’s that remarkable failure by one element of the team is followed by marked improvement the next week. Blankenship is no exception. He went 4 for 4 and had a long 49 yard field goal that was as pretty as it was surprising. And then he went on the field for post-game interviews still in his helmet, giving fans more to chew on. Gotta hand it to the redshirt freshman kicker: he’s got style.
As for the rest of Special Teams, Marshall Long‘s punting looked much better. He was even able to get two of his five punts inside the 20-yard line, something punters the previous game found challenging. But special teams, as has been the case since the beginning of the season, is still a weak link for the Red and Black, with fumbled returns and weak runs. Here’s hoping this is the next area of improvement.
A LOOK AHEAD TO AUBURN
Georgia still has a problem with the offensive line failing to open up running lanes. And Jacob Eason has more time in the pocket lately, but not enough. There does seem to be hope on the receiver end with young Javon Wims, whose official career high stats after the Kentucky game looked like this:
- 5 catches vs. Kentucky, 2016
- 90 receiving yards vs. Kentucky, 2016
- 51-yard reception vs. Kentucky, 2016
Not a bad start.
Auburn, however, is going to be all about the run defense, as the Tigers have the best running game in the SEC. Kentucky gained 308 total yards Saturday. Their two primary running backs rushed 35 times for 191 yards. Auburn’s running game is better than the Wildcats.
Hopefully Kirby Smart and company are true to what they’ve been doing so far this season. Which means we may see a stronger defensive line at 3:30 pm Saturday in Athens.