Sheets of stagnant rain poured upon the Sanford Stadium turf at a relentless pace on Saturday night. An uncomfortable weather pattern sucked excitement out of a subdued crowd.
Georgia’s offense, through one half in a scoreless tie (the first in SEC play since LSU-Alabama in 2016) against Kentucky, played equally as lifeless.
Most of the head-scratching woes that appeared in the season’s first loss to South Carolina uninvitedly joined the party. Georgia called runs on first-and-second down on its first three drives, and other than a 14-yard run by D’Andre Swift to open the game, the Bulldogs haven’t found any traction.
For those in attendance, cheers at the opening kickoff turned into thunderous boos in dismay of the play-calling style of offensive coordinator James Coley and the execution by the 11 players in formation. Georgia has run a majority of its plays in 11 personnel — a basic offensive grouping with one tight end and one running back — and Kentucky has been able to pick up on the predictability.
One of Georgia’s drives involved three runs for a grand total of eight yards, and the story has been much of the same throughout 30 minutes of play. Quarterback Jake Fromm’s first seven completions went for six yards — including a swing pass for a 7-yard loss to Swift — before a 22-yard pass to George Pickens.
On the drive which started with the completion to Pickens, Georgia was stopped on 4th-and-1 on a sneak by Fromm. The Bulldogs have only crossed the 50-yard-line once. Georgia has 123 yards and five punts from punter Jake Camarda.
Georgia’s defense has held Kentucky’s defense in check, too, by continuing elite-level production. The Wildcats have 52 yards at the half, have yet to complete a pass on four attempts (three from converted quarterback Lynn Bowden, one from wide receiver Josh Ali) and only 16 in the second quarter. Kentucky punter Max Duffy also has five punts.