Rapid Reaction: 'Mason and McKenzie Show' leads UGA rout over UK
Here are some quick thoughts on UGA’s 63-31 win over the Kentucky Wildcats.
What it means: Florida loss? What Florida loss? The Georgia Bulldogs showed no hangover whatsoever from last week’s stunning defeat to the Gators. From the opening kickoff (literally), Georgia enforced their will against Kentucky. With the exception of some defensive miscues, the ‘Dawgs showed why they’ve been the overall SEC East favorite for most of the season.
What I liked: So much to choose from! I believe Hutson Mason’s performance stands out among the rest, especially against the SEC’s second-best pass defense. He’s yet to really have a breakout game this season and he finally got one. The senior quarterback torched UK’s defense 174 yards and four touchdowns. Not only did he rack up the touchdowns, but he threw some absolute dimes, including a pinpoint accurate pass to Michael Bennett in the back of the end zone. He only threw 16 passes, but he made everyone of his 13 completions count. Mason’s confidence should be as high as its been all season heading into next week’s game against Auburn.
What I didn’t like: UGA’s woes on special teams. As great as Isaiah McKenzie was today, the three consecutive kickoffs where UGA either fumbled, ran into each other or nearly fumbled were certainly not encouraging. Lack of communication seemed to be the biggest issue there, but something that must be avoided against top teams.
Who’s the man: Lorenzo Carter. The freshman defensive end got the start after UGA benched Leonard Floyd, a future NFL first-round draft pick. Carter more than lived up to his five-star status with two sacks and a tackle for loss early in the game. He displayed outstanding speed and athleticism and appears to be the next great UGA pass rusher waiting in the wings.
Key play: Isaiah McKenzie’s touchdown on the game’s opening kickoff. Georgia set the tone early and UK never recovered. In addition to the kickoff return for a TD, McKenzie also took a 59-yard punt return to the house.
What’s next: This is it. Georgia’s biggest game of the season is next week with No. 3 ranked Auburn coming to town. Todd Gurley returns to the team and UGA’s SEC East title hopes rest on next weekend.