Rodrigo for the win, UGA with the sigh of relief

Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship kicks the winning field goal in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, in Lexington, Ky. (AP Photo/David Stephenson)

Here’s your game-winner. (AP Photo/David Stephenson)

LEXINGTON, KY. — An improbable game ended with a familiar (if distant) echo. Thirty-eight years ago, Georgia beat Kentucky on a 29-yard field goal by the great Rex Robinson at the same end of Commonwealth Stadium, which has since been refurbished. On this night, a Bulldog kicker of more modest portfolio  — although he, like Robinson, hails from Marietta — did the deed.

Robinson was an All-American kicker. Rodrigo Blankenship is a walk-on who’s kicking only because William Ham flubbed his audition. On this night Blankenship booted four field goals, one from a career-long 49 yards. The fourth was of modest distance — 25 yards — but it won a game the Bulldogs had to have if they’re to make anything of what’s left of this season.

On a night when losing would have shoved Georgia below .500 and made even bowl-eligibility problematic, the Bulldogs trailed for 30 minutes and two seconds. It wasn’t always clear why they were trailing, given that they were clearly the better team. They outgained Kentucky 460 yards to 308. They also made three turnovers and managed to mess up a fourth-and-1 try by being flagged for a false start.

The longer the game went with Georgia in arrears, the more you wondered if the weight of recent events — the Bulldogs had lost four of five, the most recent coming in egregious displays against Vanderbilt and Florida — would drag them down yet again. But it wasn’t until Kentucky, already leading 21-13, started acting like Kentucky did the game swing Georgia’s way.

With a chance to move ahead by two scores, the Wildcats’ Garrett Johnson fumbled after what would have been a first-down conversion. (Maurice Smith made the hit.) On the next possession, Kentucky’s Stanley Johnson threw long for Jeff Badet, who had beaten cornerback Deandre Baker. Badet had only to catch the ball to put the Wildcats in position to pad a lead that had just been cut to five points. Instead he bobbled the ball into Baker’s hands.

From there, Georgia bossed the game. They outgained Kentucky 147 yards to 57 in the fourth quarter alone. They surged ahead on Sony Michel’s 26-yard touchdown run with 9:12 remaining. Kentucky tied it with 2:47 left, but the Wildcats’ failure to convert on first-and-goal from the 9 — it’s hard to convert down close when you’ve essentially given up trying to throw the ball — was an engraved invitation for Georgia’s offense to prove this game wasn’t like recent games.

Sure enough, the offense delivered. The Bulldogs moved 67 unhurried yards without facing even a third down. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, who’d relocated from the sideline to the press box for this game, mixed short Jacob Eason passes with runs up the middle. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops stood on his sideline with two timeouts at his disposal and called only one — before the final snap in the unavailing attempt to nettle Georgia’s kicker.

Blankenship’s kick sailed true at 0:00. When Robinson made his field goal here back in 1978, Larry Munson’s call ended in typical restrained fashion. “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” Munson cried, apparently in an ex post facto attempt to become the fifth Beatle. Georgia was a lot better than Kentucky that year (as in most years), but winning at the end is always a hoot. Georgia isn’t a lot better than anybody this time, but winning — after so much losing — brought both joy and relief.

Relief because Georgia hasn’t sunk to the point that it loses to Vandy and Kentucky in the same season. Relief because an offense that mustered eight first downs against Florida totaled 27 a week later. Relief because 5-4 beats the heck out of 4-5.

As disappointing as this season has been, three games remain. If Georgia beats Auburn, the disappointment will be lessened. Auburn is much better than Kentucky, but Georgia leaves the Bluegrass in a better state of mind than it has known in many a week.

Further reading: UGA steadies and beats Kentucky at the very end.

Reader Comments 0

242 comments
OH:IO
OH:IO

Take a look at this lil wall. Has the SEC! SEC! released their Thursday night schedule or do you have to wait until ESPN determines your fate?


Big Ten announces six Friday night football games for 2017. Ohio State will not play in one.

DawginLex
DawginLex

Can we start a GoFundMe page for OHIO's psychiatric treatment. He is definitely a threat to himself and small children. Need to get him into an inpatient facility.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@DawginLex


Unrankeddoginlex,



dogs don't donate. Otherwise there would be an outdoor practice facility already and a basketball venue that doesn't smell.


Written your check yet?


Hmmmm?

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

UGA = most relevant team in all of sports to TOHIO.

Keep on posting and proving out your 24/7 dawg obsession rent free.

Hahaha idiots!

TideDawg
TideDawg

I read all of the garbage from Tech posters about how bad the Dawgs are. Well, Tech has to play them every year.........How's that been working every year. Of course I remember the year Tech won. Great upset for Tech. That doesn't leave much to look forward to year after year, after year. PJ has stated that this is his best offense. Really! They do have an outstanding QB that would have been in the Heisman conversation......if he had been on any other decent  team. I have to admit, Tech has a chance to beat the Dawgs this year, maybe! But, this is likely to be their last chance for a very long time.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Did that idiot ZAZ talk UGA into disbanding sports?

DawginLex
DawginLex

@TOJacket  Why would we do that? Is Tech cancelling basketball this year? After mighty Shorter took you to OT, I figured Pastner would go beg Calipari for a grad asst. gig instead of going 0-31 at GT.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Someone needs to change their handle to:


unrankeddoginlex


or


novotesdoginlex



or


1980doginlex


or



lastdecadedoginlex


or


lastcenturydoginlex


or


jankempdoginlex


or 


carsforherschellinlex


or


fulmercupdoginlex


or


fulmercupwinner!doginlex



I'd bet they're all available



DawginLex
DawginLex

Tats, Woody punching a Clemson player, Schiano on staff despite being a rape enabler at Pedo St., Mo Clarett, Artie Schlister the crook and Urban "the cover up for a murderer" Meyer. All Buckeye Points of Pride

TOJacket
TOJacket

You sound like Spanky alfalfa and the gang.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Must be nap time for the children?

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

You know what is funny? A grown man spending all day of every day posting messages aimed at the dawgs who apparently are the most relevant team in his head. Funny, sad, and counter productive all in one.

Apparently, UGA is by far the most relevant college football program for TOHIO!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@DawginLex

You're being too kind.

You should see some of his lying, sanctimonious, hypocritical garbage today about pedophiles.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Look at the only teams the dogs are actually ahead of:


1. SEC power rankings. 

1. Alabama
2. Auburn
3. Texas A&M
4. LSU
5. Tennessee
6. Arkansas
7. Florida
8. Ole Miss
9. Georgia
10 Kentucky
11. Mississippi State
12. South Carolina
13. Vandy
14. Mizzou


-outkickthecoverage

TOJacket
TOJacket

Big boy football in Athens.

Big Wally
Big Wally

TOHIO: and every team above them has been ranked at one time this year, in some cases very high.  

 Big Wally for the win...........................................

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Like 600 plus yards and 48 points big boy football?

Bawhahahahahaha

We run the coastal

TOJacket
TOJacket

You have never heard a Tech fan or ACC fan mention the juvenile phrase...Big boy football, I see a dawg post it almost everyday. Especially Dawgphlem.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

But we've seen you stupidly claim nonstop for a year that you "own this state."

OH:IO
OH:IO

Yep, just wanted to double check that FL is the highest rated (on only) rated SEC! SEC! LEAST team. 


And yes, Penn State is #12. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

TOHIO; You were also talking earlier in the year about OSU's brutal November schedule.  Ummmm,  Meatchicken State is 0-6 in the conference.   Where are they ranked again?

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Big Wally


No, I was talking about the dogs Late November Classic vs. UL LA LA

TOJacket
TOJacket

You're getting more juvenile than Mrs. Landers. Work on some new material.

Big Wally
Big Wally

TOHIO: Dementia is setting in again.  When we were bashing OSU' easy schedule in September, you were eagerly pointing out OSU's November schedule.  Meatchicken State was ranked pretty high at the time and obviously Meatchicken was up there also.  I'm only pointed out your own argument. Don't get upset that it doesn't hold any water now.

Big Wally
Big Wally

TOHIO:  Stay at the kid's table junior, this is over your head.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Michigan State would beat UGA just like Kirk Cousins did a few years ago.

Big Wally
Big Wally

TOHIO;  Moron, Kirk Cousins is an NFL starting quarterback, and Michigan State couldn't beat the Sisters of the Blind University this year.  Again, you are kid's table material.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

You mean the 20-pt underDawg you lost to, lying hypocrite?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

But your team wouldn't--now would it?!

Is that why you keep posting about what other teams might do???

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Teams, polls, conferences and buffets. All accepted by TOHIO.

GTroller
GTroller

"If Georgia beats Auburn..."

Too funny.  Kirby = Ray Goff II.  That guy ain't no Nick Saban.


Big Wally
Big Wally

@GTroller ...........and you know that off of 9 games there Nostradamus?  Let's give him 9 years and see if other schools are rolling up over 600 yards of offense on his team before we call him Ray Goff II.

TOJacket
TOJacket

Kirby is pitiful....and I was no Richt fan.

Big Wally
Big Wally

TOHIO: so if he beats Tech, what does that say about your team?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Big Wally

Again, he has no answer. After all, he's the dimwit who posted this idiocy:

TOJacket November 4, 2016

Dawgs lose to KY and Vandy the same year........what a fun season this is turning into.