Georgia rips Kentucky, wins SEC East
LEXINGTON, Ky. — D’Andre Swift ran for a career-high 156 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries against Kentucky’s vaunted defense and No. 6 Georgia beat the No. 9 Wildcats 34-17 on Saturday to wrap up its second straight Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title.
Swift had an 83-yard breakaway in the third quarter that gave Georgia (8-1, 6-1, No. 6 College Football Playoff ) a 28-3 lead. He also had a nifty 20-yard scoring run in the second period when the game was close.
Elijah Holyfield ran for a career-high 115 yards on 18 carries, scoring on a 4-yarder in the third quarter.
Georgia rushed for a season-high 331 yards to earn a spot in the SEC championship game Dec. 1 in Atlanta. Kentucky (7-2, 5-2, No. 9 CFP) has never reached the SEC championship game, which has been played every year since 1992.
Kentucky entered the weekend with the nation’s top scoring defense and hadn’t allowed anyone to exceed 20 points all year, but it couldn’t slow down Georgia’s tandem of Swift and Holyfield.
Before Saturday’s game, the only player to rush for as many as 75 yards against Kentucky was Texas A&M’s Trayveon Williams, who ran for 138 yards in a 20-14 overtime victory over the Wildcats. Swift and Holyfield both were over the 100-yard mark by the end of the third quarter.
Kentucky dominated time of possession through the first 1 1⁄2 quarters but still trailed 7-3. That’s when Swift started to give the Bulldogs some breathing room.
With Georgia facing second-and-17, Swift made a move around a defender at the line of scrimmage, made another move between two Wildcats about five yards downfield and shed a tackle inside the 5 to complete a remarkable 20-yard touchdown run.
Swift’s touchdown gave Georgia a 14-3 lead elate in the second quarter. Georgia fumbled away a scoring opportunity late in the first half but got the ball to open the second half and extended the lead to 21-3 on Holyfield’s touchdown.
On Georgia’s next series, Smith raced through a big hole on the left side of the line and didn’t appear to get touched on his 87-yard sprint to the end zone.
Before that play, Kentucky had not permitted a run from scrimmage that was longer than 34 yards all season.
AUBURN COMES BACK: Seth Williams caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Stidham with 1:41 left and Auburn rallied to beat No. 20 Texas A&M 28-24 on Saturday.
The Tigers (6-3, 3-3) sputtered early on offense but finished with a 14-point outburst over the final 5:14 and the defense came up with big stops. Stidham delivered drives.
Kellen Mond and the Aggies (5-4, 3-3) pushed the ball into Auburn territory on their final drive, converting a fourth-and-5. Then a holding call pushed them back across midfield and Mond’s desperation pass into the end zone was incomplete.
Officials put one second back on the clock but Mond was sacked by Nick Coe on the final play.
The Tigers, who had plummeted from a No. 8 Associated Press Top 25 ranking, had trailed 24-14 before staging the rally.
The defense held again and Christian Tutt returned a punt to the 42.
Stidham completed 18 of 29 passes for 239 yards. Darius Slayton had eight catches for 107 yards.
Auburn won despite running for just 19 yards on 21 carries. It was the fewest since gaining 18 against Mississippi State in 2000. big on both final
ELSEWHERE: Jake Bentley passed for two touchdowns and scored the game-winning touchdown on a 4-yard run with 5:50 left to lift South Carolina (5-3, 4-3) to a 48-44 comeback win over Mississippi (5-4, 1-3).
Marquez Callaway returned a punt for a touchdown and Tennessee’s defense nearly pitched a shutout as the Vols (4-5) defeated Charlotte (4-5) 14-3 during their final nonconference game.
Georgia running back D’Andre Swift (7) runs for a touchdown during the Bulldogs’ win at Kentucky Saturday.