Georgia’s defense shines in rainy conditions

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Georgia’s defense shines in rainy conditions

Tae Crowder (30), Richard LeCounte (2) and Devonte Wyatt (95)
Tae Crowder (30), Richard LeCounte (2) and Devonte Wyatt (95)

In terrible weather conditions against Kentucky, Georgia’s defense pitched their second shutout of the season. It seemed like the entire night the Wildcats’ offense couldn’t get it going.

The Bulldogs’ defense held Kentucky to just 177 yards of total offense, and forced a turnover in the second half that led to a touchdown.

We don’t control the conditions,” said safety Richard LeCounte. “We control what we can do and that’s playing hard, physical football and wearing guys down and playing four-quarter ball.”

Georgia was able to hold Kentucky to just 17 passing yards as wide receiver converted quarterback Lynn Bowdon was just 2 of 15 passing. Bowdon completed his first pass late in the fourth quarter with just 4:34 left in the game.

“It was wet, a little muddy and a little cold. You know, football weather,” Bowden said. “It was hard to throw the ball. I had to find the right grip on the ball.”

Bowdon showed his athleticism and forced Georgia’s defense to plan differently for him. The Bulldogs were able to get pressure, but Bowdon was able to rush for 99 yards. Defensive coordinator Dan Lanning schemed differently than he normally does, as he had more guys defending the line of scrimmage. Georgia’s defense had a lot of one-on-one matchups, and played the Wildcats with tight coverage.

“One-on-one situations all day outside and you’re one play away, in weather like that it’s a one-possession game most of the game,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. “It puts a lot of pressure on your defense to be able to play in those conditions against a guy like that. They did a good job of managing their quarterback because it’s tough on our guys and tough on theirs.”

The game’s one turnover came in the second half when Georgia’s J.R. Reed forced a fumble and it was recovered by LeCounte. The turnover gave Georgia’s offense good field position, and they scored their second touchdown of the night.

“We knew that eventually, our offense was going to pick it up,” said cornerback Eric Stokes. “We always motivate the offense. We know they’ve got our back and we’ve got their back.”

In four SEC games this season, Georgia’s defense has given up 3 points in the second half. Through seven games this season Georgia’s defense still has not given up a rushing touchdown.

Even though there are still many questions surrounding Georgia’s offense, the Bulldogs’ defense continues to dominate. Lanning’s unit has proven themselves under pressure, and time will only tell if they can continue this dominance.

Here is the photo gallery from the Kentucky game:

Watch a fullscreen slideshow (opens in new tab) HERE.
These photos can be viewed, downloaded HERE.

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.