Georgia soccer winners and losers as the Bulldogs beat Kentucky cover unbeaten SEC chart

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Georgia soccer winners and losers after defeating Kentucky

Winner: Georgia in the SEC game

It wasn’t nice on Saturday for Georgia. Still, the Bulldogs won another SEC game, defeating Kentucky 16-6.

Georgia completed its SEC list with an 8-0 record, which was also the case last season. Georgia is the third program in SEC history to go undefeated in regular-season play in consecutive seasons, with Florida (95-96) and Alabama (08-09) being the others to do so.

The Bulldogs had already won the SEC East but were able to get back on the streets and take care of business. On an afternoon when teams like North Carolina and Tennessee forgot their playoff hopes, the Bulldogs’ consistency in SEC play shouldn’t go unnoticed.

“You see the environments that these people play in,” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart. “You see it’s different. This way you can quickly find out who wants to play football and who is just a football fan. You have to be able to win games like this, especially in November.”

Georgia leaves conference play this week to take on an up-and-coming Georgia Tech team. Given what we’ve seen from the Bulldogs this season, don’t expect them to overlook the Yellow Jackets. This program takes every opportunity to play.

“They’re playing for a chance to be the winning team, one of the first teams to ever manage to make the two unbeaten [regular seasons], the chance to dominate away, the chance to win in a four-game stretch I don’t know I’ve seen a four-game stretch like this in our league,” said Smart. “They did it – like they owned it and I’m proud of them.”

Loser: Georgia’s offense in bad conditions

It is worth noting that conditions on Saturday were poor. That much was clear on Stetson Bennett’s interception as the wind seemed to catch the ball, directing it away from Ladd McConkey and into the arms of a Kentucky defender.

“It was 16 to 18 (mph) with gusts of 25, so it was windy, but it was more about what you can and can’t do in those conditions,” Smart said. “Again, I think it affected Kentucky. It affected us. The wind blows in one direction, you have to figure out when to overtake it, when to throw it. We’re constantly conducting studies on how games are affected when the wind picks up at around 20mph. It’s very different how you play the game.”

Related: Kirby Smart gets irritated in defending Georgia’s situational execution: ‘It’s my decision’

Bennett had a season-low 19 passing attempts, with the wind affecting Georgia’s play-calling. The Bulldogs could move the ball on the ground as they rushed for 247 yards in the afternoon. But the inability to finish in the red zone — just one of Georgia’s five drives inside the Kentucky 20-yard line ended in a touchdown — made the result a lot tighter than it should have been.

Against Tennessee, Georgia’s offense also downplayed when rain became a factor. Of course, the other team has to play in these conditions and that also affects the quality of the football. But Georgia’s offense wasn’t at its best when the weather wasn’t perfect.

If there’s a silver lining, Georgia’s game against Georgia Tech will be the last outdoor game the Bulldogs play this season. The SEC championship game will be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, while both college football playoff games will also be held indoors.

Winner: Smael Mondon

Kelee Ringo fell with an interception while Javon Bullard and Robert Beal teamed for a Will Levis sack. Aside from a 99-yard drive in the fourth quarter, the Georgia defense did its job Saturday.

And the second linebacker deserves credit. He led the team with 11 tackles and featured throughout the field on Saturday. He single-handedly obliterated Kentucky’s opening drive with back-to-back tackles in close-range situations.

Mondon flew under the radar a bit while playing alongside fellow college student Jamon Dumas-Johnson. The fact that Mondon also missed two games due to an ankle injury did not help his development.