ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- In his last home game, Billy Bennett finally
got a game ball.
Bennett kicked three field goals to become the Southeastern
Conference's career scoring leader and David Greene threw for 289
yards to lead No. 6 Georgia past Kentucky 30-10 Saturday.
"It is a special thing, but I can't really say what it means,"
Bennett said of his record, while holding his first game ball
tightly. "I'm just glad to get it off my back."
Bennett has 382 points in his career, and his 81 field goals
also set a league record.
With the victory, the Bulldogs (9-2, 6-2 SEC) gained at least a
share of the East Division title with Florida. Tennessee, which
beat Vanderbilt on Saturday, could create a three-way tie by
beating Kentucky next week.
Georgia would benefit from that scenario, with the top team in
the Bowl Championship Series standings getting a spot in the
conference title game. In last week's rankings, the Bulldogs were
sixth, a spot ahead of the Volunteers, with the Gators 13th.
Next week, Georgia finishes up against Georgia Tech, while
Tennessee plays Kentucky.
"Hopefully, we'll take care of business next weekend and
Tennessee will take care of business," Bulldogs coach Mark Richt
said. "We're just happy to be in that position. We have to take
care of Georgia Tech."
Jared Lorenzen completed 21 of 34 passes for only 137 yards and
an interception for the Wildcats (4-7, 1-6). They were held to 212
yards of total offense.
"The score does not indicate how close the game was," Lorenzen
said. "We were right there with them."
It was the final home game for outgoing Georgia athletic
director Vince Dooley, who won 201 games in 25 years as coach of
the Bulldogs. In keeping with his wishes, the school didn't hold a
ceremony, although Dooley was on the field at halftime when
Georgia's equestrian team was honored for its national
Dooley walked to midfield, engulfed by the members of the team.
He received a standing ovation, then when he headed to the
sideline, a brief chant of "Doo-ley! Doo-ley!" started.
Dooley's request for a contract extension was declined by school
president Michael Adams, so his career will be end in June.
"We didn't focus on it being his last game, but I think it was
in the back of everybody's mind," Georgia defensive tackle Ken
Veal said. "We sure didn't want to lose this game. We had to win
it for him, for us, for everybody."
Kentucky used two trick plays to stay close, including a fake
field goal on its first possession. Holder Chris Bernard ran 9
yards for a first down at the 1, and Lorenzen powered over on
second down to tie it at 7.
Then at the start of the third quarter, Tommy Cook gained 14
yards on a fake punt, keeping the drive alive on fourth-and-4.
Taylor Begley eventually kicked a 48-yard field to cut Georgia's
lead to 17-10.
"We were in the game, but we could not make the plays we needed
to," Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said. "There is no question,
Georgia has the most athletic and quickest defense we have faced
this year, and we have faced some pretty good ones."
Bennett made his second kick on the ensuing possession, then
added another early in the fourth quarter to put it out of reach.
Tim Jennings sealed the victory with an interception in the final
five minutes, and the turnover led to an 8-yard touchdown run by
"It was by far the best performance our defense has had against
them in the last three years," Richt said. "To shut them down the
way we did was tremendous."
Of course, all those opportunities for Bennett came at the
expense of touchdowns, continuing the Bulldogs' struggles in the
Entering the game, they were sixth in the SEC with an 83 percent
conversion rate, but that included just 19 TDs, tied with
Vanderbilt for the worst total in the conference.
"At least we're getting points," Greene said. "We sustained
some drives, but we just couldn't get it done down there. Billy
came through. He was automatic today."