1:00 PM ET, November 4, 2006
Commonwealth Stadium, LEXINGTON, KY
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Tony Dixon's 3-yard run with a minute left lifted Kentucky to a 24-20 comeback victory over Georgia, snapping a nine-game losing streak against the defending Southeastern Conference champs.
The victory, which sent members of the Homecoming crowd pouring onto the Commonwealth Stadium field to remove a goal post, was a much-sought, pivotal win for coach Rich Brooks. He'd fallen short on two other opportunities earlier this year against Florida and South Carolina.
Kentucky (5-4, 3-3) is now one win away from bowl eligibility. The disappointing Bulldogs (6-4, 3-4) had already been knocked out of contention for the SEC title after winning it three of the last four seasons.
Dixon saw little action until the fourth quarter, but he dominated the Wildcats' final drive. Even on short runs, he carried much larger defenders for additional yardage.
Georgia had a little more than a minute left to mount a game-winning drive, but Matthew Stafford threw his third interception, right into the hands of Kentucky cornerback Trevard Lindley. Stafford now has 12 interceptions this year, with four touchdown passes.
The Bulldogs took a 20-17 lead midway through the fourth quarter on a 3-yard scamper by Danny Ware. Kentucky could have settled for a game-tying field goal, but got the late touchdown instead.
Kentucky won for only the 11th time in 60 meetings between the two teams since 1939. The Wildcats' 24-17 victory in 1996 in Lexington was their last.
After Lones Seiber kicked a 48-yard field goal to put the Wildcats ahead 3-0, Georgia took a 14-3 lead by scoring on its longest and shortest drives of the year only minutes apart.
Stafford culminated a 92-yard drive by finding Mario Raley in the corner of the end zone on a nine-yard slant.
Then, after a Tra Battle interception that he nearly returned for a score, Georgia went one yard on three plays. Fullback Brannan Southerland plunged past the goal line.
Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson was more successful on his next redzone chance, throwing a strike to a closely covered Keenan Burton in the back of the end zone to make the score 14-10.
Woodson completed 23 of 32 passes and two touchdowns -- both to Burton. Woodson now has 20 scoring passes on the year.
Interceptions were the story of the first half as each team picked off two passes, including the final three drives of the half.
Stafford, forced to start inside the Georgia one because of a well-placed Kentucky punt, threw his first pass right into the arms of Kentucky defender Johnny Williams.
Kentucky was only inches away from a lead then, but Woodson couldn't capitalize. He threw another interception to Tony Taylor -- the fifth of the year for Taylor, who brought it back 52 yards, putting the Bulldogs in prime position to add points before halftime.
Stafford led Georgia to the Kentucky two, but this time it was Roger Williams who picked him off, keeping the Bulldogs' lead at four.
Kentucky, faced with the opportunity to pull within one in the third quarter, tried a fake field goal instead, but Seiber fumbled the ball on the trick run, giving it back to the Bulldogs.
The game was stopped for several minutes in the fourth quarter because of an injury to Raley. He had caught a pass but fumbled it after a hit by Kentucky's Myron Pryor.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-9||5-13|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||1-2|
|FG||5:18||LONES SEIBER 48 YD FG|
Drive info: 13 plays, 47 yards.
|TD||0:24||MARIO RALEY 10 YD PASS FROM MATTHEW STAFFORD (ANDY BAILEY KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 92 yards.
|TD||12:30||BRANNAN SOUTHERLAND 1 YD RUN (ANDY BAILEY KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 1 yards.
|TD||8:03||KEENAN BURTON 5 YD PASS FROM ANDRE' WOODSON (LONES SEIBER KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 76 yards.
|TD||8:29||KEENAN BURTON 10 YD PASS FROM ANDRE' WOODSON (LONES SEIBER KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 41 yards.
|TD||4:37||DANNY WARE 3 YD RUN (BLOCKED XP)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 83 yards.
|TD||1:21||TONY DIXON 3 YD RUN (LONES SEIBER KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 69 yards.