LEXINGTON, Ky. - After returning three kickoffs for touchdowns in 2009, you'll have to forgive Brandon Boykin for feeling a bit antsy heading into Saturday night's game at Kentucky.
After all, seven games into 2010 and Boykin had yet to even come close to bringing one back for a score.
But after his 100-yard return in the first quarter during the Bulldogs' 44-31 win over the Wildcats, Boykin laughed that he could finally breathe easy again.
"Nobody was really pressing, we were just being patient. Everybody got on their blocks, and we knew it would come, eventually," Boykin said. "We got in the huddle and I told the guys 'You just hold your block for two seconds I promise I'm going to get through it.' Everybody made a commitment to do that."
Last year, Boykin became the first player in SEC history with two 100-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns in the same season (against Tennessee and South Carolina).
Boykin ranks second in Georgia history in career kickoff return yards now with 1,482, trailing only Gene Washington who had 1,637 from 1973-76.
The return was likely the difference in the game.
Kentucky had just cut Georgia's lead to 7-3 before Boykin brought back the kick, pushing Georgia's lead to 11 points.
"I think after that field goal, if we don't go out and do what we did, you never know what might have happened," Boykin said. "We got a lot of momentum there and started to pull away after that."
Brown gives pre-trip pep talk
First it was Boss Bailey against Tennessee, next it was Thomas Davis against Vanderbilt. This week, Richt had former Bulldog running back Thomas Davis serve as the Bulldogs' guest speaker before the team boarded their respective planes for Friday's trip to Lexington.
After the game, head coach Mark Richt was asked about next week's game against Florida.
"Oh, we'll probably have them lining up for that one," Richt said.
Neither cornerback Branden Smith not safety Nick Williams made the trip to Lexington as part of the Bulldogs' 75-man travel roster.
Smith has now missed the last three games with a concussion, while Williams has now sat out two straight with an injured hamstring.
During the game, wide receiver Logan Gray injured his right hamstring, but returned in the second half.
Also, backup linebacker Michael Gilliard injured his right hamstring in the second half and did not return.
This and that
Freshman Alec Ogletree made his first career start Saturday - at wide receiver. He did not catch a pass.
An ankle injury kept Trinton Sturdivant out of the starting lineup for the first time in two weeks, although he was able to play. Josh Davis started at right tackle, with Clint Boling starting at left tackle in place of Sturdivant.
Marcus Dowtin started at inside linebacker in place of Christian Robinson.
Georgia forced four turnovers tonight for 14 points. Georgia got three turnovers in the first half and converted them into 14 points. Cornelius Washington recovered a fumble (forced by Justin Houston, DeAngelo Tyson) eventually it led to a three-yard touchdown run by sophomore Washaun Ealey. Later in the first quarter, Bacarri Rambo forced a fumble, recovered by Sanders Commings. It led to a 47-yard missed field goal. In the second quarter following a 56-yard punt by Drew Butler that backed Kentucky up at its own 5, Houston recovered a fumble at the 2. It led to a 2-yard touchdown by Ealey, his third of the night. For the season, Georgia has forced 15 turnovers and converted them into 52 points. Commings had an interception in the end zone and it led to no points.
Senior linebacker Akeem Dent set a career-high with 15 tackles including 12 solo stops. He has had 10+ tackles in four out of the last five games and been the team-leader in the past five games. Georgia got a big game from junior Justin Houston, the SEC sack leader. He had five tackles including 2.5 sacks. For the first time since 2007, Georgia scored 40+ points in three consecutive games. That year, they beat Florida 42-30 in Jacksonville, Troy 44-34 in Athens and Auburn 45-20 in Athens. Earlier that year, they also beat Ole Miss 45-17 in Athens, which was the last time they scored 40+ on three SEC opponents. In the last three weeks, Georgia has beaten Tennessee 41-14, Vanderbilt 43-0 and tonight's 44-31 win over UK. This season, Georgia is averaging 45.8 points in its four wins.
Fullback Shaun Chapas wore the No. 31 in honor of Quintin Banks, who made his first road trip of the year.
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