Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - Aaron Murray set a school record in career touchdowns and amassed a personal-best in passing yards, as the 13th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs escaped Commonwealth Stadium with a 29-24 win over the Kentucky Wildcats.
Murray completed 30-of-38 throws for 427 yards and four touchdowns. The junior entered play one touchdown pass shy of Georgia's career record of 72 set by David Greene from 2001-04.
Tavarres King had 188 yards and two scores on nine receptions for the Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 SEC), who had been idle since losing 35-7 at South Carolina two weeks ago.
Saturday's win sets up a crucial SEC East showdown next week with first-place Florida. The Gators, who are 6-0 in SEC play, can secure a spot in the conference championship game with a victory. A win by the Bulldogs and they're in the driver's seat for the division crown.
"We're not worried about it. At the end of the day, it all depends on how we play next Saturday," Murray said. "We know we have to play an unbelievable game offensively, defensively and special teams if we want to have a chance to win that game so we just have to be ready to go."
Morgan Newton threw a 4-yard touchdown pass and ran for another score in a losing effort for Kentucky (1-7, 0-5).
The Wildcats alternated between quarterbacks Jalen Whitlow and Newton. Whitlow had 86 yards on 9-of-13 passing, while Newton finished with just the one completion on six attempts.
Following the break, Georgia went three-and-out on consecutive drives, as an illegal formation penalty wiped out a fourth-down conversion on its second series. In between, Craig McIntosh nailed a 37-yard field goal to put Kentucky up 17-16.
The Bulldogs' offense began to get some traction on their third second-half possession. Murray completed passes of 12, 13 and 10 yards before hitting Chris Conley for 22 yards and the go-ahead score with 5:01 remaining in the third quarter. Georgia failed on the 2-point conversion.
Kentucky moved the ball to the Georgia 32-yard line on the ensuing drive, but was forced to punt when a carry by wideout Demarco Robinson resulted in a 6- yard loss on third down.
Georgia punted to begin the fourth quarter and was forced to do so again on its next drive. However, the Bulldogs maintained possession because of a roughing the kicker penalty.
Murray found Arthur Lynch over the middle on a seam route for 22 yards on first down and hooked up with Malcolm Mitchell for another significant gain two plays later. The drive ultimately ended with Lynch catching a 10-yard TD pass.
The Wildcats answered with a 10-play scoring drive that originated from their own 25-yard line. A face masking penalty placed the ball at midfield, and a 24-yard reception by La'Rod King set up a first down at the Georgia 14.
Kentucky then converted on fourth down and Raymond Sanders ran for a 3-yard touchdown with 3:59 remaining.
Georgia narrowly recovered the onside kick before running out all but nine of the game's remaining seconds.
A miracle ending didn't materialize for the Wildcats.
"I thought we did a good job of stopping the run, which that's where most things start, especially against Georgia," Kentucky coach Joker Phillips said. "They will run the ball, run the ball, then they have a play action off of every run. So I thought the best thing we did was stop the run, take that away."
Kentucky started the game by marching 84 yards and Newton capped the 13-play drive with a pass to Aaron Boyd. After the clubs exchanged punts, Georgia tied the game on Tavarres King's 66-yard touchdown reception with 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Wildcats regained the lead on their next possession, which began at their 42-yard line after DeMarcus Sweat returned the kickoff 34 yards.
Sanders kept the drive alive by converting a 3rd-and-13 on the ground and Whitlow set up a 1st-and-goal by gaining 33 yards on a toss from Robinson. Whitlow's catch-and-run set up Newton's 2-yard quarterback keeper.
Murray then guided Georgia on an 8-play, 80-yard trek that ended with King's 1-yard touchdown. Kentucky maintained the lead because Marshall Morgan missed the extra point, but the Bulldogs eventually moved ahead when Morgan closed out the first half by connecting on a 27-yard field goal. The kick was far from a sure thing as the ball struck the left upright before going through.Game Notes
Mitchell had 103 yards on nine grabs ...Georgia outgained Kentucky 504-329 ...
The Wildcats haven't beaten a ranked Bulldogs team since 1988.