Georgia defensive players Chris Mayes (93) and Garrison Smith (56) sack Kentucky quarterback Jalen Whitlow (2) for a loss during Saturday night’s game at Sanford Stadium in Athens. (Photo: Karl L. Moore)
ATHENS — On a night when Georgia was planning to celebrate Senior Night with a big win over Kentucky, the Bulldogs can only hope their record-setting star quarterback can finish the season.
Georgia completely dominated Kentucky 59-17 at Sanford Stadium as the Bulldogs piled up 602 yards and eight touchdowns, but the injury to Aaron Murray put a damper on the big victory.
Murray was favoring his left leg midway through the second quarter after a 29-yard run, but went down in pain later in the half and was carried straight to the Georgia locker room and never returned.
Late in the fourth quarter, Georgia issued a statement saying that Murray was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital for an MRI on his left knee.
With state bragging rights ready to be settled next Saturday at Georgia Tech and a bowl game still on tap, the Bulldogs could be without their four-year starting quarterback for the rest of the way.
As for the game, Georgia (7-4, 5-3) wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as the Bulldogs went 59 yards in three plays, capped off by Murray’s first TD pass on a slant to Rhett McGowan from nine yards out 64 seconds into the contest.
On the Bulldogs’ next possession, Murray went over the 3,000-yard mark for the fourth and final time in his career midway through the first quarter.
On that drive, Georgia eventually drove 76 yards in 11 plays and scored when Todd Gurley took a short pass from Murray and made a successful dive just inside the left pylon to make it 14-0.
Murray, who finished with 183 yards on 18 of 23 passing with four TDs and an interception in the game, joined Hawaii’s Timmy Chang (2000, ’02-’04), Boise State’s Kellen Moore (2008-11), Oklahoma’s Landry Jones (2009-12) and Troy’s Corey Robinson (2010-13) to ever throw for more than 3,000 yards in four seasons.
Murray also rushed for 31 yards on four carries.
He already had the record of being the only SEC player to throw for 3,000 yards or more in each of his first three seasons.
Then it was the Georgia defense that came up with a fumble by Kentucky’s Jalen Whitlow at the Bulldogs’ 17.
Two plays later, Georgia was in the end zone again as Murray threw his third TD pass — a 1-yard strike to tight end Arthur Lynch to push the lead out to 21-0.
Kentucky (2-9, 0-6) finally got on the board late in the opening quarter when Dyshawn Mobley broke loose on a 69-yard burst right up the middle to cut the Georgia lead to 21-7.
Murray later threw his fourth TD pass of the night on an 8-yard strike to Lynch early in the second quarter for a 28-7 Georgia lead.
After Joe Mansour added a 24-yard field goal for Kentucky, Gurley scored his second receiving TD of the game on a 24-yard screen pass from Hutson Mason to give the Bulldogs a 35-10 advantage at the half.
Mason came on after Murray was injured and looked solid in leading Georgia to 31 points, including one passing and one rushing TD.
Mason went 13 of 19 for 189 yards and the one TD toss to Gurley as the Bulldogs passed for 372 yards.
After his TD pass to Gurley in the second quarter, Mason led Georgia on two scoring drives in the third quarter to make it a 49-10 game.
Mason scored on a 1-yard run and J.J. Green found the end zone from six yards out.
Georgia added a Brendan Douglas 3-yard run and a 41-yard Morgan field goal to close out the scoring for the Bulldogs.
Gurley finished with 77 yards on eight carries as nine Bulldogs rushed for 230 yards.
Gurley also caught five passes for 90 yards and two TDs.
Kentucky added a Javess Blue 30-yard TD reception from Maxwell Smith to close out the scoring in the game.