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GA motivated by KY talk of taking down goalposts

LEXINGTON, Ky. - It was no surprise that a handful of Georgia players had some fun around the goalpost closest to the Georgia fans after Saturday's win over Kentucky.

There had been much talk during the week about Kentucky's plans to tear down the goalposts if they upset No. 5 Georgia. Kentucky coach Guy Morriss even said early in the week that he would help out. Quarterback Jared Lorenzen proclaimed "I'm going to be the one sitting on the goal posts this time.''

So after Georgia's runaway victory, receiver Damien Gary posed near the goalpost as if waiting to help someone - presumably Lorenzen - climb up to the cross bar.  Any assist in motivation is appreciated, and Georgia also was fired up about being Kentucky's homecoming opponent.

"I think it's a slap in the face of our program to schedule us for homecoming,'' said senior receiver Terrence Edwards. "We took it as a slap in the face that they scheduled us.''

 Added Georgia coach Mark Richt: "(Talk about the goalposts) was something to talk about, it gave us something to be motivated about. We were their homecoming opponent and they were making plans to tear down the goalposts. You don't want to be a part of that.''

Career day for Edwards: Named the CBS-TV Player of the Game, Edwards caught five passes for 127 yards and three touchdowns. Along the way, he set the Georgia career record with 184 receptions. Brice Hunter (1992-95) held the old mark with 182 receptions.  Edwards already held the Georgia marks for career receiving yards and most touchdown catches, and he extended to 10 his school record of most games with 100 yards receiving.  "All the big categories, all of them are mine,'' Edwards said. "Over the years I guess it has been worth it. It's so gratifying now.'' 

Big numbers for Watson: It was less of a surprise to see Edwards with another 100-yard game than to see tight end Ben Watson lead the team with his career-high total of seven receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown.  In the last three weeks, Watson has four, five and seven receptions as he has become a bigger part of the passing attack.  In the first five games, Watson had a total of only seven catches.  "I just think I'm playing pretty well right now,'' Watson said. "I was hoping I could play this kind of role.'' 

Worth noting: Georgia now is 7-0 on opponents' home fields under Richt. ... The 52 points are a high mark in the two years under Richt. ... The 33 first downs are the third-highest total in school history. ... In the last two weeks Georgia has posted 529 yards against Kentucky and 606 yards against Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs ran a season-high 87 plays against Kentucky.  

Jennings starts again: For the second straight week, freshman Tim Jennings started ahead of Bruce Thornton at cornerback.  Last week, Thornton was held out after aggravating a sprained ankle in pregame warmups. Thornton said earlier in the week he expected to be ready to start, but after the game Richt said Thornton had not yet fully recovered from the injury.  Senior Alex Jackson returned to the starting lineup at offensive guard after playing behind freshman Josh Brock last week.  Also notable was Ken Veal starting ahead of freshman Darrius Swain at defensive tackle. Swain had started four straight games with Johnathan Sullivan as the two tackles. 

Walking wounded: As expected, offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb made the trip even though he was held out after having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Tuesday. He no longer had the crutches he was using earlier in the week.  Receiver Fred Gibson (thumb) and linebacker Arnold Harrison (neck) did not make the trip. 

Game-day recovery: Kicker Billy Bennett, who had been held out of practice all week after suffering food poisoning, performed well enough in pregame warmups to handle extra points and field goal attempts.  "I felt bad all week,'' Bennett said. "I couldn't do anything. Even (Friday) night, I told (Brett) Kirouac 'You better be ready.'"

Scouting: There were representatives from the Sugar Bowl and Capital One (formerly the Citrus Bowl) at the game. Kentucky is not eligible to participate in a bowl.

Charles Odum is the beat writer for Dawg Post in Athens. He has over 20 years of experience covering Georgia football. He can be reached here: CEOdum@aol.com

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