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Georgia Football: Special teams struggles return for Bulldogs

Georgia's special-teams play didn't cost the team Saturday, but it could have.


Even if the most fortuitous play of Saturday's game for the Georgia Bulldogs came on special teams, that was more of the exception as opposed to the rule in a 29-24 win over the Kentucky Wildcats.

A handful of special-teams snafus haunted Georgia on Saturday, any number of which could have turned what eventually was a road win into a road loss.

Freshman kicker Marshall Morgan missed an extra point in the first quarter—he simply pushed it wide right—that set off a chain of events that kept Georgia from ever taking a lead of more than two touchdowns (because of the miss, Georgia was later forced to go for a 2-point conversion it missed).

Morgan made a 27-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter, but even that was an exercise in breath-holding. Morgan pulled the attempt into the left upright, and the ball clanked off and just through for 3 points. According to Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"I believe he's hit the upright more than anyone in the nation," (head coach Mark) Richt said. "He probably has our record for that, I'd think."

The play of the game was a special teams play that favored Georgia. Kentucky's Joe Mansour attempted an onside kick with about four minutes left in the game. Kentucky was down 29-24. He kicked a slow roller straight ahead. It was so slow that Mansour was standing still and waiting almost untouched, hovering over as the ball finally traveled 10 yards so he could recover it.

But as Mansour collapsed on the ball, Georgia's Connor Norman speared in from out of the play to grab the ball.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.