It’s been nearly a week since catastrophe happened in Jordan-Hare Stadium, and now, the Georgia Bulldogs are forced to take the field in another conference game. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t mean much of anything in the standings and it’s overshadowed by next week’s visit to Atlanta, but alas, it’s still an SEC game on the schedule. Let’s go.
Opponent: Kentucky Wildcats (2-8, 0-6 in SEC)
Time/TV: 7:00 PM, ESPNU
Georgia Offense vs. Kentucky Defense
As you can see by their record above, Kentucky hasn’t exactly been a gauntlet on either side of the ball this season, but their defense has been markedly better than their offense. The Wildcats have averaged a respectable 28.8 points against this season (which is actually better than UGA’s mark on that end), and they are competitive on defense.
On the ground, Todd Gurley and company should have a field day, however, as UK allows nearly 200 yards per game on the ground this season, and Gurley rattled off another game with 5+ yards per carry against Auburn. My guess is that he goes for 150+ yards and at least one touchdown here, as the Dawgs should have a lead in this game and be attempting to grind clock in the second half.
Aaron Murray is coming off of a 400+-yard aerial assault against Auburn, and he should also have an easy day. The only thing that could hurt his numbers here would be an aforementioned ground attack after grabbing a lead, but Murray (now with a near-full receiving corps) should have a comfortable day against the Wildcats defense.
Georgia Defense vs. Kentucky Offense
Yikes. That is the only word to describe a Kentucky offense that ranks 104th in the nation in points scored (21.5 per game) and fails to crack the top-75 nationally in either passing or rushing offense.
Quarterback Jalen Whitlow has some reasonably solid dual-threat numbers (nearly 500 yards rushing and 6 touchdowns), but he was wretched in a 4-interception performance last week against Vanderbilt, and UGA is a tough test. As mentioned above, the Bulldogs defense has allowed a lot of points this season, but that was against high-powered attacks like Auburn, Clemson, etc. and this Kentucky unit doesn’t approach those teams.
It’ll be interesting to see if Kentucky can provide any balance offensively, as they don’t have a single 500+-yard rusher on the year, and if they can’t keep the ball out of the hands of Aaron Murray and company, it’ll be a long day.
It’s tough to “hype” this match-up, simply because of the overall lack of effect on the standings. However, it would be a disastrous loss for Mark Richt and the entire program, so the guard should at least be up in that regard. Bowl positioning is very much on the line, and nothing short of a blow-out victory would be satisfactory against what is the worst team in the SEC.
Stay tuned for post-game coverage, and a live game thread that will open on Saturday morning. Check it out!