Georgia rush offense vs. Kentucky rush defense
The Bulldogs' running game has made great strides in the last month.
Not only is Coach Mark Richt much happier with the way his backs are
pass blocking, but they're running harder, too, he says. Georgia rushed
for a season-high 202 yards against Florida and then followed that up
with 45 carries against Auburn. Kentucky's rush defense is last in the
SEC and 94th in the nation so look for the Bulldogs to go to ground
Kentucky rush offense vs. Georgia pass defense
The Wildcats no longer have Artose Pinner, who rushed for 111 yards
against the Bulldogs last year. This season, the Wildcats are led by
Arliss Beach and his 37 yards per game. Beach is on a small roll as he
was the only Wildcat to earn Coach Rich Brooks' praise following last
week's loss to Vanderbilt. Beach had 109 yards, becoming the first
Wildcat this season to eclipse 100 rushing yards, but Kentucky still
averages just 137.5 yards per game on the ground (11th in SEC).
Georgia pass offense vs. Kentucky pass defense
The Wildcats' pass defense is much better than their run defense.
Kentucky is fifth in the SEC and 27th in the nation in pass defense, but
it's been more than a month since it has faced a passing game that
rivals Georgia's. Strong safety Mike Williams (No. 1) is one of the
'Cats' most versatile defenders. He is third on the team in tackles
(79), second in sacks (three) and has one interception and a forced
fumble. Safety Muhammad Abdullah is the Wildcats' big-play man (four
interceptions), but he's questionable with a deep thigh bruise.
Kentucky pass offense vs. Georgia pass defense
The Bulldogs have always struggled defending Kentucky's passing game.
"I don't know if it's the matchups or the scheme or just (quarterback)
Jared Lorenzen and (wide receiver Derek) Abney," Richt said. Lorenzen
has averaged 371 yards passing in his three starts against the Bulldogs,
but that number has dropped each of his three seasons. This season -
Brooks' first - Lorenzen is averaging an uncharacteristically low 196.3
yards per game, but he does have 15 touchdowns.
Georgia has to be very afraid of Abney, who shares the NCAA record for
most kicks returned for touchdowns in a career (eight). The Bulldogs'
kick coverage has been awful this season, although it ranks just sixth
in the league in returns allowed (20.8 ypr). Georgia may be helped that
Billy Bennett's kickoffs have been so erratic because it might keep the
ball out of Abney's hands. On punts, look for the Dogs to kick away from
the senior. Kentucky leads the league in kickoff coverage, and punter
Anthony Thornton averages 42.6 yards per kick (fifth in SEC). Georgia
could get burned in this area.
Kentucky normally gives the Bulldogs fits, but these Wildcats have the
look of a group that has folded the tents. That would be a help for
Georgia because the Bulldogs need the Wildcats to lose not only today
but also next week against Tennessee in order for Georgia to go to the
SEC Championship game. The Bulldogs' good play this season has come in
spurts (see Alabama and Tennessee) so look for another solid effort.
Georgia 34, Kentucky 14.
Key to the Game
Special teams. The Bulldogs can't afford to give Kentucky any cheap
scores, and Abney is the biggest special teams weapon in the nation
Offensive momentum. Georgia feels good about its offense, but a slow
start could change all that in a unit that has shown it needs to get
confidence early to succeed.
The Bulldogs' secondary. Georgia needs another good game in the
defensive backfield to keep Kentucky grounded.
No. 6 Georgia (8-2, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) vs. Kentucky (4-6, 1-5)
Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. (JP)
Stadium: Sanford Stadium (92,058)
Tickets: Sold out
Kickoff weather: High in the low 70s with no chance of rain.
Series: Georgia leads 43-10-2
Odds: Georgia favored by 18
Injuries: Georgia - Probable: OL Josh Brock (neck), S Sean Jones
(shoulder); Out: DT Kedric Golston (shoulder), OL Bartley Miller
(shoulder). Kentucky - Probable: QB Shane Boyd (ankle); Questionable: LB
Ray Fontaine (ankle), CB Muhammad Abdullah (thigh); Doubtful: RB Andrew
Up next: Georgia at Georgia Tech, Nov. 29; Kentucky vs. Tennessee, Nov. 29
Keys to Georgia Vs. Kentucky
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