Kentucky Week: Hale's Look at the Game

LEXINGTON - David Hale's look at Georgia's game with Kentucky.

PASSING: Matthew Stafford threw three interceptions last week against Florida and now has seven in his past four games. He was able to connect on the deep ball against the Gators, but the offense struggled in the red zone, where three of Stafford's recent picks have been thrown. He still managed to throw for 265 yards in the game, the fifth time he's surpassed 250 yards this season. Kentucky has been running a quarterback rotation, featuring sophomore Mike Hartline as the traditional pocket passer while occasionally using do-it-all freshman Randall Cobb to mix things up. EDGE: Georgia.

RUSHING: With just 10 more yards on the ground, Knowshon Moreno will become the first Bulldogs player with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons since Herschel Walker did it from 1980 through 1982. Still, Moreno is coming off one of his worst performances of the season, picking up just 65 yards on 17 carries in a loss to Florida. Tony Dixon and Alfonso Smith anchor a disappointing running attack that has the Wildcats ranked eighth in the SEC. The duo had strong performances last the time the Bulldogs played in Lexington, however, combining for 123 yards on 27 carries. EDGE: Georgia.

DEFENSE: Georgia's defense has had consecutive poor outings, allowing a combined 373 yards rushing to LSU and Florida in the past two weeks. Georgia's previous opponents had averaged just 61 yards per game on the ground. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs' pass defense ranks 11th in the SEC. Still, Georgia boasts a top-30 defense nationally and looks to get back on track against Kentucky's struggling offense. The Wildcats are led by a strong group of corners who have held three opponents to fewer than 100 yards passing this season. The Wildcats picked off 12 passes this season and have at least one interception in 11 of their past 12 games. EDGE: Georgia.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Georgia kicker Blair Walsh has missed five of his past eight field-goal attempts, including four inside 40 yards. He said he has worked to correct some problems with his technique this week, and head coach Mark Richt said he still has confidence Walsh can get the job done. Senior punter Tim Masthay and junior kicker Lones Seiber are two of Kentucky's strengths. Masthay leads the SEC in punting, averaging almost 46 yards per kick, while Seiber set a school record for points last season. EDGE: Kentucky.

ONE TO WATCH: A.J. Green. The true freshman leads the SEC in receiving yards by a mile and has topped 88 yards in five of his past six games. He'll have his chance for a break-out performance against Kentucky, which will put him in man coverage regularly, often against junior Trevard Lindley, who is from Hiram. Green needs 247 yards to become just the second receiver in Georgia history with 1,000 yards, and he could easily pick up a large chunk of that today.

DAVID HALE'S TAKE: Normally, this wouldn't be a game Georgia should be too worried about. Kentucky's defense hasn't exactly been intimidating, and the Wildcats lack any true playmakers on offense. But with the Bulldogs' 49-10 loss to Florida last week, many of the lofty goals they had set for themselves in the preseason are now gone, and it will be interesting to see how well they respond in their first game back. It's an early kickoff, so Georgia could easily come out flat. More likely, however, the Bulldogs will want to make a statement, and Kentucky could end up paying the price for last week's loss.

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