It’s now mid-October and every team in the SEC has played at least six games. Each team pretty much knows what they’re working with at this point. One of the squads that has more unanswered questions than the others in the league, however, is the Georgia Bulldogs.
This week in Athens, the Kentucky Wildcats come to town for a meeting between teams that are in completely different states of mind. The Dawgs are reeling from their upset home loss to South Carolina and know that their margin for error is paper thin for the rest of the season if they still want to be considered CFP contenders. Kentucky is thrilled by last week’s win over Arkansas given the circumstances. Starting a wide receiver at quarterback is always a risk. This season has turned into a drive to six wins for the Cats with all of the injury strife at QB. UGA has a lot more to lose on Saturday evening than UK.
The key for the Bulldogs in this game will be re-establishing the run game. In their close call vs. Notre Dame they only gained 152 yards on the ground and in the loss to the Gamecocks, 173. For a team known for their O-line and embarrassment of tailback riches, these aren’t ideal numbers even against solid defenses. The pressure especially got to Jake Fromm against Carolina and we saw what was probably the worst performance of his college career. The good news is that Kentucky will be a good opponent to help get things rolling again as they rank 82nd in run defense.
Kentucky enters Athens loose and will approach this game in one of two ways. Number one is to try and play spoiler and play with no holds barred. Again, there’s really nothing to lose here for the Cats. If Sawyer Smith is back healthy and can effectively throw and splits time with Lynn Bowden at QB, it could be an interesting game late. Why not try to hand the Dawgs their second upset in as many weeks?
What is probably the more likely of the two scenarios, however, is that Stoops plays it safe and just tries to leave Sanford Stadium with a blank injury report. After all, everyone knows Georgia will be playing angry in this one. Also, Kentucky is around a four touchdown underdog anyway. There are more winnable games down the road. This game will be more of a litmus test for the Kentucky defense.
Prediction: Georgia 38, Kentucky 17
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT
Watch Online: WatchESPN/ESPN APP
Odds: Georgia -25, O/U 46.5
(Odds via Odds Shark)