Georgia Bulldogs Game 9 Preview: Kentucky Wildcats


The Georgia Bulldogs are on the final game of their long road stretch, with a stop in Lexington, Ky. to meet the dangerous Kentucky Wildcats

More from Georgia Football

Date: 11/8/2014
Kickoff Time: 12:00 pm
Venue: Commonwealth Stadium – Lexington, KY
Series Record: Georgia leads 53-11-2
Last Meeting: November 23, 2013 – Georgia 59, Kentucky 17
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG;
Internet Stream: WatchESPN

Latest Line: Georgia by 1o

The No. 20 Georgia Bulldogs (6-2, 4-2 SEC) will try to salvage their season against the Kentucky Wildcats (5-4, 2-4 SEC), as the Dawgs cling to their hopes of an SEC East title and a shot at the conference championship. The Bulldogs need Missouri to lose one of its three remaining SEC games, holding a tiebreaker edge over the Tigers, who have one loss in conference play.

Georgia was thoroughly embarrased by the Florida Gators last week, and they’ll need to regroup in a hurry against a Kentucky team that isn’t quite the pushover that they’ve been in previous seasons.

The Wildcats are in a position similar to the Gators last week, in that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain in this game. Although they have no realistic shot at getting to the SEC Championship game, one more win will make the Wildcats bowl eligible, and they’d love to do that in front of their home crowd against a favorite like Georgia.

If Kentucky’s offensive coaches took any notes last week, you can expect the Wildcats to try and run the ball and bounce it to the edges and flanks quite a bit.

Keys to the game:

Georgia has to prove that last week was merely a fluke, and that nobody else can come close to hanging over 400 yards rushing on this young Georgia defense. Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has to get his house in order after it was ransacked by the Gators last week.

Beyond stopping a Kentucky running game that isn’t the worst in the world at 153 yards per game, the Bulldogs will also have to be concerned about a much more potent passing attack than the Gators possessed last week, with the Wildcats throwing the ball at a clip of 254 yards per game. Kentucky QB Patrick Towles is much more adept in the pocket than the passers Georgia has faced in the past few weeks.

Kentucky will have to try their best to put a stop to Nick Chubb and a Georgia rushing attack ranked 18th in the nation at over 254 yards per game. That could prove to be difficult for the Wildcats, who are giving up 188 yards per game on the ground on average.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

After the Florida game, it’s apparent more than ever that the Bulldogs have to rely on their ability to run the ball to be successful. Although QB Hutson Mason had one of his best statistical days, much of the yardage was compiled in garbage time, and when the pressure was on, Mason simply didn’t deliver.

There are still signs that Georgia has a strong run defense, but certainly not as much as prior to last week. Georgia’s front seven was rendered helpless by the Gators who only threw the ball eight times in the entire game. Hard to have a pass rush when there is no passing going on.

Nov 1, 2014; Columbia, MO, USA; Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Patrick Towles (14) warms up before the game against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky is a middle of the pack team both passing and throwing the ball, as well as in scoring defense. But the one thing the Wildcats have been exceptional at this year is defending the pass, ranked 14th in the nation, only giving up 183 yards per game.

So if Georgia was hoping that Mason might be able to carry them in this game if needed, that might be a tall order.


Georgia has pretty much owned the series with Kentucky, and this is probably going to be an angry and motivated bunch heading into Lexington. On the flip side, the Wildcats will probably be pulling out all the stops in a game that can only help them.

Georgia will have two other motivating factors – it was against Kentucky last season that QB Aaron Murray was knocked out for the remainder of the year on a bit of a dirty hit, and also, the Wildcats didn’t do Georgia any favors last week by losing to Missouri.

The Dawgs will have to get out to an early and big lead to come away with a victory in this one, but should be able to come back to Athens with a win, but don’t count on that 10 point spread being covered.