There are plenty of questions about Georgia following the 23-point dismantling the Bulldogs suffered at Auburn last week, and the focus entering Saturday’s home game with Kentucky is on defense. The seventh-ranked Bulldogs, who still have a clear shot to reach the College Football Playoff provided they win out through the SEC title game, were shredded for 488 yards last week and face a Wildcats team needing one victory to clinch a winning season in league play for the first time since 1977.
“You have to really focus on the things you did not do well and the things you do,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart told reporters Monday, two days after Georgia’s vaunted rushing duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel were held to a combined 48 yards. “We have to go out and play our best game because they have a really good football team.” Kentucky won for the fourth time in its past six games last week, beating Vanderbilt 44-21 as Benny Snell rushed for 116 yards and three touchdowns. The Wildcats are 19th in the nation in rushing defense at 121.9 yards per contest. “Hopefully we can continue to build on this and play our best football here down the homestretch,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops told the media Monday.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Georgia -21.5
ABOUT KENTUCKY (7-3, 4-3 SEC): Snell has rushed for a school-record 28 career touchdowns, and with 1,013 yards rushing is first player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Linebacker Josh Allen and defensive end Denzil Ware have combined for 215 total tackles and 24 sacks across the past two years, Ware recording two sacks last week in earning SEC Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week. The Wildcats are averaging 35.7 points per game in winning two of their past three contests.
ABOUT GEORGIA (9-1, 6-1): Despite last week’s struggles, the Bulldogs still rank second in the SEC and 10th nationally in rushing offense (256 yards per game). Chubb, held to only 27 yards last week, is 106 yards shy of reaching 1,000 for the third time in four seasons, while Michel has rushed for nine touchdowns. Georgia has allowed just 14.5 points per game, fifth nationally.
1. Kentucky has won seven of its past 12 SEC games, its best stretch in league play since 1998-99.
2. Bulldogs freshman QB Jake Fromm passed for 184 yards last week but was sacked four times after being sacked seven times in his first nine games.
3. Georgia has won the past seven meetings with the Wildcats, and is 29-4-2 against Kentucky at home.
PREDICTION: Georgia 30, Kentucky 21