Cats Looking For Bounce Back Win
Every year since Mark Stoops became Kentucky’s coach they have one game every year where they come out flat. This year it was last week’s contest against Missouri as the Cats looked awful in a 20-10 loss. Much of the credit should go to the Tigers and their determination to break a five game losing streak. Now the team has to put that behind them as they try to break a decade long losing to streak to the Bulldogs. As we being previewing Georgia at Kentucky they have to do it with a new quarterback.
New Man Under Center
Against the Tigers, Kentucky couldn’t get anything going on offense. On the day they finished with only 142 yards of total offense and eight first downs. In addition they were only on the field for 16 minutes. You aren’t going to win many games with stats like that. Terry Wilson completed only three of nine passes for 35 yards but he did have a 26 yard touchdown pass to Josh Ali. Trying to spark the offense Stoops and offensive coordinator Eddie Gran brought in Joey Gatewood. However he fared no better only completing one of four passes for 12 yards.
Wilson hasn’t practiced all week due to a wrist injury suffered in the Missouri game and is out for Saturday. That means Gatewood gets his first start against Georgia with true freshman Beau Allen as the back up. The former Top 50 recruit spent his first two seasons at Auburn before transferring after losing the quarterback job to Bo Nix.
In addition Gran says look for Christopher Rodriguez to see more carries going forward. On the season he leads the Cats in rushing with 305 yards. One other name to watch is another true freshman Michael Drennen, who is now listed as a starter at a slot receiver position.
Scouting The Bulldogs
Kirby Smart‘s club is coming off an unexpected bye week as they were originally supposed to play Florida. However due to COVID-19 issues the annual game with the Gators in Jacksonville is now being played next week. In their last game two weeks ago they led Alabama 24-20 at the half. Unfortunately they couldn’t keep the momentum going and were shut out in the second half losing 41-24.
The offense is led by quarterback Stetson Bennett. On the season he’s completed 58 percent of his passes for 958 yards and seven touchdowns. However he does have three interceptions, all of them coming in the loss to the Crimson Tide. Georgia’s always strong in the backfield and 2020 is no exception. Sophomore Zamir White leads the attack with 266 yards and five scores. Behind White is freshman Kendall Milton, who has 134 yards in the first four games. When the Bulldogs go to the air Bennett likes to find Kearis Jackson and George Pickens. So far the duo has combined for 34 receptions and three touchdowns.
On the other side of the ball the Bulldog defense ranks second in the SEC and 20th in the nation allowing 318 yards per game. However if you take away the 564 they gave up to Alabama they would be ranked even higher. Linebacker Monty Rice leads the team in tackles with 24 while another linebacker Azeez Ojulari has a team high five sacks. In the secondary Kentucky has to be mindful of Richard Lecounte III, who is tied for tops in the nation with three interceptions.
The Last Time They Met
A season ago in Athens the Cats and ‘Dawgs played in a deluge thanks to Tropical Storm Nestor. As a result it was a 0-0 tie at the half. In the third quarter Georgia finally broke through on a 39 yard touchdown run from D’Andre Swift putting the Bulldogs ahead on their way to a 21-0 win. The defense held the Wildcats to only 177 yards of total offense with only 17 of that coming through the air. In addition they held Lynn Bowden to 99 yards on the ground, the only time he was held under the century mark last season.
Two years ago in Lexington it was a battle for the SEC East crown with many thinking it was Kentucky’s best chance to beat the Bulldogs. However Georgia once again showed their dominance jumping out to a 28-3 lead on the way to a 34-17 victory. Swift once again led the way with 156 yards and two scores. On the other side of the ball the Bulldogs held Benny Snell to only 73 yards rushing.
If you are a True Blue Fan, then the history between the two schools is not good. Overall Georgia leads the series 59-12 over the Wildcats with two ties. In addition the Bulldogs have reeled off 10 in a row with Kentucky’s last win coming in 2009. In that game the Cats rallied for a 34-27 win in Athens, a game which ranked in our list of the best wins of the decade. The last win in Lexington was in 2006 when they picked off Matthew Stafford three times on the way to a 24-20 win.
Who Wins On Saturday?
As we continue previewing Georgia at Kentucky it’s now prediction time. In his eight years at Kentucky Stoops has ended a number of streaks, most notably ending the 31 game losing streak to Florida. Just two weeks ago the Cats won at Tennessee for the first time since 1984. However the one big box left to check is a win over Georgia. The last time the Wildcats beat both Georgia and Tennessee in the same season was 1977. If you are looking for a silver lining the Bulldogs have never won more than 10 straight against Kentucky.
With a Georgia win on Saturday, the Bulldogs would hold an 11-game win streak in the series against UK. It would be the longest winning streak in the series. Interesting that Georgia's never won more than 10 straight considering it leads 59-12-2 all-time in the series.
— Derek Terry (@DerekSTerry) October 29, 2020
However going up against the strong Bulldog defense with a new quarterback seems like a daunting task. If they Cats can force turnovers then they have a chance. In the end though the streak goes to 11 as Georgia wins again.
Georgia 28 Kentucky 17
Thanks for previewing Kentucky at Georgia with us here at Last Word On College Football. Have a prediction on the game? Leave it in the comment section below. We’ll have a full recap of the game and will also update our bowl projections as we do every week.