The Georgia Bulldogs suffered and ugly and, frankly, embarrassing loss at the hands of South Carolina last week to fall to 5-1 and No. 10 in the country. Kentucky picked up a come from behind win over Arkansas and will be well up for causing a second upset in a row against the Bulldogs here.
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys:
Be prepared for two types of quarterback
The Kentucky depth chart has Sawyer Smith and Lynn Bowden both listed as the No. 1 QB with the OR designation being all that separated them. This is not surprising given the spark that Bowden – a converted WR who was a high school QB – gave to the offense against Arkansas as he accounted for all three of Kentucky’s touchdowns in the win.
Bowden was named co-Offensive Player of the Week in the SEC, so it is hard to see how Kentucky would take him out of the team for Smith, a player still recovering from injuries. Both quarterbacks will be ready, so the Bulldogs defense needs to be ready to face both a tradition QB and one who is dangerous in space and on the move.
Run the ball
The Bulldogs 237.2 rushing yards per game leads the SEC. D’Andre Swift is the main man, but he is just one of tree Georgia players who are averaging over six yards per carry. Those numbers are outstanding, but Georgia has monstered Kentucky with the run over the last two years, going for 386 yards on the ground in 2017 and 340 in 2018.
The worry here is that injuries on the offensive line, especially at guard, have slowed down the running assault to some degree. Even so, the blueprint for beating the Wildcats is as simple as looking at what has worked so well over the last two seasons.
This tale of Kirby Smart winning in February and losing in October is getting old quickly. This is a roster loaded with four and five star recruits that seem to play like that in big games, but that take weeks off at the most inopportune times and lay an egg.
We were all concerned about how slow Georgia was starting game and against the Gamecocks that slow start just became a slow game. You can’t always just flip the switch in the second half and maybe the players know that now. This game needs to be one where they prove that as the attempt to salvage the season begins against the Wildcats.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 6 PM ET. Watch on the ESPN Network.