After stewing in the memories of a blowout loss to South Carolina for two weeks, Georgia will be motivated to record an impressive victory over Kentucky.
The Bulldogs started the season on a five-game winning streak, but failed to compete in a 35-7 loss to the Gamecocks. The team had this past weekend off and will want to fare much better when it returns to the field.
The Wildcats have struggled this season and have lost their first four SEC matchups. After starting 1-6, 2012 has been a rough year for the program.
Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming matchup.
Where: Commomwealth Stadium, Lexington, Ky.
When: Saturday, October 20, 7 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Line: Georgia -28 (according to Sports Book)
Georgia Injury Report (via USA Today)
Hunter Long—Sophomore guard is questionable with a left foot fracture suffered in the offseason.
Michael Bennett—Sophomore split end is out for the season with a torn ACL.
Brandon Harton—Junior full back is expected back in mid October after thumb surgery.
Kolton Houston—Sophomore offensive tackle is out indefinitely after testing positive for a banned substance.
Kentucky Injury Report (via USA Today)
Mike Benton—Senior safety is questionable with an ankle injury.
Ashley Lowery—Sophomore safety is questionable with a concussion.
Martavius Neloms—Senior cornerback is questionable with a hamstring injury.
Patrick Towles—Freshman quarterback is questionable with an ankle injury.
Maxwell Smith—Sophomore quarterback is questionable with an ankle injury.
Glenn Faulkner—Sophomore safety is questionable with an ankle injury.
Trevino Woods—Senior offensive tackle is questionable with an ankle injury.
Gabe Correll—Senior tight end is questionable with a hip injury.
Marcus Caffey—Freshman cornerback is out for the season due to academic ineligibility.
CoShik Williams—Senior tailback is out for the season with a hip injury.
Anthony Kendrick—Junior tight end is out for the season due to academic ineligibility.
Josh Clemons—Sophomore tailback is out for the season with a knee injury.
BCS/Top 25 Poll Implications
It is highly unlikely that Kentucky will factor into any set of rankings this season, but Georgia will need to continue winning in order to climb back up the rankings after losing badly to South Carolina.
The Bulldogs are No. 11 in the first set of BCS standings, and a loss to Kentucky would all but end any hopes at playing in a BCS Bowl.
What They’re Saying
Jennifer Smith of the Lexington Herald-Leader discussed Kentucky’s problems with injuries and noted that the team would benefit greatly if a few of the defensive players listed as “questionable” were able to suit up on Saturday.
Getting Neloms, Lowery and Benton back would be a boon for UK as well, especially against a Georgia offense ranked 11th in the nation in scoring, averaging 41.3 points a game. The Bulldogs are second in the conference in total offense, averaging 484 yards a game with 32 touchdowns.
Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Constitution Journal notes that LSU’s victory over South Carolina gives Georgia hope. He gives scenarios for what the team must do later in the season, but the first step is still beating Kentucky.
South Carolina’s 23-21 loss, one week after its 35-7 rout of Georgia, means UGA will represent the Eastern Division in the SEC title game if:
- South Carolina loses at least one of its three remaining SEC games, the most difficult of which is this week at Florida.
- And Georgia beats its four remaining SEC opponents, including — most challengingly — Florida.
Georgia Player to Watch: Todd Gurley, Running Back
The freshman running back has been an explosive part of the Georgia offense this season. Gurley leads the Bulldogs with 575 rushing yards this season and he has found his way to the end zone nine times.
He is immensely talented and against Kentucky’s defense, Gurley may post the most impressive statistical performance of his young career.
Kentucky Player to Watch: La’Rod King, Wide Receiver
The Wildcats have a significant amount of young talent, but the team will need senior leadership if it hopes to make this weekend’s game competitive. King’s 6’4” frame gives him the ability to make plays, and that could give Kentucky a spark.
King must give his best effort of the year against Georgia, or the Wildcats are headed for another disappointing loss.
Key Matchup: Georgia Rushing Attack vs. Kentucky Defense
For the Wildcats to have a chance, they must slow down the Bulldogs running backs. Stopping the talented tailbacks will be impossible, but if they average five yards per carry, this game will be over quickly.
But if Kentucky can cause a few early three-and-outs in addition to forcing a turnover, then the opportunity will be there to stay in the game.
Key Storyline: Georgia Looking Ahead
The only advantage that Kentucky has in this matchup is that Georgia will be tempted to focus on a matchup with Florida that will take place in Athens the following week.
The Bulldogs will need to remain focused on their subpar opponent this week in order to build up momentum heading into that matchup.
Prediction: Georgia 51, Kentucky 14
Georgia has an overwhelming talent advantage in this matchup and will win easily.