Kentucky vs. Georgia: Top Prospects, Storylines, Odds for B/R's Game of the Week

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2021

Kentucky vs. Georgia: Top Prospects, Storylines, Odds for B/R's Game of the Week

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    For the second straight week, B/R's college football Game of the Week features a runaway winner.

    After the Big Ten clash between Iowa and Penn State attracted 71.9 percent of the votes, an SEC matchup took the title in Week 7. The top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs and No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats landed 73.9 percent of the B/R community's 7,214 votes.

    The other Game of the Week possibilities were No. 12 Oklahoma State vs. No. 25 Texas (17.7 percent), Auburn vs. No. 17 Arkansas (5.5) and No. 18 Arizona State vs. Utah (2.9).

    As always, we're previewing the weekend's key matchup with a look at the top NFL prospects, key storylines and the latest odds.

Top NFL Draft Prospects

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    Michael Clubb/Associated Press

    Georgia Players Highlighted Previously

    • Adam Anderson, Edge
    • Nakobe Dean, LB
    • Jordan Davis, DT

                 

    Darian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky

    Recently named one of 12 semifinalists for the Lombardi Award, Darian Kinnard is among the nation's best run-blocking tackles. He's a third-year starter who received second-team AP All-America recognition last season. Saturday, he will be countering UGA's seemingly endless supply of disruptive edge-rushers.

                  

    Lewis Cine, S, Georgia

    Running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. and slot receiver Wan'Dale Robinson give Kentucky a pair of superb playmakers. Lewis Cine must help limit their explosiveness as the last line of defense at safety. The junior has collected the most pass breakups (five) and third-most tackles (22) for UGA this year.

                   

    Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia

    STAR (nickelback) Latavious Brini will primarily defend Robinson, and that matchup is a key component of this game. Derion Kendick, though, is a shutdown player on the outside. Eight tackles and one interception aren't incredible numbers, but opposing QBs have rarely challenged the Clemson transfer this season.

Stetson Bennett Closing the Door on JT Daniels?

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    JT Daniels began the season as a Heisman Trophy candidate. Because of injuries, though, he's only thrown 71 passes all year.

    Fortunately for Georgia, backup Stetson Bennett has stepped in and played well. After logging five starts with minimal success in 2020, he's completed 43 of his 62 attempts for 746 yardsa strong 12.0-yard averageand tossed eight touchdowns.

    As long as Daniels is out, Bennett is the starter. That will probably remain the case against UK given the limited workload Daniels had in practice.

    "He hasn't been able to do a whole lot," UGA head coach Kirby Smart said, per Mike Griffith of DawgNation. "A little more than he did the week before."

    From an outside perspective, Daniels is more of a championship-caliber player. But if he remains sidelined, Bennett will have another opportunity to stake a claim to the full-time starting job.

    After all, a defense-driven, run-first Georgia team doesn't ask much of the QB. Every win only makes it more difficult to remove Bennett.

Transfer-Infused Kentucky Offense Faces Greatest Test

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    Michael Clubb/Associated Press

    No matter your feelings on the transfer portal, there's no denying Kentucky utilized it wonderfully in the offseason.

    Will Levis arrived from Penn State and has stabilized the QB position. While averaging 8.4 yards per pass attemptwhich matches the program's highest mark since Andre Woodson in 2006Levis has provided a dual-threat element too. Excluding nine sacks, he's rushed for 215 yards and three touchdowns.

    As a passer, Levis' primary target is former Nebraska star Wan'Dale Robinson. The dynamic slot receiver has pulled in 37 catches for 527 yards and four scores, adding four carries for 78 yards.

    Kentucky wouldn't be 6-0 without Levis and Robinson, and this scorching start should be celebrated.

    But the 'cats haven't seen anything like Georgia's defense.

    Look, we can promote Levis, star running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. and Robinson for any number of sentences. However, the Dawgs rank No. 1 nationally in yards allowed per play (3.6), yards allowed per pass (5.1) and points allowed per game (5.5).

    For Kentucky to have a chance at springing a gigantic upset, Levis and Robinson must put together an incredible game. It's that simple.

Game Information and Odds

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    John Amis/Associated Press

    When: Saturday, Oct. 16 at 3:30 p.m. ET

    Where: Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia

    TV: CBS

    Stream: CBS Sports

    Spread (via DraftKings): Georgia -23

    Total: 44.5

    Moneyline: Georgia  -2000 (bet $2,000 to win $100); Kentucky +1000 (bet $100 to win $1,000)

                           

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