The Kentucky Wildcats are 7-3, and they are looking to get another big win this Saturday evening in Athens, when they face the seventh-best team in the country, Georgia.
Georgia has had an amazing season, two weeks even being ranked number one in the country after beating Notre Dame and Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have several star players including freshman quarterback Jake Fromm and outstanding running backs in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Georgia has an outstanding running game as well as the passing game to go along with it.
Georgia is averaging 424 yards-per-game on offense this season and only 277 yards-per-game on defense. But, I do see Kentucky being able to move the ball for more than 277 yards this weekend against the Dawgs.
Kentucky has played very well, especially with the way Snell and Johnson have played this season. I don’t like Georgia being mad because they lost to Auburn, but I do like the fact that people from Georgia are saying that this weekend’s game against UK is a "Cupcake game."
If the Cats are going to upset the Dawgs on Saturday in Athens, here the three ways I could see them doing so:
1. Put Pressure on Jake Fromm.
Kentucky is currently ranked 23rd in the nation for team sacks, with 201 total yards of sacks. Jake Fromm is very good, but his completion percentage drops to around 48 percent when he is under pressure compared to 60.7 percent overall.
Junior linebacker, Josh Allen has been able to rack up seven sacks thus far through the season, and Denzil Ware has managed to tack on 6.5 sacks for the Blitz Brothers. Ware and Allen have combined for 13.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss this season.
With this stat being said, Georgia has given up 13 sacks in the first 10 games. But, Georgia also played App St and Samford, two teams that are not on SEC level exactly. Jake Fromm is very good; he has thrown for 1,684 yards and 16 touchdowns this season, while only throwing four interceptions.
Fromm is good, but Josh Allen and Denzil Ware are good too…and they are going to be hungry for sacks this weekend.
2. Benny Snell must run, run and run some more.
Benny Snell is now the record holder for rushing touchdowns at the University of Kentucky. Snell has rushed for 1,013 yards this season (being the first player in Kentucky history to have consecutive 1,000-yard season) and 15 touchdowns, while 6 of those touchdowns came in the last two weeks against Ole Miss and Vandy.
Georgia is ranked 5th in the country in rushing defense, but Kentucky must be able to move the ball on the ground this weekend. Snell has had help with the finally sound offensive line.
Drake Jackson is now anchored down as the starting center for the UK offense, and the line doesn’t have to rotate every possession, having guys go to completely different positions throughout the game.
The center position is the most important position on the offensive line. The center is the quarterback of the O-line, the ball doesn’t get to the quarterback if the center doesn’t give it to him.
Hence the first six games of the year when we averaged two bad snaps a game. If the cats are going to get an upset this weekend, the offense needs to make benny Snell the focal point of the offense once again.
3. Kentucky defense must play down-hill.
Kentucky has the 19th ranked rushing defense in the country, giving up 121.9 yards-per-game and 3.77 yards-per-rush. The thing is, Chubb and Michel are both insanely good running backs, both have over 750 yards rushing this season.
With Jordan Jones back and fully healthy, he will have to play downhill against these running backs. Chubb and Michel are two of the best in the country at hitting a hole at 110 mph. If the two backs see a hole open up behind their o-line, I guarantee they don’t miss the chance to hit it and break into the secondary in a matter of a couple of seconds.
Chubb has 894 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns this season while Michel has 731 yards on the ground and nine touchdowns. Now, don’t get me wrong, we all know the two backs will get theirs, but I think if you make the freshman quarterback throw the ball, you’re at least giving yourself a chance to win.
Kentucky will play this game a lot closer than what most people predict. I think Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are just a bit too good and will have around 200 rushing yards combined.
I do think Kentucky will do very well at putting pressure on Fromm and forcing him into throwing a pick or two. But, In the end, I think the game will be close until the 4th quarter and then Georgia scores two touchdowns by wearing the UK defense down with Chubb and Michel.
My Not So Real Prediction: Kentucky 35 Georgia 28
My Real Prediction: Georgia 42 Kentucky 28
Now, this is just my opinion, what are some of the experts saying?
Pete Fiutak – College Football News
"Georgia might not come out and stomp all over a solid Kentucky team that can keep this close and interesting, but it’ll pull away as the game goes on.
Jake Fromm won’t make any big mistakes, the running game will be solid, and Georgia fans will be able to relax again for about ten minutes – and then the fear of Georgia Tech’s option offense will kick in."
Final Score: Georgia 38, Kentucky 13
Alex Smith – SEC Country
"Was that a semblance of defense we saw from Kentucky last week? The Wildcats picked off Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur four times (he’d only thrown three interceptions all season) and held the Commodores to 60 rushing yards in an impressive 44-21 victory.
Meanwhile, Georgia played its worst game of the season and is at risk of not being able to refocus with a rivalry game vs. Georgia Tech on Nov. 25 and a spot in the SEC Championship Game already locked up. The ‘Dawgs, of course, can still win a national title. Their poor performance against Auburn was likely an anomaly, but no conference games are "easy" at this juncture of the season.
Expect the Bulldogs offense to get back on track, but not without a good first-half fight from the Wildcats. The pick: Georgia."
Sam Khan – ESPN
"On to Kentucky and Georgia. The Bulldogs got a wake-up call last week from Auburn, and Kirby Smart's probably spending the week reminding them of it. I think they bounce back with a home win here."
Alex Scarborough – ESPN
"Same here. I just don't see them coming out flat at home. While I was very disappointed in how conservatively Georgia played at Auburn, I don't see it as a trend, and I have the Bulldogs winning."
Enjoy the game and let us know your predictions in the comments!