On Saturday, the Kentucky Wildcats defied all odds in what was their most impressive win of the season. While their streak-ending win at Florida in week two and their statement win over Mississippi State both have their flags planted in this historical season, neither of those games required struggling quarterback Terry Wilson to march down the field, under pressure, to win the game.
After trailing 14-3 for most of the second half, Lynn Bowden returned a punt for 67 yards to cut Kentucky’s deficit to five. While the Wildcats’ whiffed on the two-point conversion, Wilson was handed the ball with less than a minute remaining and a chance to steal a win on the road.
Following much scrutiny, as some was rightfully deserved, Wilson shrugged aside everything but playing the position of quarterback to take his team down field for the game-winning touchdown pass to CJ Conrad.
Though the drive wasn’t without mistakes (Wilson took multiple sacks on significant downs), Wilson’s connections with wide receiver David Bouvier revived an early-season star in the slot.
The result of the drive alone solidified not only the confidence of Big Blue Nation but also the entirety of the locker room.
Another important aspect of Saturday’s game was the simple validation of Kentucky’s passing attack. Wilson threw for 267 yards & completed 22-31 passes while connecting with Bowden 13 times for 166 yards.
Now, with full momentum, Kentucky returns home as the SEC East remains largely up for grabs. Next Saturday, the Wildcats will play host to the Georgia Bulldogs in a long-awaited game of the year.
The Bulldogs are averaging 38 points per game and running over opposing defenses to gain an average of 458 total yards per contest, as they have a very balanced attack on offense. Of those 458 yards per game, 222 come from running the ball and 236 from passing. They may not be as high-flying of an offense as Missouri, but they’ll be a unique challenge that Kentucky will need its A+ game to slow down.
A win would ultimately book Kentucky’s trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game. The appearance would be their first in school history and (depending on the outcome) could solidify their argument for a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff.
A win will be far from an easy task, though, considering Georgia handled their business as well on Saturday in a neutral site matchup with the Florida Gators. The Bulldogs pulled away late to route the Gators in blowout fashion, 36-17.
Next Saturday will set up for one of the most intense games of the season in college football. Looking ahead, the Wildcats may have found the confidence they need to continue their stellar 2018 football season.
Georgia Bulldogs vs. Kentucky Wildcats
Game time: 3:30 p.m. EST on Nov. 3
TV Channel: CBS
Radio: Tom Leach, Jeff Piecoro and Dick Gabriel will have the UK radio network call.
Online Stream: CBS Sports and CBS Sports Mobile
Odds: Georgia actually opened as an 11.5-point favorite back on Oct. 3. Today, the latest odds were released, and they have Georgia favored by 12. That’s actually good news for the Wildcats, who are 4-1 this season as an underdog and 5-0 against the spread. Kentucky has actually been a double-digit underdog twice this season — at Florida and vs. Mississippi State — and the Wildcats won those games by double digits.
Prediction: Currently, ESPN gives the Bulldogs an 81-percent chance of winning. TeamRankings projects a 29-22 Georgia win.