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Early Kentucky Football Preview: Georgia

Each year the Cats get closer. Is 2021 the year Mark Stoops finally gets a win vs. the Dawgs?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 19 Kentucky at Georgia

We’ve now hit the pothole of the 2021 season previews. Kentucky’s 7th game, and 2nd road game, of the season is a trip to Athens against the big, bad Georgia Bulldogs.

Things don’t look good for Kentucky here. They’ve lost 11 in a row against Georgia and 22 of the past 24 meetings. They’ve only won in Athens four times, and under Stoops haven’t lost by less than 21 points when facing them on the road.

Plus, Georgia is heavily favored to contend for a CFP playoff berth and easily win the SEC East. Does Kentucky have any hope of defeating the Bulldogs and snapping their losing streak?

One stat stands out—in 2017 they lost by 29 on the road to Georgia, but in 2018 only lost by 17. In 2019, they got shut out 21-0, but only lost 14-3 in 2020. That’s right—they held Georgia to just 14 points last year. Is UK closing the gap? It seems like it, but they might have a little ways to go.

This game will really come down to offense. Can Kentucky keep the chains moving and score touchdowns against the Georgia defense? If this is one of those games where UK scores 3 or 7 points early but then stalls for the rest of the game, it’ll end pretty quickly.

Kentucky can’t contend with the Bulldogs until they can reliably string together scoring drives and force punts on the other side of the ball. If Kentucky goes into halftime with at least 17 points, they’ll have a chance.

But if they just had that one field goal in the first quarter and the one touchdown after the fumble, the juice will run out.

Kentucky is a team that tries to get better and better year after year. Their ability in recent years to close the scoring margin gap with Georgia is a sign of their improvement.

I think Kentucky will continue to give the Bulldogs a fight and get another step closer, but they aren’t ready to topple them yet. Maybe next year.

Prediction: Georgia 28, Kentucky 17