If you’re a Kentucky Wildcats fan, you woke up feeling pretty darn good on Sunday morning.
The Cats’ 33-14 thrashing of the Gators will go down as one of the most satisfying football victories in program history.
Coming in as a slight favorite, most people believed that Kentucky had the tools and discipline required to beat Florida on their home field.
But there weren’t many folks out there pegging UK to lay the beatdown on a historical SEC power like the Gators from start to finish.
Things sure won’t get any easier for Mark Stoops and his team as they’ll travel to play the No. 1 team in America on Saturday.
It’ll be the Cats and the Dawgs battling in between the hedges inside Sanford Stadium at 7:00 pm ET.
The Dawgs opened as big favorites initially, with some sportsbooks pegging Georgia as a 19-point favorite.
The game will once again be televised on ESPN, and you can listen to Tom Leach and the radio broadcast on the UK Sports Network.
Georgia will enter Saturday’s game with somewhat of a chip on their shoulder after it took everything they had to put away Auburn 27-20 on the road.
The Bulldogs survived as 14.5-point favorites to remain undefeated in large part due to the performance of their superstar tight end Brock Bowers.
The junior, who seems like he’s been in Athens for a decade, went nuclear to the run of eight receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown. Since he arrived on campus in 2021, Georgia is 34-1 with two national championships, and the lone loss was to Alabama in the 2021 SEC Championship.
Georgia has now played two SEC opponents and has not been able to lay the smackdown as we’ve seen in years past.
On September 16th, South Carolina took a 14-3 lead into the halftime break before ultimately pulling away to win 24-14 at home.
Is this the year that Kentucky or another team could snatch the SEC East crown away from the Dawgs?
One thing this for sure — Kentucky won’t lack the necessary confidence to pull off the upset.
What impressed me the most in Kentucky’s dominant win over Florida was their desire and ability to impose their will from the opening moment of the game.
If the Cats can get off to a solid start and avoid digging a hole for themselves, you have to like their chances to, at minimum, hang tough under the lights in Athens.
To do the unthinkable on Saturday night and beat Georgia for the first time since the 2009 win in Athens, the Cats have to heavily rely on Brad White’s defense once again.
White has now firmly cemented himself as one of, if not the best Defensive-Coordinator in America. His game plan to slow down Bowers and a Georgia offense that’s averaging just under 40 points per contest will be a crucial component in deciding a winner.
Georgia has eight players who have rushed for a touchdown this season, led by Daijun Edwards, who’s tallied 260 yards on 51 carries which includes five scores.
Carson Beck has taken the reins under center. Through five games, he’s completing over 72% of his 161 attempts, 30 of those going to Brock Bowers.
For the Wildcats, they’ll need to clean up some things offensively if they want to beat the No. 1 team in the country.
After watching Ray Davis treat the Florida Gators like a Pop Warner, it’s now difficult for me to put anything past him, but anticipating a similar performance, or even anything close, is wishful thinking.
Another big day for Davis wouldn’t come as a surprise, but replicating the video game stat line of 280 yards and three touchdowns isn’t something that can be counted on.
Saturday will mark a big moment for Kentucky’s quarterback, Devin Leary, who has struggled to find consistency in his game since the season began. A big part of that has been dropped passes, but Leary has also made several bad throws in each game thus far, including what should have been a pick-six vs. Florida that was dropped by the defender.
All eyes will be on Leary when the Cats travel to Athens. A gutsy performance from the NC State transfer would go a long way in boosting his confidence and putting those untimely poor throws in the rearview mirror.
The Big Blue Nation will be glued to the television on Saturday night for what will be one of the biggest games in the history of the program.
Location: Sanford Stadium. Athens, Georgia
Time: 7:00 pm ET on October 7th
TV Channel: ESPN
Radio: UK Sports Network
Early Odds: DraftKings has Georgia -17. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the home team an 86.1% chance at remaining unbeaten.