Steele picks: Georgia – Kentucky

He likes the Dawgs to cover.

The last time here UGA led 28-3 late 2Q and 41-17 in the 4Q before allowing a couple of garbage time scores in their 44-31 win. Last year at home, UGA just needed to beat UK to wrap up the SEC East Title. The Dogs did have a 317-165 yard edge but in the 1H settled for 5 FG’s, missing one. In the 2H UGA was intercepted in the EZ and fmbl’d at the UK40 and the crowd started getting nervous as they only led 12-10 but got a td on the 1st play of the 4Q to go up 19-10 and UK never really threatened after that. UGA is off a bye after its devastating 35-7 loss to South Carolina but does have Florida on deck. UK is now 1-5 after last week’s 49-7 loss to Arkansas in a game that was called with 5:08 remaining in the 3Q! Due to injuries, UK is going with frosh QB Whitlow who hit just 2-10 last week and was #4 on the depth chart in preseason! He was spelled for two series by Newton, but he couldn’t spark the offense either. Even with a big game on deck, expect the Bulldogs to atone for their performance against SC and continue UK HC Phillips woes.

Two things worth taking away from that are that UK’s quarterback situation is pretty dire (I didn’t realize that Newton had played; his passer rating of 75.3 was a huge step up from the 24 he garnered against Florida, but still…) and that last year’s game is a stark reminder of Georgia’s endearing habit of playing down to its opposition.  In the case of this year’s Kentucky team, that’s pretty far down.  If that’s all we get, expect an ugly week heading into Jacksonville.


Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

16 responses to “Steele picks: Georgia – Kentucky

  1. Mayor of Dawgtown

    If the Dawgs don’t have a fire lit under ’em after the South Carolina game then we do need to worry.

  2. 69Dawg

    This game is the tell. If we go about our business and kill UK then we might just might have a chance against UF. If however we play the old UGA game of sleep walking through a game, then UF will beat us by 3 td’s. I expect the same coaching errors for the UF game we got from the SCU game. Our coaches have a remarkable record of fear transference to our team. The coaches coach scared = the players play scared.

    • The Lone Stranger

      I’ve been working hard to resist this analysis over the balance of CMR’s tenure, but now I am in this camp. Sometimes you need to force the opposition into errors as opposed to just working to eliminate hyour own.

  3. AthensHomerDawg

    “Two things worth taking away from that are that UK’s quarterback situation is pretty dire”,,,they don’t have anymore WR that played qb in HS do they?

  4. Greg

    Kentucky will play us well. Like us, they are coming off an embarrassing performance on the road, but they haven’t been atrocious at home – lost in OT to Western KY(their only loss is to Bama), lost 27-14 to undefeated Miss State and they were up 10 at half vs SC. Their DL will hold up just fine vs our OL, sad to say. If they get any kind of QB play, this will be uncomfortably close for the majority of the game. Hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think we’ll win impressively. Not that it would mean much of anything if we do blow them out…look what we did to Vandy and how we followed that up the next two games.

  5. Mike

    And further good news. He picks the Mighty Gators to beat USCe!

  6. Macallanlover

    We will win, and it should be easy, but it does not impact what we should expect the following week. Dawgs will play Florida well, and will be fired up on both sides of the ball. Those who feel it will be determined by some “transference” from the coaches are just flat wrong. The outcome will be based on the performance of the players and how both sides react to the situations presented them in full speed during the game. We are capable of beating Florida, playing them close and losing, or just getting beat. UGA has good talent, let’s see how they play before pronouncing them dead.

    Everyone here can grovel if they want, I am taking the Show Me State approach; they will have to earn it. I support the players and staff despite them not being perfect like all the geniuses who have quit on them. Kentucky first, blowout or ugly, then point toward the Gators. I bow to no one, and I don’t think the people who count do either. Go Dawgs!

    • Bubs

      Won’t bow. Don’t know how.

    • Slaw Dawg

      ++ re: “does not impact what we should expect the following week.” We keep basing expectations of the next game on the Dawgs performance in the last game. That’s why we (definitely including me) were so stunned by the pathetic offensive output against SC. But the apparently strong defensive performance vs Vandy didn’t translate into more of the same against UT or SC either. It really is “one game at a time.” I don’t want the Dawgs sparing a single brain cell for the Gators until next week. I want them so focused on Kentucky that their food will look blue. And once that game’s over, I want them thinking of nothing but how to beat the Gators, no matter what happens in their own game this weekend. But there’s no particular reason to think the Dawgs will perform this weekend just like they did vs. SC, or that they’ll perform next weekend just like they will this weekend. As long as the result is a “W” in both cases, don’t care about anything else.

      • Greg

        If we want to be an elite program, we have to play consistently well. The only thing we do consistently these days is play down to the level of our competition when playing lesser opponents(Vandy being the exception this season) and assume the position when playing teams with comparable or better talent.

        • Macallanlover

          Regarding “playing down to the level of the competition”, I would really like to see a stat on that because I feel it is a pretty common thing. Over the last ten years Boise has been the most successful at covering the spread but I am not sure that is the best way to define “not playing down”. Most games are just sloppy when you have mismatches, seems everyone has this issue, some more than others.

          • Ubiquitous GA Alum

            2012 Against the Spread
            USCe – 6-1
            Ole Miss – 6-1
            UF – 5-1
            MS St – 4-2
            Bama – 3-3
            Vandy – 3-3
            TAMU – 3-3
            UGA – 2-4
            Mizzou – 2-4-1
            UT – 2-4
            LSU – 2-5
            AR – 2-5
            AUB – 1-5
            UK – 1-6

            • Macallanlover

              Yes, I thought the discussion was over a broader period of time. The defense seems the most responsible for the 2-4 performance for UGA this year while the offense for LSU seeems to be their surprise disappointment.

              I think UGA is around the 50/50 mark over the past couple of decades, Boise was the highest rtaed team for the 00s with around 63% winners against the spread.

            • The Lone Stranger

              Interestingly, you know who is the best over the past 10 years ATS in the SEC? The Barn, at 66-55-1 (not including ’12 of course) and just behind them are the UK Wildcats: 62-54-1!