So it’s Kentucky. Hunh.

I think it’s safe to say nobody saw this coming.

It is for the SEC East title, but Saturday’s game in Lexington is, for Georgia, only the third-biggest of this calendar year – and maybe only the fifth-biggest, depending on where you rate LSU in Baton Rouge and Florida in Jacksonville. For Kentucky, it’s merely the biggest in this native Kentuckian’s lifetime, and I’m as old as the Appalachians.

Bradley’s stiffy is likely going to last all week, but I digress.

There’s going to be a lot of “hells, yeah, Kentucky’s got a chance” talk all week.  To their credit, the ‘Cats have earned it.  They’re experienced, physical and well-coached.  Bennie Snell may not be the next Herschel Walker, but he’s a tough runner who’s leading the conference in rushing.  On the other side of the ball, Josh Allen leads the SEC in sacks.  Both players are going to be handfuls for Georgia.

Kentucky is good defensively and, just as importantly when you’re having what’s turning into a magical season, they’re getting their share of breaks.  (Just go back and look at the play that set up the winning score against Missouri.)  That’s not a knock; it’s what good teams do.  The ‘Cats are also thin, although they’ve been fortunate on the injury front.

So, it’ll be a challenge, especially in front of what should be a crazed Lexington crowd.

That being said, Kentucky is one-dimensional on offense, although they’ve been very smart about not leaning on the passing game any more than necessary.  They’re first in the SEC in scoring defense, but tied for last in scoring offense.  They aren’t built to win shootouts and, somewhat surprisingly, aren’t anything special with regard to turnover margin.

Both defenses are good at limiting big plays, so there will be a premium on execution.  Given Snell’s prowess, that may be a closer thing than we’d like (certainly than Mel Tucker would).

Still, if there’s something to take for comfort going in, it’s looking at how both have done against common opponents.  That’s a tale of the tape that favors Georgia.

Georgia isn’t favored by that much, but the general point stands.  The Dawgs will need to keep their composure against a team that will have two of the best players on the field and a crowd solidly behind it.

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68 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

68 responses to “So it’s Kentucky. Hunh.

  1. Joe Schmoe

    The key is not doing anything stupid early that let’s things get out of hand early (e.g., a dumb fake field goal for instance). As we have seen, it takes this team a little while to get its legs under it. If we are able to manage the early emotion and turn the game into a grind, then I think our talent and depth take over late in the 3rd quarter.

    Like

  2. ChiliDawg

    Kentucky runs the ball well with Benny Snell, and we haven’t stopped the run very well. Their defense is legit. If you want a recipe to beat Georgia – run the ball well, control the clock and keep the Dawgs offense from getting into a rhythm. Should we beat them? Yes. But we should have beaten LSU. This won’t be a gimme.

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    • Beer Money

      Go back and look at the 2nd half of Saturday’s game in Jacksonville and I think you will see a recipe for our defense to be successful in Lexington. UF could not run on us after halftime adjustments, then were backed into a corner once they got down a few scores and had to wing it around. Based on what I have seen out of UK, I think they have a similar offensive gameplan as UF does.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Biggus Rickus

      Not a gimme, but they also don’t have the overall talent of LSU, and their running game has been sketchy since their high water mark against Florida. They’ve been held under 100 yards rushing twice recently and haven’t gotten to 5 YPC against anyone but Vanderbilt in the last month. They’ll play hard and inspired at home, probably, but Georgia should still get out with a two to three TD win if they play reasonably well.

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      • ChiliDawg

        I like how we’re gonna talk up LSU post-mortem now that they’ve handed it to us despite having inferior talent.

        Kentucky isn’t the #1 defense in the country (scoring) by accident. Thinking we’re just gonna waltz to a three touchdown win up there is naive.

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        • Biggus Rickus

          Speak for yourself. LSU and Auburn were the only two teams I thought could roughly match Georgia talent-wise before the season. I also thought that if Georgia was going to lose this year, it would be on the road to LSU.

          And I didn’t say “waltz to a three touchdown win”. I said “get out with a two to three touchdown win”. I expect it to look something like the Florida game, with the lead expanding late.

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          • Otto

            I expect about what the S. Carolina game was last year. UGA leading but fans being a little nervous until late in the 4th as it wasn’t the trouncing fans wanted with S Carolina hanging around with time to make the core up. The team looking a little hungover We have witnessed this respond to criticism do they now know to show up for 4Qtrs after success? …and when I say team I also put that on play calling.

            Very thankful UK won last week, creating a big must win game.

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            • Uglydawg

              Had KY lost, it would still be the same stakes..Am I right about that? They would have two SEC losses and Georgia one. If Kentucky wins, it’s Georgia’s second loss and KY wins the head to head matchup.
              Am I (as usual) missing something big here?

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              • Biggus Rickus

                It would be slightly different, because Kentucky could conceivably lose at Tennessee. With only the one conference loss, if they were to beat Georgia Saturday, they would clinch, I think, running through the tiebreak scenarios in my head.

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              • ChiliDawg

                No, because Kentucky and Georgia still both have one SEC opponent remaining after this weekend. A Kentucky loss would have meant they could only clinch the division by beating Georgia and Tennessee. As it stands, the winner Saturday will clinch the division.

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                • Mayor

                  Correct. With a win in Lexington Saturday Georgia would clinch the SEC East even with a loss to Auburn (God forbid) like happened in 2005.

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          • Otto

            Auburn had OL turnover, before the season Auburn is good when the media predicts it and down when the media picks them. The OL turnover and preseason hype reminds me of 2010 UGA.

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          • Argondawg

            I agree. LSU recruits on a completely different planet than UK. I think we have better overall talent than LSU but our talent level compared to UK is not even close. We should win this game by 2 touchdowns.

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    • HiAltDawg

      They rush it sooooooooo well: 61 fewer yards on 23 more attempts this season.
      Snell: 179 rushes for 935 yds
      Holyfield/Swift: 168 rushes for 1068 yd

      on an equally pitiful schedule by the way.

      Should I petition Kirbs to just take the team into hiding instead of daring to face this “juggernaut”?

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  3. DefactoDawg

    One key will be nerves. Few of the UK players have played in a game as monumental as this one. Those butterflies will feel the size of eagles leading up to kickoff. Will the Cats be able to manage the moment or will they spit the bit?

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  4. David K

    Our run defense is pretty bad. If they get Snell going it will be a long day. If we can get up by a couple touchdowns and force them to play catch up then we’ll run away with it. It’s really frustrating how many studs we’ll have in our two deep up front and we can’t slow down average teams run game. I don’t think anything will get fixed this season, but Kirby needs to figure out how to win the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball going forward. That goal line nonsense in Jax was embarassing.

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  5. Are they experienced? Yep. Are they as talented as the visitors? Nope.

    This shapes up like a lot of the games played between Georgia and Kentucky on the hardwood except the roles are reversed.

    Dawgs take care of business.

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  6. Mayor

    I don’t know which coach said it but it’s true: The pressure goes up the more you win. Everything good the Dawgs have done this season goes for naught if they don’t win this Saturday in Lexington. Personally I don’t really care about getting in the four team playoff as a goal. I care about winning the SEC. And the Dawgs can’t do that without beating Kentucky.

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  7. Russ

    Pack the box to stop Snell and make Wilson throw it. I don’t think they can score enough that way.

    On offense, we need a repeat of last week, running Holyfield and Swift with passes to Holloman and Nauta.

    If we are patient, we squeeze the life out of them in the second half.

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  8. E.R.

    Not sure I buy this “electric” atmosphere prediction. Tons of tickets on Stubhub at reasonable prices. I think they are snapped up by folks wearing red.

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    • Beer Money

      The price went from $79 get-ins before the end of the Missouri-Kentucky game to what you see now ($135+). That’s a big jump. Keep in mind, this is not basketball to these people.

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    • ChiliDawg

      Presume at your own risk. They are well aware what’s at stake up there. They are one win away from playing for the SEC championship for the first time ever.

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      • Dawglicious

        I think KY fans like screaming at the refs more than anything else. Here’s my rundown on the order of things KY fans love:
        1. KY Bouncy Hoops
        2. Hating calls that go against them
        3. Horse races
        4. Bourbon
        5. KY foosball

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  9. I don’t know why, but I have a feeling we drub Kentucky

    Liked by 1 person

    • Got Cowdog

      Maybe, but I’m keeping the Inner Munson plugged in. Seems to me UGA has problems with a strong running game and a fast edge rusher. Seems like UK has both.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Typically I might agree. But KY has not played in a game of this magnitude in my lifetime.

        I see another crockpot game: close and uncomfortable early, and then we dominate the last 20 minutes to win by 3 possessions.

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      • Georgia’s biggest problem is its fan base! What a bunch of nervous nellies. They refuse to recognize that we have a team that can compete with everyone/anyone…except who? That’s right, Alabama. And, maybe even them when, not if, we get to Atlanta. We’ll just hope LSU and/or Auburn can change the equation to eliminate Bama. Cheer up, Dawg fans..act like winners..our team does!!

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        • Mayor

          Actually, it is better for the Dawgs to play Bama in the SECCG IMHO after Bama plays Auburn in a physical game the week before and obviously win the game. If Bama beats LSU, LSU falls out of the top 5. If LSU beats Bama, Bama only falls to about #4 which Bama would maintain with a victory over Auburn. Georgia would play LSU in the SECCG and if we win could still get locked out of the 4 team playoff by Bama. The teams in the playoff likely would be Clemson, ND, Michigan and Bama.

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    • moe pritchett

      I like you. I just hope you’re right

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    • dawgman3000

      I’d take a 1 point win and catch the first thing smokin out of Lexington.

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  10. McTyre

    Aside from obvious items mentioned, our WR should be prepared for a manhandling secondary. Cats have some of the largest CBS around and we can’t assume SEC zebras will flag them any better they did Auburn’s on the Plains. Second, Cats likely have to win special teams to win the game and try some trickeration at times. Simply following the Hippocratic Oath May suffice on ST.

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  11. Uglydawg

    I think Loran Smith wrote that for Mark.

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  12. Mick Jagger

    I think we win big. Say 42-14.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Can anyone confirm that Bennie Snell has been dinged up a bit?

    Either way, I just don’t see that we’ll be sweathing this past early 4th quarter.

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    • Macallanlover

      I saw him out of the game prior to Mizzou and thought he was dinged up and being rested, but have read nothing about it. We need to run blitz and create some TFL. They cannot handle being behind the sticks or overcome large deficits with their offense.

      Their defense is legit, our offense needs to pile the points on early and make it easy for our D. A close trench war in Lexington is what they are praying for. Have to keep 41 honest coming off the edge, he creates havoc on QBs and will be a load to handle. Hoping we flip some swing passes over his head to Swift and Cook, and maybe learn how to use screen passes again. Was always more concerned about this game than FU, but feel our guys got into a good offensive rhythm last week and that should carry over and get us by a pumped up group of Wildcats.

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  14. The Truth

    For some reason, I think controlling Allen is going to be a bigger deal than stopping Snell. Of course, we must limit Snell, but a couple of 3rd and longs where Allen puts Jake on his back will get a team and crowd going.

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  15. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Mark Bradley will be a boner pill endorser all week. But then, his 4 hours will be up.

    Like

  16. DawgPhan

    going to be a great road trip up there. Big game atmosphere but the dawgs take care of business.

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  17. PTC DAWG

    Kentucky doesn’t have the Offense to stay with UGA. I think we win by 17 and might not trail more than once in the game…Somewhat like the UF game.

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  18. HiAltDawg

    Hey Senator? Can we start giving the genius poster that explains to us how great and fearsome and awesome and unbeatable the next team we play is a prize? Like maybe the key to PeePee Pants City? Or a ceremonial Coach Micheal Ray Gundy Rat’s Arse? Nothing beats these genius lectures and predictions of doom every Monday and Tuesday.

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  19. HiAltDawg

    “Kentucky beat Missouri by 1 / Georgia beat Missouri by 14.”

    Is Kentucky really credited for the win over Missouri? I thought the SEC Refs pulled that game out. Why else was Penn Wagers going:
    https://tenor.com/view/steve-buscemi-billy-madison-lipstick-makeup-gif-5589508
    all day yesterday?

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    • 69Dawg

      The refs absolutely gave the untimed down to UK. The UK WR totally mugged the Mizzou DB on the play and the Zebra called defensive pass interference. Hand fighting is one thing but knocking the DB on his ass is totally offensive PI. I’m one of those conspiracy guys, SEC wanted UK to win to make the next game an SEC East playoff game.

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      • Uglydawg

        Plus the pass was uncatchable in bounds. Yes, it was a flag to keep Kentucky highly rated which helps the SEC overall in SOS ..better bowl bids, better TV money, etc. It was a bad call…but given Kentucky’s history of getting hosed by the refs, maybe we should rejoice with the ‘Cats. Doesn’t effect our game with them, as a loss to them would put them in ATL anyway. (Both teams 2 con losses….KY wins head to head if they beat UGA)..
        Best thing is play your best and win big, my Dawggies!

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  20. TMC DAWG

    We will travel and take the stadium and game over. Dawgs by at least 10.

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  21. AusDawg85

    Bennie Snell is an incredible player and will run like a man possessed. He’s going to be hell early. But Kirby and Tucker know how to take down a one dimensional team, especially after the half. I think the first half will be exciting in that uncomfortable sort of way with Kentucky giving us a challenge, but then we’ll pull ahead with a two score lead and never look back.

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  22. dawgfan

    Baker takes away their best receiver and Dawgs make KY one dimensional. UGA pulls a guard and runs Holyfield right at Allen all afternoon. Fromm has an efficient 11-15 game. We win the special teams and turnover battle. Good guys on top 31-13.

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  23. DawgFlan

    I’ll just leave these here: 🙂

    https://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2018/08/15/moar-cocky-talk/#comment-601237

    https://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2018/08/18/tiers-of-rage/#comment-602094

    I can’t say I picked UK as 2nd in the East with certainty, but I did see Snell, a good D, a lot of experience, and Stoops as a decent coach. And it’s better than “pretty good for a UK team” level talent, as NFL scouts left preseason practices impressed.

    Still, UGA wins this Saturday. It may be too close for comfort for a while, but our offense wakes up and pulls away.

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  24. WF Dawg

    I’m headed to Lexington for the first time. Anyone got any food (esp. BBQ) recommendations up there? Need fortification for all the yelling I plan to do.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      For bar-hopping, the area between the Fifth Third Pavilion, Short Street, Broadway, and Main had several options. The bars seem to change names every time we go so I cannot recommend any one in particular. Also, racing season at Keeneland usually ends in October, but the track has tours during the off-season. The Woodford Reserve Distillery is about an hour away.

      For BBQ, I hear Lyles out on new circle road is good, but we’ve not yet tried it.

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      • Macallanlover

        There are a lot of really good restaurants in Lexington, and some of the best SEC fans you can mix with. But I wouldn’t waste time on BBQ in Kentucky, based on my past experiences. Cannot give you any names with confidence because the last time I was there was when they tore the damned goal posts down, so every restaurant could have changed. But they dress well, have some purty wimmin, fun bars, and like good food; you will do fine. Stock up at the Liquor Barn, great selection and very good prices. Be glad it isn’t at night, can get chilly in November. Most of all, bring back a W.

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    • jtp03

      Blue door bbq is legit.

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    • Raleighwood Dawg

      I’m jealous 🙂 Have fun!

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  25. W Cobb Dawg

    In daafense of our run deefense, particularly against fu, folks should keep in mind that we played five (5) DBs most of the game. I think we can safely go back to 4 DBs against the kentuck passing attack. Perhaps go with a little more beef on the DL front. It’ll be interesting to see how Kirby & Mel decide to play.

    And that leads to the question of when DE Marshall is expected back?

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    • Macallanlover

      Listed as questionable, along with Cleveland, for this game. I think the idea of gambling with the DBs in run support and blitzes should allow us to rest Marshall until Auburn. We really need hm for the stretch run and don’t want to risk him. Be interesting if he makes the travel squad. Hope our offense can sustain some drives and keep our defense fresh.

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  26. Come out like a spider monkey on their ass. Show them we are bigger, faster, badder, etc. Get up a couple TD’s and leave the foot on their neck.
    If we do that, it will be over quick- kind of like Miss State last year.

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  27. Aladawg

    You peeps are mighty confident. I’m not. This KY team is acting like a team of destiny. Their defense is the real deal and our players better not go in there thinking talent will win it alone. They have some players.

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  28. Harold Miller

    Please tell me someone is selling “Snell No” T shirts.

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  29. Randall Adams

    We’ll whip the guys pretty good when it’s all said and done…

    They have been bending for a while… They’ll snap like a twig this weekend..

    Too much pressure from both sides of the ball from the Dawgs

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