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The Friday Five, Kentucky edition
Andrew Thomas/Isaiah Wilson, Georgia’s offensive tackles
Consider this the Josh Allen factor. Kentucky’s outside linebacker is one of the best defensive players in the country, as he is second in the nation in sacks and tied for first in forced fumbles. He’s been a handful for just about everybody this year. Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm had a great game against Florida, in part because the Gators only sacked him once—and that came on a designed blitz that wasn’t picked up.
Thomas and Wilson did a great job in pass protection last week, and if the Bulldogs are going to beat Kentucky, and thus win the SEC East, Georgia’s offensive tackles are going to need to keep Allen out of the backfield.
Isaac Nauta, junior tight end
Nauta will be asked to help out in pass protection this week given how good Allen has been this season. His pass catching opportunities might be limited given that, but when he gets the chance he’s going to need to make the most of them. Even if he’s just catching the ball as a check-down option, he’s shown that he can turn a short catch into a 15-yard gain. He’ll need to do that a few times on Saturday to wear down the Kentucky defense.
Keeping Kentucky running back Benny Snell off the field will be just as important as bottling him up when he’s on it. And to help with that, the Georgia offense is going to need to go on some time-consuming drives on Saturday.
Jordan Davis, freshman defensive tackle
We really could’ve gone with any one of Georgia’s defensive linemen here, but we’re going with Davis as he’s continued to see an increase in playing time. He played well against Florida even, if he didn’t rack up a ton of tackles. As Georgia’s nose guard, Davis’ No. 1 goal isn’t to make tackles in the backfield or pressure the quarterback. It’s to take up as much space as he possibly can, so that he can free up other guys to make tackles.
Kentucky’s Snell is a very physical runner and Georgia may not win many one-on-one battles against him. But if Davis is able to free up UGA linebackers Monty Rice, Natrez Patrick, Tae Crowder and the rest of the defense, the Bulldogs will have a much better chance of limiting Snell’s impact on the game.
Monty Rice, sophomore linebacker
As of right now, Rice is Georgia’s best and most consistent linebacker. He’ll need to have the best game of his young career on Saturday if the Bull. Snell is the best running back Georgia has faced so far, and he might be the best running back Georgia plays all season. He leads the SEC in rushing while averaging over 5 yards per carry. When Snell can’t get going, like against Texas A&M and Missouri, the Kentucky offense has struggled to score.
If Georgia is going to bottle up Snell, the linebackers are going to have to play well. And with Rice being the best one of the bunch, a lot of the onus falls on him to keep Snell in check. Both Texas A&M and Missouri kept Snell under 3.0 yards per carry. If Georgia and Rice can do that, it’ll have a great chance at winning.
Tyson Campbell, freshman cornerback
While much has been made about Snell, Georgia can’t afford to forget about Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden either. The sophomore wide receiver is Kentucky’s most explosive player, as demonstrated by his punt return for a touchdown against Missouri.
If Campbell can keep Bowden from getting behind him, it will be a big win for Georgia.
College Football picks, week 10
Another 3-3 week for us last week. As always, don’t put money on these picks because I’m suggesting to you who is going to win.
No. 6 Georgia at No. 9 Kentucky, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS, Radio-WSB 95.5 FM and 750 AM: Kentucky has struggled on offense in recent weeks, as the Wildcats didn’t score more than 15 points in any of their October games. Georgia, meanwhile, seems to be playing well after the LSU loss. If Kentucky falls behind early, this game could get ugly given the Wildcats anemic passing offense. Much like the Florida game, the Wildcats will hang with Georgia for a half before the Bulldogs pull away for a win. Georgia 34 (-9), Kentucky 17
Louisville at No. 2 Clemson, Noon ET, ABC: Clemson is just rolling teams right now, as it beat NC State by 34 and Florida State by 49. Can Louisville, one of the worst teams in the country, slow them down? Of course not. Picking anyone to win by 40-points is a bold move, but I think Clemson is going to cover and make Louisville coach Bobby Petrino’s season even worse. Clemson 63 (-39.5), Louisville 13
No. 20 Texas A&M at Auburn, Noon ET, ESPN: Georgia fans may want to tune into this game to see how Auburn looks, given that the Bulldogs host the Tigers on Nov. 10. Since the Aggies have joined the SEC, the road team has prevailed in every matchup between these two schools. We don’t feel great about the Aggies, especially given last week’s 28-13 loss to Mississippi State, but give us the points and Aggies here. Texas A&M 23 (+4), Auburn 17
No. 13 West Virginia at No. 17 Texas, 3:30 p.m. ET, FOX: Texas is coming off a disappointing loss to Oklahoma State last week that almost certainly ended its College Football Playoff chances. But the Longhorns can, and will, return the favor at home to West Virginia this week. A West Virginia loss would leave Oklahoma as the only one-loss team in the Big 12. Texas 33 (-2), West Virginia 27
No. 14 Penn State at No. 5 Michigan, 3:45 p.m. ET ESPN: Georgia fans should be pulling for Penn State in this one, not that it really matters as Georgia will have to win out anyway to make it to the College Football Playoff. Since Penn State lost to Ohio State, they’ve really struggled against good competition. But Michigan is a better team than both Iowa and Indiana. We like the Wolverines and Harbaugh to get another double-digit home win. Michigan 26(-10.5), Penn State 14
No. 1 Alabama at No. 3 LSU, 8 p.m. ET CBS: We’ll know by halftime if LSU is going to be able to cover the spread in this one. Alabama has clearly been the best team in the country to this point, but it also hasn’t played anyone nearly as good as LSU. The Crimson Tide are two-touchdown favorites in this one, but it’s worth knowing that Nick Saban has never beaten LSU by more than 10 points in Death Valley. And because of that, we like the Tigers to cover. Alabama 27, LSU 20 (+14.5)
Record on the season (Against the Spread): 29-22-2
Best stories from around DawgNation
- Kirby Smart’s pregame speech against Florida will have you ready to run through a brick wall
- Flip chance or no chance? 5-star Michigan pledge Christopher Hinton gives those odds
- No. 9 Kentucky looking to ‘make history’ as No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs come to town
- Former UGA tight end Jeb Blazevich explains why Georgia’s tight ends don’t get the ball more
- Before the Hedges: Georgia linebacker commit providing great news
- Georgia basketball plans forced tempo in exhibition opener
- OPPOSING VIEW: Georgia-Kentucky football game so momentous that Big Blue Nation not even thinking hoops yet
- Georgia football podcast: The most fun thing about UGA’s win vs. Florida
- WATCH: Georgia RB D’Andre Swift looks, feels like old self heading into Kentucky showdown
Dawgs on Twitter
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) November 1, 2018
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) November 1, 2018
UGA who was told had a soft schedule, Will now face 3 straight top ten teams, and not one of them being at home.
— Pat (@Patt_Brown) October 30, 2018
— Cameron Nizialek (@CamNizguy) November 1, 2018
Good Dog of the Day
This is Rico. For Halloween this year he wanted to be faster. Plans to fill the night with spooky zooms. 13/10 h*ckin inspirational pic.twitter.com/f7iAXNxYsf
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) November 1, 2018