Good day, UGA. Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant UGA football news and takes every Monday through Friday. Today, we look at what Georgia must to do in order to beat Kentucky and stabilize its season.
How Georgia can beat Kentucky
Georgia is a little less than a field goal favorite over Kentucky ahead of the showdown this Saturday in Lexington. But to hear many people tell it, it should be the other way around. The Bulldogs were upset by Vanderbilt and rolled by Florida in their last two games, while the Wildcats are holding a three-game winning streak and outside shot at an SEC East title.
There’s no doubt that this game looks a lot closer than Georgia fans are comfortable with, but that doesn’t mean it can’t come out of the Bluegrass State with a stabilizing victory. Georgia has a good chance to win this game if it can play good ol’-fashioned SEC football.
Establish the run — The most disappointing aspect of this Georgia team is its inability to establish a ground game, thought to be a supposed strength coming into the season. The weakness of the offensive line has rendered Georgia’s should-be All-SEC backfield of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel useless. The Bulldogs managed only 21 rush yards against Florida.
However, Kentucky’s poor run defense could negate the effect of a porous Georgia offensive, similar to what happened against South Carolina when the Bulldogs had three 100-yard backs. The Wildcats are 89th nationally in rush defense and allowing roughly 200 yards per game. If Chubb and Michel can’t get something going against Kentucky, I doubt they can get it going again this season. And I shudder to think about what Auburn’s defensive front will do to UGA’s line.
Stop the run — Kentucky is a run-first team with a stable of highly capable tailbacks. The Wildcats rank 30th nationally in rushing yards as Barry Snell Jr. and Stanley “Boom” Williams are among the top 10 SEC rushers, and Williams — who averages 7.5 yards per carry — has the big-play chops to change a game at any moment. If Georgia can stop the run, Kentucky will have to rely on its less capable passing game to move the ball. At that point, Georgia’s ball-hawking secondary will take over, and its penchant for creating turnovers could then swing the game.
Give Jacob Eason time to pass — I spent much of Thursday’s post praising Eason’s scrambling skills. But with a Kentucky defense that is far from the skill level of the Gators, it would be a shame to see the freshman have to dance so much. Kentucky’s secondary also is nowhere near Florida’s in terms of talent, so more time in the pocket for Eason will be a double-whammy: more time to make a good throw and more separation between receivers and defensive backs. Eason seems to have his best connections with fellow freshmen Isaac Nauta and Riley Ridley, so I’m looking for him to hook up with both of those guys multiple times on Saturday.
- Mailbag: An offensive set of questions from Georgia fans (Seth Emerson, Dawg Nation)
- Punting continues to be deficient for Dogs (Chip Towers, Dawg Nation)
- Weekend prediction: In an upside down world, it’s Kentucky over Georgia (Jeff Schultz, AJC)
- ‘Possibilities could be endless’ for David Marshall (Brandon Sudge, Macon Telegraph)
- Nick Chubb, running backs continue to encourage offensive line (Jason Butt, Macon Telegraph)
- UGA’s defensive backs will be needed to combat Kentucky’s run game (Jason Butt, Macon Telegraph)
- Upset alert: Kentucky gets its third in a row, because Georgia is bad (Alec Shirkey, SEC Country)
- Georgia women’s basketball coach Joni Taylor gives birth to daughter shortly before season starts (Nick Krueger, Dawg Nation)
- From the beaches of Senegal to Georgia basketball: Pape Diatta’s journey (Seth Emerson, Dawg Nation)
- When Derrick Henry, Boom Williams picked UGA (Fletcher Page, Louisville Courier-Journal)
‘It’s gonna be a good day’
We conclude our celebration of Kentucky music today, and we do it on an uplifting note. And what better way to do it than with a band that has roots in Georgia and Kentucky — pun sort of intended — Nappy Roots. It’s Friday, and the weekend is coming at us fast. It is, indeed, a good day.
When all the Georgia losses have you wild-eyed
And all you want is a win this weekend.
Georgia hoops not predicted to make the NCAA tourney
Georgia basketball began its season with a 94-38 win over Fort Valley State in an exhibition on Thursday at Stegeman Coliseum. This figures to be the best team UGA hoops has fielded in some years, and with that comes UGA’s best shot at making the NCAA Tournament in some years as well. But not everyone is a believer in the Dawgs.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi released his preseason edition of bracketology, and Georgia is on the outside looking in. The Dawgs are the first team listed under “First four out,” however. Folks might not believe UGA can make the tourney right now, but it’s about to have four months to prove them wrong.
This is Georgie. He is an Indians fan, but his human is a Cubs fan.
Don’t be upset, Georgie. They had to wait 108 years for this win. That’s, like, 756 dog years.