This is the game after the fall. Georgia can either go on a run and go undefeated the rest of the way or fall apart and chalk it up as another lost season.
Kirby Smart would like to get back on track for his job’s sake, but after losing to South Carolina, the second half of the season could get ugly for the Bulldogs. Fortunately, not yet as they were -25 point home favorites with an over/under of 48 against Kentucky.
After getting blown out by LSU last year, Georgia rebounded with three wins all by at least 17 points against ranked teams. Kentucky was one of those.
The Bulldogs dominated both lines of scrimmage in the 34-17 road win, rushing for 331 yards while holding the Wildcats to 84. That happened despite UK being in the midst of one of its better seasons in school history.
However, things could get interesting in this game if Georgia isn’t focused. Kentucky is in an interesting spot at quarterback after Sawyer Smith sat last week with a shoulder injury and top wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. ran the show, rushing for 196 yards and two touchdowns to go with a 10-for-15 passing mark.
Those are incredible numbers for a wide receiver, but they also came in a 24-20 win against Arkansas, a team who lost to San Jose State. No matter who is at quarterback, things won’t be as easy in this one.
Bowden will likely find a lot more resistance out of the backfield and the same goes for running backs Asim Rose and Kavosiey Smoke.
If Smith starts, that could be worse because he hasn’t been good, completing 46.2% of his passes and leading the offense to 20 combined points against Miss. State and South Carolina.
And while Georgia is coming off a loss, it dominated in the underlying numbers against South Carolina. The problem was that the Bulldogs turned it over four times and that was it.
Kentucky has another respectable defense, but is arguably worse than a year ago and allowing 173.2 rushing yards per contest.
Even if the Bulldogs gave up on the season, they’d probably still run for at least 200 yards against this defense. All three of their top running backs are averaging at least 6.3 yards per carry led by D’Andre Swift, who has 573 yards.
Quarterback Jake Fromm is looking to get the bad taste out of his mouth after throwing three interceptions last week. Given his 70.4% completion rate, the interceptions were a surprise.
Similar to last week, Georgia has the edge on both sides of the ball by a decent margin and that’s why the spread is so big. Kentucky has been competitive this season, but that could change with either Smith or the run-first Bowden against this defense. Throw in the factor that Georgia lost last game and this is a good spot for a bounce back.
The over has hit in UK’s last five games following a straight-up win, while Georgia is 5-0 ATS following a straight-up loss. The Bulldogs have been favored and covered in the last six meetings between these schools, winning the last three at home all by at least 24 points.
Our Pick – Kentucky +25