Kentucky vs. Georgia has been analyzed, dissected, and projected to death by this point in the week.
Here are a few points that may have been overlooked:
— UGA lacks a big-name, dynamic receiver. Underneath routes have been favored by QB Jacob Eason as inside wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie leads the team with 30 catches. Tight ends will play a significant role against Kentucky.
— True freshman Isaac Bauta is the team’s third leading receiver with 17 receptions and 2 touchdowns.
— Veteran Jeb Blazevich has only 4 catches but remains a threat. His late-fourth quarter TD grab proved to be the game winner against Missouri.
— Jacob Eason has been accurate and prolific while throwing on the run. He’s been forced to do so more frequently than Kirby Smart would prefer. The rookie has a huge arm and is highly competitive. OT’s have struggled against forceful pass rush.
— UK QB chasers will need to remain cognizant of Eason’s release point within the pocket. This also applies to edge containment on third down.
— OLB’s Josh Allen and Denzil Ware will have ample opportunity to pressure Eason on a regular basis.
— UGA leads the SEC in turnover margin; +6, Kentucky is last at -11.
— Dawgs have scored 30 points off 15 forced turnovers.
— Kentucky has fumbled the football 17 times; losing 12.
— Georgia opponents are completing 61.1% of their passes. Only Ole Miss allows a higher number with 61.2%.
— Ranks seventh in the SEC by allowing 216.4 pass yards per game.
— Safety Dominick Sanders has 11 career interceptions. His 6 in 2015 ranked first in the SEC.
— CB Deandre Baker totaled 10 tackles and 1 QB sack vs. Florida.
Desperation vs. Hunger
— Three home games remain on the Dawg’s schedule: Auburn, Louisiana Lafayette, and Georgia Tech.
— Kentucky is now a must win for Kirby Smart as his team is sitting at 4-4 going into Saturday.
— Kentucky is 5-3 with Austin Peay poised to travel to Commonwealth Stadium on 19 November. Mark Stoops’ team is hungry. Based on post-practice interviews and other observations his team has tasted victory and wants more.
— Junior RB’s Sony Michel and Nick Chubb met with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney following a combined 11 carry game against Florida. Michel and Chubb were also singled out by Kirby Smart for their leadership at practice this week as the Dawgs prepare for the Cats.
— Nick Chubb recently talked about the duo’s performance vs. the Gators in an interview found on Dawgs247:
“Me and Sony, we live together. We’re close. Just me and him talking one-on-one, it was just kind of embarrassing,” Chubb said of the performance against Florida. “I think he had two yards. He came and told me, ‘that ain’t ever going to happen again, two yards.’ Same for me. We kind of agreed upon that. Me and him, personally, made a promise to get these guys going and get things rolling.”
— From DawgNation.com, tight end Jeb Blazevich voiced concern following a loss to Vanderbilt:
“Obviously we want to win that game, I don’t think there’s ever a perfect time (to lose) at the halfway point. But I will say this, and I think coach touched on it a little bit. This is going to sound terrible: It’s almost good in a way,” Blazevich said. “Because if we do win by a field goal, we still have the same problems, then we might not recognize it the same way we do now. But now it’s in our face, it’s pressing us, we’re almost forced to address all the issues that we were having.”
The Georgia players and coaches are saying all the right things. The Dawgs are extremely talented and will have the opportunity to Right the Ship on Saturday night. Momentum favors the Cats. Talent vs. new-found swagger; potential against actuality. Saturday can’t come fast enough.