- Win the Trenches – Going back to Vince Dooley’s coaching days, Georgia fans always heard about how tough and physical Kentucky was up front. Most years the Bulldogs were better, but “we always knew we had played in a tough football game,” Georgia’s Hall of Fame coach would say. That certainly still holds true. Kentucky has one of the toughest lines of scrimmage on offense and defense in the Southeastern Conference. It will be a huge test for Georgia’s front on defense and offense. It is so physical and tough week by week. And that is the case this week in Lexington.
2. Control the Kicking Game – There have been some outstanding moments on special teams for the Bulldogs this season, from the “Jack and Jake” kicking combo, Kenny McIntosh’s kickoff returns, Kearis Jackson fielding punts and excellent coverage units. Kentucky will surely pull out everything in the playbook and that goes for special teams. Watch those fakes and trick plays Bulldogs! In most games, it takes winning two of three phases to prevail. Georgia needs the kicking game.
3. Cut Down the Penalties –Self-inflicted wounds have set the Bulldogs back this season, and like every other team out there, minimizing those yellow flags is essential to maximizing efficiency and success. Going backwards is no way to move forwards. And nothing opens up the upset door for the favorite like miscues, penalties, turnovers and special teams breakdowns. How about four or fewer penalties on Saturday in Lexington? That would be a big boost, as we hit the midpoint of the season.
4. Perimeter Performance – The last time Georgia was in Lexington, and the SEC East Division title was on the line in 2018, the Bulldogs took control early on a long punt return by Mecole Hardman that set up a touchdown on Georgia’s first possession. The Bulldogs led the rest of the way and won 34-17. Kentucky is tough, strong and physical. While Georgia must win in the trenches, the separation that could lead to a victory could come from the Bulldogs receivers and returners. Can the speed show? Can the Bulldogs get some more of those savory big gainers and a quick-strike touchdown?
5. Bring the Fire – Every team is being challenged in a unique way this season with a 10-game all conference schedule. It is a grind for everyone. No cupcakes in 2020. For Georgia, this is an especially difficult stretch. Coming off emotional, high profile games Between the Hedges against Auburn and Tennessee and then the trip to Alabama, with Florida on deck, this sets up as a classic let down. The newly scheduled open date is another factor. Will it help? Kirby Smart and the veteran leaders will drive this team to keep the focus and bring the same intensity displayed in October. Everything is still in front of the Bulldogs. To be great and have a shot at a championship, a letdown is not an option.