1 – Contain Bowden:
Kentucky’s most dangerous offensive weapon, no matter where he lines up is Lynn Bowden, Jr. The junior out of the great football town of Youngstown, Ohio led the Wildcats in receiving last season, grabbed five touchdown catches and returned two punts for scores as Kentucky went 10-3. Due to injuries behind center, Bowden moved to quarterback late in a 24-7 loss at South Carolina two weeks ago. It was Bowden who led the Wildcats on their touchdown drive. He is the player, no matter where he lines up, that Georgia must be aware of at all times. Bowden is a difference-maker.
2 – Rushing attack:
Speaking of the Wildcats loss to South Carolina, the Gamecocks had a pair of 100-yard rushers against Kentucky. The Wildcats lost a great deal of talent off their outstanding defense from last season, and the Bulldogs will certainly try and exploit their front. Last season in Lexington, it was the ground attack that led the way to a 34-17 Georgia win over the Wildcats. D’Andre Swift had 156 yards and two spectacular touchdown runs of 20 and 80 yards, the 20 yarder may be the finest of his career. Elijah Holyfield complimented Swift with 115 on the ground. Kentucky will surely load up to try and slow Georgia down, but that running game leading to play action is the offensive formula to Bulldogs’ success.
3 – Dominant Run D:
Georgia did a great job against Benny Snell, arguably the best running back in Kentucky history, last season. The Bulldogs rush defense will be tested by a physical offensive line. Slowing down or stifling that Wildcats rushing game is essential. That task has grown much more daunting with the emergence of Lynn Bowden Jr. behind center. He ran for 196 yards and two touchdowns in Kentucky’s 24-20 win over Arkansas. If this thing is tight, chasing the speeding and elusive Bowden around in the fourth quarter will be a tall task for the Bulldogs.
4 – Special Teams:
There have been mixed results with the kicking game this season for the Bulldogs, and Kirby Smart is seeking consistent excellence in all phases. The Bulldogs must avoid any of those dreaded door opening Special Teams Disasters. As the schedule grinds along, the importance of the kicking game will continue to grow. Nothing gives the underdog the upset opportunity like turnovers or big plays in the kicking game.
5 – Hedges Energy:
Georgia’s fan base is the most passionate and loyal in the country. The “Road Dawg” showings at Notre Dame, the Rose Bowl, and Nashville, just to name three, have been awe-inspiring and drawn praise and attention from all corners of college football. That 12th man undoubtedly made the difference in the Bulldogs win over Notre Dame. Part of what made that one so special is that the stadium was almost completely filled an hour before the game. Early, proud and loud. That’s the boost for the Bulldogs and a big disadvantage for the visitors.