Run Defense – The Wildcats are putting up impressive numbers on the ground. That is leading to ball control, clock management, a fresh defense, and a very good passing game. That fresh defense was obviously huge in the goal line stand to beat Florida two weeks ago. This team has tremendous balance. Georgia’s defensive front, in the midst of a typically tough Southeastern Conference gauntlet must not only again answer the bell, but lead the charge against a veteran, physical Kentucky offensive line that shows the way for the Wildcats. That O-Line particularly shined when Kentucky was able to churn out first downs on the ground to run out the clock and preserve a 16-10 lead in the win at South Carolina.
Red Zone Cash In – When the Dogs get close, it’s going to take touchdowns to beat these tough and gritty Wildcats. Kentucky’s red zone defense has been outstanding this season. Big stops with the lead were particularly important in Kentucky’s wins over the Gamecocks and Gators. You may recall a critical turnover last season in Lexington when Georgia had a chance to take a 14-3 lead in the first half. The Bulldogs survived that, and a blocked field, and eventually won 14-3. These ‘Cats are turning teams away.
Special Teams – It was just referenced. Last season on the last play of the first half, Kentucky blocked a Georgia field goal and had a shot to run it back for a touchdown, but holder/punter Jake Camarda made a great play to run interference and prevent a Wildcats score. Well, this season, in Kentucky’s win over Florida, the Wildcats blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown to take a 13-10 lead. The Gators were shaken. The Wildcats energized. They’ll come after Georgia with everything on special teams. The Dogs have to be heads up and sound.
Patience and The Big Strike – Staying patient offensively, running up tempo, seeking the explosive play, managing the clock, it can all be quite the tightrope. But the Bulldogs have to find a way. In Georgia’s last home game, the Dogs leaned heavily on the run in an impressive victory over Arkansas. In the previous two home games, while the running game was good, it was big plays in the passing game that put UAB and South Carolina on its heels. Can Georgia find that mix against a stingy Wildcats defense that has put up some very impressive numbers?
Bring It Again – Speaking of the aforementioned home games, the Bulldog faithful have truly shined thus far this season. Georgia has to have it again on Saturday. This team, these fans, they feed off one another. It’s a grind of a season, and this will be Georgia’s fifth of eight straight against Southeastern Conference foes – with an open date next week. For the Bulldogs’ dreams to stay alive, there must be no letdown. These Wildcats are not only for real, they are like Georgia, right in the thick of the SEC championship race chasing major dreams. Kentucky has shown it can slay the bluebloods, they’ll come in hungry. Can the Sanford Stadium crowd have an effect and help get this strong Kentucky team a bit off balance?