In The Trenches: Georgia vs. Kentucky

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In The Trenches: Georgia vs. Kentucky

Georgia’s 2020 campaign took a hit in Tuscaloosa, but the Dawgs have an opportunity to reboot the season with their upcoming visit to Kentucky.

The Bulldogs were beaten by Alabama in Tuscaloosa. There is no soft-peddling that the Tide out-executed the Bulldogs. Execution is the direct result of coaching, and Kirby Smart himself said after the game, “They out-coached us.” Kirby is right. Nick Saban and his staff had a better plan and Alabama beat Georgia. Now, Kirby and Company have an opportunity to retool the offense and get prepared for the stretch run to Atlanta.

Offense

Alabama knew the Dawgs would bring lots of speedy guys to rush their very accurate but relatively immobile quarterback. Everyone that Georgia plays knows the same thing, Kentucky included. The trick is to either block Georgia’s onrushing linemen, linebacker(s), and possibly a defensive back, or as Bama’s Mac Jones did all night, get his passes off before the rush got to him. Yes, the guys in white hurried Jones often, but the slants and other relatively short patterns allowed him to get the ball to his playmakers in space consistently.

Defense 

Now Georgia turns to Kentucky and a defense that had been playing excellent football in recent weeks before being gashed by Mizzou last week. Kentucky is not Alabama, but the gentlemen in blue will be ready to play when the first whistle blows Saturday. Don’t forget even some pretty bad UK teams have managed to give UGA problems over the years.

Look for a steady diet of quick-release passes against the Bulldogs defense that was exposed by Bama’s Jones and will be attacked by Kentucky’s Terry Wilson. Alabama showed how to beat the Dawgs, but it will take an almost perfect game from Kentucky if Georgia’s defense plays sound football. Of course, there is also the possibility that the Bulldogs have a less effective day on defense. This game, sandwiched between Alabama and Florida, seems fertile ground for looking back at the Bama loss or gazing ahead to a “more important” opponent. If that happens, Todd Monken’s offense will have another problem on its hands, and pressure will mount on the defense as the game moves along.

Of course, Georgia will invade the Commonwealth with its loaded roster and coaching talent to match. Kentucky will not roll over, but the Dawgs should best the Wildcats as long as those coaches have their team ready for the test that Kentucky will provide.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.