The No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (6-0, 4-0 SEC) take on the No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats (6-0, 4-0 SEC) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET in Athens, Ga. This will be the first time two SEC East teams will face off with 6-0 records or better which is drawing College Gameday back to Athens for the second time in three weeks as well as SEC Nation. The top-ranked Bulldogs are favored by more than three scores in this matchup that will likely decide the East.
This will be the first game for the Bulldogs since achieving the nation’s top-ranking this season. Georgia enters this matchup on the back-end of a stretch where the team is set to play four-straight ranked opponents following a victory against 18th-ranked Auburn 34-10 and 8th-ranked Arkansas 37-0. The No. 11 Wildcats are currently coming off beating LSU 42-21 and No. 10 Florida 20-13 in back-to-back weeks to achieve the program’s first 6-0 start since 1950.
Kentucky is led by Penn State transfer quarterback Will Levis and an excellent ground game with Chris Rodriguez Jr. serving as the lead ball-carrier. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart had high praise for the Kentucky offensive line stating, “They always have been one of the most physical games, if not the most physical game we’ve played in. I don’t think the rest of the world understands the physicality their offensive line has played with. They have four draftable guys.”
Georgia enters their 7th-game of the season ranking first in the country in points allowed giving up just 5.5 points on average while the Bulldog’s rushing defense is holding opponents to just 2.15 yards-per-carry. Kentucky’s lead back Chris Rodriguez Jr. looks to be the biggest test yet for the Georgia defense as he enters this game ranking first in rushing yards and attempts in the SEC with 768-yards on 120 attempts.
The Bulldogs have had the luxury of obtaining large leads early the past several weeks as Georgia is outscoring their opponents 59-3 in the first-quarter the last 3-games and 79-3 in the first-half in that same span. Scoring early and often could be key for the Bulldogs to incentivize Kentucky to bail from their physical running-game and throw more often as Wildcat quarterback Will Levis currently ranks just 10th in the SEC in passing attempts on the season among qualified quarterbacks.
Whether the quarterback is JT Daniels or Stetson Bennett for the Bulldogs, the Georgia passing-game is top-10 in the country in passing efficiency. The game plan for the Georgia offense has changed weekly as the offense looks to be well-rounded enough to adapt to any type of defense. The Georgia running-game has picked up the past two weeks rushing for 474-yards over that span. Kentucky’s talented defensive line is missing starting defensive end Octavious Oxendine who is out for the season with a lower leg injury as well as nose guard Marquan McCall who is also out for the season. Look for Georgia to continue to run the ball early and often to make things easier for a banged-up receiving core.
Georgia has not lost to Kentucky since 2009 and looks to continue that trend Saturday in front of a home crowd and a nationally-televised CBS audience.