The Georgia Bulldogs got a rude awakening at Auburn University last week. The 1st or 2nd best team in the country, depending who you spoke to, was routed by Auburn by a score of 40-17. Auburn winning the football game was no upset, they were 2-point underdogs. However, a 40-17 blowout was not expected. There were a lot of people who had it as a 3-point game going either way, but a blowout was not in the vast majority of original projections. I wouldn’t rule Georgia out of the playoff just yet. If they can run the tables, which would include a SEC Championship, Georgia may still find a way in. You can’t remove an undefeated Miami team from the top-4. And then if Wisconsin win-out and go undefeated as well, you’ll hear them clamoring for an invite. Clemson and Oklahoma both have losses and are currently in the playoff, so there could be some chaos here if Georgia does pull it off.
Georgia must put that Auburn game in the past and not overlook Kentucky. The Bulldogs’ defense looked impenetrable before they showed up to play the Auburn Tigers. Georgia were outgained by 258 yards. Jarrett Stidham passed for 3 touchdowns in what was the best performance of his career and biggest game of his career thus far. Stidham did a lot for his team, and did a lot for his draft stock. The NFL wants to see quality games against good defenses. Auburn are an 8-2 football team, so their chances of reaching the playoff are pretty well in the tubes. However, they are still in the running for a New Year’s Six game. A loss to Alabama in the Iron Bowl, and a final regular season record of 8-3, will be enough for one of the top-tier bowls. If they win-out and everyone else folds in front of them, they’d be considered for the playoff, albeit an unlikely scenario.
Auburn have UL Monroe on deck this week, so barring an unbelievable upset, Auburn will take on Alabama with 2 losses on their resume. Alabama are still perfect, as they avoided a disaster against Mississippi State a week ago. This is not the time of the year to be taking other teams lightly. That includes Georgia taking Kentucky lightly on Saturday. Kentucky head into Athens, Georgia with a record of 7-3. They’ve already locked in a bowl bid and are just trying to play spoiler at this point. The Wildcats can also improve the quality of bowl game they play in. Now that it’s basketball season, though, attention will turn to the Kentucky basketball program, who just suffered an early loss to Kansas. A win over Georgia may cool the burns from the past week. We’ll see if they can do it on Saturday afternoon in Athens. Head below for our thoughts, and free Kentucky vs. Georgia pick.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Georgia Bulldogs Odds:
vs. Georgia -21.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Kentucky vs. Georgia Pick:
Kentucky were feeling good last week, as they dismantled Vanderbilt by a score of 44-21. They did it on the ground with a stellar running game that went for 233 yards on Vanderbilt. Quarterback Stephen Johnson didn’t have to do much, as he threw for 195 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. As long as he took care of the ball and didn’t turn it over, Kentucky were going to win with ease.
It’s exactly what Johnson was able to do. Against Georgia, though, he’s going to have to make some plays. The Bulldogs rank 5th in total defense, allowing 278 yards per game. I think you can expect Georgia to take away the Kentucky running game. They are allowing just 103.8 yards on the ground per game, with most of those yards coming against Auburn.
Georgia would be fine with Kentucky throwing the ball as well, because they have been stout in that regard, too. The Bulldogs are 11th in the nation allowing only 173.8 passing yards per game. At home, Georgia have given up an average of 13 points per game, while scoring 36.2 per on offense. Kentucky are near the back against the pass on defense, where they’ve given up 282.3 yards per game, 121st in the country. Jake Fromm has been the most underrated player on Georgia. He’s thrown for 16 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, with 3 touchdowns rushing on the ground. Fromm has allowed Nick Chubb and the defense to take games over.
Running back Benny Snell must come through with a big showing against the Georgia defense. Snell has rushed for over 100 yards in three straight games, including 9 touchdowns. The problem for Snell is that he’s going up against the most physical defense he’s played this year. When they went on the road against Mississippi State, they were mauled for a 45-7 final. The running game was nullified, which set up Stephen Johnson to drop back to pass frequently. It didn’t go too pretty, as he threw 2 interceptions with no touchdowns. I expect something similar happening on Saturday. The Georgia defense will impose their will on Kentucky and make them wish they were play Vanderbilt again. I’d go with Georgia and lay the points.
PICK: GEORGIA -21.5 (-110)