Kentucky Week: Kendall's Forecast

Reporter
Posted Nov 18, 2005


Josh Kendall takes a look at Georgia's key contest with Kentucky.

Rushing

Kentucky sophomore Rafael Little will be fun for Georgia fans to watch. His problem is he gets no help from the Wildcats' passing game to take pressure off. Expect Georgia to lean just slightly more heavily on starter Thomas Brown rather than Danny Ware or Kregg Lumpkin as the season winds down.

Edge: Georgia

Passing

Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley looked extremely comfortable in the no-huddle offense last week, and tight end Leonard Pope and freshmen Mohamed Massaquoi each had more than 100 yards receiving. Two or three more 100-yard games isn’t out of the question this week. The Wildcats, meanwhile, rank 95th in nation in passing offense. dge: Georgia o

Defense

The Bulldogs are eager to redeem themselves after three consecutive shaky performances. Kentucky’s offense is on a roll after putting up 48 points on Vanderbilt, but Georgia will be inspired. All the things it has struggled with recently — stopping the run, missed assignments and poor tackling — will be tested by Little, but the Bulldogs seem to be looking forward to the challenge. Kentucky’s defense is dreadful, ranking last in the league and in the 100s in the nation in both yards allowed (452.1 per game) and points allowed (33.7 per game).

Edge: Georgia

Special Teams

Place-kicker Brandon Coutu might be remembered a hero for making a pressure-packed 41-yarder to give the Bulldogs the lead over Auburn, but the Tigers’ dramatic comeback erased that memory for most people. Georgia’s kick return game also didn’t stink against the Tigers, which is an improvement. The Wildcats’ most dangerous weapon are their return teams, which rank second (kickoffs) and fifth (punts) in the nation. Little returns punts and is a constant threat.

Edge: Kentucky

Forecast

Other than Little, Kentucky doesn’t have the talent to run with Georgia.

The Bulldogs will have to bottle him up in the running game, the passing game and on punt returns, but, if they do that, this game will be a runaway. The Wildcats’ defense lacks the size or speed to compete in the SEC. The only conference teams that failed to gain more than 400 yards against Kentucky were Ole Miss and Mississippi State, and both of those offenses are dreadful. Last year, the Bulldogs scored 62 in Lexington. The number may not get that big this year, but it could be close.


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