Be Road Warriors
After outscoring Tennessee and Vanderbilt 84-14 the past two weeks at home, Georgia will try again for its first road win of the season. The Bulldogs lost their first three trips away from Athens. Georgia went 30-4 in opponents’ home stadiums from 2001-2008, but are just 3-5 since. “To be the kind of defense you want to be, you have to do well on the road, too,” Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “It shouldn’t matter where you are playing—home or away—truthfully. You go play the game. That’s been my approach with them.”
Keep it Scruffy
Georgia players have been able to let their beards grow the past couple of weeks because they are winning the turnover battle. Coach Mark Richt put that incentive out for them starting last year, but the Bulldogs were a wretched 118th out of 120 teams. This year, they are tied for 30th in the nation and tied for second in the SEC. Georgia hasn’t turned the ball over the past two games, but Kentucky is also tied for second in the league in turnover ratio. The Wildcats have the fewest turnovers lost with six and Georgia is second with seven, although it’s had its share of costly fumbles.
Get in the Zone
If Georgia gets inside the 20-yard line, it’s chances to score against Kentucky would seem to be pretty good. The Wildcats rank last in the SEC in red-zone defense. Opponents have scored on 24 of 25 trips, including 19 touchdowns. That ranks 119th in the nation, ahead of only Penn State. Georgia is sixth in the SEC in red-zone offense, but often have to turn to kicker Blair Walsh down there. The Bulldogs have 18 touchdowns and 10 field goals in 28 red-zone trips.
Join the Party
Kentucky is giving up 38.8 points per game in SEC play. Even Florida, which is addressing its offensive woes during its open week, put up 48 against the Wildcats. Georgia’s offense hasn’t thrown up the big numbers on the road that it has at home. The Bulldogs scored six at South Carolina, 12 at Mississippi State and 27 at Colorado. Of course, that last game brought the return of A.J. Green from suspension. Georgia will have its big play weapon again tonight, and he will test Kentucky’s secondary.
Minimize Big Plays
Georgia had breakdowns earlier in the season that resulted in too many big plays at the wrong times. They had few against Vanderbilt last week in the Bulldogs’ first SEC shutout since 2006, giving up only two plays of 25 yards or more. Kentucky is one of the most explosive offenses in the SEC with receivers Randall Cobb, Chris Matthews and La’Rod King and quarterback Mike Hartline, who has completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 1,791 yards with 13 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.
► PHOTO GALLERY: Kentucky football prepares for Georgia