LEXINGTON,Ky.—Greetings from Bluegrass County. Georgia finally gets on the field again for the first time in two weeks tonight.
It may seem like two months after all the hand-wringing over that game in Columbia, S.C.
It will be a crisp fall evening in Kentucky’s Commonwealth Stadium.
Temperatures are expected to dip into the mid-40s by the time the game ends.
“We want to get back on track after getting derailed just a little bit a couple of weeks ago,” Georgia coach Mark Richt told fans at a pep rally Thursday on campus at Legion Field. “Sorry about that.”
Georgiais 5-1, but has had a bunch to fix since that 35-7 wipeout atSouth Carolinatwo weeks ago.
Let Richt count the ways.
“We’ve been giving up too many big plays,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we don’t do that. We’ve got to make sure we get back to running the ball like we’ve been running it early in the year. We’re break even in turnover ratio, which isn’t awful, but we need to get more turnovers. We need to protect the ball a little bit better. We’ve still got some things we need to clean up in some of our special teams areas. We’ve got a lot of things we can continue to get better at.”
Linebacker Jarvis Jones is on the trip, but that doesn’t mean he will play. He had not practiced since the South Carolina game through Wednesday’s practice. Richt has said if he is cleared to go he will.
Things are working out nicely so far for Georgia in the Swamp. The Gators lead South Carolina21-6, at halftime, helping Georgia in the SEC East race.
Some notes pre-game:
–Redshirt freshman Justin Scott-Wesley didn’t make the trip. He tweeted out that he has a strained hamstring. Offensive lineman Hunter Long, returning from a broken foot, also isn’t on the 70-man travel squad. Neither is tailback Brandon Harton, who led Georgia in rushing last year against Kentucky.
–Looks like outside linebacker Jarvis Jones won’t go tonight based on pregame warmups. While teammates are warming up, Jones (sprained ankle) is in sweats standing on the field with his hands in his pockets talking to a Kentucky assistant. When he first walked onto the field, he took a seat on the bench and then signed autographs for some fans behind the bench.
–If you are listening at home, Tim Couch is the analyst for the game on FSN.
Not sure how often this happens. Kentucky uses the Tim Couch Practice Fields.
The Wildcats could sure use the 1999 NFL No. 1 overall draft pick at quarterback (Champ Bailey went No. 7 and Matt Stinchcomb No. 18 that year).
They are missing injured Maxwell Smith and freshman Patrick Towles isn’t expected to be available because of a high ankle sprain.
Towles, who was coached by former Wildcats quarterback Jared Lorenzen in high school, was on the scout team earlier this season but completed all five passes for 71 yards on his first drive againstMississippiStatetwo weeks ago.
Jalen Whitlow, another true freshman, is expected to start tonight.
–Kentucky’s defense is coming off a rough outing. The Wildcats gave up 307 yards of total offense—in the first quarter alone.
Georgia could target freshman cornerback Cody Quinn. The Wildcats also should start freshman Zack Blaylock from Walton High School. His twin brother Daron is also a freshman.
Their father is former NBA player Mookie Blaylock, who played guard for the Atlanta Hawks in the 1990s.
“They have had a lot of injuries,”Georgiacoach Mark Richt said. “No coach wants to make any excuses for anything, but there’s no question that if you’re playing a bunch of true freshman on your team and in the back end of your defense, that’s tough. I think they’re almost all true freshmen playing in the back end, so it’s tough. Those guys all want to play SEC ball, but if you get too many of them playing at the same time, you’re going to have some problems.”
–Former Georgia safety Greg Blue was on the sideline pregame wearing a Georgia cap. He’s coaching the defensive backs at Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Ky. I asked him if he thought Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams knew who he was. He said probably not.
–Here’s the result Georgia wanted at the Swamp: Florida 44, South Carolina 11. Georgia can again control its own destiny in the SEC East with a win tonight now.
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