Georgia got all it could handle from Auburn defensive end Dee Ford last week.
Kentucky has a pair of rushers coming off the edge that the Bulldogs will have to contend with in junior defensive ends Alvin ‚ÄúBud‚Äù Dupree and Za‚ÄôDarius Smith.
Dupree is fifth in the SEC with seven sacks and Smith is tied with Georgia‚Äôs Ray Drew for seventh with six.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve always liked (Dupree),‚Äù Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. ‚ÄúAn athletic kid, made plays his first two years that we played.‚Äù
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs a good player,‚Äù Georgia right tackle John Theus said. ‚ÄúI know his freshman year he was playing end, last year he played a little linebacker and this year he‚Äôs back kind of as a hybrid.‚Äù
Dupree also has a team-high nine tackles for loss.
‚ÄúDupree‚Äôs a Georgia kid, so he‚Äôs going to be excited about coming home,‚Äù Georgia offensive line coach Will Friend said of the Wilkinson County product.
Dupress was already at Kentucky when new coach Mark Stoops arrived. Smith was signed out of East Mississippi Community College.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm very impressed with both those guys,‚Äù Stoops said. ‚ÄúI think really kind of pleasantly surprised with the versatility of Bud Dupree. There‚Äôs a guy that‚Äôs very good with his hand in the dirt playing a 4-3 defensive end, and he‚Äôs also very talented standing up, playing linebacker in some of the 3-4 stuff that we‚Äôre doing. I think he‚Äôs a type of guys he‚Äôd be one of the best players on our defense no matter where we played him in the front seven.‚Äù
Kentucky rang up three sacks against Murray last year in a closer-than-expected 29-24 Georgia win in Lexington. Left tackle Kenarious Gates and Kolton Houston, who also works at right tackle, will have to hold up in protection against the Wildcats‚Äô ends as well.
Georgia had big success in the passing game in the second-half against Auburn when it changed up its protection and went with more of a quick passing game.
‚ÄúIn this league, you pretty much got to have a quick passing game,‚Äù Bobo said. ‚ÄúYou‚Äôre going to play good defenses every week and you‚Äôre not going to be able to hold the ball for four or five seconds. ‚Ä¶ When you play good defenses, you‚Äôre going to have to get the ball out quick.‚Äù