As odd as it sounds, this month’s later games against Auburn and Georgia Tech are window dressing compared to what’ll be at stake on Saturday in the Bluegrass State.
That’s not to discount the chance to beat each rival for two years in a row, but a win on Saturday puts Georgia into place to play for an SEC title? Lose - its a likely Florida bowl trip and the season is at risk of imploding.
Here are three keys to a Georgia win and most importantly, a second SEC East title in a row.
Win the run
This one goes on both sides of the ball.
Georgia needs to do put the ball firmly in the hands of Kentucky’s passing game. If the Wildcats bruising running game is slowed to a halt, it’s chances of winning are better than if Benny Snell grinds out and overpowers Georgia up front.
Conversely, Swift and Holyfield will need to have a big day. If Georgia can eat up clock, it’ll go a long way in quelling a rabid crowd in Lexington and more critically, keeping the Wildcats best offensive weapon on the sideline.
Lock down Allen
The timing could not be better for Georgia’s offensive line. Going up against one of the country’s best defensive ends, Josh Allen, the Bulldogs will welcome back Ben Cleveland is some way or form this week as he has been getting work in this week at practice.
He will not only give Georgia depth help inside that can allow someone to rotate to the tackle spot if needed, but his mere presence will be huge for a unit that has been good of late, but has seemed to be missing a bit of something with Cleveland on the mend. It obviously goes without saying that the durability of Andrew Thomas will be a major focus as the tackle continues to fight through a season in which he has been dinged by injury.
Georgia’s tight end depth could also play a factor here as they could be employed along with Luke Ford to help with blitz pickup to neutralize Allen.
Take advantage of the middle
With five defensive backs over six feet tall, the odds of Fromm executing as many fades or back-shoulder throws figures to go down. For that reason, it’ll be crucial for Georgia’s short passing game and over the middle to do well by way of the infamous quick slants. In all honesty, that could lay out chances for Holyfield and Swift to turn dump offs from Fromm to big gains.