Here is your primer for Saturday’s game between No. 7 Georgia and Kentucky.
Kickoff time: 3:30 p.m.
TV: CBS (Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson, Allie LaForce)
Local radio: Macon — 106.3 FM; Columbus — 1460 AM/100.1 FM; Athens — 960 AM/106.1 FM; Atlanta — 750 AM/95.5 FM (Scott Howard, Eric Zeier, Chuck Dowdle)
Weather: The temperature is expected to be in the mid-60s with partly cloudy skies. There should be a 10 mph breeze, which is reason enough to dress warmly.
Betting line: Georgia -21
Georgia coaches: Head coach Kirby Smart, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, special teams coordinator Shane Beamer
Kentucky coaches: Head coach Mark Stoops, offensive coordinator Eddie Gran, defensive coordinator Matt House, special teams coordinator Dean Hood
Series history: Georgia holds a big lead in its series against Kentucky, leading 56-12-2. In Athens, the Bulldogs have a 27-4-2 record over the Wildcats. Georgia has won the past seven games between the two teams. The series dates back to 1939.
Last meeting: Georgia defeated Kentucky 27-24 on a last-second field goal from Rodrigo Blankenship. Quarterback Jacob Eason led the Bulldogs 69 yards down the field and was 4-of-4 passing for 42 yards on the drive. Blankenship made four field goals in the game.
Georgia’s season thus far: Georgia (9-1, 6-1 SEC) suffered a surprising lopsided loss to Auburn a week ago, which halted a 10-game winning streak dating back to last season’s Liberty Bowl victory. The Bulldogs edged Notre Dame in the second week of the year but recorded blowouts in seven of its first nine games. The loss to Auburn wasn’t surprising in that it happened, but it was in terms of how it occurred. Georgia’s strengths – running the ball and fundamental defense – were not effective against the Tigers, which led to the 40-17 defeat.
Kentucky’s season thus far: The Wildcats (7-3, 4-3) have been in nine relatively close games this season. Eight of Kentucky’s games have been decided by 11 points or less. The two games that weren’t were a 45-7 loss to Mississippi State and a 44-21 win over Vanderbilt. The Wildcats could have had a win over Florida if not for a costly penalty late. Kentucky’s loss to Mississippi two weeks ago helped Georgia clinch the SEC East.
Georgia’s key offensive players: RB Nick Chubb, RB Sony Michel, QB Jake Fromm, WR Terry Godwin
Georgia’s key defensive players: ILB Roquan Smith, OLB Lorenzo Carter, OLB Davin Bellamy, S J.R. Reed
Kentucky’s key offensive players: RB Benny Snell, QB Stephen Johnson, WR Garrett Johnson, TE C.J. Conrad
Kentucky’s key defensive players: LB Jordan Jones, LB Josh Allen, DL Denzel Ware, S Mike Edwards,
The key for Georgia: Georgia must be able to stop Kentucky’s rushing attack, which is spearheaded by one of the SEC’s best running backs in Snell. Snell is second in the conference with 1,013 yards and tied for first with 15 touchdowns. The Bulldogs were strong against the run all year until last week’s game against Auburn. Snell is a patient runner who lets holes set up before hitting them, which is exactly how Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson attacked the Bulldogs. For Georgia to stay in control of this game, it must keep Snell from churning out yards and picking up first downs.
The key for Kentucky: For Kentucky, two things must happen. The first is that Snell becomes a factor on offense, which in turn makes things easier for Johnson in the passing game. If Snell is able to get going, this game very well could be close heading into the fourth quarter. The second is that, like Auburn, it must take away the run and force Georgia’s offense into a one-dimensional passing attack. If these two things happen, Kentucky very well could be in the upset business.
What a win means for Georgia: Georgia would keep its College Football Playoff hopes alive while going undefeated at Sanford Stadium in a season for the first time since 2012.
What a win means for Kentucky: Kentucky would snap a seven-game losing streak against Georgia and total eight wins for the first time since 2008.