Bo Nix sacked by defender

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) is sacked by Georgia linebacker Quay Walker (7) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

  • Kentucky and Georgia meet on Saturday at 3:30pm ET on CBS
  • The top-ranked Bulldogs have won by an average of 4 1points their last three games
  • Read more for an analysis and prediction

Upstart #11 Kentucky (6-0) will put it’s an undefeated record on the line when it travels to Athens to face #1 Georgia (6-0) on Saturday at 3:30pm ET on CBS.

The Bulldogs have completely demolished every opponent in their path. They are coming off a 34-10 win over Auburn last week.

The most direct way to qualify how good a team is to look at it’s margin of victory. And if you looked at Georgia’s, you’d look twice. They lead the country in the category. The Bulldogs have an average margin of victory of 34.3 points. More impressively? They’ve have an average margin of victory of 41 points in their last three games.

Kentucky vs Georgia Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Kentucky +21.5 (-115) +1120 U 44.5 (-114)
Georgia -21.5 (-105) -3000 O 44.5 (-106)

Odds via FanDuel on October 13th

Trends to Note

Kentucky has benefited from a down SEC.

They handled an LSU team last week that has mailed things in for the season. They had an impressive win against Florida and two lackluster performances before then.

In short, the Wildcats have handled business but they’ve had some things bounce their way. Their first four games were one possession games and Kentucky won all four.

As for the Bulldogs, consider they are 18-5 ATS the last five seasons against defenses allowing less than 20 points per game, and 26-16 the last 10 seasons against teams averaging five yards or more per carry.

Translation: Georgia beats and covers against teams like Kentucky.

Kentucky Needs Consistent QB Play

Coming into the 2021 campaign, Kentucky fans were abuzz about a new offense high-powered headlined by QB Will Levis. While they’ve had their moments, they haven’t got that.

Before last week against LSU, Levis had thrown an interception in every game. He ranks in the bottom quarter in college football, with six total interceptions through fives. Levis had his worst game of the season against #10 Florida, the only Top-25 opponent the Wildcats have played.

He only threw the ball 17 times but could only manage to complete seven his passes, a middling 41% completion rate. He also threw for an interception and one touchdown.

There have been some bright spots. Last time out against LSU, Levis was an efficient 14-of-17, completing some impressive passes. Yet he only managed to throw for 145 yards, marking the third consecutive game he threw for less than 150 yards.

Georgia’s D as Good as Advertised

There’s no point in going too deep into the numbers of Georgia’s defense because you’ve heard them all. But you can’t discuss them without giving the defense the headline story.

They’ve allowed as many offensive touchdowns as shutouts they’ve delivered (2). They rank first in havoc, first in passing defense, and fourth in rushing defense. Auburn came into last week’s game averaging over 40 points. They left Athens scoring 10 points.

The most impressive and best way to qualify just how good the Georgia defense is looking at the yards per play. Through six games, Georgia has allowed 3.8 yards per play. The only team in to finish the season allowing less yards per play is Alabama in 2011. That same Alabama team shut-out LSU in the National Championship game.

At times, we stop discussing how good a defense is relative to the year and start putting some historical context behind it. It seems time to do that here.

Prediction

Kentucky has been a fun story but it ends against Georgia. Trying to go mano a mano against the Bulldogs doesn’t seem like a plausible strategy for any team in the country (including Alabama). I expect Kentucky to attempt to do that because that is the best attribute of Kentucky football. They play smash mouth football and they do it well. Unfortunately Georgia does it much better than them.

I rate Kentucky very similarly to Arkansas. I could see this one going a similar way as that 37-0 Bulldogs route. The most impressive part of that game? Georgia outscored Arkansas in the first quarter 21-0. And they did it without forcing a turnover. The Bulldogs rank first in the country in first quarter scoring with 15.5 points per game. I will ride the strength of that trend and back Georgia to get off to a fast start Saturday. I don’t think this one will be close.

  • Pick: Georgia 1H -13 (-105)
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Chris Hatfield

NCAAF
NCAAB
Sports Writer

NCAAF
NCAAB





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