No. 1 Georgia (10-0) will travel to Kentucky (6-4) on Saturday for the Bulldogs’ final SEC game of the season.
UGA is coming off a 45-19 win at Mississippi State and the Wildcats are looking to rebound after a 24-21 loss to Vanderbilt in Week 11.
The game is scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS. Georgia is a -22.5 point favorite according to BetMGM. The Over/Under is set to 49.
Here’s why Georgia finishes its SEC calendar strong, advancing to 11-0:
Trouble on the offensive
Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel
Kentucky is bottom in the SEC with 40 sacks this season.
Quarterback Will Levis and powerful running back Chris Rodriguez haven’t had much room to play in the Wildcats’ backfield this season.
Britain gave up four sacks to Vanderbilt last week in what is statistically the worst defense in the SEC.
Georgia is only 10th in the SEC in sacks (17), but the Bulldogs have shown effectiveness in getting to quarterback when they want.
For example, the Bulldogs hauled in six sacks in Week 10 against Tennessee.
UGA’s defense is no accident
Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
The Georgia defense was expected to take a step back after losing eight defenders to the NFL draft this spring.
That hasn’t been the case so far, as the Bulldogs lead the SEC in nearly every defensive category.
Kentucky’s offense ranks last in the SEC in offense (339 yards per game) and currently ranks 11th in the SEC with 23 points per game.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Junior defender Jalen Carter has done enough to justify his own category since returning from injury.
Carter’s last two games: 11 tackles, two sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles.
Kentucky’s ailing offensive line will have their hands full Saturday afternoon.
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Georgia’s offensive weapons shone brightly against the state of Mississippi.
Sophomore receiver Ladd McConkey totaled 141 yards and two touchdowns, star tight end Brock Bowers caught five passes for 41 yards and a touchdown, and junior tight end Darnell Washington mustered 60 yards and a touchdown in five catches.
Washington (3rd) and Bowers (5th) are two of the top tight ends, according to FBS Focus on professional football.
Kirby Smart vs. SEC East
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Georgia under Kirby Smart has been 34-5 against SEC East opponents since 2016, with the most recent loss coming in 2020 to Florida.
Until the SEC East starts to fight back, getting the Bulldogs to capitalize on their talent in matchups like this is a safe bet.
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This is a cheap matchup for defending Georgia.
The pro-offensive program that Kentucky is playing allows UGA to load the box and send the STAR, cornerbacks and safetys on blitzes or back up the run to stop Chris Rodriguez.
With Kentucky not a huge threat, you can expect Georgia cornerbacks to bump-and-run.
I expect the Wildcats, like most teams this year, will struggle to score against this Bulldogs defense, which has only allowed six touchdowns in 21 redzone attempts this season.
Georgia’s defense will keep the heat going and Stetson Bennett and company will push the ball far enough down the field to comfortably win this win.
Prediction: 38-3, Georgia wins, covers and moves to 11-0.
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Story originally appeared on UGA Wire