When No. 6 Georgia and No. 9 Kentucky meet in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday afternoon, the SEC East championship will be on the line. That's right -- the winner will punch its ticket to Atlanta for the SEC Championship on Dec. 1. How crazy is that? A Kentucky game in November will decide the division. What a crazy world we live in. The Bulldogs got back on track last week in a rivalry game win over Florida, while the "Cardiac Cats" topped Missouri in a walk-off winner in Columbia.
The Dawgs have won eight straight in the series with five consecutive wins in Lexington. Kentucky is rolling this season and breathing heavy after scoring 12 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to come from behind and beat Missouri on the road a week ago. Let's break down the matchup and make a pick for this big SEC East showdown.
Georgia: Quarterback Jake Fromm got right last week against the Gators with 240 passing yards and three touchdowns -- all on third down. The Bulldogs needed that in a big way after Fromm was atrocious in their previous game at LSU. Running back D'Andre Swift topped the century mark for the first time all year, seven different Bulldogs caught passes and the coaching staff finally realized that tight end Isaac Nauta is a weapon that has gone vastly under-utilized this year.
Defensively, the Bulldogs are susceptible on the ground and have given up 4.23 yards per play. That defense has actually gone over that average in each of the last three games, which doesn't bode well against Kentucky running back Benny Snell. But the pass defense is the best in the SEC. So if the front seven can find a way to at least keep Snell in check, it'll be lights out for the Wildcats.
Kentucky: Quarterback Terry Wilson topped the 200-yard mark through the air for the first time all season last week against Missouri with 267, but 87 of those yards came on the final drive when the Tigers were way back in prevent mode. Can he do it against the best pass defense in the SEC? If he has to, that might lead to disaster. The Wildcats defense is just ferocious. Linebacker Josh Allen has 10 sacks on the season -- the same amount as the entire Georgia defense. Fromm will have pressure coming from all over, and will have to avoid the titanic meltdown he suffered against LSU.
Game prediction, picks
The atmosphere will be electric in Lexington for one of the biggest Kentucky football games of all time. Georgia staying composed -- something it didn't do against LSU -- will tell the tale. After what happened against Florida, it's fair to assume that the cobwebs are out of Fromm's head and he will come up big in the critical situation. The Bulldogs will put eight in the box -- and sometimes more than that -- to slow down Snell enough to force Wilson to win with his arm. He'll roll snake eyes late to give Georgia the SEC East title and a late cover. Pick: Georgia (-9.5)
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