Take Two: Can Kentucky's magical season continue vs. Georgia?
Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling an issue in the college football landscape. Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and a local expert from the Rivals.com network of team sites.
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Saturday’s game between Georgia and Kentucky likely will determine the SEC East champion – and now the question becomes can the upstart Wildcats not only keep this game close but win outright over a team that played for the national championship last season?
Georgia opened as a 10-point favorite and while more than three-quarters of the early bets are on the Bulldogs, the line has dropped to 9.5, which means some sharp money is coming in on Kentucky. That doesn’t mean those people think the Wildcats win, but this matchup should be closer than what people think.
Kentucky is probably not getting enough respect. The Wildcats went to Florida early this season and won by double digits. They held Mississippi State to seven points in a 28-7 win. They beat South Carolina, 24-10. In ugly fashion, Kentucky came back in the final seconds to win at Missouri last weekend. The only loss came at Texas A&M.
The Wildcats are scoring only 25.6 points per game but their defense is one of the best nationally, giving up just 13 points per outing.
Georgia has pounded almost every opponent except for its shocking 36-16 loss at LSU a few weeks ago. The SEC East power blew by Florida this past weekend, 36-17. No other opponent has really kept it close.
The over/under line opened at 44 points so a defensive battle is expected. Can Kentucky keep this close and possibly pull off the victory or is Georgia too loaded and too balanced across the board for the Wildcats?
TAKE ONE: JUSTIN ROWLAND, CATSILLUSTRATED.COM
“Georgia is the favorite and I completely understand that because they probably have more ways to beat you and are comfortable winning in more ways than Kentucky. That said, and I can't believe I'm saying this, it is difficult to simulate the defensive effort that Kentucky brings week in and week out. Kentucky has the best defense that Georgia will see in the regular season and it may be one of the top two or three defenses in college football. Missouri did not have a first down in the second half on Saturday.
"I would give Kentucky's defense an edge over Georgia's offense in the game. This is also a team that has won four times as an underdog. I will be picking Georgia because Kentucky's offense will not score a lot, but the Cats have a better chance than most people realize.”
TAKE TWO: MIKE FARRELL, RIVALS.COM
“This is going to be a one- or two-touchdown game. I don’t expect it to be an absolute blowout, but I do expect Georgia to win. They’re just too balanced, Jake Fromm has really come into his own when it comes to big plays and third-down conversions, and he had a very good game against Florida, so he’s going to be playing with a lot of confidence.”