Kernel staff predictions for Kentucky football vs. Georgia


Kentucky Wildcats safety Mike Edwards celebrates with Kentucky Wildcats cornerback Chris Westry during the game against Vanderbilt on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 14-7. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Kernel Sports Staff

No. 11 ranked Kentucky football is facing its biggest game of the season on a national stage as the Cats take on the no. 6 Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday. The winner boasts the SEC East title and has a shot at the SEC championship. 

The Cats have a chip on their shoulder heading into one of the biggest games the players have ever participated in but can they pull it off? Here’s what the Kernel sports staff predicts will come of the matchup: 

What uniform combination do you hope to see Kentucky wear against Georgia?

Erika Bonner (Sports Editor)This is honestly a very serious and tough question for me to answer. But, after staring intently at every combo in the football facility today, I think I would like to see the blue helmet with white stripe, black jersey and blue pants. I’m a big fan of the blue helmets, and I like the look of the black-on-blue uniform.  

Chase Campbell (Assistant Sports Editor)I know it won’t be the most popular choice, but I want to see them in all blue. If they win, there will be something significant about that. I always look back at film of the 2007 victory over LSU and found it very significant, and that it instilled a great sense of state pride. Should UK win this game, the message will be clear: They won being true blue.

Chris Leach (Sports Features Editor)Blue stripeless helmet, black jerseys and blue pants. Kentucky usually pulls out the ‘chrome domes‘ when playing in big games like this, but I’m not sure how they’ll look under the sun. They have to wear some combo of the black uniforms and I’m a huge fan of the blue stripeless helmets. Look good, play good.

Over or under 150 rushing yards for Benny Snell? He’s been over three times this season.

ErikaOver. After Missouri did a really good job of containing Benny, I think he’s going to be hungry to get the yards and touches he needs. That, mixed with what’s at stake in this game, Snell’s going to have himself a game and will be the driving force of the Kentucky offense.

ChaseOver. He’s been bottled up too much, and it’s time for him to regress to the mean, like he did over the back half of last year. He runs angry, and Georgia’s run defense is one that got exposed by Florida and LSU.

ChrisOver. In the seven SEC home games in which Snell has been the primary starter, he’s averaged 137 yards per game while going over 150 yards in four such instances. I bet the extra motivation of the SEC East title pushes Snell to get those extra 13 yards.

Over or under 375 total yards of offense for Georgia? Georgia averages 457 yards per game while Kentucky has only given up at least 375 yards once this season.

ErikaUnder, but slightly. The Kentucky defense is just too powerful although I do believe Georgia will gain more than 320, just not quite 375. Kentucky allows on average 263 yards per game, but the Bulldogs being its toughest matchup so far this season, I definitely think it’ll be more than that.  

ChaseOver. This is the most complete, balanced offense that Kentucky has faced yet this year. I see it being much more of an offensive battle than is predicted, because both offenses have been brought into question this season. This is both teams’ “Yes, we can move the ball” games.

ChrisUnder. Kentucky just held the third best SEC offense, (in terms of yards per game) Missouri, to 249 yards in their own stadium. Georgia’s offense averages the fifth best yards per game in the SEC, and while I don’t think they get held to 249, I don’t think UK is going to let them get 375 yards.

What is the position group matchup to watch?

ErikaChris and Chase’s answers are on point, and I’ll say I’m also really interested in seeing Kentucky’s receivers, and how much or how little Georgia’s secondary contains them. The receiver position has been a little shaky all season (but quite frankly that’s OK at times when you have Benny Snell), but we saw against Missouri that they’re fully capable of using their receivers to get the ball down the field.

ChaseKentucky’s linebackers against Georgia’s running backs. It’s not Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, but Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift are for real. Couple that with the fact that both Jordan Jones and Kash Daniel have broken hands that have to be wrapped (shoutout to photographer Michael Clubb for having a name that represents their hands) should make second-level running interesting.

ChrisGeorgia’s offensive line versus Kentucky’s defensive line. Georgia’s offensive line has given up the fewest sacks out of all SEC teams this season, and they are supporting two top 15 running backs in Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift. Josh Allen & co. have been disrupting backfields all year, but this will be their toughest test to date.


Erika: I’ve got Kentucky pulling this one off in a close 23-20, with the city of Lexington disintegrating shortly after.

Chase: I’ll stick by my answer I gave on Between the Blue and White Lines. 28-24, UK.

Chris: Kentucky wins 21-17. The defense once again flexes its muscles while Benny Snell leads the offense just enough to squeeze past the Bulldogs.