Georgia’s offense preparing for ‘toughest challenge to date’


Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) flexes after a play during the game against South Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky defeated South Carolina 24 to 10. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Georgia will be Kentucky’s toughest challenge of the season when the two teams face off on Saturday, and according to Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, Kentucky’s defense is near the top of Georgia’s challenges this season as well.

On Wednesday’s SEC Teleconference, Smart was asked about Kentucky’s defense, and he said he’s expecting the unit to challenge his offense.

“It’ll probably be our biggest challenge to date obviously because we haven’t played a defense with this much experience, size, stature and really, just statistically, this strong,” Smart said. “It’s a really good test.”

Kentucky’s defense is loaded with experience, as eight of the regular 11 starters are seniors. Linebacker Jamar “Boogie” Watson is the only routine starter who is not an upperclassmen.

The defense is also loaded with star talent, headlined by edge rusher Josh Allen. Darius West, Mike Edwards and Kash Daniel all have played well for the defense to help gain the national prominence that the defense has. 

According to Smart, that mix of experience and talent is what separates defenses from the rest of the pack.

“When you think about it, you want experience, you got it. You want fast linebackers, you got it. You want big d-lineman, they got it. You want stature in the perimeter, they got it,” Smart said. “It’s just a perfect storm of development and of experience.”

Georgia’s offense has shredded every opposing defense it’s faced except LSU, only putting up 16 points against the Tigers.

LSU’s defense ranks third in the SEC in scoring defense and fifth in yards allowed per game, while Kentucky ranks first and second, respectively.

“They don’t make many mistakes, they just make you beat them and they got really good players doing it,” Smart said. “It should be a great challenge for our guys.”