UK football tasked with containing historically good players in Georgia


Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson prepares to call a play during the game against Georgia on Saturday, November 5, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Hunter Mitchell | Staff

Pranavdeep Singh

The Kentucky Wildcats (7-3, 4-3 SEC) head into their eighth SEC game of the season taking on the No. 7 ranked Georgia Bulldogs (9-1, 6-1 SEC).

The Bulldogs, coached by Kirby Smart (17-6, 10-5 SEC), are coming off a loss to No. 6 Auburn, after starting the season 9-0 (6-0 SEC). With the help of the No. 5 ranked defense in the nation, the Bulldogs were ranked as high a No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings until the 40-17 loss to Tigers.

A Bulldogs win this weekend would be their eighth straight win against Kentucky, with the Cats’ last winning 34-27 in 2009 at the Sanford Stadium in Athens.

The Bulldogs offense, which is currently averaging 34.6 points per game, is led by true freshman Jake Fromm and senior Nick Chubb. Chubb, one of the best running backs in the SEC, is averaging 5.9 yards per carry this season and has 10 touchdowns in 10 games.

He is currently fourth in the SEC’s all-time rushing list, and second in Bulldogs’ career rushing yards behind only a two-time NFL Pro Bowler and a Heisman Winner in Herschel Walker.

Jake Fromm, a true freshman from Warner Robins, Georgia, was thrust into the starting position when the starting quarterback at the time, Jacob Eason, was hurt during the first quarter of the first game against Appalachian State. He has taken advantage of the situation and is displaying why he was a five-star recruit, as he has 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions in nine games as a starter.

Fromm is also ranked fourth in the SEC in passing efficiency at 163.4. With Fromm at the helm, Georgia leads the SEC and is ranked sixth in the nation in third down conversions.

The No. 5 ranked Georgia defense gives up 173.7 yards per game through the air, and allow an average of 3.4 yards per play on the ground to opposing teams. They also get stops, as teams complete only 31 percent on third down conversions.

The Georgia defense is led by junior linebacker Roquan Smith, who leads the team with 82 total tackles. Smith also has 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

Senior linebacker Lorenzo Carter leads the team in tackles for loss with 4.0 and is tied with junior linebacker D’Andre Walker in sacks with 6.5. Senior safety Dominick Sanders leads the team with three interceptions, and redshirt sophomore J.R. Reed is right behind him with two.

The game kicks off 3:30 p.m. ET at the Sanford Stadium and will be broadcast on CBS.