November 27, 2022

All that stands between Georgia and an 8-0 SEC record is one last road game at Kentucky.

At one point, Georgia at Kentucky was a game both SEC East teams had circled on the calendar.

Though the Dawgs and Wildcats play annually as division rivals of sorts, it has been over a decade since Big Blue Nation proved victorious over Dawg Nation on the gridiron. Last season, Georgia went 8-0 in SEC play for the first time ever, while Kentucky won 10 games under head coach Mark Stoops. Flash forward to this weekend, and Georgia opens up as a massive road favorite over UK.

Although the Dawgs do not need to blow out Kentucky, they are more than capable of doing so.

Georgia does not need to blow out Kentucky, but the Dawgs just might anyway

Kirby Smart has the No. 1 team in the land, as the Dawgs are 10-0 overall with two top-10 wins on the year and 7-0 in conference play. They have already clinched the SEC East division title for the fifth time in six years under Smart. Kentucky has never been to Atlanta since the creation of the SEC Championship Game way back in 1992. The Wildcats also just lost at home to Vanderbilt…

In short, Georgia is once again on a shortlist of teams who can realistically win the College Football Playoff. As for Kentucky, the Wildcats are bowl-eligible, but only barely at 6-4 with Georgia and Louisville remaining. Basically, the usually strong defensive-minded Kentucky team has regressed offensively considerably after last season’s offensive coordinator Liam Coen returned to the NFL.

A year ago, a generational defense carried the Dawgs to the SEC Championship and an eventual national title. As expected, the defense has regressed some off its all-time high. However, the offense has become more multifaceted with Stetson Bennett IV being the unquestioned starter at quarterback for offensive coordinator Todd Monken. This team is scary good and getting better.

For a game that looked to be for all the marbles in the SEC East race at the start of the year, it looks like just another game for the Dawgs now, as well as another certain loss on the ledger for the Wildcats. It is basketball season now in Lexington, anyway, but Smart still remembers the fast one Stoops pulled on him Between the Hedges a year ago. Expect Smart to go full-blown petty.

Not to say Georgia needs any style points in Lexington, but the Dawgs might blow out the ‘Cats badly in their final conference game of the season. With the Dawgs’ defense improving each week, as well as the offense, combine that with Kentucky’s season-long offensive struggles and this one could be over at halftime. Then again, Georgia will play with its food against lesser competition.

Ultimately, the Dawgs need two more wins in their next three games to reach the College Football Playoff in back-to-back seasons. Even if they were to be 12-0 and fall to SEC West champion LSU in Atlanta, the Dawgs would almost certainly make the four-team field as an at-large team. They are strong and they are powerful. However, Kentucky has enough talent to make this interesting.

After seeing the Dawgs dismantle Mississippi State in Starkville, similar things can happen vs. UK.

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