One week after very bad losses, both Georgia and Kentucky’s programs seem to be headed in opposite directions. Rumors continue to escalate around Athens that the powers that be could be ready to move on from head coach Mark Richt.
On the other hand, starting quarterback Patrick Towles led a players-only meeting in order to rally the troops in Lexington after a 52-21 blowout loss to Tennessee, which was the Wildcats' third loss in a row. Both teams are all but out of the SEC East race but that doesn’t mean the season is over. Georgia is one win away from becoming bowl eligible while Kentucky needs two more victories.
Kentucky at Georgia
Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: SEC Network
Spread: Georgia -14
Three Things to Watch
1.Georgia’s response after Florida loss.
Last Saturday’s loss was the culmination of a lackluster offense missing its best player coupled with a defense that isn’t playing any better under second year defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. The loss all but knocked Georgia out of any chance of returning back to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game, a game they haven’t played in since 2012. Now Mark Richt’s seat is hotter than ever and players know this. Richt is loved by everyone but hasn’t won the SEC outright since 2005. His players hear the noise and will answer the call. These players love their coach and that could mean trouble for Kentucky.
2. Patrick Towles
Losing Boom Williams to an elbow injury during the first half of the Tennessee game was a huge blow to this offense. Williams was averaging 6.6 yards a carry so we should see Jojo Kemp do well behind this line. But Towles is the centerpiece to this offense. Towels isn’t putting up great numbers but he is still talented enough to lead this team to a bowl. He will have to play smart and put his team in a position to win. Georgia hasn’t scored a touchdown in two games so we know their offense can be stagnant. Towels will have to protect the ball as this game will probably come down to who turns the ball over the least.
3. Sanford Stadium
It seems as though the Georgia fanbase is split down the middle when it comes to wanting Mark Richt gone or not. It’s my opinion that more want him gone than are actually letting on. And we could see that play out on Saturday. If Georgia doesn’t win big or is beaten by Kentucky, we could see fans let their true feelings out. I’ve never been a fan of booing college athletes but coaches are different. These coaches are paid handsomely to win games and Richt isn’t doing a lot of that this year. I could definitely see Georgia fans voicing their opinion if this game doesn’t go according to plan. Fans may say they love Richt but fans pay to see wins.
Simply put, Georgia is way too talented not to win this game. But talent can only take you so far. I think Mark Richt and the Bulldogs come out swinging and take an early lead. Kentucky will give a good fight but it won’t be enough. Losing Boom Williams makes Kentucky one dimensional. Georgia still hasn’t named a starting quarterback but it won’t matter. Georgia is deep enough at the running back position to own the line of scrimmage and keep the ball out of Kentucky’s hands.
Prediction: Georgia 21, Kentucky 13
— Written by Justin Nails, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @justinnails.