Kentucky Football’s Most Important Games of 2016 Countdown: #5 Georgia at Kentucky

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This countdown of Kentucky’s important games is based off of the winability and the implications of the game. For example, The Kentucky at Alabama game is not on this list because there is minimal chance for Kentucky to go into Bryant-Denny against the reigning National Champions and knock them off. Now that I have defined what importance is for this list, let’s get started.

Georgia will be coming into Kentucky a week after their highly anticipated rivalry game against Florida and a week before another big game against Auburn at home. Georgia has beaten Kentucky down for the past three years and owns a six game winning streak against the Cats going into this years match up. I can definitely see this as a trap game for the Bulldogs.

It has been easy for Georgia the past few years to be able to overlook Kentucky because of their inability to stop the run, but with Sony Michel’s latest injury and the question mark surrounding Nick Chubb’s knee, Georgia might not be able to run like they have over Kentucky for the past few years. If Georgia is forced to throw the ball more, then Kentucky has a better shot at winning because the strength of their defense is their secondary, and Georgia might be starting young Jacob Eason by that point in the season, which can lead to Kentucky making some plays in the secondary.

Kentucky’s offense should also be much better than last year, where they only managed to put 3 points up against the Bulldogs. The Cats hope that a change from Patrick Towles to Drew Barker at Quarterback will be the perfect change for their new offense. Plain and simple, Barker throws a better, tighter ball than Towles which makes it easier for receivers to track the ball in and catch it, instead of a wobbly pass that is less predictable and can cause a lot of drops. Tight end CJ Conrad should take a major step forward in the passing game this year, with him reportedly becoming a focal point of Kentucky’s red zone offense. Along with the star of the offense, Boom Williams, Conrad and Barker will be the X-factors for Kentucky against Georgia. Kirby Smart’s defense will be bringing the heat against Barker, and he will need to keep his composure if Kentucky has any shot of winning. Conrad needs to be a threat in the passing game early and often for Kentucky to win also, drawing a safety on him at all times or getting a mismatch with an outside linebacker so that Georgia won’t be able to load the box and stuff the run.

It will be important for Kentucky to keep their composure in this game. They need to limit the big play, because if they do give up the big play, then their confidence goes out the window and I think Georgia would run away with the game.

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