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October 19, 2012

Cats take five-game losing streak into Homecoming

KENTUCKY (1-6, 0-4 SEC)
Coach: Joker Phillips
Record: 12-20 (4-16 SEC) in three seasons at UK, overall
Last game: Arkansas 49, Kentucky 7
Next game: at Missouri, Oct. 27
Roster | Depth chart
GEORGIA (5-1, 3-1 SEC)
Coach: Mark Richt
Record: 111-39 (65-31 SEC) in 12 seasons at Georgia, overall.
Last game: South Carolina 35, Georgia 7
Next game: vs. Florida, Oc. 27
Roster | Depth chart
Game/Series Information
Game Information
Site: Commonwealth Stadium (67,942)
TV: FSN South (Bob Rathbun play-by-play, Tim Couch analyst, Elizabeth Moreau sideline)
Radio: UK IMG Sports Network (Tom Leach play-by-play, Jeff Piecoro analysis; Dick Gabriel sideline); XM 200; Sirius 92.
Internet: Audio | Video
Favorite: Georgia by 27

Series Information:
Series record: Georgia leads 51-12-2
At Lexington: Georgia leads 24-7
Coaches' records:Phillips 0-2 vs. Georiga; Richt 9-2 vs. UK

Last meeting
Georgia 19, Kentucky 10(Nov. 19, 2011, in Athens)
The Bulldogs snuffed out Kentucky's five-year bowl streak, handing the Cats their seventh loss off the season in a pitched defensive battle. UK led in the first quarter and again in the second, but couldn't rally in the second half as each team turned the ball over four times. The UK defense forced five Georgia field goals, often defending a short field, but the offense couldn't respond, especially after quarterback Maxwell Smith suffered a shoulder injury.

Keys to the Game
1. Whitlow Down: Jalen Whitlow has struggled mightily since being thrust in action for the injured Maxwell Smith, and he'll have to take a step forward for UK to have any hope this season. That means completing passes downfield, avoiding sacks, and picking up a few extra yards on the ground when necessary. UK doesn't have much hope against Georgia, but Whitlow has to progress for there to be any hope down the stretch this season.

2.Gurshall: It's not a Cajun seafood dish. Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have combined for 1,040 yards and 14 touchdowns so far this season, and each is averaging over seven yards per carry. The Bulldogs are a run-first offense, so Kentucky's struggling run defense can expect to pull double duty against the pair. Even the third string tailback, Ken Malcome averages 6.4 yards per carry.

3. Mountain Man: The Cats caught a break if Jarvis Jones is indeed out this weekend, but Georgia still has great players all over on defense. Safety Bacarri Rambo had eight picks a year ago and corner Malcolm Mitchell is a two-way star, but nose tackle John Jenkins is where it all begins. He's listed at 358 pounds, and will be the first line of defense for Kentucky to contend with. If he can generate a push and create issues up the middle, UK won't be able to do anything.

Staff Predictions
Ben Jones, Staff Writer: Georgia 34, Kentucky 6
Richt, one of the SEC's classier coaches, won't let things get out of hand like Arkansas did. But even if he tries to run the ball to wind the clock, the Bulldogs will score. UK should be manhandled again as the Bulldogs tune up for next week's meeting with Florida. The Wildcats will look forward to four games that appear more winnable, but they'll do it after being eliminated from bowl contention.

T.J. Walker Staff Writer: Georgia 38, Kentucky 14
The Wildcats will look slightly better Saturday than they did a week ago, but could they look worse after that embarrassing performance? Pride will set in for UK and the Cats will play inspired football but it won't matter. Georgia is better at every position and is in the SEC East race. Expect the Bulldogs to get up early and coast the rest of the way, trying to avoid injury.

Aaron Smith, staff writer: Georgia 42, Kentucky 10
It's UK's homecoming game, but it won't be a pretty sight. The Bulldogs are too talented across the board on offense and defense for a Wildcats team too reliant on youth. There won't be any thunderstorms to call the game off early, but fans at Commonwealth might wish there were by the time the fourth quarter rolls around.

Brett Dawson, Publisher: Georgia 45, Kentucky 7
Is this a rally-the-troops moment for Joker Phillips? With his job status a hot topic, he could use the kind of strong showing his Wildcats had at Georgia last season. But on a wet night in Fayetteville, Ark., last week, the Cats looked to have thrown in the towel. There's no reason to believe the offense will be significantly better this week, nor that Kentucky's porous defense has much chance to slow the Bulldogs.

Mississippi State NEWS


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