The handicappers weren’t wrong, it turned out. Georgia was the three-touchdown favorite to beat Kentucky, and ended up winning only by 17 points (30-13) after Wildcats scored an insignificant touchdown without any time remaining.
This is a testament to the Wildcats once unbeaten record, which clearly makes them the second-best SEC East team. That also says something about the Bulldogs, who are expected to dominate and have done just that to remain the unbeaten and unquestioned No. #1 team in the USA Today Sports AFCA Coaches Poll.
Each week is the same. Two different starting quarterbacks are there, as well as one of three runningbacks. The Bulldogs try to take on every opponent.
Georgia, after years of failures, near misses, and disappointments relative to the expectations of its football team, is finally coming together under Kirby Smart as the Football Bowl Subdivision’s undisputed leader and favorite to win the national title at the halfway point of the regular season.
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What the Bulldogs resemble is more of a vintage SEC powerhouse than a team defined by the wide-open offensive schemes that have gripped the conference. Although Alabama and Georgia have embraced the spread revolution, Georgia is more focused on the physical style that helped the SEC achieve more than 10 years of dominance.
The injuries to JT Danis, Georgia’s star quarterback, may have contributed some of this. He was the one who changed Georgia’s fortunes during the home stretch. Daniels being sidelined has forced the Bulldogs to turn to Stetson, who has maintained the same offense that bullied all teams on the schedule.
Bennett is proving to be a capable coach for the Bulldogs in the SEC East. This includes this month’s match against Florida. Georgia will soon have a chance at a conference title. However, to beat Alabama and lock down the top spot in College Football Playoff could take a healthy Daniels — with the expectation that the former Southern California transfer will eventually get back into the lineup.
Georgia’s FBS ranking is based on its defense. This unit is rapidly rising in rank and is now the strongest.
The touchdown by Kentucky in the second quarter was the third Georgia defense allowed this season, and it was the first Georgia had given up in halftime.
The Bulldogs’ goal line defense forced the Wildcats to stop a field-goal attempt. After Kentucky coach Mark Stoops called timeout, the touchdown was scored with just seconds remaining. This caused ire among Georgia’s fans.
Overall, Georgia gained 416 yards to Kentucky’s 243, with a huge chunk of the Wildcats’ total coming on the game’s final drive. The only mistake the Bulldogs made was to miss an extra point in the fourth quarter. This is the first time such a miss has been made since 2014.
Georgia must now be the favorite. History tells us this will be the biggest test for Smart and the Bulldogs, who have been knocking on the door but unable to seal the deal for decades as other SEC rivals — Alabama, Auburn, Florida and LSU — have claimed national championships.
The team this year feels completely different. Georgia continues to roll, even as other unbeaten teams drop off the table. These Bulldogs will dominate the table.
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