KENTUCKY at #13 GEORGIA
When: 12:20 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 19
Where: Sanford Stadium; Athens, Ga.
TV: SEC Network; Radio: Big Blue Sports Network
Last Meeting: Oct. 23, 2010 – Georgia 44, @Kentucky 31
Records: Kentucky (4-6, 1-5); Georgia (8-2, 6-1)
Georgia coach Mark Richt
Georgia’s 2011 Schedule/Results
Sept. 3 - vs. Boise State^ (L, 21-35)
Sept. 10 - SOUTH CAROLINA (L, 42-45)
Sept. 17 - COASTAL CAROLINA (W, 59-0)
Sept. 24 - at Ole Miss (W, 27-13)
Oct. 1 - MISSISSIPPI STATE (W, 24-10)
Oct. 8 - at Tennessee (W, 20-12)
Oct. 15 - at Vanderbilt (W, 33-28)
Oct. 29 - vs. Florida% (W, 24-20)
Nov. 5 - NEW MEXICO ST. (W, 63-16)
Nov. 12 – AUBURN (W, 45-7)
Nov. 19 - KENTUCKY
Nov. 26 - at Georgia Tech
^Atlanta; %Jacksonville, Fla.
Notes: Georgia leads the all-time series 50-12-2, including 25-4-2 in Athens…After a stretch that saw UK lose 13 of the 14 meetings from 1991-2005 the Cats have gone 2-3 against Georgia the last five years…UK’s 34-27 win in Athens on 2009 was its first victory at Georgia since 1977…The winning team has scored at least 30 points in 10 of the past 12 games…Georgia will be looking to finish the season with a 4-1 record against SEC East foes…Kentucky has 22 players from the state of Georgia on its roster…UGA coach Mark Richt is in his 11th season and has a 104-36 record at the school.
STORYLINES IN ATHENS
THE SEAT IS COOLING
Two weeks into the 2011 season it appeared as if Mark Richt’s time was about to run out in Athens. The Bulldogs were coming off an unacceptable – at least by their standards – 6-7 season that culminated in a bowl loss to Central Florida, and began the 2011 campaign with a neutral field loss to Boise State and disappointing fourth quarter defeat at the hands of South Carolina. After starting 1-4 in 2010, dropping the first two games of this season wasn’t exactly endearing Richt to the masses despite the fact he had a 96-34 record with three Sugar Bowl appearances during his 10 seasons as coach.
That talk has all but gone away as Georgia ripped off eight consecutive victories and put itself in the driver’s seat to make a fourth appearance in the SEC Championship Game during his tenure. The hot seat will never completely cool for Richt but he’s taken an ice pack to it for now.
Justin Houston was one of the SEC’s most dominant linebackers last season, a wrecking ball that piled up 18.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and was involved in four turnovers. That said, the Bulldogs’ might actually be even better at linebacker this season without him. Jarvis Jones, a transfer from Southern Cal, is on pace to surpass Houston’s statistical dominance, registering 16 tackles for loss and 10 sacks through 10 games. Christian Robinson returns as the leader of the defense, although his numbers have been a bit down. Michael Gilliard has actually pushed past Robinson on the depth chart and leads the Bulldogs in tackles, while 6-foot-4, 269-pound Cornelius Washington gives them a pass rushing specialist on the outside of the 3-4 scheme.
When you hold a press conference on National Signing Day to announce where you’ll play college football and then pull out an actual live mascot to do so, well, you can bet expectations are going to be a bit over the top upon your arrival on campus. Isaiah Crowell was considered the top running back prospect in the nation and with incumbent Washaun Ealey’s transfer because of off-field issues he was able to come in a seize the Bulldogs’ starting job almost from the get-go. Crowell hasn’t been as dominant as Marcus Lattimore was for South Carolina last season as a true freshman but he’s big, fast and may ultimately be the best back Kentucky faces in 2011.
BULLDOGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Aaron Murray, Quarterback
2011 Statistics: 167-273, 2,284 yards, 27 TD, 8 INT
Bio Buzz: Murray has been on everyone’s short list as one of the next NFL-caliber quarterbacks to come out of the Southeastern Conference, the type of smart, big-armed kids who flourishes in a pro-type system. Murray has come into his own as a redshirt sophomore and should only continue to get better while likely adding a SEC East title to his resume this year. Murray completed 9-of-12 passes for 113 yards in last year’s game against Kentucky.
Isaiah Crowell, Running Back
2011 Statistics: 170 rushes, 821 yards, 5 TD; 6 receptions, 58 yards, TD
Bio Buzz: No one will forget Crowell’s Signing Day show when he inked his name to attend Georgia and then pulled out a live bulldog puppy at his press conference. Crowell, who was one of the top recruits in the country, hasn’t disappointed this season and would love to replicate Washaun Ealey’s five-touchdown performance of a year ago against Kentucky.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray
Orson Charles, Tight End
2011 Statistics: 32 receptions, 395 yards, 5 TD
Bio Buzz: In the golden era of football there were plenty of tight ends to go around, but it seems like the truly gifted ones who can turn into a Jason Witten or Antonio Gates down the road are much harder to find these days. Charles doesn’t have huge numbers but he is a massive target that can run and is nearly unstoppable in the red zone. Look for his name to go early if he comes out for the 2012 NFL Draft.
Bacarri Rambo, Safety
2011 Statistics: 39.0 tackles, 7 interceptions
Bio Buzz: Everyone is searching for ball-hawking safeties with cornerback skills these days and Rambo certainly fits the bill. The junior has been a terror in pass coverage, producing seven interceptions and breaking up seven passes to go along with a recovered fumble. There isn’t much depth in the Georgia secondary but Rambo is as good as anyone in the SEC at safety.
Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker
2011 Statistics: 51.0 tackles, 16.0 tackles for loss, 10.0 sacks
Bio Buzz: What separates the SEC from the rest of college football is the quantity of elite pass rushers on the defensive line, a position that Georgia always seems to have filled. The latest to create havoc is Jones, a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end in Georgia’s 3-4 scheme who leads the SEC in both tackles for loss and sacks.