How Kentucky and Georgia match up

mstory@herald-leader.comNovember 18, 2011 

SPORTS FBC-AUBURN-GEORGIA 9 AT

Georgia true freshman Isaiah Crowell dived into the end zone in front of Auburn's Erique Florence to cap the Bulldogs' 45-7 win last weekend. Crowell rushed for 132 yards on 24 carries.

BRANT SANDERLIN — MCT

Who has the advantage?

Quarterbacks

After two strong efforts, UK's Maxwell Smith looked like the true freshman he is at Vanderbilt. Will he build off that effort? Georgia's Aaron Murray is second in the Southeastern Conference in passing yards a game (228.4) and has thrown 27 touchdown passes to only eight picks.

Advantage: Georgia

Running backs

Jonathan George (46 yards, six rushes) was UK's most effective ball carrier last week. Look for Raymond Sanders to get back in the Cats' rotation this week, too. Georgia true freshman Isaiah Crowell is third in the SEC in rushing (91.2 yards a game). Crowell (132 yards) and junior Carlton Thomas (127 yards) both ran well against Auburn.

Advantage: Georgia

Wide receivers

UK's La'Rod King is fifth in the SEC in receptions (39). Georgia has a balanced, talented receiving corps led by junior Tavarres King (31 catches, six TDs), true freshman Malcolm Mitchell (28 catches, four TDs in seven games) and redshirt freshman Michael Bennett (28 catches, four TDs).

Advantage: Georgia

Tight ends

UK senior Nick Melillo had the best game of his career with four catches for 59 yards and his first Kentucky touchdown catch last week. Georgia's Orson Charles leads the Bulldogs in receptions (32, with five TDs) and is the best tight end in the SEC.

Advantage: Georgia

Offensive line

The Kentucky line struggled at Vandy, giving up four sacks. Offensive guard and team captain Stuart Hines even had a personal foul. Georgia senior center Ben Jones has been SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week twice in a row. Left guard Kenarious Gates originally committed to Kentucky before switching his pledge late.

Advantage: Georgia

Defensive line

UK tackles Donte Rumph and Mister Cobble have both been battling injuries. The Cats need them on the field. Georgia end Arby Jones has four sacks. Nose guard John Jenkins (6-foot-3, 351 pounds) is bigger than many single-home dwellings.

Advantage: Georgia

Linebackers

Danny Trevathan had, by his standards, a subpar game at Vandy (seven tackles). He continues to lead the SEC in tackles (118). Georgia outside backer Jarvis Jones is No. 1 in the SEC in sacks (10) and had four against Florida alone. Inside linebacker Alec Ogletree (six tackles and a forced fumble against Auburn) has returned strong from injury.

Advantage: Georgia

Secondary

If injured strong safety Martavius Neloms can't go for Kentucky, true freshman Ashely Lowery will start. Georgia free safety Bacarri Rambo leads the SEC in interceptions (seven) and passes defended (14). Cornerback Sanders Commings has 11 passes defended.

Advantage: Georgia

Special Teams

Behind Ryan Tydlacka, UK is second in the SEC in net punting (39.1 yards a punt). Place-kicker Craig McIntosh is 10-for-12 on field goals. Georgia is tied for last in the SEC in net punting (33.6 yards). Bulldogs place-kicker Blair Walsh has struggled, missing 10 of 24 field-goal tries.

Advantage: Kentucky

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