How Kentucky and Georgia match up

mstory@herald-leader.comNovember 22, 2013 

Georgia Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley (3) was bottled up by the UK defense as Kentucky played #12 Georgia on Saturday October 20, 2012 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

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How Kentucky and Georgia match up for Saturday's college football game at Athens, Ga.

QUARTERBACKS

After throwing only one interception over Kentucky's first nine games, Jalen Whitlow had four in UK's loss at Vanderbilt. The sophomore from Prattville, Ala., has run for 214 yards in Kentucky's prior three games. He is now tied for the team rushing lead (464 yards). Georgia's Aaron Murray is already the SEC career leader in completions (903), TD passes (117), passing yards (12,983) and total offense (13,348 yards).

Advantage: Georgia

RUNNING BACKS

With a 60-yard rushing performance at Vanderbilt, senior Raymond Sanders (464) moved back ahead of true freshman Jojo Kemp (455) in the Kentucky rushing statistics. After missing three games with an ankle injury, Georgia sophomore Todd Gurley is back. In UGA's crushing loss to Auburn, Gurley ran for 79 yards and a TD and caught 10 passes for 77 yards.

Advantage: Georgia

WIDE RECEIVERS

Over the past three games, Demarco Robinson has been UK's top receiver with 12 catches, but the junior will sit out Saturday's game after his indefinite suspension. Kentucky hopes true freshman Ryan Timmons (28 catches, two TDs) will be closer to full strength after a sprained ankle limited him to a few plays at Vanderbilt. Georgia fifth-year senior Rantavious Wooten has seen his role dramatically expanded as a result of injuries. He has 22 of his 24 receptions over the past six games. Leading receivers Chris Conley (32 catches) and Michael Bennett (31) have each missed two games due to injuries but are now back.

Advantage: Georgia

TIGHT ENDS

Kentucky senior Jordan Aumiller had a potentially crucial, late-game 45-yard reception at Vanderbilt nullified by a holding penalty. The Boyle County product has nine receptions on the season. Georgia senior Arthur Lynch has 19 catches for 318 yards and three touchdowns. Redshirt sophomore Jay Rome has nine catches for 99 yards but missed the Auburn game with a foot injury.

Advantage: Georgia

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

Kentucky left tackle Darrian Miller and right guard Kevin Mitchell both left the Vandy game with injuries but are expected to play in Athens. Georgia senior left tackle Kenarious Gates once committed to UK, but switched allegiances after the home-state Bulldogs made a late scholarship offer. The 6-foot-5, 327-pound Grantville, Ga., product has started 36 career games.

Advantage: Georgia

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

With 10 tackles at Vanderbilt, senior tackle Donte Rumph had one of the most productive games by a Kentucky interior lineman in eons. Junior end Alvin "Bud" Dupree, an Irwinton, Ga., product, has 53 tackles and seven sacks for UK. In Georgia's 3-4, senior nose guard Garrison Smith (51 tackles) is formidable. Junior end Ray Drew has six sacks.

Advantage: Georgia

LINEBACKERS

UK senior middle linebacker Avery Williamson is third in the SEC with 88 tackles. He will play on the same field Saturday with the two players ahead of him on the league tackle list. Georgia inside linebackers Ramik Wilson, a junior, has 110 tackles and his classmate Amarlo Herrera has 91.

Advantage: Georgia

SECONDARY

A four-star recruit and the jewel of Kentucky's 2011 recruiting class, redshirt sophomore safety Glenn Faulkner is number one on the UK depth chart this week with Eric Dixon suspended for the first half after being ejected at Vandy for targeting. Georgia true freshman free safety Tray Matthews missed four games with a hamstring injury but returned to make 12 tackles against Auburn.

Advantage: Georgia

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kentucky special teams have wobbled the past two weeks. Place-kicker Joe Mansour had an extra-point blocked and returned for a defensive two-point conversion at Vanderbilt. For the second-straight game, Kentucky punter Landon Foster had a 13-yard punt. Georgia has surrendered a whopping four TDs (two blocked punt returns, a kickoff return and a fake field goal) on special teams. The Dawgs are 12th in the SEC in punt returns (3.5 yards), 13th in kickoff coverage and 14th in kickoff returns. In Marshall Morgan, UGA does have a top place-kicker (15-for-17 on field goals, long of 56).

Advantage: Kentucky

MARK STORY

Mark Story: (859) 231-3230. Email: mstory@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @markcstory. Blog: markstory.bloginky.com.

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