Georgia senior Joe Cox has thrown more interceptions than Coach Mark Richt would like (12), but Cox is a veteran, steady QB who has also put up 2,059 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. For Kentucky, Mike Hartline tried unsuccessfully to return to the lineup last week, so now it's freshman Morgan Newton's show for the final two regular-season games. For Kentucky to have a chance, the coaching staff must trust Newton enough to let him take some chances in the passing game, and Newton must be ready to deliver.
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Kentucky's Derrick Locke has quietly put together an outstanding year and is within range of having just UK's fifth 1,000-yard season in the past 15 years. Nobody's been able to grab the bull by the horns in the Georgia backfield after losing star Knowshon Moreno to the NFL. Sophomore Caleb King did come through with two big fourth-quarter TDs last week against Auburn.
Kentucky's line has been arguably one of the Southeastern Conference's best this season, although Coach Rich Brooks thinks his front five will be in for its biggest test of the year dealing with a talented Georgia defensive line. The Bulldogs have had to reshuffle things quite a bit because of injuries. Junior left tackle Clint Boling was a first-team All-SEC selection last year.
The injury bug has hit both teams hard at this spot. Georgia will be without No. 1 threat A.J. Green (shoulder), which means the Bulldogs will have to turn to redshirt freshman Tavarres King, senior Michael Moore and sophomore Israel Troupe for big plays. UK's Randall Cobb is questionable with a shoulder injury. Freshman La'Rod King and junior Chris Matthews have shown signs of life of late for UK.
The Bulldogs have perhaps the league's best trio of tackles in seniors Jeff Owens, Kade Weston and Geno Atkins. Ends Justin Houston and Demarcus Dobbs have combined for 91/2 sacks. UK tackle Corey Peters has performed at an All-SEC level and earned Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second time this season at Vanderbilt.
Georgia linebackers Rennie Curran, Akeem Dent and Darryl Gamble are a trio of battle-tested juniors who were ranked among the SEC's top crews before the season, but Kentucky's linebacking corps of Micah Johnson, Sam Maxwell and Danny Trevathan have been just as productive.
Despite playing without a healthy Trevard Lindley for most of the season, the Kentucky secondary is ninth in the nation in passing yards allowed. The Bulldogs' defensive backfield has been surprisingly bad, giving up 19 touchdowns while grabbing just seven interceptions.
Parts of Georgia's kicking game have been outstanding. Kicker Blair Walsh has been nearly automatic, going 14 of 15, including 4-for-4 from 50 yards and out. The Bulldogs also have the league's best punter in Drew Butler (49.0) and Brandon Boykin has two kickoff return TDs. Injuries have hampered the Wildcats' return game. Derrick Locke, the leading kickoff returner in the SEC, didn't return kicks last week after rejoining the lineup off a knee injury, and the possible loss of Randall Cobb on punt returns would hurt as well.