UK Football

Kentucky vs. Georgia: How they match up and a game prediction

How Kentucky and Georgia match up for Saturday's game at Commonwealth Stadium:

QUARTERBACKS

In SEC games, Kentucky's Patrick Towles has been far more effective in Lexington (completing 65.7 percent of his passes with four TDs and one interception) than he has been on the road (completing 52.5 percent with four TDs and four picks). This will be Towles' last 2014 appearance in the friendly confines of Commonwealth Stadium. Georgia fifth-year senior Hutson Mason waited a long time behind Aaron Murray for the chance to become the top Dawg. The 6-foot-3, 209-pound Marietta, Ga., product has managed games well and comes to Kentucky off a 26-for-42 passing game vs. Florida for 319 yards.

Advantage: Kentucky

RUNNING BACKS

What has become a revolving door atop the Kentucky depth chart sees true freshman Stanley "Boom" Williams listed No. 1 this week. Williams ran for 39 yards and had five receptions for 58 more last week at Missouri. The 5-foot-9, 200-pound product of Monroe, Ga., was once committed to play for Georgia. With Todd Gurley out one more game due to NCAA suspension, true freshman Nick Chubb will again be the featured ball carrier for Mark Richt's Bulldogs. In Gurley's absence, Chubb has run for 143 yards at Missouri, 202 yards at Arkansas and 156 yards against Florida.

Advantage: Georgia

WIDE RECEIVERS

The Kentucky depth chart underwent a shake-up after the Wildcats struggled mightily through the air at Missouri. Sophomore Ryan Timmons caught four passes last week and senior Javess Blue had three catches and UK's sole touchdown. Georgia wideouts Michael Bennett and Chris Conley are both productive. Bennett, a 6-3 senior, leads the Bulldogs with 28 catches and four TDs. Conley, also a 6-3 senior, has 22 catches (for an average of 17.5 yards) and three touchdowns.

Advantage: Georgia

TIGHT ENDS

Seniors Ronnie Shields and Steven Borden each have three catches through nine games. Georgia's Jeb Blazevich, a 6-5 232-pound freshman, has caught 11 passes for 201 yards and had a 50-yard reception vs. Vanderbilt.

Advantage: Georgia

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

Kentucky had difficulty blocking Missouri last week. Mark Stoops singled out senior left tackle Darrian Miller as the one UK lineman who "battled pretty hard and did some decent things." Georgia senior center David Andrews is the anchor of a line that has opened holes for the third-most prolific rushing attack (250.2 yards a game) in the SEC and has allowed only 13 sacks — although Florida sacked Hutson Mason three times. Andrews will be playing on an ankle he sprained last week.

Advantage: Georgia

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Kentucky star Alvin "Bud" Dupree had 2.5 tackles for loss at Missouri and 1.5 sacks. The senior from Irwinton, Ga., needs five more QB sacks to eclipse Oliver Barnett's school career record of 26. Senior tackle Mike Douglas (six tackles, three QB hurries) played well at Mizzou. Georgia's defensive front will be trying to regain some swagger after getting gashed for 418 yards on the ground by Florida. Nose tackle Mike Thornton, a player from Stone Mountain, Ga., that UK tried to recruit, had six tackles vs. the Gators.

Advantage: Kentucky

LINEBACKERS

Junior-college transfer Ryan Flannigan has moved ahead of Khalid Henderson on the UK depth chart at weak-side linebacker. The 6-2, 225-pounder had six tackles at Missouri. Georgia's linebacking corps is strong. Weak-side linebacker Amarlo Herrera has 68 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss; Middle linebacker Ramik Wilson has 60 stops and 5.5 tackles for loss. Jack linebacker Jordan Jenkins has seven tackles for loss and strong-side linebacker Leonard Floyd has five sacks.

Advantage: Georgia

SECONDARY

Kentucky senior cornerback Nate Willis came off the bench at Missouri and played well, making six tackles and two pass break-ups. Georgia hybrid/safety Damian Swann is one of the most versatile defenders in the SEC — he has 40 stops, 3.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions. Strong safety Quincy Mauger also has three interceptions.

Advantage: Georgia

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kentucky punter Landon Foster had a stout performance at Missouri, kicking seven times for a 45-yard average. Austin MacGinnis hit a 47-yard field goal last week and is 13-for-19 on the season. Georgia has used two punters this season, and neither has been prolific. Collin Barber is averaging 39.4 yards a kick, while Adam Erickson is averaging 32.7. Place-kicker Marshall Morgan is 8-for-11, but has made only one field goal of more than 40 yards.

Advantage: Kentucky

PREDICTION

Georgia 35, Kentucky 24

MARK STORY

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