Coming off an important 34-10 road win against Auburn, Georgia will travel back home to face the only other unbeaten SEC team this season in Kentucky. The Bulldogs are continuing to get healthy on offense, and will need their skill position players to be firing on all cylinders to beat the Wildcats.
Top running back in SEC
Through six games, Kentucky starting running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. has proven to be the best running back the SEC has to offer.
Rodriguez Jr. ranks sixth in the nation in rushing yards with 768 yards through six games, racking up five touchdowns in the process. In the Wildcats most recent game against LSU, the junior ran for 147 yards and a touchdown, while also catching a touchdown from Will Levis.
The Wildcats style of offense is more of a physical brand of football, trying to grind their opponent down. Rodriguez Jr. averages 6.4 yards per carry, offering a consistent force for Kentucky rather than an explosive alternative.
Georgia by comparison does not have a running back near the rushing yards numbers that Rodriguez Jr. is totaling, mainly because the Bulldogs choose to rotate running backs often.
Zamir White is Georgia’s leading rusher with 354 yards on the ground this season. As a unit, the Bulldogs’ running back room has totaled 1,183 rushing yards, good for 34th in the nation.
James Cook, Kendall Milton and Kenny McIntosh have also accompanied the backfield through six games and see significant rotation time. The Bulldogs’ depth has proven to wear down opposing defenses, like Auburn who surrendered 201 rushing yards.
Healthy pass catchers make impact
While Kentucky’s offense isn’t the most explosive in the nation, it has a wide receiver in Wan’Dale Robinson who leads the SEC in receiving yards.
Robinson has racked up 527 receiving yards on 37 receptions this season, which is the 15th most of any receiver across the country. He is by far the most targeted Wildcats receiver as Josh Ali is the next closest in team receptions with 17.
Georgia will likely catch a break on defense in terms of covering Kentucky’s one-two punch with Ali being doubtful to play on Saturday, as reported by 247Sports.
Although Kentucky has injury issues, the Bulldogs have had injury problems of their own all season. Georgia has been missing key pass catchers like Darnell Washington, Dominick Blaylock and Arian Smith for most of the season, on top of losing George Pickens back in the spring.
The Georgia offense has had to find production from newcomers like Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey who lead the team in receiving yards with 315 and 280 yards, respectively.
Against Auburn, McConkey had a career day. He recorded 135 yards on five receptions, including a 60-yard touchdown. The freshman’s performance was good enough to earn SEC Freshman of the Week honors.
Jermaine Burton and Adonai Mitchell are two other receivers that have been productive for the Bulldogs. However, receivers like Washington are starting to return from injury, keeping Georgia fans hopeful about the potential of the offense.