ATHENS – Georgia coach Kirby Smart didn’t, didn’t want to and couldn’t stop talking about the physical aspect of Kentucky’s offense and defensive fronts the past two weeks.
The No. 5 (3-1) ranked Bulldogs, Smart says, will be put to the test by a dangerous group of Wildcats (2-3) coming off their worst performance of the season last week at Missouri.
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“Sometimes the most dangerous team you play is a team that hasn’t played their best game,” Smart said on his coach’s show Thursday night.
“They’ve had their ups and downs, and they’ve generally followed average or poor performance with good performance, and we’re coming out of it that we think we can improve on,” said Smart, whose schedule brings a 10-streak. streak-winning streak with Kentucky in Saturday’s noon game (TV: SEC Network).
“So you have two teams heading straight against each other who are both well trained and both have good experience on the defensive end of the ball, so that should make a great game. “
Smart didn’t come straight away and didn’t identify the keys to the game, but it’s pretty obvious what needs to happen for the Bulldogs to win:
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Establish the race
Smart has big concerns about Kentucky’s pressure pack, and the best way to neutralize a passing run is with effective running play.
“The best thing they do is create disruptive rushers, they’re not in the same defense every time,” said Smart. “They fired their inside linebackers, they’ve got really good outside linebackers, their team strength, it’s the two guys on the edge that can rush, and they do a good job of bringing these guys up in different looks.
“You never really feel comfortable with what they’re doing because they give you different looks. “
The best way to get comfortable is to successfully run the ball first.
Hochet Joey Gatewood
Auburn’s transfer is a big athletic quarterback making his first career start, and he’s got a lot of talent and potential.
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Kentucky will surely try to protect him with a running game and move the pocket enough that Georgia can’t put him behind the line of scrimmage and create situations from a distance.
Smart has made it clear that it will not be easy.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever played an offensive line that has as many starts as them,
they have a lot of experience on the offensive line, ”said Smart. “These guys have been really productive. “After the game you ask your kids, ‘How physical was the game?’ They always say the Kentucky game is a physical game.
Wake-up call, Kirby 2-3 in noon SEC kickoff games in Georgia
Georgia have yet to score points from an opening possession this season, and the Bulldogs have just two field goals on four first drives in the second half of their games.
Beyond that, Smart is 2-3 in SEC games that start at noon, and he challenges his team to make sure they’re ready for the kickoff early Saturday at Lexington.
Does the early kick make the game more dangerous?
“It’s only if you don’t handle it properly, it’s one of those things, you have to handle that,” Smart said. “People can use it as an excuse.
“We try to use it as an opportunity to improve ourselves, to move forward and prepare to play. At the end of the day, you’re in control, and our guys have to do a good job of handling that.
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