Football Atlanta - Online

#1 Georgia Turns It On In Second Half To Defeat
#11 Kentucky 30-13


By Don Stone - Georgia Football Magazine and Football Atlanta

   Georgia is ranked #1 in the regular season for the first time in 39 years in Herschel Walker's final season. They were on top of the preseason polls in 2008 but fell after pollsters weren't impressed enough by an opening 45-21 win over Georgia Southern and they didn't return.

   So, what lies ahead this weekend is a battle of the last two remaining unbeaten teams in the SEC as #11 Kentucky comes to Athens.

   Georgia has earned their unanimous top ranking with impressive wins over then #2 Clemson, then #8 Arkansas and last weekend's 34-10 victory over then #18 Auburn.

   So, should UGA fans be concerned about these 6-0 Wildcats coming to town? Let's check out those six victories and see who they've actually beaten.

   Their level of play can't be denied. It's UK's best start in 71 years, 4-0 in the SEC for the first time since 1977. But, what has been the level of competition for that record? Their first win was against Louisiana-Monroe, who has only beaten Jackson State and Troy. They then beat 3-3 Missouri by a touchdown. The Tigers' only wins have been against Central Michigan, Southeast Missouri State and North Texas. They seem to be in the bottom tier of the Southeastern Conference this year with South Carolina and Vanderbilt.
  The Wildcats also defeated the 2-3 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The Mocs other two losses have come to Austin Peay and VMI. UK barely beat South Carolina 16-10, the same Gamecocks that UGA stomped 40-13. USC's only wins have been over Eastern Illinois, East Carolina and Troy.
  Things were tougher the last two weeks as they got an impressive 20-13 victory at home over Florida. But, realistically, apart from a close 31-29 loss to Alabama, the Gators four wins have been over Florida Atlantic, South Florida, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. So, its hard to tell how good Florida is. Their #20 ranking seems mostly based on their close losses to Bama and Kentucky. Georgia will find out for themselves in a few weeks as they head to Jacksonville for the annual rivalry.
  That brings us to last weekend's 42-21 demolition of LSU. But the Tigers have played so poorly that their head coach is fighting for his job, just a few years after winning a national championship. Their only three wins have been against McNeese, Central Michigan and Mississippi State (by 3).
  All of that is not to diminish the threat that Kentucky poses. The game will feature the SEC's two best defenses. The Dawgs rank first in yards allowed per play (3.60). Kentucky is second at 4.61. Defensively, UGA ranks #1 nationally, the Cats are #18. Georgia has a pair of shutouts including a then #8 ranked Arkansas team that just put up 51 in a one point loss at Ole Miss.

   It does appear to be one of the toughest matchup for the Bulldogs so far this season, though. All eyes will be watching including a second visit to campus by ESPN Gameday. Kickoff is at 3:30pm on CBS.