Oct 3, 2020; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart talks to defensive back Christopher Smith (29) during the game against the Auburn Tigers during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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No. 5 Georgia looks to rebound at Kentucky

A trip to Kentucky might be what Georgia needs to bounce back from its first loss of the 2020 season.

Fresh off an open week with some renewed focus, the fifth-ranked Bulldogs look for an 11th consecutive victory over the Wildcats on Saturday in an SEC contest at Lexington, Ky.

Georgia (3-1, 3-1 in SEC) allowed only 37 points in its first three games before crumbling in the second half against Alabama, falling 41-24 on Oct. 17. The Crimson Tide, in recent years, have been an obvious thorn in the side of the Bulldogs, who were blanked in the second half after leading at halftime.

Since that loss, Georgia’s main priority has been to look ahead and regroup.

“The goal is, ‘get better,'” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said this week. “You go back to the drawing board and work your tail off … We’re trying to say we are going to out-fundamental you.”

The Bulldogs and their highly touted defense don’t seem overly concerned with what happened against the Crimson Tide. The reality is that just about any team in the nation would have a hard time against a power like Alabama. And after losing in a game between the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the country, they have fallen only to No. 5 in the latest polls.

“You’re going to win some and lose some, it’s part of the game,” defensive back Lewis Cine said. “We will play to our standards and not allow certain plays to go by and capitalize on opportunities.”

In their last three meetings with Kentucky, the Bulldogs have played to a high standard, outscoring the Wildcats 97-30.

Kentucky (2-3, 2-3 in SEC) was looking for a third straight win last weekend, but instead enters this contest looking to bounce back from a 20-10 loss to Missouri. The Wildcats managed just 145 yards of offense, recorded eight first downs, and gave up 220 yards on the ground.

Though the overall outcome was discouraging, it’s not a result Kentucky coach Mark Stoops expects to consume his squad.

“We’ll never be at the point where we’re going to panic,” Stoops said this week. “Are we happy with the way we played? I think you understand that we’re not.

“But nobody wants to throw away everything we’ve done and start over. … Whether you win or lose, we’re trying to get better. It’s frustrating when you take a step back. We have to have the team prepared to play.”

That obviously won’t be an easy task against Georgia, which — even with the aberration against Alabama — is giving up a respectable 318.5 yards per game and 65.5 rushing. Kentucky is averaging 184.8 on the ground behind quarterback Terry Wilson (251 rushing yards, three touchdowns), Christopher Rodriguez (305 yards, four touchdowns) and Asim Rose (235 yards).

For Georgia, running back Zamir White has 266 yards rushing with five touchdowns this season, and quarterback Stetson Bennett is looking to rebound after he threw his first three interceptions of the season against Alabama.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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