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Brooks: Statistics don’t tell whole story about Georgia


Statistically, there are some areas where Georgia has an edge over Kentucky, others where UK has the edge and some areas where the two teams are about even.
Like Kentucky, Georgia has also had what UK coach Rich Brooks calls “some ups and downs” this year.

However, Brooks knows the Bulldogs are coming into Saturday’s game against the visiting Wildcats on an uptick after they rallied to beat Auburn last week.

“The second half they played against Auburn was very impressive. They decided to run the football down Auburn’s throat, and that is just what they did. They took it to them and got after it,” said Brooks.

“They didn’t turn the ball over, which has been one of their problems and is probably why they are 6-4 right now, because they’re minus a few more than we are in the turnovers/takeaways. For them to go through that game without turning the ball over is significant.

“This is a huge football game for both teams, obviously for very obvious reasons — in the standings in the SEC East, as well as bowl eligibility.”

If Kentucky (6-4, 2-4 SEC) could beat Georgia and Tennessee to end the season, it would finish second in the SEC East behind Florida and be positioned for a bid to either the Outback Bowl or Chick-fil-A Bowl.

However, when Kentucky came off a win at Auburn, it lost at home to Mississippi State when players openly talked about improving UK’s bowl stock.

“We have to learn from that and not make that mistake again,” said UK receiver/quarterback Randall Cobb.

Brooks hopes watching game film of Georgia (6-4, 4-3 SEC) will do that.

“They are a very talented team. They have a lot of speed and athletic ability on defense. Their numbers don’t tell the story of how good a players and defense they have,” Brooks said. “They are one of the leading teams in the conference in sacking the quarterback as well as tackles for loss.

“Offensively they looked like a little different team in the second half (against Auburn) when they became a physical downhill running team. They looked more like the Georgia of old as far as being able to pound the football at you. They run the ball very well, and they play-action as well as anybody in the passing game.”

Georgia will be without two key players who were injured against Auburn. Safety Barcarri Rambo won’t play because of a concussion and leading receiver A.J. Green has a shoulder separation.

Green has 47 catches for 751 yards. Michael Moore is Georgia’s second leading receiver with 21 catches for 187 yards and four scores.

Brooks says Green not playing would allow UK cornerback Trevard Lindley to stay on one side of the field versus changing spots to match up with Green on each play.

Georgia quarterback Joe Cox has thrown for 2,059 yards and 18 scores compared to 402 yards and two scores by UK freshman Morgan Newton, who will be starting his sixth game.

However, the Wildcats are running for 203.5 yards per game compared to 135 for Georgia. In last year’s 42-38 loss to the Bulldogs, Kentucky ran for 226 yards, its highest total against a SEC team in six years. Last week the Cats had 308 yards rushing in a 24-13 win at Vanderbilt.

Brooks says receivers LaRod King and Chris Matthews deserve partial credit for UK’s running game.

“I know that in the seven years I have been here, we haven’t had two guys as physical and as willing to block as those two,” Brooks said. “Randall (Cobb) is like a banty rooster out there, a little guy who is in their face and getting after it. The blocking by our wide receivers has been very impressive.”

While both Cobb and running back Derrick Locke have been proven playmakers, Brooks says the Cats must get more from Newton and the passing game at Georgia.

“Morgan is much better now at his decision making than in the past games. We just have to loosen it up a little bit, and allow him to either do it or not do it,” Brooks said.

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  1. KentuckyTailgating

    This is a HUGE game for the cats and could mean a lot in taking that next step up the ladder. I am pumped about this game.

    How do you think the freshman will do against UGA’s secondary? UGA hasn’t been great at pass defense, and the recievers have showed sings of making some plays. I love some of the catches King has had.

  2. gmoyers

    I think King is going to be solid and maybe this will be the game they let Matthews have a chance to make some big plays. I agree. Matchups that UK has to exploit much like Auburn did early.

  3. Jim Boyers


    This is all I ask for the next two weeks. Pretty basic stuff, but not always the way things have been this season.

    GO BIG BLUE!!!

  4. KentuckyTailgating

    While I can’t fault the coaches for not doing this since the running game was working so well, but I saw single coverage on Matthews several times against Vandy. I hope they let him play some jump ball some.

  5. TRUBLU69

    Well put KY tailgating: I agree we can get some cheap ones on UGA, If we can keep this thing close into the fourth and we can run the ball like we have..That big play will be On..Just depends on who is tossing it Cobb or Newton..If Newton has continued his Improvement through this game, look for Cobb on the recieving END…GO CATS!!BEAT THE DAWGS!!….GO BIG BLUE!!! Mathews will show up big! and king is becomeing hard to cover..CATS can throw the ball in this game for sure…Run It, open up the Pass..I hope that is what we see..GO HARD CATS!!BEAT UGA!!!

  6. gmoyers

    This is such a huge game for the Cats, or could be if they won. I just think these kids are ready to make a big statement. Guess we find out Friday night

  7. Paul

    I’ve not gone back and looked at any historical data, but memory tells me that almost every year, we lose one or two that we shouldn’t, and we win one or two that we were not expected to win. Example: This year we lost to MSU at home but beat (I refuse to use the word “stole” a victory) Auburn on the plains. The good wins and bad losses always seem to balance out. I think a good indicator that we might be making a move in this league would be if we could be on the decidedly “plus” side of that margin this year. In my book, that means winning at least one of the next two and maybe both of them. We CAN do it, but will we? I’d trade maybe 5 or so basketball losses for 2 more football wins. Who’s with me?

  8. gmoyers

    Count me in every day of the week on that Paul

  9. KentuckyTailgating

    Put me in that category as well. And I’d place a special request for us to beat UT.

  10. TRUBLU69

    LETS DO IT!!!! I’m debateing on 2 loses to UT in BB..Man I might even trade that for a win in FB this year…HMMMMM Did I just say that..OH well!!!! GO CATS!! GO BIG BLUE!!!!

  11. Jim Boyers

    Even if that were possible, I wouldn’t trade ANY basketball wins. The football team just needs to take care of their OWN business. They have shown that they CAN play well enough to beat these last 2 teams. It is on THEM to return to that form and do it.

  12. UKFMLY

    My hope is to be able to take my family BOWLING as a Christmas present this year. I would like to go futher south than Nashville. I have friends in Fla. and family in Catlanta that would love to put me up for the holidays.

    While on a basic level I will agree with 2 bb losses for 1 fb win. Be careful what you wish for. We could lose the next 2 fb games and win another Nashvillebowl. Those 2 bb losses could be first round losses in the SEC & NCAA Tournaments. Grandma always said “prayers are usually answered but not always in the way we expect”.

    So I will hope that the FB Cats take care of their own DESTINY. And let Coach Cal take care of the BB. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. GO BLUE OR STAY HOME!!!!!!!

  13. gmoyers

    I agree. Anything to get that win over Tennessee and end that hex

  14. KentuckyTailgating

    Man, trading two UT losses in BBall is one I have to think over. Living here in Knoxville, I’d catch a lot of flack. However, if we win this year, they may put up road blocks to not allow me back in the city of Knoxville on my return trip from Commonwealth.

  15. gmoyers

    I hope you have that problem

  16. TRUBLU69

    LOL…OK, I”ll Take a win in all of them…LOL…GO BIG BLUE!!!

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