LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- I suspect you consider Kentucky’s trip to Athens on Saturday to play top-ranked Georgia the sexiest UK football game you can remember.

I certainly do.

The Wildcats are chasing their first 7-0 start in 71 years. They’re playing the best team in college football in a stadium that seats more than 92,000 people in an environment that will be fueled by the presence of ESPN’s College GameDay crew as well as by national coverage from CBS Sports.

Yes, the Wildcats are more than a three-touchdown underdog. But if they win, they’ll have a one-game lead, plus the tiebreaker advantage, over Georgia in the race to win the East Division of the Southeastern Conference.

Seems fairly big to me.

Then I read the lead to Ralph Russo’s national preview of the game for the Associated Press, and I suspect this is the way America looks at the game. This is what Russo wrote:

“Sometimes a big game really isn’t.

“No. 1 Georgia faces No. 11 Kentucky on Saturday, the third straight game for the Bulldogs against a ranked Southeastern Conference opponent.

“Georgia won the first two games by a combined score of 71-10, and the oddsmakers don’t expect this one to be all that much closer.”

Translation: More than winning is on the line for Kentucky on Saturday. This is an opportunity for Kentucky to prove it is a legit top-10 team.

TIME: Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Sanford Stadium, Athens, Georgia.

WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN: TV — CBS Sports, Ch. 32 (Brad Nessler, play by play; Gary Danielson, analyst; Jamie Erdahl, sidelines); RADIO — UK Sports Network, 840 AM, WHAS (Tom Leach, play by play; Jeff Piecoro, analyst; Dick Gabriel, sidelines).

THE LINE: Point spread favors Georgia by 22.5; Over/under total points 44.5.

THE LAST TIME: Georgia won its 11th-straight game in the series, 14-3, last Halloween in Lexington.

THE RECORDS: Georgia is 6-0, ranked No. 1 and has won all four of its SEC games by at least 24 points. Kentucky is 6-0 and has won all four of its SEC games by an average of 10.3 points.


PLAYER TO WATCH KENTUCKY: Kentucky halfback Chris Rodriguez. Georgia coach Kirby Smart is a Rodriguez fan, insisting that trying to tackle Rodriguez is like hitting a brick wall. Rodriguez leads the SEC in rushing at 128 yards per game and 6.4 yards per carry. He has rushed for 125 or more yards four times this season. Georgia has allowed only 66.5 yards rushing per game. Four SEC opponents failed to rush for 100 yards against Georgia.

PLAYER TO WATCH GEORGIA: Quarterback. Will it be J.T. Daniels, one of the preseason favorites for the Heisman Trophy, or former walk-on Stetson Bennett? Smart is not saying. Daniels, a better downfield passer, missed the last two games with a strained back muscle. Although Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Daniels has thrown more in practice this week, the guess is that Bennett will start. Bennett has completed better than 65% of his throws the last three games, but Georgia has only asked him to throw 16 times per games. When Daniels played, Georgia threw the ball 24 times per game.

SIDELINE STORYLINES: This will be the firmest test yet of Kentucky’s rebuilt offense. Few teams can line up and beat the Bulldogs at the line of scrimmage. The ability of offensive coordinator Liam Coen to create ways for quarterback Will Levis to get the ball to Wan’Dale Robinson for several explosive plays will be critical. So will avoiding turnovers. Georgia ranks second in the SEC with eight interceptions. Kentucky has not defeated the nation’s top-ranked team since 2007 against LSU. UK is 3-14 all-time against top-ranked opponents. UK and Georgia are two of the nation’s 13 unbeaten FBS teams. Rodriguez needs 382 yards to overtake Boom Williams as the program’s eighth all-time rusher. Georgia leads the nation in scoring defense at 5.5 points per game. The Bulldogs’ defense has allowed two touchdowns in six games: one by South Carolina, the other by Auburn. Georgia’s defense and special teams have scored 20 points.

THE QUOTE: Smart talked about the difference between this Kentucky team and others that he has faced:

“The biggest difference in their team is the quarterback (Will Levis), and their offensive system is different. They’ve always been physical. Their offensive line last year was physical. We lost three or four defensive linemen in the game, and at one time, we were playing three true freshmen out there.

“It’s just bluntening when you go play these guys. And it’s both ways. I’ve got a lot of respect for the way they play. They’re last year’s team physicality-wise, but they’ve got a lot of weapons starting with the quarterback and Wan’Dale (Robinson). They’ve got tremendous talent all around those guys.”

THE PICK: Georgia 31, Kentucky 13.

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