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Big Blue Preview: Kentucky at Georgia

Photo: Brendon Miller - Bluegrass Sports Nation


The No. 20/20 University of Kentucky football team will compete in its second Southeastern Conference road game of the season, this time against top-ranked Georgia in Athens, Georgia, this Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The Wildcats will sport their first ranking of the season, checking in at 20th in both the Associated Press Poll and AFCA Coaches Poll after receiving votes for the past five weeks.

This is the third season in a row that Kentucky will be taking on a No. 1-ranked Georgia team, while UK has just three wins over a top-ranked team in program history. Meanwhile, UK is coming off its sixth ranked win against its last 10 ranked teams when it took down then-No. 22/23 Florida last Saturday. The triumph marked the first time in program history that it has defeated the same ranked opponent three years in a row.

Cat Scratches: Kentucky Offense Looking for More Complete Game Against Georgia

The Kentucky offense is coming off what turned out to literally be an award-winning week. In the Cats’ 33-14 win over Florida, Ray Davis rushed for 280 yards, the third-highest total in Kentucky football history. That big day earned Davis SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors. In addition, Davis was named the Doak Walker National Running Back of the Week among a number of national awards.

Offensive lineman Jeremy Flax was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week and was also named the Outland Trophy National Player of the Week.

UK head coach Mark Stoops was named the Dodd Trophy National Coach of the Week.

While all of those accolades are great, they are now in the rear view mirror. According to UK offensive coordinator Liam Coen, the Cats are more focused on getting the offense to play a complete game…Read More

Kentucky-Georgia Series

• Kentucky trails the all-time series against Georgia, 62-12-2.
• The Wildcats trail the series in Athens, 31-4-2.
• UGA has won the last 13 games against UK.
• The last time UK defeated UGA was also the last time UK defeated UGA in Athens, which was on Nov. 21, 2009 (34-27).

Kentucky-Georgia Connections

• Kentucky has 12 players from the state of Georgia on its roster:
• Linebackers Trevin Wallace (Jesup), Martin Thrower (Rochelle), D’Eryk Jackson (Dublin), Mason Dailey (Milton), defensive back Jonquis “JQ” Hardaway (Columbus), running back Jamarion Wilcox (Douglasville), kicker Alex Raynor (Kennesaw), outside linebacker Grant Godfrey (Suwanee), offensive lineman Nick Pearson (Milton), wide receiver Dylan Gary (Sugar Hill) and defensive lineman Tavion Gadson (Savannah)
• There are no players on Georgia’s roster from the state of Kentucky.
• UK’s offensive line coach Zach Yenser was a Georgia All-State center and long snapper at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Georgia. He also served as an assistant coach at Colquitt County High School in 2009.

Kentucky vs. The Ranked

• Kentucky has played 266 ranked teams in the Associated Press poll in its history, while the Wildcats are 51-210-5 in those games.
• UK is 1-0 against ranked teams this season, defeating then-No. 22/23 Florida at home on Sept. 30.
• UK is 3-34 all-time against ranked-UGA teams.
• The last time UK defeated a ranked-UGA team was 1988 (16-10), when UGA was No. 11.
• The Wildcats went 2-3 against ranked teams last season in 2022, defeating then-No. 12/19 Florida on the road and then-No. 16/17 Mississippi State at home.
• The Cats fell to then-No. 14/11 Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, in a heartbreaking, 22-19, loss and it lost to then-No. 3/3 Tennessee on the road, 44-6. The Cats played top-ranked Georgia tough before falling, 16-6.
• Since 2015, the Wildcats are 12-15 against ranked teams.
• Kentucky has won six of its last 10 ranked meetings, including No. 23 NC State in 2020, No. 10 Florida and No. 17 Iowa in 2021, and No. 12 Florida, No. 16 Mississippi State in 2022 and No. 22 Florida in 2023.

A UK Win Would …

• Give UK its second 6-0 start to the season in the last three years (including 2021).
• Give UK its second 6-0 start to the season in the last 73 years (since 1950).
• Give UK its sixth 6-0 start to the season in program history.
• Give UK its third 3-0 start to the Southeastern Conference schedule in the last five years (including 2018 and 2021).
• Give UK its sixth 3-0 start to the SEC schedule in program history (including 1949, 1950, 1977, 2018 and 2021).
• Give UK its fifth-longest win streak in school history (six games).
• Give UK its first win in the last 14 games against UGA.
• Give UK its fifth win against UGA in Athens in program history.
• Give UK its fourth win against a ranked-UGA team in program history.
• Give UK its first win against a No.1-UGA team in program history.
• Give UK its fourth win against a No. 1 team in program history.
• Give UK a 2-0 record against ranked teams this season.
• Give UK its seventh ranked-win against its last 11 ranked opponents.
• Be UK’s highest-ranked win ever in an opponent’s campus stadium.
• The previous record is UK’s win at No. 10 Vanderbilt in 1947. (Note: the 1964 win vs. No. 1 Ole Miss was not in Jackson, not Oxford)
• Extend head coach Mark Stoops’ all-time school records for wins to 72, SEC wins to 35 and wins over ranked opponents to 13.

By the Numbers

Wins in Kentucky program history against top-ranked teams (Oklahoma, 1951; Ole Miss, 1964; LSU, 2007)

Wins for Kentucky against Georgia in Athens (1956, 1973, 1977, 2009)

Career wins for Mark Stoops against ranked opponents, the most in UK history

Passing yards needed by UK’s Devin Leary to surpass 8,000 in his career

Rushing yards this season by UK’s Ray Davis, which is the most in the SEC and is fourth among Division I FBS players

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