LEXINGTON, Ky. — Georgia is looking to get back to its winning ways after a week off when the No. 13 Bulldogs meet Kentucky Saturday night.
The Bulldogs (5-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) were routed 35-7 at South Carolina in their last game, a loss that made their quest to win the East Division tougher. The loss featured defensive breakdowns, an ongoing problem for the Bulldogs — Georgia has given up 89 points the past two games.
Lineup shuffles caused by the early season suspensions of several players partly explains Georgia's breakdowns, though coach Mark Richt blames it more on miscommunication.
"Everybody has to be on the same page, and we made all the corrections we could make from what happened in the South Carolina game and really the entire season," Richt said in a conference call. "We looked at the entire first six games and said what are the things that are causing these big plays, and most of it was communication issues on the back end. We tried to make those corrections.
"Once you do close that loophole of a big play, then you've got a really good chance of playing good defense and that's what we've got to make sure we're doing."
With everyone talking now, the next step is backing it up against the injury-plagued Wildcats (1-6, 0-4).
The Bulldogs found themselves in trouble early against the Gamecocks on Sept. 29, trailing 21-0 behind several big plays including a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown. South Carolina gained 392 yards overall, leaving Georgia ninth in the SEC in total defense at 373.8 per game.
The Bulldogs' main question is whether their marquee player will be available against Kentucky.
All-America junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (5.5 sacks) hasn't practiced this week after injuring his ankle against South Carolina and looks doubtful. Freshman backup Jordan Jenkins is ready to go just in case.