LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Chris Rodriguez knows he had very little time to celebrate Kentucky’s 42-21 thumping of LSU last Saturday night.
“We like to say we have a 24-hour rule,” Rodriguez said. “We just had a great win, but once the 24 hours are up, it's on to the next one."
The next matchup for the Wildcats (6-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) is a highly-anticipated showdown at top-ranked Georgia on Saturday. The winner will gain control of first place in the SEC East with both teams currently tied for the divisional lead. Georgia (6-0, 4-0) moved up to No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll following No. 5 Alabama’s shocking 41-38 loss at Texas A&M last Saturday.
Kentucky also made a jump in the poll five spots from 16th to No. 11 after keeping its perfect record intact after six games, the team’s best start since the 1950 season.
The Wildcats are looking forward to the challenge in the team’s second road game of the season. Kentucky quarterback Will Levis is already looking forward to his first visit to Athens this weekend.
"It's awesome, that's why I came here. It's why you come to the (Southeastern Conference). It's stuff that you dream of when you make decisions like that. It's one of the environments you think of when you think of SEC football, Sanford Stadium in Athens.
“(I’m) really excited to go down there and play the best team in the country. We are going to have a good week at practice, and hopefully, we are going to find some ways to get the ball moving and put some points on the board against them."
After scoring just two offensive touchdowns the previous two weeks in wins over South Carolina and Florida, respectively, the Wildcats produced its best offensive showing against conference foes with six touchdowns against the Tigers. Levis accounted for five of those six scores, including a pair of rushing touchdowns of his own.
“I think he’s making really good decisions,” said Kentucky coach Mark Stoops.
On Monday, Stoops said he embraces the challenge of playing the top-ranked Bulldogs, but also doesn’t plan on changing his team’s approach this week, adding the routine will remain consistent.
“If you want to continue to playing in big games, then just take care of the business that you have right in front of you,” Stoops said. “It really doesn’t matter to us who we play. They’re all big games when you want to win and prepare. It’s about preparation and what we do (in practice) this week.”
Stoops said the Wildcats have a “great challenge ahead of ourselves.”
“We’re going to need to play our very best, there’s no question about that,” Stoops said. “You see why they’re the No.1 team in the country. They are leading and dominating in the defensive statistical categories, and they play extremely well offensively. They are just a complete offensive football team.”
Kentucky defensive lineman Octavious Oxendine is out for the rest of the season because of an undisclosed lower leg injury, Stoops confirmed Monday. Oxendine had two sacks for a loss of 16 yards in the win over the Tigers last weekend and was named the SEC co-defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
“It’s a big loss for us,” Stoops said. “This past week he played his best game. It’s unfortunate that he got hurt late in the game.”
Kentucky offensive guard Eli Cox was named the SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. He graded at 91 percent against LSU as the Wildcats rushed for 330 yards and averaged 7.3 yards per rush prior to the two kneel downs at the end of the contest. Cox had seven knockdowns and 15 blocks at the point of attack and didn’t miss any assignments or allow a quarterback sack or pressure.
Gametracker: Kentucky at Georgia, 3:30 p.m., Saturday, CBS, UK Radio Network.
Keith Taylor is the sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at keithtaylor21