Josh Allen (Wade Upchurch Photo)
By DUSTIN CORDELL, Contributing Writer
The Wildcats have a very pivotal game coming up on Saturday against a fellow SEC foe in the Missouri Tigers. Kentucky currently has a record of 6-1 (4-1 SEC), which puts them in a 3 way tie for 1st place in the East. The Cats already hold the tie breaker with Florida and will face Georgia next week so a win on Saturday is of the upmost importance. One thing the Cats can not afford to do is overlook the Tigers and allow this to be a trap game.
Most diehard fans already know everything mentioned above as well as the fact that Kentucky controls their own destiny right now, win out and a trip to Atlanta to play in the SEC championship game is a guarantee. The Kentucky defense has yet to allow more than 20 points in a game and that will be put to the test when they face one of the conferences top quarterbacks in Drew Lock Beating Missouri will be no small task as you will see in the team comparisons, and the game being at Missouri will not make this game any easier.
Points per game: 27.1 38.6
Total yards per game: 358.9 501.1
Passing yards per game: 127.3 301.0
Rushing yards per game: 231.6 200.1
Yards allowed per game: 301.9 419.0
Passing yards allowed: 189.9 287.4
Rushing yards allowed: 112.0 131.6
Points allowed per game: 12.9 30.9
Kentucky ranks 2nd in the country in scoring defense and 12th in total defense, while Missouri ranks 18th in the nation in passing yards per game. The Cats defensive backs and linebackers will be tested on Saturday and that could be the key to Kentucky heading back to Lexington with a victory or not. The Tigers only rank 96th in the country in total defense with Kentucky ranking 19th in rushing offense so Look for Benny Snell to have another good game in this one. Another stat that stands out between the teams is turnover margin with the Cats being +2 on the season and the Tigers being -2 on the year.
With the above listed stats and from watching both teams, I have came up with keys to the matchup for Kentucky to pull out a win on Saturday.
Keys to the game
- Cats must limit turnovers to keep the ball out of Lock’s hands as they can not afford to fall behind big in this one
- Kentucky must find some type of passing game to open up the offense because Missouri will score points in this one
- The linebackers and d-line has to keep Lock under pressure most of the game to disrupt the passing game (has struggled when pressured)
Larry Vaught: 24-17 Cats (MVP to Mike Edwards)
Dustin Cordell: 27-24 Cats with Chance Poore hitting 2 field goals (MVP to Josh Allen)
(guest) Dick Gabriel: 24-20 Cats (MVP to Benny Snell)
(guest) Matthew Bradford: 34-24 Cats (MVP to Benny Snell)