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Can UK coach Mark Stoops find a way to beat State when fans will “be rocking their cowbells”

Benny Snell attracted a crowd of fans after UK beat Mississippi State last year. (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Many of Kentucky’s biggest wins in the Mark Stoops’ era have been on the road — not in Lexington.

Kentucky could get another one of those big road wins Saturday afternoon when it plays at Mississippi State

“With some young guys going on the road, going down there, they’ll be rocking their cowbells, it will be a raucous crowd,” Stoops said. “(There are current UK) guys that haven’t been exposed to that yet. We’ll try to get ready for that this week.”

Kentucky’s practices this week have had the noise factor amped up to prepare for the cowbells and more.

“It will be good and loud to where the offense has to do everything on a silent count,” Stoops said. “They will be prepared for completely being blocked out from the sound.”

Kansas State followed the same plan last week before it won at Mississippi State. However, Kansas State had false start on the game’s first play, a second false start later in the half and a delay of game penalty in the third quarter.

Penalties certainly played a role in UK’s 28-7 win in Lexington last year because the Bulldogs were penalized 16 times for 139 yards.

“We know that there is going to be great road challenges throughout the year,” Stoops said. “This is our first opportunity, and we have to embrace that. We respect the environment that we’re going into and we respect this team, but there is something that’s fun in the challenge of going on the road and being united and getting on that bus and playing in Starkville.”

Stoops has never won at Mississippi State and the Cats have not won in Starkville since a 14-13 triumph in 2008. In fact, the home team has won this game the last four years since State won at UK in 2014.

Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead made a passionate plea earlier this week for Mississippi State fans to turn out in force Saturday afternoon.

“We are excited for our fans to come out,” Moorhead said. “I know it is going to be on the SEC Network. It is a huge (SEC) home opener. I know our kids are energized and galvanized and excited for a great home field.”

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