|GAME TIME||3:30 pm EST|
Wildcats Key Player
RB Benny Snell
Without a doubt, Benny Snell will be looked at as Kentucky’s key player. Defenses will key on him and have full understanding he is the brad and butter of the offense. Hopefully newly named starter, Terry Wilson, can provide some consistency in the passing game to take pressure off Snell. Regardless whether he is keyed on or not, Benny Snell is going to ball out. I predict he will rush for over 150 yards and 2 TD’s against the Chippewas.
Chippewas Key Player
QB Tony Polijan
Tony Polijan will be moving from playing some wide out and tight end last season, to quarterback this season. Yep, for real. This is a major reason why Central Michigan is not projected to have a great season. The uncertainty at QB is a real X factor. Despite beating a power 5 Kansas team last year, this Chippewas team only returns 10 total starters.
Game Preview and Analysis
The wait is finally over, Saturday is one of the best days of the sports year as college football kicks off once again. Kentucky will open up the 2018 season at home against Central Michigan on Saturday at 3:30 pm EST. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and should present a solid challenge for Mark Stoops team.
6’s and 7’s were wild for the Central Michigan football team before last season’s 8 wins. Here is their record the 5 seasons prior to going 8-5 in 2017:
2012 – 7-6
2013 – 6-7
2014 – 7-6
2015 – 7-6
2016 – 6-7
The Chippewas had been habitually mediocre until cracking the 8 win barrier last season under coach John Bonamego. Entering the 2018 season there is not a lot of optimism surrounding the Central Michigan program despite them winning 6 of 8 conference games just a year ago. Roster turnover among other things have contributed to Kentucky opening as a 17.5 point favorite.
SEC talent should prevail over MAC talent every day of the week, and especially on college football Saturdays.
The Cats will be dealing with some key injuries not only this game but for the entire season. The loss of Landon Young, Josh Paschal, and John Schlarman may be felt much harder early on in the season as Coach Stoops looks to plug holes and find answers.
The biggest story line of the game is going to be the first career start for Terry “Touchdown” Wilson. Remember, Wilson has never played a game of this magnitude and is now representing an SEC school. He was riddled with turn over issues in JUCO. Wilson’s ability to protect possessions for Kentucky will be huge. The only way I see the Chippewas staying in this game is if the Cats give the ball up. So I would encourage them not to do that. Throw the ball away, tuck the ball, kneel on it for all I care.
Just do not give up possessions or field position with silly mistakes.
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