Kentucky has a chance to make a major statement on Saturday night at Kroger Field. Beating a top 15 SEC school like Mississippi State will give Mark Stoops and the Cats some long over due credibility on the national college football scene. A win place Kentucky at 4-0 and pave a legitimate path to 9 wins. Just thinking about that scenario gets me fired up! It will be no easy task to beat a Bulldog team who is also 3-0 and loaded with talent on both sides of the ball.
Here are 4 things the Cats must do to pull off the upset:
1. Establish the run game
Normally this would be a box that Kentucky would check easily, right? Well maybe not this week. Mississippi State has one of the best run defenses in America. All four defensive line-man returned from last season and give the Bulldogs one helluva squad to stop the run up front. Last season, Montez Sweat, Jeffery Simmons and Gerri Green – combined for 20.5 sacks. This year the Mississippi State defense has only allowed a total of 255 yards rushing in three games. Yes, you read that correctly, 255 yards total all season. Including holding Louisiana-Lafayette to only 65 yards on the ground last week.
All that being said, if there was any running back to combat this offense my first choice would be Benny Snell. This quote from Snell says all you need to know.
“I’m going to run on any team. This offense don’t fear nobody.” Snell said earlier this week.
To no ones surprise Snell got involved in some trash talk with Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill on Monday. Hill posted laughing emoji’s on twitter in reference to Snell’s comments about running on any defense. Here is Benny Snell’s response.
You a clown over the internet! I show up in real life.
— Mr SNELL YA LATER👋🏾 (@benny_snell) September 17, 2018
2. Win turnover battle
Touchdown Terry has looked more and more comfortable each week to begin his career at Kentucky. But this is not a good week to revert back to poor ball security habits. Mississippi State has a stellar defense already, so it is imperative that UK not give them any easy points or field position with senseless turnovers.
Both Kentucky and Mississippi State have caused 3 turnovers in the first three games. Whoever wins this battle should win the game.
We gotta avoid turnovers at Kentucky. If we do that, we should be okay. But it's one. game. at. a. time. from this point on.
— Moor Smack (@dawgsmack) September 16, 2018
3. Kash Daniel rips someones head off
Ok, after some research this actually does not need to happen for Kentucky to be victorious. But like many other Kentucky fans I have fallen in love with the persona of Kash Daniel. His 22 tackles in the first two games of the season were so inspiring. It is like he is all over the field all the time. Kash and the rest of the defense will need to play with a chip on their shoulder and make this game physical.
How great is it that Kentucky has the guys to WANT a highly physical conference game? What an amazing turn-around from years past.
And that’s the bottom line…….
4. Slow down Nick Fitzgerald
After opening the year on suspension, Mississippi State quarterback has returned and lit opponents up. Including 6 total touchdowns last week against Louisiana-Lafayette. He became one of a handful of players to have multiple 6 touchdowns games in the SEC. Kentucky will have to contain him and obviously not let him go off like that. My boy, Kash has something for Fitzgerald come Saturday.
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