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Tonight, it’s the Kentucky Wildcats versus the Mississippi St. Bulldogs in Starkville, Mississippi. The Dawgs are currently ranked #23 in both polls, and it would be a big upset if Kentucky can go down to cowbell territory and get a win.
Game particulars as follows, courtesy of UKAthletics.com:
|Kentucky @ Mississippi St.|
|Game Notes||UK Notes | UK Depth Chart
MSU Notes & Depth Charts
|Date & Time||Saturday, Oct. 30
|Location||Davis Wade Stadium
Tonight’s game is important for Mississippi State, because this represents the last game in which they will likely be favored this year (except for perhaps the last one at Ole Miss). The Dawgs have already done the minimum necessary to get a bowl invite, although there is no doubt they would like to reach the magical 7th game before visiting Tuscaloosa, hosting Arkansas, and heading up to Oxford for the Egg Bowl.
For Kentucky, the Wildcats must win two of the four remaining games on their schedule to reach the six wins that the Bulldogs currently enjoy. The good news for UK is that in every one of the remaining games, except for this one, they should be favored to win.
Winning on the road in the SEC is always tough, but Kentucky has done it more often against Mississippi St. in the last few years than versus any other SEC team except the Vanderbilt Commodores. That doesn’t mean UK will win this game, of course, and the Bulldogs have beaten two SEC foes that defeated Kentucky — the Georgia Bulldogs sans A.J. Green, and the Florida Gators in the swamp.
At the moment, the Dawg offense represents the 8th ranked scoring offense in the SEC, while Kentucky represents the #2 scoring offense behind the #1 Auburn Tigers. On the other side of the ball, the roles are flip-flopped — Mississippi St. is the #3 scoring defense, while UK is #11 in that statistic.
So what we have here are two teams going strength against strength, and weakness against weakness. We even see this in more specific areas, where UK’s passing offense is currently the second-best in the league, and MSU’s pass defense is only 8th. MSU’s rushing offense is second in the SEC, and UK’s rushing defense is 11th.
This should be a very interesting game. If Kentucky can find some way to keep Chris Relf and MSU out of its red zone at least some of the time, the ‘Cats have a chance to outscore the Dawgs. If the Bulldogs can find a way to pressure Mike Hartline and force errant throws, the Wildcats could have difficulty scoring.
It seem likely that we will see a chess match between these two coaches, and whoever manages to either hide or shore up their weakness the most should win this game.
UK could really use a big upset here. For the Bulldog perspective, be sure to visit For Whom The Cowbell Tolls.