The Wildcats opened as a mere 7-point favorite over the Flashes. To get the fan base back on their side following a rough 2011 season and a rough season opening loss to Louisville, they need to win this game decisively.
They must shore up holes on defense by limiting KSU’s rushing attack and forcing them to put the ball in the air. When they pass, they cannot allow receivers to roam free as they did last week. The UK coaching staff is excited about their young players and expect to see them in action this Saturday. True freshmen like linebacker Pancho Thomas and cornerbacks J.D. Harmon and Fred Tiller could see significant action. Not only does this prepare the youngsters for SEC play, it is their best chance to win.
On offense they have to build off of last week’s momentum. They moved the ball better against Louisville than they did all season long in 2011. Max Smith looked sharp when he had time to throw and the receivers look one hundred times better than they did at any point last season.
CoShik Williams is out, but their running game should still be able to move the football. Ray Sanders will get the start, but we will also see junior Jonathan George and freshman Dyshawn Mobley. Aside from Mobley, also expect to see freshman Daryl Collins to continue to be a big part of the offense and another freshman wideout, DeMarcus Sweat to emerge.
The bottom line is they simply cannot afford to turn the ball over like they did last week. And remember they are facing a KSU team that induced six turnovers in their opener. The UK offense cannot leave points on the field with costly turnovers.
While watching the Wildcats defensively was very frustrating last week, you have to feel optimistic about the UK offense. Especially after watching them be absolutely brutal all of 2011. Kentucky will build off of that momentum on offense, shore up holes on defense and win this one by double digits. I do, however, see Kent State breaking a big play on offense and/or special teams to get some easy points.
Kentucky 31, Kent State 17
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