Two teams looking for their first SEC win. Here is what Kentucky has to do to get that elusive victory.
Be the team that pressures the QB
Kentucky has to be the team that wins the battle of the trenches to pull out a road win. This Missouri team has a strong defensive line, so the UK o-line is up for a challenge. On the other side of the ball, Mizzou’s o-line struggles so Kentucky has to take advantage of that. If the Cats can keep both whoever is under center clean and pressure freshman quarterback Corbin Berkstresser, you have to think their changes of a victory improve.
Force Berkstresser into mistakes
I mentioned above that Kentucky has to get pressure on the freshman Berkstresser. With junior James Franklin out of the game, Berkstresser will see the majority of the action. So far on the season he is completing less than 50-percent of his passes, 54-for-113, and has three interceptions to three touchdowns. UK needs to force him to make some throws that he doesn’t want to and get some turnovers.
Avoid costly mistakes and penalties
Kentucky could have won the game last week if not for the running into the kicker call. They must avoid mistakes like this on the road in order to get their first SEC win.
Complete some passes over the top
Freshman quarterback Patrick Towles practiced this week and that is good news for the Cats. With Jalen Whitlow and Morgan Newton under center, the Cats have had zero threat of stretching the defense with an over-the-top passing game. Georgia dared them to throw it over and over again with just one deep safety and Kentucky never even attempted to take advantage. In his limited playing time, Towles has shown the ability to make deep throws. Just that threat alone, makes the UK offense so much better because it can open up the running game, as well.
Make plays on special teams
Rarely is special teams mentioned when it comes to keys of the game. On Saturday in Columbia it could be huge. Sophomore return man Marcus Murphy is a beast, already taking four kicks to the casa, but their kicking game has been pathetic. Already this year their kicker has missed four field goals and their punter has had two blocked kicks. UK must tighten up the reigns on Murphy and hopefully take advantage of their shaky kicking game.
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