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Kentucky at Alabama -- Open Game Thread

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This is your open game thread for Kentucky at Alabama. I am opening it early for a little pre-game virtual tailgating.

This is obviously a huge game for the 'Cats, and one of the rare circumstances where Kentucky can actually lose and still win. Not so fo Alabama. If Alabama fails to cover the spread, they are likely to fall in the polls, and unless Kentucky gets blown out, they are likely to rise.

But all that aside, this is a game Kentucky can win. It will be a very tall task, but the Wildcat defense, I believe, is good enough to stymie Alabama's extremely efficient offense, at least somewhat. What I am much less sanguine about is whether or not Kentucky can move the football against the Tide. If the receivers continue to break off routes and drop footballs, it won't happen -- 'Bama will stick eight in the box and stuff our run offense for sure.

So here are my keys to the game:

Kentucky can win if:

  1. The UK lines plays even with their Alabama counterparts;
  2. Kentucky is able to throw the football effectively;
  3. Kentucky can complete at least a few passes past 10 yards;
  4. Kentucky can keep Julio Jones from really hurting them;
  5. Kentucky can outplay the Tide on special teams.

Kentucky will lose if:

  1. The Alabama offensive line dominates;
  2. Kentucky cannot throw the football;
  3. Kentucky can't convert at least 30% of third downs;
  4. Alabama's defense stuffs the Kentucky running game;
  5. Kentucky turns the football over at all. If we lose the turnover battle, we lose the game.

Enjoy the game. Go Cats!