The biggest game of the Kentucky Wildcats' young season comes today versus the Mississippi Rebels. At 3-1, UK has a chance to not only recover from the brutal beating at the Swamp versus the Florida Gators, but to put its SEC schedule back on track with three home games in a row following this road trip.
Details of the game are as follows, via UKAthletics.com:
|Kentucky @ Ole Miss|
|Game Notes|| UK Notes | UK Depth Chart |
|Date & Time||Saturday, Oct. 2 |
|Coverage||TV: SEC Network |
Online Video via ESPN360
|Location||Vaught-Hemingway Stadium |
Ole Miss has a potent option-driven offense starring Jeremiah Masoli, and Kentucky answers with a powerful offense of its own starring Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke. That, and the fact that both UK and Ole Miss' defenses have not stood up well against SEC competition suggest that this could be a high-scoring affair.
Because Ole Miss has such a weak defensive secondary, the smart money is on a big day for Mike Hartline and the receivers. If that does in fact materialize, the second half could feature Locke running amok.
But UK still has to find a way to keep Ole Miss out of the end zone, and that isn't easy. They are better than Kentucky at scoring in the red zone, and unless UK's defense really steps up, the Rebels are likely to move the football against them. A good showing by UK's defense today would be be a big relief for Wildcats fans after the pummeling they took at the hands of the potent Florida offense last week.
Some things to watch:
- How well does UK defend Masoli? Mobile quarterbacks have historically given UK a lot of trouble.
- Can Mike Hartline continue his solid play at quarterback?
- Will UK's run defense stiffen, or will it continue to show weakness?
- After a breakout game versus the Gators, can Chris Matthews back it up with another and become the 2010 version of Steve Johnson?
- I have a feeling about Matt Roark. This could be the game that he comes of age.
Let's enjoy this game on a beautiful Saturday against an SEC foe. This is a winnable game, although on the road, and UK needs to show up here to have a chance to make some noise in the SEC East. While all the national attention today will be on the Gators and the Alabama Crimson Tide, Kentucky fans will be anxiously watching this game. Win this, and UK's season starts to shape up nicely despite an unpleasant setback in Gainesville. Lose, and 0-2 in the SEC makes the rest of Phillps & Company's road to post season play very, very tough.
To follow the game from the Ole Miss perspective, be sure to visit Red Cup Rebellion, SBNation's excellent Ole Miss blog.