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Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Kentucky Wildcats: Open Game Thread

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Welcome to the open game thread for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Kentucky Wildcats, the SEC vs. the Sun Belt. Game particulars as follows:

KentuckyWestern Kentucky
Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky
Sat., Sept. 15 - 7:00 p.m. ET
Lexington, Ky.
Gameday Information
Commonwealth Stadium
Game Notes: UK Get Acrobat Reader | WKU Get Acrobat Reader
Coverage
TV: ESPNU
Radio: UK IMG
GameTracker
Live Video via WatchESPN
Live Audio
Postgame Press Conference
Text Updates

Western Kentucky and the Wildcats are both 1-1 on the season, both having dropped games to ranked teams on the road. This is Western's second straight game away from home, last week having traveled down to Tuscaloosa for the honor of a 35-0 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Wildcats handed the Kent St. Golden Flashes a 47-14 drubbing in Commonwealth Stadium last Saturday, and in the process earned a miniscule amount of respect from the Las Vegas oddsmakers, having virtually the same line, -6.5 to -7 against the more talented Hilltoppers as they did against Kent St.

For Kentucky to win, they must:

  • Score. A lot. Western is a much better offensive team than Kent St, and that means that they should be able to move the ball against Kentucky's weak defense.
  • Bend, but don't break. If Kentucky can force WKU to settle for field goals more often than not, they should be able to outscore them.
  • Throw, throw, throw. Kentucky's fast-paced offense has been very good at moving the ball, and if UK can move the ball through the air, the returning starter CoShik Williams can run.
  • Possess the ball a long time. The more rest the UK defense gets, the better they will be.

For WKU to win, they must:

  • Score touchdowns. Kentucky is likely to put up some points, so Western must follow suit.
  • Get to Maxwell Smith. Smith has proven to be deadly if allowed to go through his progressions. Western has to make him hurry.
  • Hold on to the football. Western Kentucky is one of the worst in the nation at turnover margin. Defeating the Wildcats at home requires that they at least tie the turnover battle.

This is a big game for UK, because after this it really gets difficult, and this game is no pushover.

Go, 'Cats!