The Kentucky Wildcats enter Saturday’s matchup as a three-point underdog against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
The Cats come into this game with a 3-3 record and a 2-2 record in the SEC, which some people would say is surprising after beating a not-so-good South Carolina football team and a very good Vanderbilt defensive team.
Mississippi State comes into the game with a surprising record of 2-4 through the halfway point into the season. The worst loss coming to a bad University of South Alabama loss.
There is a lot of things the Cats will need to do to upset the Bulldogs Saturday, but if they are going to do it, here are my five keys to victory.
1. Pack Commonwealth Stadium. The Cats seem to play very well this season when the atmosphere is rocking. This really showed when the Cats beat South Carolina and Vanderbilt. At the end of the Vanderbilt game, you could feel the electricity in the air and all the people of Commonwealth standing tall.
2. Stop Nick Fitzgerald. Sophomore Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald is a true "Dual-Threat" quarterback. Fitzgerald has carried the ball 80 times this season for 431 yards, averaging 13.3 yards per carry. Fitzgerald has also completed 56 percent of his passes, completing 91 of 165 passes for 166 yards per game. Fitzgerald has also thrown eight touchdowns thus far and only four interceptions.
3. Contain Fred Ross. Ross is a 6 foot 2 Senior Wide Receiver for the Bulldogs. Ross enters Saturday’s game with 34 receptions for 386 yards and five receiving touchdowns. Ross is averaging over 11 yards per catch and is the Bulldogs go to in the red zone and clutch situations. If the Cats pair up Chris Westry or Derrick Baity with Ross, then I believe the Cats will be just fine.
4. Stephen Johnson. The JUCO transfer Quarterback needs to get back on track this weekend. Johnson hasn’t played all that bad, if you just take away his fumbles against Alabama a few weeks ago. Johnson only completed 42 percent of his passes for 49 yards against Vanderbilt on October 8th. If Johnson doesn’t step it up this weekend, the Cats may have an issue on their hands.
5. Jordan Jones. The Mississippi State offense is averaging 25 points per game through the first six games of the season.With so many weapons, some would question how Mississippi State only has two wins thus far. With Ross at wide receiver and Fitzgerald at quarterback, they are going to score. The Cats just have to get Jordan Jones free and let him run like a maniac and make plays just like Jordan Jones does.
The Bulldogs may have no chance at making a bowl, but that possibility is still very alive for the Cats. If the Cats can manage to pull off a big win this Saturday, then I in fact do predict them to reach that sixth win and make a bowl.
My prediction: Kentucky: 24 Mississippi State, 21