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Kentucky Wildcats vs Southern Miss: Start time, TV coverage, how to watch online, odds, replay and more

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The Kentucky Wildcats begin their 2016 season this Saturday with a challenging home opener.

It comes in the form of Southern Miss, who is coming off a 9-5 year in 2015. That included a spot in the C-USA Championship Game, where they fell to WKU 45-28, followed by a 44-31 loss to Washington in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

The Eagles have a new head coach in Jay Hopson, who took over after Tom Monken left to become the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator. Under Monken, USM averaged 39.9 points per game in 2015. They return their top rusher and top passer from a season ago in Ito Smith and Nick Mullens.

Smith rushed 171 times for 1,128 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2015 to go with 49 catches for 515 yards and three scores. Mullens completed 63.5% of his passes for 4,476 yards and 38 touchdowns. How well UK is able to contain these two will go a long way in deciding the winner of this game.

Here is everything you'll need to watch and follow UK play host to USM in Week 1.

Southern Miss Golden Eagles (0-0) at Kentucky Wildcats (0-0)

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Commonwealth Stadium

TV: ESPNU with Anish Shroff, Ahmad Brooks

Radio: Tom Leach (play-by-play), Jeff Piecoro (analyst) and Dick Gabriel (sideline) will have the call on 840 AM in Louisville and both 630 AM and 98.1 FM in Lexington. Go here for all UK Sports Network affiliates.

Satellite Radio: 93 (XM) and 93 (Sirius)

Series: UK leads 2-0

Last Meeting: Southern Miss lost 32-0 on Oct. 4, 1986 in Lexington

Odds: UK is a 7-point favorite, according to Odds Shark.

Replay: Monday, Sept. 5 at 5:00 a.m. ET

5-7 Record 9-5
2-6 Conference Record 7-1
24.6 Scoring/game 39.9
372.0 Total offense/game 509.5
162.7 Rushing yards/game 179.8
209.3 Passing yards/game 329.7
21.7 Kickoff returns (avg) 23.3
7.4 Punt returns (avg) 5.0
39.6 Punting (avg) 38.3
29:17 Time of possession/game 30:20
37.4% Third down conversion 46.0%
68.4% Fourth down conversion 52.0%
27.4 Points allowed/game 25.6
394.2 Total yards allowed/game 379.5
196.1 Rush yards allowed/game 151.9
198.1 Pass yards allowed/game 227.6

My Prediction: Even though Southern Miss is a quality team that will go bowling, UK is still a better in terms of overall talent while holding the home field advantage here. It doesn't help that USM is breaking in a new head coach who was coaching at Alcorn State last year.

Still, the Eagles return enough firepower to make this a game, but I see UK pulling this one out at home.

Final Score: Kentucky 31, Southern Miss 24