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How FPI sees the rest of Kentucky Football’s schedule

Breaking down the rest of the Wildcats’ schedule as they look to reach double-digit wins.

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats’ overtime loss on the road at Texas A&M was disappointing, but is far from closing the door on the Cats’ winning the SEC East.

The back-half of the schedule benefits Kentucky to still position themselves for a positive season. Their bye week came at a time of need for Mark Stoops team as Kentucky looked exhausted down the stretch against the Aggies.

A week off will give the coaches & players a chance to identify areas of improvement in order to keep pace with the Georgia Bulldogs.

Here’s a look at the last six games on the schedule.

Vanderbilt (3-2) - 10/20

Coming off their bye week, Kentucky’s matchup with the Vanderbilt Commodores shouldn’t present many problems. The Wildcats’ shouldn’t underestimate their opponent, though, as Vanderbilt gave Notre Dame a tough home game earlier in the season.

Vandy was routed by the Georgia Bulldogs, 41-13, in their last outing. The Commodores do present a few offensive weapons, though, as quarterback Kyle Shurmur has already thrown for 1,400 yards & nine touchdowns on the season.

However, the Commodores could be in for a similar defeat when they make their trip to Lexington.

ESPN Match-Predictor: Kentucky 83.0% chance of victory

Missouri (3-2) 10/27

Kentucky’s road game at the Missouri Tigers is one that Kentucky will need to put a firm grip on early. All road environments in the SEC are tough and it wouldn’t be far-fetched for the Cats’ to look ahead for their showdown with the Bulldogs.

Winning at Mizzou is imperative for Kentucky’s hopes regarding an SEC Championship. Quarterback play will be significant as well, considering the Tigers have held each Georgia & South Carolina under 200 yards rushing.

However, they did surrender an average of 39 points per game in their last three outings.

ESPN’s FPI currently has the Wildcats as an underdog, though Kentucky has three wins when their opponent has been favored this season.

ESPN Match-Predictor: Missouri 59.9% chance of victory

Georgia (6-0) 11/3

This game needs no introduction. Kentucky fans have known for weeks that the SEC East could come down to this game, at Kroger Field, on Nov. 3rd. As runner-ups in last year’s national championship game, Georgia is unblemished this season and isn’t showing any weaknesses.

This Saturday, Georgia take a trip to Death Valley as they face the LSU Tigers. If the Tigers manage a win, that would place Kentucky & Georgia in a tie for first place in the SEC East.

This matchup has a chance to be the one of the most significant games in the history of Kentucky Football, though ESPN’s FPI isn’t giving UK much of a chance.

ESPN Match-Predictor: Georgia 82% chance of victory

Tennessee (2-3) 11/10

Kentucky will almost certainly be banged up after what should be two competitive outings against both the Tigers & Bulldogs. But with another road test at the Tennessee Volunteers, UK will receive no favors in Knoxville.

The Vols’ haven’t been competitive against Power 5 schools, including blowout losses at the hands of Florida & Georgia in SEC play.

The Vols were also blown out, 40-14, by West Virginia in their opening game. The Cats’ shouldn’t have much to worry about at Tennessee & ESPN’s FPI seems to mirror just that.

ESPN Match-Predictor: Kentucky 70.7% chance of victory

Middle Tennessee State (3-2) 11/17

After a gauntlet of SEC competition, the Wildcats will face the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders before traveling to Louisville for their regular season finale. Like their home game against the Murray State Racers, their matchup with the Blue Raiders should allow the Wildcats to increase the amount of snaps younger players receive.

The Cats should be an overwhelming favorite in this game and ESPN’s FPI appears to agree.

ESPN Match-Predictor: Kentucky 91.3% chance of victory

Louisville (2-4) 11/24

The Louisville Cardinals have let just about anyone & everyone run on them this season. In their last outing, the Cardinals allowed Georgia Tech to rush for over 500 yards & never forced a punt in a 66-31 losing effort.

A similar fate could be handed down by the Wildcats after Thanksgiving, as Kentucky’s rushing attack should carve up the Cardinals’ defense while UK’s defense should cause plenty of issues for Bobby Petrino’s offense.

ESPN Match-Predictor: Kentucky 84.3% chance of victory

Based on ESPN’s FPI, Kentucky should finish the season at 9-3. This is certainly an outcome not many predicted.

What game are you most looking forward to?