The Kentucky Wildcats football team is 5-0 and will be heading to College Station on Saturday to take on the Texas A&M Aggies. With every win, the Wildcats’ reputation has grown nationally, and the spotlight has gotten brighter in Lexington.
The Aggies are coming into the game after a narrow victory over the struggling Arkansas Razorbacks, and they are 3-2 on the season with losses to the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers.
Is Texas A&M a good team with a tough schedule, or is Jimbo Fisher leading an overrated group still riding the coattails of Johnny Football? Saturday’s game will likely provide the answer to that question.
The staff at A Sea of Blue have provided their predictions on whether or not the Wildcats will be 6-0 come Saturday night.
How good is Texas A&M? It’s hard to tell. They’re 3-2 with two blowout win over terrible opponents and a close win over another terrible opponent. Their two losses are against two of the best teams in the country.
What I do know is they have a very balanced attack with a passing game that ranks 32nd nationally and a running game that ranks 24th nationally. And they’re led by star QB Kellen Mond and star RB Trayveon Williams.
Mond is 4th in the SEC in passing yards, while Williams is 2nd in the SEC in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, behind Benny Snell. This team is going to be a serious challenge for Kentucky’s defense. And don’t forget, Mond is one of the SEC’s best mobile quarterbacks, arguably the best Kentucky will face this year.
As far as defense goes, A&M has a solid defense. They’re first in the SEC in rushing yards allowed per game (85). They’re not as good against the pass, but if they’re able to shut the run game down, then that really limits Kentucky offensively.
I think Benny will have a good day. Their rushing defense is very good, but I think Benny will go for over 100 yards. However, I think the game will be won by Terry “Touchdown” Wilson throwing the ball. He’s going to have to make some plays with his arm, like he did against Florida, for Kentucky to have a chance.
With all that being said, I don’t doubt this team for a second. I think it’ll be a close game, but I think Kentucky finds a way to get the job done in a difficult environment.
Prediction: Kentucky 27, Texas A&M 23
John Morgan Francis
Kentucky is partying like it’s 1984. Benny Snell, Josh Allen and the rest of the Wildcats find themselves 5-0 to start the season with their toughest challenge awaiting them in College Station.
Head coach Mark Stoops will lead his troops into Saturday’s game against a former mentor. Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher hired Stoops on during his time at Florida State and is considered to be one of the top coaches in the country.
Kentucky, though, wouldn’t be where they are today without Stoops and his ability to recruit but to also lead men. The Wildcats, on Saturday, will need Stoops’s leadership more than ever.
College Station is certainly one of the more hostile home fields in the country. Even powerhouses like Alabama and Clemson have had their struggles of winning there. Saturday will be far from a cake walk for Kentucky, as Vegas odds-makers seem to agree by opening Kentucky as six-point underdogs.
The Wildcats are stellar on the defensive side of the ball and Benny Snell has made his presence felt across the country.
However, Saturday’s environment may be too much for starting quarterback Terry Wilson.
Prediction: Aggies 24, Wildcats 20
Nobody thought Kentucky would be 5-0 right now, and the way they have been winning games has been pretty unbelievable. Not only have they not lost a game, but aside from playing Florida in The Swamp, they have not really even been challenged.
Playing at Texas A&M this week is sure to be their biggest test of the season thus far. Yes, A&M is 3-2, but their two losses have come against arguably the two best teams in the country.
A win here would possibly land Kentucky in the top 10 next week, and it would guarantee that the match-up with Georgia would be for the SEC East. That is next-level excitement for this program.
However, I am not sure the Wildcats are equipped to win in College Station after getting beat up a little last week. For the first time, guys are banged up, and they may be missing a starter or two.
I think it will end up being a close game, but I think Kentucky picks up their first loss of the season on Saturday.
Prediction: Texas A&M 30, Kentucky 20
I know as Kentucky fans we’ve all been saying that each game is the true test of this season. But Texas A&M is the true test for this season, thus far. Kentucky went on the road earlier this season and beat a top 25 Florida team, but can they do that again down in College Station?
Kentucky has never played TAMU in the modern era, so I am expecting the Wildcats to be somewhat rattled by the atmosphere at Kyle Field, considering it is one of the best home-field advantages.
In my opinion, Kentucky is playing with house money right now, as no on expected them to be 5-0 and a top-15 team. If they can go down there and win, then that just shows how real this team is. If they go down there and lose, it will not be the end of the world.
A&M’s run defense is one of the best in the country, so Terry Wilson is going to have to make some plays through the air or scrambling out of the pocket for Kentucky to get a win. A&M will be focused on stopping Benny, so other guys are going to have to step up to the plate.
I have faith that the Kentucky defense can slow down Texas A&M; the offense just needs to bring it against a stout Aggie run defense.
With all of that said, I think Kentucky loses a close one to Texas A&M.
Prediction: Texas A&M 21, Kentucky 17
The Wildcats arguably face their toughest test of the season thus far against Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies on the road. Kentucky’s 5-0 start has been overhyped in only one way: Home-field advantage. Kentucky has played four of their five games at Kroger Field, which has been packed and rocking for their last two SEC matchups. Their only road game was their streak-breaking win against Florida, but going against the 12th Man crowd in Kyle Field will be a very tough environment.
Texas A&M is a 5-0 team in my mind since I don’t know who is beating No. 1 Alabama this year, especially in Tuscaloosa, and they nearly pulled the upset against No. 2 Clemson. The defense will face another tough test in A&M’s offense that’s averaging 36 points a game and 512 total yards.
QB Kellen Mond is having a good season so far, with his best game coming against Clemson, where he threw 430 yards and three TDs against one of the best defenses in the country.
The Kash Daniel’s targeting ejection may hurt Kentucky for more than just the second half against South Carolina. The defense bent, but thankfully didn’t break, and they will have to duplicate that performance against an even better offense.
At this point, I think every team is going to make Terry Wilson beat them with his throwing due to Benny Snell Jr.’s emergence as a recognized offensive threat. Wilson has thrown only two TDs to his five interceptions this season, so I’m not sold yet on his ability to get it done with the ball in his hands, especially not on a stage like this.
A 6-0 start would cement Kentucky as a top-10 team and a legitimate threat in the SEC, but this is a spot where I can see them dropping a game due to a few costly slip-ups on the road. This won’t derail the entire season, but it will be their first slight road block of the year.
Prediction: Texas A&M 27, Kentucky 24
Another week brings another huge game for the Wildcats. When competitive, this SEC football thing is a lot of fun. Each week, the stakes only become greater as the Cats look to keep pace with the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC East.
This week poses the challenge of playing on the road in a hostile environment, something that UK has only had to do once in their first five games. Playing away from Kroger Field will make winning far more difficult.
It is hard to tell just how good Texas A&M is being that their two losses have come against Alabama and Clemson. Saturday night is really a much bigger game for the Aggies than it is for UK. Even with a loss, Kentucky will remain in a position to potentially win the East. I won’t go as far as to say they are playing with house money, but a loss isn't devastating by any means.
I refuse to bet against Benny Snell. I expect the Cats will feed Snell early and often to secure a victory. Come Sunday, Kentucky Football will be 6-0 and on their way to possibly the best season in program history.
Prediction: Kentucky 24, Texas A&M 21
Despite taking down Florida in the swamp and a solid Mississippi State team, this will be Kentucky’s most challenging game thus far.
Texas A&M is a very talented football team and are led by one of the nation’s best coaches in Jimbo Fisher. Kyle Field is also one of the best home field advantages in all of college football.
The Aggies’ 3-2 record on paper doesn’t look impressive, but their losses are to No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa and No. 4 Clemson at home where they only lost by two points. The Aggies proved they could play with the best teams in the nation. Thus, this game will be tough for the Cats.
I truly believe the Aggies again will have to play one of the nation’s best teams. Kentucky has dominated their opponents winning all five games by double digits. Their defense is as good as it gets in the country. As long as Kentucky’s defense can control their emotions and prevent unnecessary penalties, they should continue their success.
Offensively, this game will be a big test. Texas A&M has arguably the best run defense Kentucky has seen so far thus, it will be a tough matchup for Benny Snell and Terry Wilson. Wilson will need to prove this weekend he can make plays with his arm and will need his receivers to step up.
This game may just put Kentucky in the Top 10 if they can win. It will be a huge challenge, but this Cats team seems to be ready to take it head-on.
I’ve picked against the Cats in their two biggest games thus far and haven’t gone anywhere. I am no longer going to pick against them in a game like this.
Cats win a thriller.
Prediction: Kentucky 20, Texas A&M 17
I like Kentucky’s chances a lot more in this game if it isn’t in College Station. That’s why I’m ultimately picking the Aggies to win.
Texas A&M is just simply better at Kyle Field. The noise and atmosphere plays a major role and the Aggies certainly feed off that energy. Give me this game in Lexington or even a neutral site and I think Kentucky wins.
On the field though, Kentucky’s rushing attack will face a major test. The Aggies rank in the top 10 in rushing defense, but that statistic can be slightly misleading due to A&M’s schedule and that teams have found success through the air against them. The only team with a strong rushing attack that A&M has faced, Alabama, only ran the ball with their running backs 21 times during the game. Damien Harris and Najee Harris each averaged more than 5 yard per carry in that game.
All that is to say, A&M is facing a test too. I expect Kentucky to have a commitment to establishing their rushing attack early. Eddie Gran likely doesn’t want to have to go pass-heavy from the start. He will want to see what he can get on the ground before trying to air the ball out. It is kind of a similar situation to Mississippi State, where we thought Kentucky would struggle to run and have to throw early and often.
If Kentucky finds early success on the ground, I think they have a good chance to win, but Kentucky will be tested defensively with Kellen Mond and Trayveon Williams. They’re a lethal rushing attack too, and Kentucky’s defense will be tested early especially with Kash Daniel missing the first half.
Ultimately, I think the teams are very close talent-wise, but the home-field advantage gives the edge to the Aggies in a close one.
Prediction: Texas A&M 23 Kentucky 21