Murray State Racers (0-2) at Kentucky Wildcats (2-0)
Game Time: 12:00 pm EST
Where: Kroger Field in Lexington, KY
TV: SEC Network Alternate (read more about it here)
Announcers: Mike Morgan, John Congemi, Taylor Davis
Online Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: Tom Leach, Jeff Piecoro and Dick Gabriel will have the radio call on the UK Sports Network.
Replay: SEC Network (check local listings) and ESPN+
Odds: Kentucky is a 40.5-point favorite.
Weather: Partly sunny and a high of 85 is what is forecasted with a chance of rain at 25 percent with winds around 7-9 mph.
Series: Kentucky leads the all-time series 1-0, a 37-6 victory in Lexington in 2003.
Connections: MSU defensive coordinator Jake Johnson spent 12 seasons at Eastern Kentucky, coaching with then-head coach Dean Hood, who is currently the defensive backs/special teams coach at Kentucky. Outside linebackers coach Brad White spent the 2009 season as the safeties coach at Murray State. Junior defensive lineman Phil Hoskins was coached at Highland Community College by MSU defensive line coach Walter Vaughn in 2016.
Early Projections: Kentucky should be heavily favored in this one. ESPN currently gives the Cats a 99.3% chance of winning.
What is your score prediction?
Kentucky enters Saturday at 2-0 after an upset of 25th-ranked Florida in Gainesville last week. All-SEC running back Benny Snell rushed for 175 yards in the game, while Terry Wilson had his breakout game, completing 11 of 16 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown while running for 105 yards and a score on 10 carries.
The Racers have not looked great to start the season and are currently sitting at 0-2. Murray State was blown out 49-10 in the season opener against Southern Illinois and fell short again on Saturday, losing to Central Arkansas, 26-13. Murray State had chances to win this game, but an interception and a fumble in the end zone killed those hopes.
The Racers have 56 lettermen returning and 17 starters (8 offense, 5 defense, 4 specialists). Defensive lineman Kenney Wooten recorded 10 sacks as part of his 11 tackles for loss in 2017. Wooten did a little bit of everything Saturday at UCA, as he had six tackles, one sack, a blocked extra point and a pass breakup that led to an interception. He’ll be a nice challenge for a Kentucky offensive line that was dominant last week but struggled at times in Week 1.
Through two games, Murray State is 12th in the nation in turnovers gained with five, including two interceptions and three fumbles recovered. Kentucky has committed five turnovers in two games, so this is an area where the Racers can frustrate the Cats if they continue to be sloppy with the ball.
Kentucky is coming off one of the biggest wins in program history, and with a noon kickoff, there is always a chance for a hangover performance. But I would expect the stands at Kroger Field to be filled with rowdy fans ready support this team. UK has the talent to just control this game on both sides of the ball.
A win would keep Kentucky’s perfect record against OVC teams intact at 11-0. It would move the Cats to 3-0 for the second straight season and third time in last eight seasons. It would make Kentucky 11-3 in its past 14 games at Kroger Field and 8-1 in their past nine regular-season non-conference games.
A win would also make Terry Wilson the first quarterback to begin his Kentucky career 3-0 as the starting quarterback since Mike Hartline in the first three games of the 2008 season.
This should be a great chance for Kentucky to tune up in preparation for a gauntlet conference run that begins with Mississippi State on 9/22.