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Kentucky’s defense is up for a major task against Nick Fitzgerald

Last week, Nick Fitzgerald accounted for 6 total touchdowns and 250 yards.

Tom Fornelli - CBS Sports

Kentucky’s defense will have their hands full trying to contain one of the best quarterbacks in the conference on Saturday.

Nick Fitzgerald is a dynamic dual-threat player who can fill up the stat sheet. Last week he flexed his muscles by tallying a total of 6 touchdowns and 350 yards in a 56-10 win over Louisiana-Lafayette.

This impressive performance placed Fitzgerald in the SEC history books. He is now one of only three SEC players in the last 20 years to rush for 4 touchdowns in a game twice in one season. Fitzgerald needs just 196 more rushing yards to tie Tim Tebow as the career SEC rushing leader at the quarterback position.

Nick Fitzgerald ended the 2017 season by breaking his ankle in the regular season finale in a 31-28 loss to Ole Miss. To begin the 2018 season, he served a one game suspension against Stephen F. Austin for a violation of team rules. Last week proved that Fitzgerald has no rust to shake off and can be put into the Heisman race if Mississippi State can keep winning.

Here is a look at Nick Fitzgerald’s career stats:

  • Passing yards: 4,837
  • Passing touchdowns: 43
  • Completion percentage: 55.1%
  • Rushing yards: 2,752
  • Rushing attempts: 414
  • Rushing touchdowns: 37
  • Total yards: 7,589
  • Total touchdowns: 80

There is no denying that Fitzgerald has put in major work during his career at Mississippi State, but Saturday’s game will prove to be a major challenge.

The Cats have only surrendered 92 total rushing yards to quarterbacks in the first three games of the season. However, against Central Michigan and Florida, the opposing team's leading rusher was the quarterback. So, Matt House’s defense will have to step up and make sure to execute a scheme that will contain one of the nation’s best players.

Dual-threat quarterbacks have given the Cats trouble in the past, but with Kash Daniel and Josh Allen on defense, I do not think Fitzgerald will surpass Tebow’s record when the Bulldogs come to Kroger Field on Saturday night.

Kentucky is currently only allowing 15 points per game and is stepping up when the defense needs to. If they can keep the Bulldogs from lighting up the scoreboard, it will put Kentucky in a great position to go 4-0 and 2-0 in the SEC.

A rowdy home crowd could really help assist the Kentucky defense throttle Mississippi State. It has been reported that plenty of tickets are still available. If you are on the fence about going to the game, you should reconsider. This is a huge game for Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Football program, not to mention it’s going to be an amazing atmosphere Saturday st Kroger Field, maybe the best we’ll see this year.