UT-Martin Skyhawks (7-4) at Kentucky Wildcats (5-5)
Game Time: 3:30 Eastern on November 23rd, 2019
Location: Kroger Field - Lexington, Kentucky
TV Channel: Today’s game can be seen on the SEC Network.
Announcers: Dave Neal and DJ Shockley will be on the call.
Online Stream: WatchESPN
Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network (check local listings).
Odds: The Wildcats are a 29.5-point favorite against the Skyhawks. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives Kentucky a 96.5% at victory.
Score Projection: OddsShark has Kentucky winning 40-2.
The Kentucky Wildcats are looking to clinch a bowl berth when they host UT-Martin this Saturday.
The Kentucky offense finally got on track in Nashville as they torched the Commodores for over 500 yards of total offense. Their 38 points tied a season-high that went all the way back to the first two wins of the season when the Cats also put up 38 points on Toledo and Eastern Michigan.
Kentucky will now turn their sights on the Skyhawks for a 3:30 pm EST game at Kroger Field that can be seen on the SEC Network. It’s a matchup that Mark Stoops’ team should easily win, but it’s still a game of extreme importance.
A home victory against the Skyhawks will mark UK’s sixth win while locking in their bowl eligibility ahead of the Louisville Cardinals coming to Lexington on November 30th for the regular-season finale.
If Kentucky can win-out, including a bowl game, then they will achieve an eight-win season, something that should be graciously celebrated in the Commonwealth.
One thing can now be said with certainty: There should no longer be questions, from anyone, about who should be taking the majority of UK’s snaps under center. Lynn Bowden posted the third highest QB rating in the SEC on Saturday after rushing for 110 yards and throwing for another 104. He now has a chance to finish the 2019 season as his team’s leading receiver, rusher, and passer. The dominating win on the road against Vandy should put any remaining critics to sleep once and for all.
Unless Stoops’ bunch lays an egg, UT-Martin shouldn’t keep things close against the Wildcats on their home field. In their only other game against a Power 5 opponent, the Skyhawks were blasted by Florida 45-0 back in September. They will travel to Lexington with somewhat of a familiar face on the sidelines. Bobby Petrino’s son, Nick, is the co-offensive coordinator at UT-Martin.
The team is highlighted by freshman John Bachus III, who is a candidate for the Jerry Rice Award – given to the nation’s top freshman.
Starting in all 11 games, Bachus has led the team to seven victories - the highest single-season total for the Skyhawks since 2016. He has completed 56.6% of his passes with 171 completions on 302 attempts with 2,392 yards and 18 touchdowns through the air. He also has three rushing scores.
One of his top targets is senior wide receiver and returner Terry Williams. Williams leads the team with 50 receptions while ranking first in the nation in punt return touchdowns with two - a program single-season record - making him the only Division I player (FBS or FCS) with multiple punt return scores this season. He also ranks sixth in punt returns (16.9 yards) and 14th in combined kick returns (723 yards).
UT-Martin is coming off a victory over Tennessee State 28-17 to post the team’s first unbeaten season at home. They have a 7-4 record on the season but just aren’t used to seeing SEC caliber athletes on the other side of the ball. They enter this week 1-27 all-time against FBS squads with its lone win coming against Memphis in 2012. They are 1-22 in games against FBS opponents under the direction of head coach Jason Simpson and 0-10 against SEC foes.