Kentucky will be back in action against Mississippi State on Saturday at 4 pm on the SEC Network. The Bulldogs opened up as an 8.5 point favorite, despite losing at home this weekend to Kansas State.
The Cats will have little time to lick their wounds before they travel to Starkville for their first SEC road game of the season. Saturday’s brutal loss to Florida will be a difficult distraction to overcome, but with a tough two game road stretch ahead it will be important for Kentucky to remain focused.
This matchup is a critical game for two teams that share a 2-1 record and are coming off disappointing home losses that could potentially have a lingering impact on the rest of the season.
Mississippi State will also be coming off a rather depressing loss on their home field. The Dawgs ran out of steam and fell to Kansas State 31-24 in a shootout on Saturday. The score was close, but K-State really controlled most of the game, including the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
Quarterback play with be the thing to keep your eye on in this one. One positive takeaway from the loss to the Gators was that Sawyer Smith proved he has the moxie to play in this league. His 267 yards and two touchdowns showed signs brilliance, but his three interceptions cannot be duplicated if UK is to get a win on the road.
Smith has quickly found Ahmad Wagner to be one of his top targets and connected with him for another touchdown in only his second game under center. If he can eliminate the turnovers and find his playmakers it should put the Cats in a position to win the game.
Mississippi State on the other hand has somewhat of a Quarterback controversy on their hands. The Bulldogs started the game with Senior Tommy Stevens but after a lackluster 7/15 for 100 yards with a touchdown and two picks, he was replaced by freshman Garrett Shrader. The switch didn’t help much as Schrader on completed 4/12 passes for 51 yards. It will be interesting to see who the Dawgs roll with on Saturday against UK.
MSU’s strength is the run game with their junior workhorse Kylin Hill, who carried the ball 24 times for 111 yards against Kansas State.
Kentucky will be in a dangerous spot this weekend in Starkville as they want to avoid losing two in a row at all costs. With only four total road games this season, it would be huge to pick up a win before traveling to Columbia to play the Gamecocks.
Game: Kentucky Wildcats (2-1) at Mississippi St. Bulldogs (2-1)
Location: Starkville, Mississippi
Start Time: 4:00 Eastern on Sept 21, 2019
TV Info: SEC Network
Odds: MSU opened as an 8.5-point favorite. ESPN FPI gives the Bulldogs a 65.6% chance of winning.