clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Players to watch for against Mississippi State

These Cats really need to step up to bring win No. 1 home to Lexington.

Ole Miss vs Kentucky Photo by UK Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

It’s a big weekend for the Kentucky Wildcats this weekend. After starting 0-2, the Cats will take the field under the lights for the first time this year in hopes to turn this season around vs. the Mississippi St. Bulldogs.

But who will need to show up to ensure the Cats pull out the win on Saturday? Here are a couple names to watch for.

DeAndre Square

With the weather this weekend, it will be interesting to see how Mike Leach changes his offense. With Kylin Hill coming back this weekend, he could decide to run some more this weekend or use more short-intermediate throws. This is where Deandre comes in.

It has been a slow start to the season for Square. Only totaling 12 tackles through the first two games, 5 solo and 7 assists, this needs to be the game the veteran line backer makes his mark.

We shouldn’t expect much from Square in coverage, but if he can keep receivers in front of him and only allow medium gains on throws his way it should play a big part for Saturday night. If he can continue to bottle up the run game with the rest of the guys on the DL, it could be a long night for the Bulldogs offense.

Jamar Watson

For Kentucky to win this game, they’ll need to generate a pass rush against Mike Leach’s pass-happy offense. That’s where Jamar ‘Boogie’ Watson come into play as Kentucky’s best pass-rusher. After getting 11.5 sacks over his previous 22 games, Watson has just one sack in two games of his redshirt senior campaign.

For the Cats to get back to their winning ways, Watson has to get back to making a bigger impact in the pass rush. It would also really help Kentucky’s struggling secondary.

AJ Rose

With Kavosiey Smoke out for the next several weeks with a rib injury, the big play role in the running back room will turn to the redshirt senior.

In his years with the program, he always has had the potential to break a big run whenever he has the ball. With the vision and speed he has shown these first couple of games, this could be the game for him to finally show he could be, “the guy” in the backfield.

A huge part of Rose’s game that will be useful is his ability to pick up the blitz. Mississippi State has been one of the better pass rushing teams through the first couple of weeks totaling 10 sacks as a team. I trust the offense line in pass pro, but if Rose can find a way to keep himself on the field, I like Wilson’s chances on connecting on some plays down the field.

The one spot overall we all know needs to be better this week is the secondary. After getting torched the last couple of weeks I do think they show up and answer the bell.

Across the board though these are the two guys to keep an eye on in the game. Both are huge leadership pieces to this team and a loss here could send the Cats spiraling for a long season. So expect them to step up and rally the troops.

Either way, it should be a fun night in the Bluegrass and expect we should see the first win of the season.

Go Cats!