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Kentucky vs. Alabama game glance, early odds and a score projection

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An early preview of the Cats’ toughest test of 2020.

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Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

The 3-4 Kentucky Wildcats are back on the winning track. Although their 38-35 victory Saturday was over a now 0-6 Vanderbilt team, a win is a win in the SEC, especially in this new COVID-19 world.

Still, there’s no question the Cats must play significantly better this week when they travel to Tuscaloosa for a date with Nick Saban and the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 4:00 pm EST and can been seen on the SEC Network, or as always, you can catch Tom Leach on the call by listening to 630 WLAP on the iHeart radio app.

The Crimson Tide average 48 points and 555 yards of offense per contest, and the Cats just struggled to contain one of the worst offenses in America, as Vanderbilt is averaging just 346 yards (100th nationally) and 16.5 points per game (116th).

Former Kentucky quarterback commit Mac Jones has become one of the nation’s top Heisman contenders in his first full season as Alabama’s starter. He’s thrown for 2,196 yards and 16 touchdowns vs. just two interceptions. His 95.6 QBR ranked second nationally, and he’ll be looking for another big performance as he remains in a tight race with Ohio State’s Justin Field for the Heisman with Florida’s Kyle Track also breathing down their necks.

Senior running-back Najee Harris is a load to deal with all by himself, as he has scored 13 touchdowns this season and is over 3,000 total yards in his career.

Unsurprisingly, the oddsmakers and experts are giving Kentucky virtually no shot in this one. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives Alabama a 97% chance at victory. The initial spread for the game has the Tide favored by a whopping 31 points.

The last time these two teams faced off was during Kentucky’s breakthrough 2016 season. That game was in Tuscaloosa. The Cats jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and had a chance to tie the game into halftime, but a Stephen Johnson fumbled was returned 55 yards for the score to end any hope of the monumental upset.

It’s safe to say Terry Wilson will be starting this game after his great outing vs. Vanderbilt, but if he struggles to keep the offense moving, don’t be surprised if Joey Gatewood and/or Beau Allen to see snaps.

What does success look like for you on Saturday?

Game: Kentucky Wildcats at Alabama Crimson Tide

Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium

Date: Saturday November 21st

Start Time: 4 pm EST

TV Channel: SEC Network

Online Stream: WatchESPN and fuboTV

Radio: UK Sports Network.

Early Prediction: TeamRankings projects a 45-14 victory for Alabama. numberFire is a little more friendly with a 38-13 win for the Tide.