The Kentucky Wildcats will back in action for a noon game Saturday against the Chattanooga Mocs.
The game will not be televised on the normal SEC Network feed, as it will require the use of SEC Network+ or ESPN+. It’s rare for the University of Kentucky to have a football game that’s not traditionally televised, so make sure you have a plan to watch or that you’re able to get a seat at Kroger Field. You don’t want to be scrambling right at kickoff wondering if Wan’Dale Robinson has already taken one to the house.
For a refresher, SEC Network+ is complementary to SEC Network viewers and accessible with your TV provider login info. It can be accessed through the ESPN App on smartphones, tablets, connected streaming devices or going to espn.com/watch.
As for ESPN+, this is a standalone service that requires a subscription separate from your TV provider. It’s available to stream through the ESPN App and on ESPN.com. You can sign up for just $6.99 a month or $69.99 per year at ESPN.com or on the ESPN App. It’s also available as part of The Disney Bundle that features access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu for $13.99/month (Hulu with ads) or $19.99/month (Hulu without ads).
For more information about ESPN+ and SEC Network+, check out this press release from UK.
The Wildcats (2-0) have won 12-straight non-conference games dating back to the 2017 Music City Bowl loss to Northwestern. It’s the third-longest streak in the FBS.
The Mocs (1-1) travel to Lexington as heavy underdogs. As of Wednesday afternoon, ESPN’s match-up predictor has UK’s chances of winning at greater than 98%, while the spread is Kentucky -31.
Chattanooga is coached by Rusty Wright, who played tight end at the University between 1992-1995. He took over the program in 2019 and has since accumulated a record of 10-9, including this season. Last year, the Mocs only suited up for five total games, they went 3-2.
Chattanooga will be coming off a 20-0 win against North Alabama. Kentucky is their only Power 5 game of the year, so you can imagine they’ll be fired up on Saturday.
As we all know, there is no such thing as a sure thing in sports, but this game should be nothing more than a tune-up ahead of Kentucky’s trip to South Carolina next week.
Even though Chattanooga will be less talented than what the Cats saw on Saturday against Missouri, it’ll still be a challenge to improve on their monster output of 519 total yards on offense.
Will Levis has started his UK career with some jaw-dropping statistics and should do nothing but add to the totals when he takes the field for his third game under center.
For the season, Levis is now 28/44 for 546 yards and five touchdowns. Those are amazing numbers when you consider what this Kentucky offense looked like since 2017.
As impressive as Levis has been, the straw that stirs the drink remains to be junior running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. Coming off Co-SEC Player of the Week honors, you can expect C-Rod to have his way with Chattanooga. His 7.2 yards per carry on 46 attempts should put genuine fear in defensive coordinators.
Saturday will offer Liam Coen one more opportunity to test-drive his offense before their first road test of the season next week against South Carolina.
The same sentiment goes for the defensive side of the ball. The Cats defense has looked awesome to begin the year but showed significant vulnerabilities against Mizzou, so getting another 60 minutes of live football action in should be a terrific thing for Brad White.
This will be a game where the score won’t matter as much as what Kentucky gets out of it from a development standpoint.
Being an overwhelming favorite, you’d expect them to dominate for four quarters, but keep in mind this team is still working on blending in new players and coaches while working in new schemes on both sides of the ball.
Regardless, Saturday should be a day to sit back, relax and watch the Cats secure a victory and remain undefeated.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Chattanooga Mocs
Location: Kroger Field
Start Time: 12 pm ET on Sept. 18
TV Channel: You’ll need either SEC Network+ or ESPN+ to watch the game (more info here).
Announcers: Mike Morgan, Ben Hartsock and Paul Carcaterra will call the action.
Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network (check local listings).
Radio: UK Sports Network with Tom Leach, Jeff Piecoro and Dick Gabriel calling the action.
Weather: 78 °F, humidity at 89%, winds at 4.95 mph, and n 8% chance of rain, per Covers.com.
Odds: Kentucky opened as a 31-point favorite. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the wildcats a 98.6% chance of achieving victory.