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5 players to watch as Kentucky takes on Chattanooga

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Who could step up and make an impact on Saturday?

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats host FCS Chattanooga on Saturday in a game the home team enters heavily favored.

The latest line has Kentucky as a 31-point favorite going into Saturday’s noon kick-off.

As the Cats look for win #3, here are a few players to keep an eye on.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Kentucky Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

#1. Josh Ali

Coming off a huge Week 1 performance that saw Josh Ali rack up 136 receiving yards on 5 receptions and a touchdown, Ali was quieter against Missouri with 2 receptions for 30 yards.

This seems like a good opportunity for Ali to get back on track and get some momentum heading into the thick of the SEC schedule.

Ali has shown he is a great talent with big-play ability. Expect at least one or two big plays from Ali on Saturday.

NCAA Football: UL Monroe at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

#2. Michael Drennen

Drennen saw some action in Kentucky’s opening week win over ULM, rushing three times for 16 yards and scoring a touchdown, and Saturday’s game against Chattanooga presents an opportunity to get the talented running back/wide receiver some valuable reps and involved in the offense.

The Kentucky coaching staff was very high on Drennen when he was recruited to Kentucky, and he has shown some flashes of the player he can be.

He should get some reps on Saturday. It’ll be interesting to see if he can come up with some big plays when he’s on the field.

NCAA Football: UL Monroe at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

#3. Beau Allen

If Kentucky is ahead by a significant margin, I’d expect to see Beau Allen take the field on Saturday.

Allen saw playing time in Week 1, where he completed 4-7 passes for 52 yards. He came in with about 12 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter with Kentucky leading 38-10. If Kentucky is leading by a similar margin, Allen should get back on the field Saturday.

Getting Allen reps early on is important before getting into the SEC schedule. Will Levis has clearly separated himself as the starting QB, but football is incredibly unpredictable and Allen needs to be ready if his number needs to be called.

#4. Octavious Oxendine

Oxendine was impressive against ULM, with 5 tackles and one for loss. The sophomore defensive tackle from Elizabethtown didn’t have the same impact against Missouri, but he could have a Week 1 type performance on Saturday.

Oxendine flashed some of the potential that made Kentucky heavily recruit him a couple years ago, and he’s consistently improved while in Lexington. A strong performance on Saturday could go a long way toward Oxendine solidifying his spot in the defensive line rotation.

NCAA Football: Missouri at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

#5. Davonte Robinson

Robinson suffered an injury on Saturday against Missouri, and Robinson plays a position of great need. From all indications, he’s set to play Saturday but just how much is the question.

It may be better off if Robinson can rest quite a bit of the Chattanooga game to make sure he’s 100 percent for South Carolina next week.

Kentucky can better handle not having him in the secondary against a team like Chattanooga versus next week when they travel to South Carolina.

Robinson has reportedly been fine in practice this week, so it doesn’t seem to be too much of a concern, but the coaching staff may want to keep a close eye on Robinson and limit his reps on Saturday.