It’s been a while since the Kentucky Wildcats football team and their fan base has gone through a drought like the one they’ve experienced the last two weeks.
The Wildcats made mistake after mistake on the road at Ole Miss to lose narrowly, 22-19. Then, when things couldn’t seem to get any worse, Kentucky lost star quarterback Will Levis to a foot injury ahead of their home game with South Carolina. With Levis watching from the sideline, the Wildcats suffered a second straight loss (24-14) and fell to below .500 early on in SEC play.
With the bye week coming up, it’s suddenly now or never for the Wildcats and their season.
No. 22 Kentucky hosts a roaring Mississippi State Bulldogs team that has fired off three 40-point games in a row vs. Bowling Green, Arkansas and Texas A&M. They now rank No. 16 in the country with sights set on making Saturday another long night for the Wildcats.
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Kentucky has to avoid dropping their third straight, especially with No. 1 Georgia and No. 6 Tennessee still on the schedule. Having Levis back under center definitely helps, but football is the ultimate team sport and winning Saturday’s game will take a full team effort.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kentucky opened as 6-point underdogs. While the status of Levis was still in question, that line lingered towards seven. However, the reported news of Levis being able to start Saturday’s game has adjusted the spread back down to 4-point in favor of the Bulldogs. Saturday’s game total is set at 49-points. Kentucky’s team total is 22.5 points while Mississippi State’s team total is 26.5 points.
- Kentucky is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games.
- Kentucky is 6-2-1 ATS in its last 9 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Kentucky’s last 7 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Kentucky’s last 5 games against Mississippi State.
- Kentucky is 11-2 SU in its last 13 games at Kroger Field.
- Kentucky is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games when playing at home vs. Mississippi State.
- Mississippi State is 9-3-1 ATS in its last 13 games.
- Mississippi State is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games.
- Mississippi State is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 games against Kentucky.
- Mississippi State is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games against Kentucky.
- Mississippi State is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 road games.
- The total has gone OVER in 8 of Mississippi State’s last 12 games.
- Rob McVey W/ Athlon Sports — Mississippi State 27, Kentucky 21
- Bill Bender W/ Sporting News — Mississippi State 31, Kentucky 24
- Pete Fiutak W/ College Football News — Mississippi State 27, Kentucky 20
- Ethan Stone W/ Saturday Down South — Mississippi State 35, Kentucky 27
- TeamRankings — Mississippi State 26, Kentucky 23
- Jon Hale W/ Herald-Leader — Kentucky 35, Mississippi State 27
In addition to having Levis back on the field, there have also been reports that Jeremy Flax will return at right tackle. It’s unlikely veteran middle linebacker Jacquez Jones will be able to go, but D’Eryk Jackson has played very well in filling that hole. If you’ve watched Kentucky play this season, you know even with Flax back healthy that the weakness in their team is their offensive line. While the Bulldogs haven’t exactly been dominant on defense this season, most of Kentucky’s opponents haven’t been either. However, that hasn’t kept opposing defensive lines wasting little time breaking down the pocket and getting to Levis.
Last week fans saw just how valuable their starting quarterback is. This week, they’ll also be reminded of how great he can be. Levis has been a front line warrior for the Wildcats and the team appears to rally around his toughness. Even if he’s not 100%, expect Levis to bounce back with Kentucky’s offense and the team’s defense to play with more passion than they did in last week’s second half. However, with little confidence in special teams and struggles across the offensive line that can’t seem to be fixed, Kentucky will fall just short of what could have been a triumphant win at Kroger Field.
Final Score: Mississippi State 33, Kentucky 27