- Time: 12 pm ET on September 17th, 2022.
- Location: Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky.
- TV Channel: The SEC Network will have today’s TV coverage.
- Announcers: Dave Neal, Deuce McAllister and Andraya Carter are on the call.
- Live Online Stream: WatchESPN, ESPN+, the ESPN app, or you can use a free trial of fubo.tv.
- Radio: Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro have the UK radio network call on 630AM, 98.1 FM in Lexington, and the UK Sports Network.
- Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network (check local listings for replay schedule).
- Weather: Mostly sunny. High around 80F. Winds blowing SSW at 5-6 mph, per Weather.com.
- Rosters: UK | YSU
- Stats to Know: UK | YSU
- Odds: DraftKings Sportsbook has Kentucky as a 32-point favorite. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the Cats a 97.7 % chance at victory.
- Game Notes
After taking down the Gators in dramatic fashion, Kentucky is now set to host Youngstown State on Saturday for a noon kickoff inside Kroger Field. The game can be viewed on the SEC Network.
Obviously, Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow both have strong ties to the Youngstown area, so it’s no surprise to see the Penguins invited to Lexington for a Power 5 opportunity.
The evident risk here for Kentucky is the real threat of having a let-down game after their emotional win in front of 90,000 people just days ago in Gainesville.
But the fact that Mark Stoops and his coaching staff are so familiar with Youngstown program — I would be very surprised if the Cats aren’t close to 100% ready to play on Saturday.
During a radio appearance on WLAP’s Sunday Morning Sports Talk, Vince Marrow made mention of the large quantity of tickets that he and Coach Stoops had to produce for their family and friends. So despite the Penguins of Youngstown State coming to Lexington, it’ll be a homecoming of sorts for several on UK’s staff.
Saturday’s game will also mark the first time in a long time since the Cats have taken the field ranked as a top 10 team in America.
We’ve all seen the wacky outcomes of college football games just two weeks into the season, so the Cats focusing solely on getting two victories before traveling to Oxford will be the name of the game if you’re a Kentucky fan.
Youngstown State also finds themselves undefeated heading into Week 3 with convincing wins over Duquesne and Dayton.
The Penguins have scored 80 points on the season while only surrendering 30 points total.
Led by sophomore quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw, the Youngstown State offense has proven to be quite efficient through eight quarters of play. While Crenshaw is completing just 54% of his passes, he’s managed to toss five touchdowns while tallying zero interceptions. He actually held scholarship offers from Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati, Indiana and Boston College as a high school recruit before signing with the Penguins.
Senior running back Jaleel McLaughlin has totaled 332 yards and four touchdowns on just 33 carries, which equates to over 10 yards per touch. He’s also averaging over 20 yards per catch on three receptions this season, including one touchdown.
McLaughlin has scored 22 touchdowns during his career at Youngstown State and surely will be looking to make an impact against an SEC program.
The receiving core appears to take a by committee approach but do feature former Wildcat Bryce Oliver, who’s caught 10 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns so far this season. He played at Kentucky from 2018-20 before transferring down to the FCS ranks.
Oliver is one of five different Penguins who have caught a touchdown pass this year.
We’ll see if the Kentucky defense can pick up where they left off in the Swamp where they stole the Gators’ dignity in the second half.
Offensively, Rich Scangarello clearly still has some kinks to work out with his unit, but all signs pointed to positive trajectory against Florida.
The biggest area to keep your eye on will be the offensive line play. With 120 minutes of football to tune up before getting All-SEC caliber running back Chris Rodriquez Jr. back in the fold, it’ll be important for the Big Blue Wall to get back to form.
Will Levis being sacked very little, if any in the next two games would be a very welcomed sight for the Big Blue Nation.
Nobody is really giving Youngstown State much of a chance in this one. ESPN’s matchup predictor has UK’a chance at victory at an overwhelming 97.7%. But as we’ve seen before, Kentucky has had some unexpected struggles vs. FCS foes, most recently being last year’s narrow escape from Chattanooga.
Hopefully, those past struggles with FCS teams helps keep this Kentucky team focused and ready to ball out for four quarters this Saturday.