It was a much better offensive performance from the Cats, with the offense looking like the offense we expected to see all season.
However, the defensive struggles that we saw against Georgia and Missouri were present again as the Vols came away with points on all but two drives pushing the three-game total to 122 points allowed by this defense.
Kentucky now turns their attention to next week when they will travel to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville, where the Cats have not won since 2008.
Through 50 all-time matchups, each team has won 25 times, making Saturday’s matchup one for the all-time lead in the series.
The Bulldogs are entering Saturday with a 4-4 overall record (1-4 SEC) and are coming off a 27-13 loss to the Auburn Tigers.
Early odds at DraftKings Sportsbook have the Cats favored by three points.
As of now, it is going to be perfect weather in Starkville on Saturday with clear skies expected and temps in the mid-70s.
The Bulldogs are allowing an average of 238.5 passing yards and 134.9 rushing yards to opponents per game.
Kentucky showed signs of life in the passing game against Tennessee, and if that can continue in Starkville, then it should be another big day for Devin Leary and the passing game.
A big key to the game will be what kind of defensive performance we get on Saturday.
After being shredded the last three weeks, hopefully, we see this unit respond in the right way against a team they are better than and get back to the level of defense we are used to seeing under Brad White.
Offensively, the Bulldogs have a balanced attack, averaging 197.7 passing yards and 152.6 rushing yards per game
Under center, it is normally Will Rogers, who has completed 61.4% of his passes this season for 1,275 yards, 10 touchdowns, and four interceptions. However, Rogers suffered a shoulder injury against Western Michigan in Week 6. Despite having a bye in Week 7, Rogers missed the Week 8 win over Arkansas, then was out again Saturday in the loss at Auburn.
Rogers has also been sacked 14 times, so hopefully, the Cats can get some pressure on Saturday if he plays.
If he’s out, former Vanderbilt quarterback Mike Wright has started the last two games but struggled mightily to move the offense, which scored seven points vs. Arkansas and 13 vs. Auburn.
Running back Jo’Quavious Marks leads the ground attack for the Bulldogs, as he has carried the ball 97 times for 500 yards (5.2 per carry) and four touchdowns. He’s been battling a leg injury on and off for several weeks now and missed the loss at Auburn, so his status is TBD this coming week.
As for receivers, Lideatrick Griffin is the WR1, as he’s hauled in 35 catches for 512 yards and three touchdowns on the season.
Kentucky has put together three straight losing performances, and now they will look to get back to their winning ways against a team they are clearly better than, but it’s in a place they haven’t won since 2008.
Game: Kentucky Wildcats at Mississippi State Bulldogs
Location: Davis Wade Stadium
Time: 7:30 ET on Saturday, November 4th
TV Channel: SEC Network
Radio: UK Sports Network
Early Prediction: DRatings.com projects a 26-24 victory for the Cats and gives them a 59.1% chance of winning.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.