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2023 Kentucky Football Foes: Mississippi State Bulldogs

The back-end of the schedule for the Cats is brutal. Can they win in Starkville for the first time since 2008?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 30 Kentucky at Mississippi State Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Greetings, BBN!

Continuing our previews with the Week 10 game, we arrive at the first Saturday of November with the Kentucky Wildcats taking a road trip to Starkville as they begin an absolute gauntlet of a stretch to finish the year — Mississippi State on the road, Alabama at home, South Carolina on the road, and Louisville on the road. Three road games in four weeks, with Alabama in between!

Yikes. One game at a time, though.

Let’s break down this matchup.

Kentucky at Mississippi State

  • Time/Date: TBD time on November 4th
  • Location: Davis Wade Stadium
  • TV Channel: TBD
  • Early Odds: ESPN FPI gives the Cats a 51.4% chance of winning.

Mississippi State is coming into this season with one of the most tragic and terrible situations a program can face: losing your winning and beloved coach to an unexpected death and being forced to jump into the hiring frenzy years before you thought you would have to.

Mike Leach had the Bulldogs on the rise, and now they’ll have to find a way to carry on without him and avoid backsliding into a rebuild. As far as SEC West schedules go, theirs looks pretty manageable, so they might face Kentucky looking for an eight or nine-win season. Definitely will not be an easy game, regardless of how well the Bulldogs fare in the nine weeks leading up.

Kentucky’s played very well against the Bulldogs under Stoops...when it’s at home. The Cats haven’t lost to Mississippi State at home since 2014, winning the last four Lexington night games (apparently, the networks like making those night games) but losing in Starkville every trip since Rich Brooks coached the Cats to a 14-13 win in 2008.

What an odd annual series—and I guess a bit of a boring one too. The Cats also haven’t come particularly close to winning in Starkville over the years either, so if they’re going to pull this one out, things are going to have to look a lot different from the previous matchups.

Prediction: When you’re mired in a losing streak, something has to give eventually. UK might lose some games they usually win, but I think this’ll be one where they win a game they usually lose.

Kentucky 34, Mississippi State 17