Kentucky Football: Kentucky vs. Kent State Preview and Prediction
After losing to their rivals Louisville in the first game of the season, the Kentucky Wildcats will take on the Golden Flashes of Kent State in Lexington, KY this Saturday. The Wildcats come into their first home game favored by seven points.
The game will be shown live on ESPN3.
The weather is looking to be around 70 degrees with a 30 percent chance of rain for the 7:30pm kickoff.
Kent State comes into Lexington after winning their first game last week against Towson 41-21.
“We’ve got a Kent team that I’m sure they’re looking forward to coming in here and playing against a BCS team,” coach Joker Phillips said on Tuesday (via Courier-Journal.com).
“And it’ll be a dog fight.”
Kent State Players to Watch
Dri Archer was the biggest contributor for the Golden Flashes in last Thursday's game against Towson. The senior athlete had two touchdowns on the ground as he rushed for 54 yards on the day. He also had has a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Kent State will give Archer the ball whenever they can, and he will lineup at running back and wide receiver.
Kentucky struggled against Louisville's rushing attack Sunday.
Who Will Win?
The Wildcats allowed two of Louisville's running back to go over 100 yards. Kentucky has a huge advantage with their big defensive lineman against Kent State's O-line.
Roosevelt Nix will be the player to watch on Kent State's defense. The 5'11”, 245-lb defensive lineman is sixth on Kent State's all-time sack leaders and he is only a junior. Nix had eight tackles and one sack against Towson.
Kentucky Players to Watch
Sophomore quarterback Maxwell Smith had a very good game against Louisville, throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Smith showed a lot of composure against a very imposing Louisville pass rush.
Kent State allowed Towson to throw for 246 yards but was able to grab two interceptions. The Kentucky offensive line will need to give Smith enough time to make good decisions.
Mister Cobble will be the player to watch on Kentucky's defensive line. Cobble was well guarded by Louisville Sunday. But Kent State's offensive line is very small compared to Cobble's 6'0” 330-lb frame.
Kentucky team morale is low after being embarrassed Sunday against Louisville. I expect head coach Joker Phillips to let Maxwell Smith air the ball out early and often. UK can not afford to lose against a team like Kent State.
I anticipate Joker Phillips to shake up the roster this week, allowing some of his young athletes to get a chance to play.
The Kentucky fans will not pack out Commonwealth Stadium, but the fans that do show up should expect a big win by the Wildcats.
I predict Kentucky to win 33-10.
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