Kentucky vs. Arkansas: Injuries Won't Stop Razorbacks from Taking Down Wildcats

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2012

AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 6:  Emory Blake #80 of the Auburn Tigers is tackled after catching a pass against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Auburn, Alabama.  The Razorbacks defeated the Tigers 24-7.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Winning a football game has never been so costly for the Arkansas Razorbacks, who find themselves without two of their finest defenders—LB Alonzo Highsmith and DE Tenarius Wright—as both suffered season-ending injuries 24-7 victory over Auburn last weekend (h/t CBS Sports).

While that's a major blow to a team that was already shaky to begin with, it doesn't change the fact that they have another SEC contest on tap this weekend against the Kentucky Wildcats at Razorback Stadium.

Kentucky's offensive line has done a pretty awful job of protecting its quarterbacks this season, allowing 15 sacks, the eighth-highest total in the country. Its inability to block oncoming rushers has resulted in a mess under center.

Starter Maxwell Smith underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments in his ankle and is out indefinitely, while freshman Patrick Towles missed the second half of their game last week against Mississippi State after spraining his ankle as he was sacked (h/t ESPN).

That could leave freshman Jalen Whitlow as the starter, and he's completing less than 50 percent of his passes while failing to find the end zone and tossing two interceptions, a result of the constant pressure he's been under.

Even without Highsmith and Wright, Arkansas has enough talent on defense to cause major problems for Kentucky's offense, especially if Whitlow is the only option it has under center.

Offensively, Tyler Wilson is taking on a Kentucky defense that could be playing with a secondary full of nothing but freshmen.

Starting safety Dakotah Tyler is out for the season and according to ESPN, four other starters—S Mikie Benton (ankle), LB/S Korey Brown (hamstring), S Ashely Lowery (head) and CB Martavius Neloms (hamstring)—could all miss the game.

Arkansas is banged up on both sides of the ball, but so is Kentucky.

The Razorbacks have the experience and talent to take down a Kentucky team that is inexperienced and raw. 

After Saturday's game, expect to see something that hasn't been seen in Razorback country at all in 2012—a two-game winning streak.