Mississippi State Will Channel Road Rage to Top Kentucky

Brad LockeContributor IOctober 30, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY - SEPTEMBER 19:  Randall Cobb #18 of the Kentucky Wildcats runs with the ball during the game against the Louisville Cardinals at Commonwealth Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

How’s this for a weird stat: MSU is 2-1 on the road this season but 1-4 at home. Of course, you have to consider the level of competition. Still, weird.

The Bulldogs are on the road again this week, in lovely Lexington. This time, I’ll get to see the city without a snowy blanket covering it. I hear it’s beautiful up there this time of year.

The last time MSU tailback Anthony Dixon was at Commonwealth Stadium, in 2007, he rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries and fumbled three times, losing one. Christian Ducré ran for 119 yards and a TD on 19 carries. MSU won, 31-14.

Kentucky got payback last season, taking a 14-13 win in Starkville. The Bulldogs could have tied the game early in the fourth quarter after Arnil Stallworth‘s 10-yard TD catch from Tyson Lee, but Adam Carlson’s PAT kick was blocked.

But let’s look at these teams now. MSU has lost four of its last five, while UK has won two in a row. However, the Wildcats have many more issues than the Bulldogs:

• Starting QB Mike Hartline (knee) is out. The way MSU’s secondary has improved, I’d be shocked if Kentucky can pass the ball worth a lick this weekend.

• All-SEC MLB Micah Johnson, a 6'2", 258-pound tackling machine, won’t start Saturday due to an MCL strain, though he might play some.

• All-America CB Trevard Lindley has missed the last three games with a high ankle sprain and will probably miss this week, too.

MSU is much healthier, and I think they’re very hungry to get back in the win column and keep bowl hopes alive.

I like the way the Bulldogs match up against Kentucky’s front seven, and as long as Randall Cobb (pictured above) doesn’t have a ginormous game, State ought to exit Lexington with a victory.

My prediction: MSU 28, Kentucky 21