Middle Tennessee State at Kentucky Preview

Nathan TowlesCorrespondent IJanuary 20, 2017

With the clash of the blue teams on Saturday in Commonwealth Stadium, the University of Kentucky will look to do many things on offense and defense.

But first, the Middle Tenn. Blue Raiders Offense Depth Chart:

  • QB- Joe Craddock (5-11, 197, Sr.)
  • TB- Desmond Gee (5-8, 165, Jr.)
  • FB- Jacob Longoria (6-2, 230, So.)
  • WR- Michael Cannon (5-10, 185, Jr.)
  • WR- Patrick Honeycutt (5-9, 173, Jr.)
  • LT- Mike Williams (6-2, 270, RFr.)
  • LG- Jamal Lewis (6-3, 295, So.)
  • C- Mark Thompson (6-5, 290, Jr.)
  • RG- Colin Boss (6-4, 315, RFr.)
  • RT- Mark Fisher (6-3, 285, So.)
  • TE- Gene Delle Donne (6-5, 256, Jr.)
  • PK- Alan Gendreau (5-10, 172, Fr.)

Players to watch for on offense:

  • Senior leader Joe Craddock. He did beat out fellow quarterback Dwight Dasher. That surprised a bunch of people in Middle Tennessee. Craddock seems to be the better passer of the two. However if he doesn't get the offense in gear early, look for the coaching staff to make a change to Dasher.
  • The two back system has worked well for Middle Tennessee in rotating both Desmond Gee and Phillip Tanner. Gee is the more of the athlete of the two. He is a speedster, and it shows by being put out there for the kick returns also. Tanner is the more solid back for the short yardage situations. Both of them are also key to the receiver roll by rolling out in the flat and getting open.

Middle Tenn. Blue Raiders Defense Depth Chart:

  • LE- Jamari Lattimore (6-3, 235, So.)
  • LT- Trevor Jenkins (6-1, 285, Sr.)
  • RT- Dwight Smith ( 6-2, 265, So.)
  • RE- Wes Hofacker (6-2, 240, Sr.)
  • LOLB- Andrew Harrington (6-2, 215, Sr.)
  • MLB- Danny Carmichael (6-0, 240, Jr.)
  • ROLB- Ivon Hickman (6-0, 213, Sr.)
  • LCB- Marcus Udell (6-0, 190, Jr.)
  • SS- Anthony Glover (6-2, 213, Sr.)
  • FS- Jeremy Kellem (5-10, 183, So.)
  • RCB- Alex Suber (5-9, 165, Sr.)
  • P- David DeFatta (5-9, 190, Jr.)

Player to watch on Defense:

  • Alex Suber is a speedy defensive back. He can move his hips and feet and roll up on the wide receivers. Can cause fumbles and isn't afraid to blitz.

The Kentucky Wildcats have to pound the ball against the defense of Middle Tennessee because the front of there defensive line is thin and small.This is where the cats can make or break the game.

If the cats cannot run the ball on the blue raiders, then it will be a long game and a long season. They have to open the holes and the backs have to hit them with force and break down the defense.

The blue raiders showed last year that it can produce turnovers for the opposing offense. The cat's have to keep the ball in there own players hands and make plays. They need to force turnovers with there defense and get good field position for there offense.

The offense needs to step up like it did last game and put points on the board. Look for a two quarterback system to be in place for the next two games for the cats.

If Mike Hartline can't move the ball, look for dual-threat quarterback Randall Cobb to come in and make a statement. He showed last game that he can keep the defense honest by spreading them out and running. If he breaks that out then look for the running backs to hit the holes harder.

My prediction: UK 34-10