Kentucky vs. Mississippi State fearless prediction and game preview.
Kentucky vs. Mississippi State Broadcast
Date: Saturday, September 21
Game Time: 4:00 ET
Venue: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS
Network: SEC Network
Kentucky (2-1) vs. Mississippi State (2-1) Game Preview
Why Kentucky Will Win
Didn’t you used to be the Mississippi State defense?
The D that was so strong last year hasn’t quite reloaded yet. There’s no pass rush and no push into the backfield. It’s not a bad group, but it’s hardly the killer it was last year, and Kentucky’s offense has been a wee bit stronger.
Even without QB Terry Wilson, the O was able to work against the strong Florida defense with a nice game from fill-in Sawyer Smith – to a point; more on that in a moment – and enough production to stay in the game.
The UK formula should work. The offense is great at converting on third downs, the team has owned the time of possession battle, and overall, teams have to gear down to play down to the Cats’ style.
Mississippi State doesn’t have the most explosive of offenses, but …
Why Mississippi State Will Win
It’s possible to run on the Wildcat D.
Toledo and Florida didn’t go off, but each offense ran for three touchdowns with the Gators averaging over five yards per carry. MSU RB Kylin Hill continues to be the main man for the offense, hitting the 100-yard mark in each of his first three games, averaging close to seven yards per carry. He’s serving as a workhorse to make up for the inconsistencies with the team’s passing game.
The offense has been just good enough to get by – at least it was in the first two games – but it’s getting plenty of help from a defense that’s great at taking the ball away. MSU is second in the nation in takeaways – coming up with ten so far – and Kentucky should be happy to add to the total.
Smith held his own against Florida, but he threw three picks. The team has given it away seven times so far, and in this, the one on the plus side in turnover margin should pull it out. In the 15 games under Joe Moorhead, the Bulldogs have lost the turnover battle just twice.
What’s Going To Happen
It’s not going to be anything pretty.
How did Kansas State pull off the win over the Bulldogs last week? It took the ball away in opportune times, got a big kick-six in the fourth quarter, and the Bulldog offense failed to get into the end zone late.
Kentucky has the knack to find ways to win games like that, too. It’s just not going to do it this week.
Mississippi State QB Tommy Stevens has a shoulder problem, but the offense will get a nice game out of Hill, and the defense will force just enough mistakes to survive. UK’s problem with penalties will be a major factor.
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Kentucky vs. Mississippi State Prediction, Line
Mississippi State 27, Kentucky 23
Line: Mississippi State -6.5, o/u: 48.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 3
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