This Saturday, October 30th, the night before Halloween, the Kentucky Wildcats travel to Starkville, Mississippi to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Kentucky is coming off of a much needed bye week after a physical match up with the No. 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs. The extra week off was especially beneficial for a couple of Wildcats such as Josh Ali and Marquan McCall. Coach Mark Stoops made the comment yesterday that Josh Ali "definitely will play this Saturday". Marquan McCall's status, on the other hand, is still rather bleak and more than likely will not play against the Bulldogs this Saturday, however, I wouldn't be surprised if he is ready to go against Tennessee the following week.
The 6-1 Kentucky Wildcats and the 4-3 Mississippi State Bulldogs kickoff at 7:00 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. The last 10 meetings between the two teams have not been so kind for Kentucky with Mississippi State having won 7 of those 10 games and Kentucky has not won in Starkville since all the way back in 2008. The two teams are tied with 24 wins a piece in the 48 games they’ve played against each other.
Don‘t let the Bulldogs’ record fool you, even though they have three losses, they came at the hands of Alabama, LSU (we got the advantage in that category), and Memphis (really their only bad loss). However, they do have a couple of quality wins agains NC State and in conference opponent Texas A&M (who did beat Alabama, btw).
We're in the 9th season of the Mark Stoops era and he has slowly built this program to something UK fans could only dream about. In those 9 years we have surpassed other SEC teams such as Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Missouri, and Tennessee. I believe Mississippi State is next on Stoops' list. A win in Starkville would be just another notch in his belt.
One thing to keep your eye on and is one of my keys to a Wildcat victory on Saturday is the Wildcats secondary, they face a tough challenge because they're up against the leading yardage by passing in the SEC. Will Rogers has made defenses pay as he has thrown for over 2,500 yards as well as 18 touchdowns. The Bulldogs are averaging around 27 points per game and if Kentucky is to have a shot at victory their defense lead by Brad White will have to hold them under that, which we all know they're very capable of doing.
We all remember this night, am I right?!
My prediction: 27-23 Kentucky.