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Kentucky Football

Big Blue Banter Roundtable: Kentucky vs. Middle Tennessee State

November 16, 2018
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Coming off back-to-back losses, the Kentucky Wildcats will look to get back in the win column this weekend as they face the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders at Kroger Field. The Blue Raiders enter the match-up with the same 7-3 record as Kentucky and are poised to compete in the Conference USA Championship game. Kentucky desperately needs a win this weekend and will want to send their Seniors out with a strong performance in front of the home faithful for the last time in 2018.

MTSU has faced two SEC opponents already this season, Vanderbilt and Georgia. The Blue Raiders were unable to win either game, dropping their trip to Nashville, 35-7 and their trip to Athens, 49-7. Their only other loss on the year came in a nail-biter on the road against Florida International, 24-21. They will be looking to pull a stunning upset this weekend in Lexington.

The Blue Raiders are led by a dynamic QB in Senior, Brent Stockstill. Stockstill has thrown for 2,298 yards, 21 touchdowns and only five interceptions this season while completing 68.8% of his passes. While he has played well for the majority of the season, against the two SEC teams, he has been held under 200 yards each time and thrown an interception.  A bright spot for the Kentucky defense will be that he has been sacked 22 times this year. With the SEC sack-leader, Josh Allen, leading the charge, the Cats should be able to get to Stockstill on Saturday. The Kentucky defense will have to slow him down if they are going to pull out the victory.  

Defensively, MTSU does not stop the run well. They are allowing 156.1 yards per game on the ground. They surrendered 176 and two touchdowns to Vanderbilt, and 261 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground to Georgia. Kentucky will likely need to look to getting Benny Snell involved early and often to take advantage of the Blue Raiders inability to stop the run.

Saturday is Senior day. Josh Allen, Mike Edwards, Jordan Jones, Bunchy Stallings, George Asafo-Adjei, and others will be making their final start in Lexington in front of the Big Blue Nation. The Cats need a win to gain some momentum heading into the Battle for the Governor’s Cup against the Cards next week. MTSU is no push-over. They will put up a fight, and the Cats need to be ready.

Current Line: Kentucky -16

Over/Under: 46.5

 

Predictions

Patrick Loney: Kentucky gets back on track after two disappointing games. The offense finds it’s mojo and scores 30 plus points.

Final Score: UK 38 - MTSU 10

Offensive MVP: Terry Wilson

Defensive MVP: Josh Allen

 

Chad Pruitt:  The Cats are banged up late in the season after playing a physical style of ball all year. They'll want to play a few guys down the depth chart today, but will need to put some points on the board. If they can't, fans will be nervous all week about the Louisville game and the OC talk will pick up momentum. 

Final Score: UK 31-10

Offensive MVP: Terry Wilson

Defensive MVP: Derrick Baity

 

Jordan Hoehler: On paper, Kentucky should not have an issue beating the Blue Raiders. However, given what we have seen the past month, anything can happen. I expect to see a lot of Benny Snell running and Josh Allen pressuring the passer. Kentucky will have to find the end zone and finish drives if they are going to avoid a shocking upset. The Cats win, but do not cover.  

Final Score: Kentucky 21 – MTSU 10

Offensive MVP: Benny Snell

Defensive MVP: Josh Allen

Darren Durham: This one scares me a bit folks. A veteran Group of 5 team with a senior QB and a high powered offense isn't something Kentucky probably wants to see right now. With that being said, if you can't beat a lower-tier team with your best team in 40 years then maybe you don't deserve to play with the big boys. Kentucky won't blow them out but they have the superior talent and depth . 

Final Score UK 28 MTSU 20

Offensive MVP: AJ Rose

Defensive MVP: Chris Oats

Braxton Howard: Kentucky has been ranked in the top 25 for eight straight weeks for a reason. The back-to-back losses the Wildcats have suffered does not tell the story of their season. These Seniors that will be recognized on Senior Day helped change the culture of Kentucky football. There will be no letdown on Saturday.

Final Score: Kentucky 38 MTSU 7 

Offensive MVP: Benny Snell

Defensive MVP: Josh Allen

Melissa Head:  

Final Score: Kentucky 24 MTSU 17

Offensive MVP: Benny Snell

Defensive MVP:  Josh Allen

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Big Blue Banter Roundtable: Kentucky vs. Middle Tennessee State

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