Cats Conclude Three-Game Homestand with Ole Miss

Nov. 4, 2011

Kentucky concludes a three-game homestand by playing host to Southeastern Conference Western Division foe Ole Miss at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

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Kentucky vs. Ole Miss
Sat., Nov. 5 - 3:30 p.m. ET
Lexington, Ky.
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Commonwealth Stadium
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TV: ESPNU
Radio: UK IMG
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UK 2011 Team Stats UM
16.5 Scoring/game 20.9
15.1 First downs/game 15.6
265.8 Total offense/game 283.6
139.8 Rushing yards/game 122.8
126.0 Passing yards/game 160.9
20.0 Kickoff returns (avg) 20.9
1.7 Punt returns (avg) 27.8
40.3 Net punting (avg) 39.0
29:15 Time of possession/game 28:02
31.1 Third down conversion 32.7
40.0 Fourth down conversion 40.0
-3 Turnover margin -2
27.4 Points allowed/game 30.6
389.9 Total yards allowed/game 438.6
196.8 Rush yards allowed/game 226.8
193.1 Pass yards allowed/game 211.9

The meeting between the Wildcats and Rebels marks the 42nd meeting all-time with Ole Miss leading the series 27-13-1. Kentucky holds a 10-9-1 advantage over the Rebels when the game is played in Lexington. Saturday is Ole Miss' first road trip to Lexington since 2006 when UK ended a three-game losing streak to the Rebels with a 31-14 win.

Kentucky looks to rebound from a hard-fought 28-16 loss to Mississippi State last Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium. True freshman quarterback Maxwell Smith led the way for Kentucky after starter Morgan Newton left the game and did not return because of injury. Smith went 26-for-33 in the game for 174 yards, including a career-long 23-yard strike. His favorite target of the day was senior receiver Matt Roark who had career highs with 13 catches for 116 yards.

UK received three field goals from Craig McIntosh, who hit from 32 yards, 22 yards and 35 yards. Sophomore tailback Jonathan George earned the only touchdown in the game for Kentucky with his four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Senior Danny Trevathan paced the UK defense by tying a career-high 17 tackles, while also gathering one tackle for loss and his third career interception. The interception marked the second-consecutive game Trevathan has earned a pick. Kentucky's defense created three turnovers overall in the game, helping the Wildcats win the turnover battle.

Cat Scratches: Offense looking to take another step forward in Smith's first start

The struggles of the Kentucky offense through six games were well documented. The Wildcats managed just 13 points per game in a 2-4 start and were left searching for answers in both the passing and running game. Even more importantly, Joker Phillips needed to uncover the identity of his offensive unit.

Two weeks later, as UK (3-5, 0-4 SEC) prepares for a matchup with the Ole Miss Rebels (2-6, 0-5 SEC) on Saturday, the Cats seem to have made progress toward uncovering that identity. UK may not have the sort of game-breaking ability of a Randall Cobb or a Derrick Locke, but if the last two games are any indication, the Cats may indeed have the pieces to control the line of scrimmage and move the ball consistently... read the full preview

Scouting Ole Miss

Ole Miss Rebels enter Saturday's game having played well the past two weeks, nearly defeating top-10 ranked Arkansas and piling up 23 points on the road against defending National Champion Auburn Tigers.

Sophomore running back Jeff Scott has led the Ole Miss rushing attack this season, carrying the ball a team-high 102 times for 472 yards and six touchdowns. Senior running back Brandon Bolden is second on the team in rushing with 50 carries for 287 yards and four touchdowns. He had a huge game at Auburn with 114 yards and two TDs.

Ole Miss junior quarterback Randall Mackey has been used as a dual-threat quarterback, sitting third on the team in rushing with 60 carries for 134 yards and one touchdown and first in passing. Mackey is completing 52.8 percent (57-for-108) of his passes this season for 809 yards and five touchdowns.

Mackey has done well at spreading out the ball in the passing game as three Ole Miss wide receivers have 19 catches to lead the team. True freshman Donte Moncrief has 19 catches for a team-high 338 yards and four touchdowns, while fellow true freshman wideout Nikolas Brassell has 19 catches for 277 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore Ja-Mes Logan isn't too far behind, with 19 catches for 265 yards, averaging 13.9 yards per catch.

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Mike Marry leads the way in tackles with 63, while adding 4.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a pass breakup. Senior Damien Jackson is second on the team in tackles with 59, while fellow senior defensive end Wayne Dorsey leads the team in tackles for loss and sacks with five and three respectively. Sophomore cornerback Charles Sawyer leads the secondary with four interceptions and four pass breakups.

Last Time vs. Ole Miss

Junior wide receiver Randall Cobb totaled a then-career-high 267 all-purpose yards and senior running back Derrick Locke had 214 all-purpose yards, but the Cats fell on the road to the Ole Miss Rebels 42-35 on a sun-soaked afternoon in Oxford, Miss.

UK got on the board first with an eight-play, 60-yard drive with Locke accounting for all 60 yards for the Cats, including a seven-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-one. Following a fumble on the UK 11-yard line, Ole Miss used three plays to get into the end zone and tie the game at seven.

UK responded with a 12-play drive, spanning 80 yards, in which senior quarterback Mike Hartline completed three third-down passes. The drive was capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Hartline to Cobb.

Ole Miss took advantage of a pair of UK turnovers to notch touchdowns and pull ahead 21-14. Sophomore kicker Craig McIntosh pulled the Cats within four at the end of the half with a career-long 50-yard field goal.

Following an Ole Miss touchdown to begin the second half, the Cats responded with an 11-play drive capped by a McIntosh 42-yard field goal to bring the Cats within eight. The Rebels then scored a pair of touchdowns for a 42-20 lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Cats rallied. beginning with a 41-yard pass from Hartline to Cobb to the Ole Miss three-yard line. Locke ran it in two plays later. Cobb then made a spectacular catch on the Cats' two-point conversion attempt to bring UK within 14.

UK scored again with 1:46 left on the clock on a 13-yard touchdown catch from senior wide receiver Chris Matthews. UK's on-side kick attempt was a valiant one, but just barely slipped through Kentucky's hands and went out of bounds to give Ole Miss the ball and the win.

Hartline threw for a then-career-best 300 yards, with Cobb and Locke each getting 108 receiving yards. Danny Trevathan led the defensive effort with a then-career-high 15 tackles.