UK Seeks Third SEC Win in Matchup with Mississippi State
Coming off a victory over Vanderbilt on Oct. 8 and a bye week to heal and rest, Kentucky plays host to Mississippi State with an opportunity to reach three wins in Southeastern Conference play for the first time the 2009 season. The Bulldogs are UK’s permanent SEC West opponent and hold a slim 22-21 lead in the all-time series based on seven straight victories over the Wildcats. UK is looking for its first win over the Bulldogs in Lexington since 2005.
|Kentucky vs. Mississippi State|
|Sat., Oct. 22 - 7:30 p.m. ET
Game Notes: UK | MSU
Digital Gameday Program
|UK||2016 Team Stats||MSU|
|24.2||Kickoff returns (avg)||18.6|
|15.6||Punt returns (avg)||3.3|
|28:38||Time of possession/game||28:06|
|34.2%||Third down conversion||33.3%|
|83.3%||Fourth down conversion||57.1%|
|437.0||Total yards allowed/game||361.3|
|189.0||Rush yards allowed/game||136.2|
|248.0||Pass yards allowed/game||225.2|
Offensively, Kentucky continues to run the football effectively, averaging 186.2 rushing yards per game after piling up 258 against Vanderbilt. The Cats’ three-headed monster at running back of Boom Williams, Jojo Kemp and Benny Snell Jr. have provided fresh legs and versatility at the position.
Defensively, the Wildcats have allowed just one offensive touchdown in its past two home games (South Carolina, Vanderbilt) and continues to make significant strides.
Cat Scratches: Kentucky Trying to Sustain Momentum vs. MSU
Kentucky players and coaches agree: Their bye week was perfectly timed.
It came at the midpoint of the season and three games into a grueling stretch of seven straight Southeastern Conference matchups. The week gave the Wildcats a chance to heal up and turn their focus on themselves, with plenty of time for work on fundamentals and improving areas that needed addressing.
Saturday, then, was a rare to chance to spend time on the couch rather than the gridiron. That was a positive as well.
“I definitely believe that our players realize, just by taking a step back and watching a Saturday, which we don’t get a chance to do a lot, just to sit back and watch all the football games and football teams and you realize that a lot of people’s margin for error is really small,” Mark Stoops said. “And on any given Saturday things go different ways and I think they realize some of the good things that we have done."...Read More
Special Events on Saturday
• SEC Nation Returns to Lexington - SEC Network’s traveling college football pregame show, SEC Nation, will be live from UK for the Wildcats’ matchup with Mississippi State. The show is making its third trip to the campus, but will be debuting a new location. The show will be live from WT Young Library from 10 a.m. to Noon ET. The show has a new host this season in Maria Taylor and a new reporter, Laura Rutledge. Both are joined by returning analysts Tim Tebow, Marcus Spears and Paul Finebaum.
• The Cat Walk will begin at Gate 1 at 5:15 p.m. ET. The team will proceed down Talbott Todd Way to Gate 12.
• After the Cat Walk (approx. 5:30 p.m.), the Bobby Perry Band will perform on the stage in the Gate 12 plaza. Based in Lexington, the Bobby Perry Band is comprised of five Kentucky natives and former Wildcat basketball player Bobby Perry. Perry was a forward on the men’s basketball team from 2004-2007 and now plays piano for the country band.
• UK’s 1976 team, SEC co-champion and winner of the Peach Bowl, will have a 40th anniversary reunion this weekend vs. Mississippi State. They will be announced at halftime.
• UK track and field’s 2016 Olympians, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (Puerto Rico), Leah Nugent (Jamaica), Rondel Sorrillo (T&T), Mikel Thomas (T&T) and Luis Orta (Venezuela), will be recognized during the game.
Cats vs. the Bulldogs
• Mississippi State leads the all-time series 22-21, but the Wildcats own a 12-9 advantage in Lexington.
• The Bulldogs have won seven straight in the series and eight of the previous nine meetings. UK’s last win came in Starkville in 2008, a 14-13 thriller.
• UK’s last win over the Bulldogs in Lexington was in 2005, 13-7.
• The games are typically close. Only twice since 2005 has the final margin been more than two touchdowns.
• Mississippi State is Kentucky’s permanent SEC West opponent in the league’s rotating schedule.
Scouting Mississippi State
• Mississippi State is 2-4 on the season and coming off a tough 28-21 double-overtime loss at BYU last Friday. The Bulldogs have lost two in a row and are 1-2 in SEC play, having beaten South Carolina at home and losses to LSU and Auburn.
• Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald is the Bulldogs’ top weapon, avering 238.2 yards of total offense per game. He is the leading rusher with 71.8 yards per game.
• Defensive lineman A.J. Jefferson ranks seventh nationally and second in the SEC in tackles for loss with 10.0 through six games. He has 34.5 tackles for loss in his career.
Texas Roadhouse Countdown to Kickoff
Tune in to the UK Sports Network for the “Texas Roadhouse Countdown to Kickoff” two hours before every football game. From Cat Walk to Cat Talk, host Christi Thomas and former UK Quarterback Freddie Maggard will focus on the X’s and O’s of the game and bring a little fun to pregame in the first 30 minutes of the show. Afterward, Host Neil Price is joined by Dick Gabriel, Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro to continue the official pregame broadcast until kickoff. The show is broadcast in Lexington on 98.1 WBUL & 630 WLAP, UK Radio Network affiliates, online at ukathletics.com, and in the UK Gameday App. For the first time, the two-hour pregame show will be live streamed every home game for fans to watch on ukathletics.com.