Kentucky looks to continue their winning ways against instate rivals Western Kentucky University. Who would have thought that this game, which was supposed to be a gimme for the Wildcats, would have so much drama involved. Last season the Hilltoppers gave Kentucky all they could handle in Nashville and lost 14-3. Andrew Jackson, a WKU linebacker, mocked Kentucky by saying that the ‘Cats weren’t a real SEC team. CBS Sports had Kentucky ranked below WKU in their preseason rankings. And WKU coach Willie Taggert has recently made some inflammatory remarks about WKU students wearing Kentucky gear on campus. All this sets the stage for a huge home game for the Wildcats.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (1-1, 0-0) at Kentucky Wildcats (1-1, 0-0): Saturday September 15th, 7:00 PM
The Wildcats put one in the win column by blistering the Kent State Golden Flashes 47-14. It looked iffy at first as Kentucky struggled on defense and started slow on offense. But the second half was all Kentucky as Max Smith and a very young and talented core of wide receivers imposed their will on the smaller Kent State defenders. The Kentucky defense even showed some life in the second half by causing a turnover, getting sacks and even scoring a safety. Kentucky needs a continued effort in offense and to show some more improvement on defense.
WKU’s 1-1 record came thanks to beating a bad Austin Peay team and by losing 35-0 to Alabama. The Hilltoppers actually sacked Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron six times. The Tide’s offensive line is supposed to be the best in the country and an NFL caliber unit. None of the offensive players for Western’s numbers will wow you but they are scrappy and want to prove a point that they can beat a team from the SEC. As we saw last week with Arkansas and Louisiana-Monroe, anything can happen.
Kentucky is only a four and a half point favorite over Western as of now. Vegas also had Kentucky as a seven point favorite last week over Kent State and we all saw what happened with a 33 point win. If Kentucky loses, then they will drop to the third best team in the state, which would be unacceptable. But I don’t see this happening. Kentucky will be 2-1 heading to Gainesville next week.
And Wildcats football team, I hope you are running this on a loop in the locker room:
Kentucky Wildcats 27- Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 21