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Kentucky Wildcats Football: Gameplan & Execution for WKU


@font-face { font-family: “Times New Roman”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }ol { margin-bottom: 0in; }ul { margin-bottom: 0in; The offseason has come and gone and tonight the Wildcats will finally take the field to kick off the 2011 season. Tonight’s opponent, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, will be welcoming Kentucky into LP Stadium in Nashville Tennessee for what should be pseudo-home game for them. This will be the first game of he season for each team.

What you need to know about Western Kentucky

The Hilltoppers are an emerging program. While they may have only one two games last season, the transition to the FBS division has almost come to a head for them. Head Coach Willie Taggert has built a talented young roster through the past two recruiting classes, and this WKU team has a couple of real playmakers. Bobby Rainey is one of the best pure running backs in the country and put up 184 or Western’s 187 total rushing yards against UK last season. The defense will be a work in progress as the Hilltoppers try to plug in a couple of new bodies to see if they can shore up a unit that allowed the Wildcats to rack up 482 total yards last year and complete 75% on third down conversions.

The Players you really need to know for the Hilltoppers

#3 – Bobby Rainey – Talented running back. Offense revolves around him.

#77 – Wes Jefferies – Legit starting left tackle. He’ll be tough for blitzers to get by.

#82 – Jack Doyle – Excellent receiving tight end. On the Mackey watch list.

#4 – Andrew Jackson – Big linebacker. He’ll make running the ball more difficult.

#22 – Tyree Robinson – Explosive corner and returner.

Top 3 matchups to watch:

  1. UK’s Danny Trevathan (LB) VS. WKU’s Bobby Rainey (RB)

Both hail from the sunshine state and will be the leader of their respective units. As fast as Rainey is for a running back, Trevathan is probably faster for a linebacker. The entire offense is built around Rainey, so shutting him down will need to be priority number one.

  1. UK’s Winston Guy (DB) VS. WKU’s Jack Doyle (TE)

Where the Hilltoppers lack proven receivers, they make up for it with an outstanding tight end. Jack Doyle will be o several preseason watch lists and will likely be the top receiver for Western this season. Winston Guy’s move to his new hybrid role will put him on the strong side of the defense and he likely be matched up against the tight end more often than not. If he can shut down Doyle, he effectively shuts down the Western passing game.

  1. UK’s Larry Warford (OG) VS. WKU’s Rammell Lewis (DT)

The Hilltopper defensive line is a little on the light side, so don’t be surprised to see the Wildcats adopt a punishing power rushing attack early in the game. If Lewis can’t hold up against Warford and the interior line for Kentucky, Western might have some serious problems stopping the running game.

Potential Breakout Players

#11 – Maxwell Smith – Kentucky’s backup QB should see some time tonight and will get a chance to show off that big arm to fans and show everyone why the coaching staff has been so high on him.

#46 – Ronnie Sneed – Sure he’s a senior and he started last year, but Sneed was by no means a standout on a bad UK defense. This season he’s gotten bigger and stronger and has become a leader of the linebackers and the defense as a whole.

#9 – Demarco Robinson – The speedy receiver from Georgia will have a chance to play on offense as well as return kicks and punts. Kentucky is in need of a playmaker to emerge, and Robinson just might be the guy.

#99 – Donte Rumph – He played plenty last season, but this man-child will have an opportunity to really dominate an inferior offensive line against WKU. I could see Rumph having a multi-sack game tonight.

Key for a Kentucky win:

STOP BOBBY RAINEY. If you can shut down the running game, you put the ball in the hands of Kawaun Jakes, and that is a good thing for the defense. Jakes barely broke 50% on completions last season and could only muster 10 passing touchdowns on the year. Without any real threats at wide receiver, Western will be one of the most one dimensional teams on the Kentucky schedule this season.

Keep following www.http://wildcatbluenation.com for the best in Kentucky basketball and football news, rumors, and opinions. By Kentucky fans for Kentucky fans