Kentucky Wildcats Football: Strategies and execution for Western

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Top 3 matchups to watch

UK’s Miles Simpson vs. WKU’s Antonio Andrews
When Andrews runs the ball, the entire defense will be out to get him. When he comes out of the backfield as a receiver though, a linebacker will probably have to step up and cover him and no one is more capable than Simpson. Andrews’ ability to rack up receiving yards could be the “x” factor in this game, so Kentucky’s defense will have to contain him and force Jakes to attempt to throw to the wide receivers.

UK’s Maxwell Smith vs. WKU’s Andrew Jackson
As big and athletic as Jackson is, he has not been the most disciplined player this season and has sold out at times to make plays for his defense. If Smith can get into his head and keep Jackson honest, it could go a long way for the offense. Jackson is nearly 100 pounds heavier than CoShik Williams, so it will be important to keep him from crashing down into the line and getting penetration into the backfield. Screens, draws, misdirections, counters, and the play-action pass could be just what is needed to make it a very long game for Jackson.

UK’s Darrian Miller vs. WKU’s Quanterus Smith
Against a very good Alabama offensive line, Smith was able to get three quarterback sacks. He’ll undoubtedly be looking to ride that momentum into Lexington, where he’ll come face to face with Kentucky’s Darrian Miller. While Alabama is well known for their offensive line and size, Miller can hold his own against anyone and actually picked Kentucky over a scholarship offer from the Tide. Miller will need to use his athleticism to stay in front of Smith and his size advantage to overpower him. Kentucky is not as good as Alabama and it will be much harder for the Cats to overcome a performance like the one Smith had against the Crimson Tide.

Potential breakout players:

#12 – Morgan Newton
How can the former starting quarterback and former Parade All-American be a breakout player? When he changes positions after fading out of the spotlight for almost a year. Newton could see some additional time in his new role as a tight end/H-back and he certainly has the skill-set to excel at the position.
#6 – A.J. Legree
Demarcus Smith had a breakout last week with a 56-yard touchdown reception (freed up by a Morgan Newton block). Now it’s Legree’s turn. He is a super-athlete that excelled at multiple sports in high school and has well noted leaping ability. With Aaron Boyd, LaRod King, EJ Fields, Gene McCaskill, Daryl Collins, and Demarco Robinson all more likely to draw superior defenders, Legree should have the advantage of being matched up against Western’s weakest corner when he’s on the field.
#22 – Khalid Henderson
The linebackers have struggled mightily for Kentucky and Henderson was able to earn some snaps against Kent State. He’ll try to utilize an opportunity to play against WKU to unseat Malcolm McDuffen and claim the weak-side linebacker position. With excellent speed and lateral ability, he may also be called upon to help contain Western’s running backs and cover them out of the backfield.
#94 – Taylor Wyndham
As a senior, Wyndham has played quite a bit since knocking Tim Tebow out as a freshman, but has never really found a position. He doesn’t really have a position in Kentucky’s 3-4 scheme now though, so the coaches have moved Bud Dupree inside and have Wyndham working as the rush-linebacker again this week. A guy like Wyndham could have a very big game against a suspect WKU offensive line.

My Prediction:
Kentucky 37 – Western – 17