Kentucky football: former players set for NFL Wildcard weekend action

Za'Darius Smith #55 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Za'Darius Smith #55 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Kentucky Football
Benny Snell Jr. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Cleveland (6) at Pittsburgh (3)

Ok, I’ll admit I biased here as the Steelers are my team, and I love getting to see all my Wildcats in Black and Gold uniforms on Sundays.

The Steelers are Lexington north with four players on the squad and expect the two that are active Snell and Williamson to get quality minutes. DuPree would have been in there and was having a stellar season alongside TJ Watt.

When Pittsburgh drafted Snell he was the prototype Steeler who runs hard and tough and never complains buying into that Steeler mentality. You can’t play for the Rooney family if you don’t believe in family and team. No ego’s allowed.

At Kentucky all Snell did was rush for over 1,000 yards all three of his season as a freshman, sophomore, and junior.  He finished with 3,873 rushing yards, 216 receiving for 4,089 total yards, and 48 touchdowns. No. 1 in the SEC in touchdowns in 2017 and No. 1 in attempts in 2018. His touchdowns rank seventh all-time in the SEC.

Steeler fans are not always enamored with Snell but forget he is only going to get you those hard nosed couple of yards when he is in there. He gets time with regular injuries to James Connor. In two seasons he’s carried it 219 times for 794 yards and six touchdowns. Against the Browns this year, just nine carries for 27 yards.

Williamson also played in every game for four years from 2010-13 at UK at linebacker and tallied 296 tackles, 10 for losses recovered a pair of fumbles and had two interceptions. His 70 solo tackles in 2012 were No. 1 in the SEC.

Drafted in the fifth round by the Titans he played there for four years and then went to the Jets. He was traded to the Steelers earlier this year just before DuPree was lost for the season and was able to step in against the Bengals in week 10. He saw very little time in Nashville so he has been a nice addition to fill the void for the Steelers.

The Browns lost to the Steelers by 31 points in Week 6 earlier this season and won against Pittsburgh’s backups this past weekend by just two points despite being 10-point favorites. Final week games are just hard to judge by as Cleveland had to play to get in the playoffs but the Steelers had nothing to gain or lose.

The Steelers are looking to avenge that loss as well as the next round against Buffalo should the Bills also win this weekend.

TV:  Sun. Jan. 10, 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC)

Spread – Steelers -8

I’ll take Pittsburgh 27-20