Kentucky Football: Who shines as MVP’s in Saturday’s game with LSU

Kentucky free safety Yusuf Corker
Kentucky free safety Yusuf Corker /

Kentucky football finds itself as the darling of the college football landscape and under the lights Saturday against LSU. In order for the Wildcats to win and stay unbeaten my picks for MVP are Yusuf Corker and Wan’Dale Robinson.

Mark Stoops has built this as a total team buy-in and machine on both sides of the ball, but there is always one who shines a bit brighter and is counted upon to make vital and key contributions in opportunistic moments.

One player a team doesn’t make but in Kentucky’s case, one from the offense and one from the defense can rise up and be that one if the Wildcats want to take down LSU.

Kentucky football MVPs this week Corker on defense, Robinson on offense

It changes weekly for the Cats sometimes it has been Chris Rodriguez, Josh Ali, Will Levis, and Robinson on the offense. They are without Ali who was injured in the Florida game. That means the focus has to be on Robinson.

Across the way, a stellar 11 has played the best defense we have seen in many years.

Josh Pascal and the boys up front haven’t recorded a lot of sacks or quarterback hits but boy have they been disruptive. They are still missing nose guard Marquan McCall who was injured as well and will miss several weeks.

LSU will be hoisting the ball over Kroger Field so I think Corker will need to be the man of the hour.

Robinson loves the spotlight and it will be bright on him

Robinson, who transferred to Kentucky from Nebraska before this season has loved being back home in Kentucky blue.

He already leads the Southeastern Conference in receiving yards with 467 yards on 29 receptions three for touchdowns.

Anytime Will Levis gets the ball into the playmaker’s hands magic things happen. While Kentucky loves to stick to the running and pounding of Rodriguez and Kavosiey Smoke, Liam Coen is going to have to get the ball to Robinson in whatever creative manner he can.

Kentucky will need every bit of the rushing yards especially since C-Rod leads the conference with 612 yards and four touchdowns this year.

The Tigers have not been very good at plugging holes along the line and this should bode well for the running game.

But LSU suffered another blow losing All-American corner Derek Stingley due to a foot injury and lists no date for his return. He is high on most of the NFL draft boards in the 2022 draft.

Strong safety Major Burns will also miss the UK game after injuring his foot in the Auburn game. He transferred from Georgia and has bolstered LSU’s secondary with 25 tackles, two pass deflections, and one interception.

Robinson should be salivating at these losses. He needs more than five catches in this game though. He can make his own home runs Levis just needs to get it to him accurately.

Honorable mention MVP – Chris Rodriguez

Corker will be busy in Kentucky’s secondary with LSU airing it out

While Kentucky’s defense has stood strong all year they have not faced a quarterback like Max Johnson who will heave it all over Kroger Field. The sophomore has completed 113 of 181 passes for 1,469 yards with 16 for touchdowns and has been picked off four times.

Upfront the defense must put pressure on Johnson because he has the receivers to do major damage.

His favorite target that Corker will need to be aware of is sophomore Kayshan Boutte who has 30 catches for 436 yards and 9 TDs. He ranks second behind Robinson in the SEC in yards.

Like Robinson, he is a threat once he catches the ball averaging 14 yards per catch. Against Auburn, he caught 3 passes totaling 99 yards and a touchdown on LSU’s opening drive last week.

Last season he had 735 yards with five touchdowns including a 300-yard, three-touchdown game against Ole Miss.

Kentucky has only allowed 901 yards passing this season and this is a game they need to stay under their average of 180 per game.

Wildcat defensive coordinator Brad White in his press conference thinks the Tigers will try and attack more with the running game. Time for the line to hunker down.

"“That’s a very prideful program rooted in running the football. Maybe their stats haven’t shown it up to this far but I have an inkling that they’re going to run the football.”"

Corker is third on the team with 29 tackles, six pass breakups, last week was the only game he hasn’t had one this season.

According to his bio at UK Athletics the one word to describe him on the field is “ballhawk”. He needs to be honed in on the ball this week. This is the week he is responsible for big-time defensive takeaways.

Honorable mention MVPs would be Jacquez Jones and Josh Paschal on defense with both needing to be a major thorn in Johnson’s side.

Next. Could UK be all alone atop the SEC East. dark