Kentucky Football: 3 keys to Wildcats beating Mississippi State

Kentucky's Chris Rodriguez Jr
Kentucky's Chris Rodriguez Jr /
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Kentucky football
Kentucky players celebrate a touchdown (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /

Get in the Red Zone and the endzone

Again simple in theory but in reality, Kentucky is good once it does so. In this game against Mike Leach’s air raid offense, the Wildcats need to keep pace and outgun the Bulldogs.

I’m not looking for an old-fashioned point-scoring shootout, but I feel like the game will come down to one of the final possessions in the game for either team. The question is whether it is Kentucky’s Will Levis or Mississippi State’s Will Rogers leading the winning drive.

In seven games Kentucky has entered the Red Zone 26 times and converted 23 times with 20 being for touchdowns. They rank 46th nationally in this category.

Christopher Rodriguez Jr. has five rushings and two receiving touchdowns, Wan’Dale Robinson has five receiving,  Levis has rushed for three while throwing touchdowns to six other receivers and Josh Ali has one rushiing and one receiving.

The problem facing Kentucky is Mississippi State doesn’t allow many teams to enter the Red Zone. In fact, they rank second in all of FBS giving up just 11 scores on a mere 15 chances, and an even glaring stat is that only five have gone for touchdowns.

Liam Coen and his offense are going to have to find ways to get over that goal line. We will need some field goals from Matt Ruffalo, probably to seal the deal, but six is always better than three points.