Kentucky Football: 3 keys to Wildcats beating Mississippi State

Kentucky's Chris Rodriguez Jr
Kentucky's Chris Rodriguez Jr /
3 of 3
Kentucky football
Wildcats defensive back Yusuf Corker (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /

Kentucky’s defense must not let the Air Raid offense take flight

There is no secret bunker where Mississippi State Coach Mike Leach keeps his air raid offensive playbook.

He has been coaching now for 20 years where he has a 147-100 record at Texas Tech, Washington State, and now in year two coaching the Bulldogs.

Stoops has high respect for Leach and his offense, but Stoops is a defensive-minded coach and watched the Cats pick off six passes in last year’s game en route to a 24-2 victory.

That most likely won’t be the case this year with Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers more comfortable. They average nearly 60 passes per game. The 6-foot-2 sophomore has completed 291 of 396 passes for 2,546 yards, 18 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.

Only one game has he been under 300 yards throwing and that was 294 against NC State, 4 games he has 300-plus yards and he has eclipsed 400 yards passing against Texas A&M (408) and Memphis (419).

The Bulldogs don’t run that much only carrying it 134 times for 341 total yards or just 48 yards per game and only 4 rushing touchdowns on the season.

Needless to say, the Kentucky football secondary is going to be quite busy.

Stoops addressed the improved play of Rogers and what that means for the UK defense.

"“I think they can see on film, any time you face a team that throws the ball upwards of 60 times a game, it has your attention. Will (Rogers) is doing a really good job of running the offense. You can see his comfort level going higher and higher and getting rid of the football and not putting them in such negative situations as you would in the first year in a program with a young quarterback. You see him playing at a very high level and getting to where they want to be.”"

The Bulldogs average 6.9 yards per passing play so they aren’t always home run balls. Kentucky will see a lot of slants and dink and dunk plays to keep thier offense moving.

The Wildcat defense has only allowed 1,412 total passing yards all year just over 201 yards a game.

Next. Kentucky vs Mississippi State odds, predictions. dark