Three Keys to a Kentucky Victory

Nick Roushalmost 5 years

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Aritcle written by:Nick RoushNick Roush

@RoushKSR

jojo-kemp

1. Contain Nick Fitzgerald

The dual-threat quarterback accounts for 60% of the Bulldogs' offense, averaging 238 yards of offense per game.  Kentucky has been better against running quarterbacks, but none of them have been as big as Fitzgerald.  Not the most proficient passer in the pocket, they must force the 6'6" 230-pounder into obvious passing situations.  If State gets 3-4 yards on every first down, UK is in trouble.  If they force State into 3rd and long, I like UK's chances against a team that only converts 33% of their third downs and a quarterback that only completes 55% of his passes.

2. Physical in the Trenches 

Mississippi State has built a brand of physical football in the trenches, but this year Kentucky could beat them at their own game.  By sticking to the same gameplan -- start by running Boom in space to fatigue the D, then use Benny Snell to pound the game away -- and employing a two-deep rotation on the offensive line, Kentucky should own the line of scrimmage in the fourth quarter.  It won't always be pretty, and it will probably be close, but Kentucky can win simply by overpowering State.

3. Take Care of the Football

Stephen Johnson probably needs to hit at least one or two homerun shots.  Even if he doesn't connect on any deep balls, Kentucky can win with a powerful rushing attack if they take care of the ball.  They can't give the defense an easy scoop and score, they can't turn it over deep in Mississippi State territory, and Johnson can't get stripped.  Sacks suck, but they aren't as bad as turnovers.

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2021-09-24