Kentucky is a 9.5-point underdog vs. No. 14 Mississippi State, but one national college football writer believes the Cats will pull off the upset. USA Today’s George Schroeder picked Kentucky to beat Mississippi State as his bold prediction of the week.
“Mississippi State has been getting plenty of attention, going back to the offseason, for its potential as a dark horse in the SEC West, and there’s been nothing in the first quarter of the season to dampen the idea. But most folks probably still aren’t sure what to make of Kentucky. Led by a quarterback catalyst in Terry Wilson, the Wildcats finally snapped a losing streak to Florida that stretched back to forever. After they upset Mississippi State in Lexington this week, we’ll see Mark Stoops might have the SEC’s most pleasant surprise of the season.”
Heck yes, George Schroeder. Let’s go.
The rest of the national media is nowhere near that brave. Here’s a rundown of their picks:
Kentucky will be back on the national stage Saturday night when it takes on a Mississippi State squad that is rolling after three big wins. If you like running backs, this one’s for you. Benny Snell has been a staple in the Wildcats backfield for his entire career, while the duo of Aeris Williams and Kylin Hill lead a punishing Bulldogs attack that is supplemented by dual-threat quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. This one comes down to the battle along the offensive line, and Mississippi State will prove that it’s the contender, Kentucky is the pretender and manage to cover late. Pick: Mississippi State (-10)
Against the original 10.5-point spread it was a different story:
From SI’s Eric Single:
In a meeting of two running backs who sit top-25 nationally in rushing yards through three weeks, the edge goes to Mississippi State’s Kylin Hill, who was the difference-maker for the Bulldogs’ offense in their only Power 5 test so far, against Kansas State. Kentucky’s Benny Snell is one of the most overlooked running backs in the country, but he will be barreling into an MSU front that has allowed a meager 2.5 yards per carry so far. Keep both these teams top of mind as divisional dark horses, but Mississippi State has too much on the line over the next month not to emerge from Kroger Field with its perfect record intact.
Time to shock the world, I guess.