UK’s 2010 record was 6-7, including a lost to Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
LSU’s 2010 record was 11-2, including a victory over Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl.
UK is 16-38-1 all-time against LSU.
UK lost to Florida last week 48-10 in Lexington.
LSU defeated West Virginia in Morgantown last week 47-21.
Game will be played at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Game will be televised on the SEC Network
LSU enters the game on Saturday at the No 1 ranked team in the country. The last time UK played the Tigers was in 2007 and they were ranked No 1 then as well. The Cats pulled off the upset and LSU went on to win the National Championship. While many UK fans will remember Braxton Kelly’s game winning tackle on Saturday, LSU will be looking for revenge.
The Tigers have already defeated Oregon, Northwestern St, Mississippi State and West Virginia. There is nothing pretty about LSU’s offense. They are simply going to line up and run the football between the tackles. LSU’s offense is completely different from what fans saw last week against Florida. The Tigers offense will be led by Jarrett Lee, who has completed 64% of his passes and thrown 6 touchdown passes. He takes care of the football and has only thrown one interception. Spencer Ware and Michael Ford will give the one-two punch out of the backfield. When Jarrett drops back, he’ll be looking to throw to Rueben Randle who has 3 touchdown receptions on the season.
The Tigers defense is the strength of the team. On the season, they are only allowing 53 rushing yards per game and holding opponents to 14 points per game. They held Oregon’s offense to 95 rushing yards in the first game of the season. One glaring stat is the Tigers have forced 11 turnovers on defense. Given their ground attack on offense, time of possession will be huge in Saturday’s contest.
One thing LSU fans will be watching for on Saturday is the return of Jordan Jefferson, who was the projected starting quarterback entering the season. Jefferson unlike Lee, will be looking to see action on Saturday. Lee is expected to start, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Jefferson’s number is called early in the game. Many Tiger fans feel they will need Jefferson if they are going to win a National Championship.
The Cats continue to struggle on both sides of the football. This UK team shoots itself in the foot more than any team in recent memory. They don’t give themselves a chance by making too many mistakes. They also miss too many opportunities. Last week against Florida, the Cats struggled to find any rhythm on offense. Josh Clemons fumbled, receivers dropped passes, Morgan Newton struggled and the offensive line had another rough outing.
UK’s scoring offense currently ranks No 107 in the country and No 113 in total offense. Outside of a handful of plays, the Cats have struggled to get anything going this season. After injuring his hamstring against Florida, Josh Clemons is expected to start at running back on Saturday.
The Cats defense ranks No 64 in the nation. Saturday’s game will be physical. As I mentioned above, the Tigers are going to line up and run the ball between the tackles. This is a huge game for UK’s defensive line. Mark Crawford will return for Saturday’s game and will be needed. Also, Mike Douglas will receive his first career start in place of Collins Ukwu. Both Danny Trevathan and Winston Guy rank in the top 10 in the country in tackles. They will need to play like NFL draft picks if the Cats are going to have a chance on Saturday.
Keys to the game
The Cats enter the game a 30-point underdog and after their performance against Florida, there isn’t much reason for hope. Still, they have to play the game and crazier things have happened. In order for the Cats to knock off the No 1 team in the country on the road, everything must fall into place. The Cats can’t afford any turnovers on offense and find a way to make plays. No one is giving them a chance, so they might as well take a few chances and try to connect for some big plays. On defense, the Cats have to force turnovers and even produce a game changing play or two.
UK’s offense has struggled to keep drives alive and LSU’s offense plans to run the ball on Saturday. If the Cats are unable to move the chains themselves, the Tigers could easily have a 10-minute time of possession advantage at the end of the game. The Tigers are +8 in turnover margin this season compared to UK’s -1 turnover margin. The Cats have only played one ranked team, while the Tigers have already faced three. While Joker wants his team to relax and play ball, that’s a tall task in Baton Rouge.
LSU wins 44-17