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Kentucky vs. Arkansas simulation

WhatIfSports prediction engine nailed it last week. Maybe the computer got lucky predicting this unpredictable Kentucky team. Or maybe it’s finally figuring out that this team has some rough edges, to put it nicely. Whatever the reason, WIS projected a 24-15 Mississippi State victory at Commonwealth Stadium, and the 27-14 Bulldogs win means this is the most accurate simulation WIS has run for the Cats yet. (I don’t know what I’m celebrating?)

The projected 351 yards of total offense for MSU was off by a little more than 50 yards, as the Bulldogs picked up 427, with 269 of those yards coming through the air. Kentucky’s projected total was at 292 yards, yet the Cats fell short by 64 yards, finishing with 228. The inconsistencies in freshmen quarterback Jalen Whitlow is surely difficult to account for. His big-play ability cannot be ignored, however “freshmen mistakes” must also be considered.

Looking to tomorrow’s matchup in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Kentucky gets the easiest opponent they have seen in weeks. This Razorbacks team is reeling under John L. Smith. Unfortunately so are the Cats under Joker Phillips. It’s a battle of nobodies in the SEC: winner takes… second-worst.

The WIS simulations cranked out a 23-16 Arkansas win, but gives the Cats its largest win percentage in a projected loss (31.7%) since the season opener against Louisville (38.1%). According to Vegas, the Razorbacks have moved up to an 18-point favorite.

Check it out, WhatIfSports finally updated the 1998 UK logo to modern times.

Somehow, someway John L. Smith turned this championship-contending team into a loser almost overnight. Before Bobby Petrino was run off, Razorback fans were dreaming of Tyler Wilson and Knile Davis leading the charge to a January bowl game. Now they’re hoping for any bowl game. And probably to not be embarrassed by losing to Kentucky.

The Razorbacks aren’t scoring points, and they’re giving up a lot on defense too. Most recently Rutgers scored 35, and Texas A&M put up 58. Despite all the bad that Arkansas faces, the passing game is still elite. It is led by one of the premier quarterbacks, not only in the Southeastern Conference, but the nation. Tyler Wilson is chucking it; he’s working off a 58% completion rate and closing in on 1,600 yards just halfway through the season. It may not be the gaudy numbers that Geno Smith at West Virginia is posting, but it sure is close.

Wilson is no doubt licking his chops for this matchup against a Kentucky secondary filled with youth. Of the 30 defensive players making the trip to Fayetteville, 23 of them are freshmen and sophomores.

For Kentucky, the one bright spot is Arkansas can’t keep too many teams out of the end zone. Surrendering 35 points per game ranks Arkansas 104th in points against. Not even Kentucky is that bad. Unfortunately the opposite is true for the Cats offense. While the Razorbacks defense wants to give up points, Kentucky doesn’t want to score them as they are only averaging 21 points for, ranking 107th in the country.

What we have here is a defense that can’t stop anyone and an offense that can’t score. It’s like that hypothetical physics question when an unstoppable force meets and immovable object. But they both suck.

At least it’s basketball season now.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

16 Comments for Kentucky vs. Arkansas simulation



  1. Nick
    2:03 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    This simulation is bunk – it says we’ll convert a 4th down.



  2. shimsky
    2:03 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    We totally suck. Bring on the bball! Cal is King.



  3. Fred Gruleyinski
    2:11 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    I am sick of football stories. I used to be a fan but now 100% apathetic because we suck a$%.. Basketball is here so please focus on that. Cal rules Mitch and Joker drool.



  4. NWS Fayetteville
    2:13 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    Did the simulation take this into account:

    BANDS OF STRONG
    TO SEVERE STORMS WILL MOVE INTO NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA BY LATE
    SATURDAY AFTERNOON… MOVING INTO NORTHWEST ARKANSAS DURING THE
    EVENING HOURS. THERE IS AN ELEVATED RISK OF HAIL TO 2 INCHES IN
    DIAMETER AND SWATHS OF DAMAGING WINDS TO 70 MPH IN THE STRONGER
    BOW SEGMENTS. ISOLATED TORNADOES WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE WITH ANY
    CELLS THAT SEPARATE FROM THE LINEAR CONVECTION.



  5. bigcat76
    2:24 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll take that right now.



  6. c'mon man
    2:27 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    Can we please get an answer as to whether BBM will be on TV or not?



  7. c'mon man
    2:28 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    nevermind



  8. BBN
    2:33 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    #4 – we can only hope. We got no other chance than an act of God. Maybe the football Gods (SEC Commissioners office) will rule the game a ‘tie.’

    Why wont mitch just can joker. No one, including a computer simulator, think we’re gonna win this game or any more (Samford, withstanding).

    The rumors are that mitch doesn’t monitor mens basketball – see the success we’ve had. Think if mitch would only hand off football control to Couch, Dawson, Lorenzen, anyone…



  9. RICK
    2:49 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    I hope both teams score a touchdown every time they get the ball and i dont give a shi##### who gets the ball first.



  10. 3 fan
    2:50 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    Who. Freakin. Cares.

    And if Mitch is such a moron as to retain Joker, it will just further damage the program.



  11. Chad
    2:51 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    I think it is more like the opposite of that physics questions in it is a stoppable force meeting a moveable object!



  12. Mikey1286
    3:05 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    I like the ’98 logo, give me the wildcat over the block uk anyday!



  13. nassau65
    3:18 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    23-16 would be a blessing.



  14. Jerry Tipton
    3:26 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    Football team? They’re about where they should be. The second to lowest paid head coach in the SEC is currently battling for the second to lowest position on the SEC totem pole. If Joker pulls a couple of these wins out and leap frogs a couple of his peers during the home stretch, a serious review of the coaches’ contract in view of an upgrade may be in order as he deserves a salary off of the field commensurate with his performance on the field.



  15. BLUE BLY
    4:21 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    ARKANSAS BY 1000000000000000000!!!!!!!!



  16. Vette72
    5:39 pm October 12, 2012 Permalink

    Notice our guy is carrying the ball likes its a loaf of bread & their guy is protecting the ball. Do we have a coach that teaches anything? You learn to carry the damn ball correctly in Pee Wee football.