Relief at last! Finally the Kentucky defense will see an offense that more closely resembles the anemic unit they call their own. Since the middle of September, for five straight weeks, the Cats have matched up against some elite offenses. Even against Arkansas — though their record doesn’t show it — Tyler Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, and he demonstrated it for us in Fayetteville.
But Missouri is weak. And they will likely be without their quarterback James Franklin after he sprained his MCL two weeks ago against Vanderbilt. Seriously, if there were ever a time to win an SEC game this season it is now. For what it’s worth: Vanderbilt beat these guys.
The Cats should fear nothing going up against backup quarterback Corbin Berkstresser. The Missouri spread offense, if it were ever potent, gets a lot less without Franklin. Unless Berkstresser has a breakout moment, the Cats should be able to contain it. With the way the defense handled Georgia last week, and guys like Ashley Lowery and Cartier Rice continuing to get healthier, the outlook is actually positive.
Last week against the Bulldogs, and even the week before against the Razorbacks, these charts were pretty skewed to the left. This week, the bar graphs come back down to the Cats level. So on paper this is a contest either team can win. Both teams’ offensive units rank in the low-90s and 100s in terms of overall production. And the defensive difference is six points in favor of the Tigers. This is about as even a match up Kentucky has seen since week three against Western Kentucky.
Both teams in this contest are desperate. Missouri is still looking for its first victory over a Southeastern Conference opponent as a member of the league. Will Kentucky be the one? Surely the fans in Colombia believe so.