I enjoyed a peaceful, nearly Twitter-less weekend as the Kentucky Wildcats enjoyed some time off to heal. All Hades broke out during the Cats’ bye week.
Let’s take a look:
— It’s safe to say that Alabama is undeniably the number one team in the nation after Saturday’s stomping in Knoxville. There are coaches that recruit at the highest level. There are coaches that send a large number of their players to the professional ranks. There are also coaches that win multiple championships. But there is no coach that accomplishes all three as well as Nick Saban. His Alabama teams have won four out of the last seven national championships. He won a title in 2003 while at LSU. Nick Saban will win his 6th national championship in 2016 unless something unearthly happens as this year’s Bama defense is arguably his best ever.
— Conjecture at this point, but as I see it the four best teams are:
Alabama…………INFINITY……………..Washington, Ohio State, and Michigan.
On the outside looking in are Texas A&M and Clemson.
— The SEC East is in a state of bewilderment.
— Vanderbilt beat Georgia. As we discussed a week ago, there is no such thing as an ugly or bad SEC win. The Commodores have been close, but had yet to win a late, close game. It did so between the hedges by limiting the Dawgs to just 75 rushing yards.
— A wise man once told me, “Situations (seasons) are never as good or as bad as they initially appear.” Didn’t panic at 0-2. I’m also choosing not to be unrealistically enthusiastic by the Cats’ future opponent woes. UK is way too young and thin to project future performance.
— Dan Mullen coached his butt off in a losing effort against BYU. He challenged officials’ spots and calls, went for it on 4th down, and pulled out all the tricks in order to motivate his Bulldogs to steal a Provo win. After traveling across the nation to play in 2 overtimes and 4,500 elevation, Mullen’s 2-4 team will visit Commonwealth Stadium desperately seeking its 3rd win.
— Tennessee put all its eggs into two baskets: Alabama and Florida. Butch Jones finally beat the Gators but his team was absolutely drummed by the Tide on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how the Vols respond after getting embarrassed by their one-time rival.
— Other than a reversal of good fortune on offense and defense, Missouri is who many thought they would be. Following a 79-0 beat-down and statistical explosion against Delaware State, the Tigers were beaten 42-7 by LSU and lost 40-14 in the Swamp.
Previewing Mississippi State
Mississippi State is 2-4 on the season, 1-2 on the road.
|Scoring||24.8 points per game|
|Rushing||190.67 yards per game|
|Passing||211 yards per game|
|Total||401 yards per game|
|Red Zone||75%, 14 TDs, 7 FGs|
2 Best Players
— QB Nick Fitzgerald: 71.83 rush yards per game.
Passing: 91/165, 166.3 ypg, 55.2%, 8 TDs, 4 INTs.
— WR Fred Ross: 34 catches, 5 TDs, 386 yards.
|Scoring||26.5 points per game|
|Rush||136.7 yards per game|
|Pass||225 yards per game|
|Total||361.3 yards per game|
|Tackles for Loss||43|
2 Best Players
— DE AJ Jefferson: 26 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 3 QB Sacks, 10 TFL
— LB Richie Brown: 51 tackles, 8.5 tackles per game, 2.5 TFL, 1 forced fumble
— At 2-4 and in the SEC West basement, the Dogs will be in a must-win situation on Saturday.
— Offensive tempo concerns. Miss State plays fast which will prevent UK from situationally substituting.
— Dan Mullen’s passing game focuses a large percentage of throws over the middle of the field. UK has struggled in this area.
— QB Nick Fitzgerald defines duel threat. He leads the team in rushing with 71.83 yards per game.
— Miss State loads the box and challenges opposing offenses to throw the football. It held BYU to 311 total yards in a loss and only allows 136.7 rush yards per game.
Don’t be fooled by the record. Mississippi State is a veteran team searching for its post-Dak identity. The Dogs will be desperate and possibly tired after traveling across the country in its loss to BYU last Friday night.