Cole Cubelic knows football, but he REALLY knows Auburn football. The SEC Network analyst played center for the Tigers from 1996-2001 and hosts a daily radio show in Birmingham. He’ll be on the sidelines at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday, and in an interview on KSR this morning, said he believes Kentucky has a great shot at pulling off the upset because of all the key players the Tigers lost from last season.
“It is a bad, bad matchup for Auburn,” Cubelic said. “When you look at the losses on defense, everyone immediately points at Derrick Brown and to Marlon Davidson. Yeah, Derrick Brown is a generational defensive lineman, Marlon was fantastic last year but Jeremiah Dinson led the team in tackles. Javaris Davis was tied for team-leading interceptions. Daniel Thomas was second in tackles on the team. Noah Igbinoghene went in the first round. That’s four players in the secondary that played a ton of football for [defensive coordinator] Kevin Steele. That’s awareness, that’s wherewithal, that’s know-how, and I talked to Kevin about how they can disguise things and lack of communication that’s needed to take place between he and that group a season ago, so it’s not just up front that Auburn’s had some big losses on that side of the ball, it’s also in the secondary.”
As Cubelic pointed out, that young secondary will be met with Terry Wilson, who went 10-3 as Kentucky’s starting quarterback in 2018 before being injured last year. With a healthy Wilson under center, Cubelic is excited to see what Eddie Gran will cook up.
“You bring back a quarterback that’s going to face that group that won ten games two years ago that has an idea of how to manage, what to get into and I think the sleeper topic of this deal is what’s Eddie Gran going to come out in? What’s he going to run? He could come out and be sort of spread option like he was two years ago, he could be a little bit more of the spread Air-Raid like he was when Sawyer Smith tried to take over, he’s got some of the wishbone, option stuff that he ran last year. He can go to the grab bag with a ton of different things offensively and that’s only going to confuse this Auburn defense. Now, they’re elite at linebacker. This might be the best linebacker group in the SEC that Auburn’s going to bring to the table, but physically, Kentucky will not be outmatched on either side of the football.”
“It’s not crazy at all,” Cubelic said of a potential Kentucky upset. “It’s a bad matchup for Auburn because normally, Auburn can physically impose their will on the people they’re playing. Sometimes it’s the O-Line, sometimes it’s the D-Line, sometimes it’s both and then you add athleticism, speed on top of that with some coaching, they don’t have all those advantages in this game. You mentioned being at home, but it’s an 11 a.m. kick with 17,000-18,000 people in there? That ain’t gonna be the same Jordan-Hare Stadium that’s been helping them win games the last three or four seasons.”
Want more? Listen to Cubelic’s entire appearance below.