Up and at ’em, Big Blue Nation. It’s Jared Lorenzen Day in Lexington.
This evening, your Kentucky Wildcats (2-3, 0-3) are set to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks (2-3, 0-2) in Lexington, KY for “One Hell of a Game.” Slated for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Kroger Field, you can find the television broadcast live on the SEC Network.
But what do we need to know about the matchup?
The line has moved to Kentucky -7
After opening as 6.5-point favorites, the line in favor of Kentucky has bounced back and forth between the original 6.5 points and 7.0 points over the last three days, with the line sitting firm at the latter leading up to kickoff.
Looking at OddsShark’s game analysis, they like the Wildcats to pull off the victory by nearly a full touchdown, with a predicted score total of 27.4 to 21.6.
In other quick betting facts on both the Wildcats and the Razorbacks…
- Kentucky is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Kentucky’s last 8 games.
- Kentucky is 12-6 SU in their last 18 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Kentucky’s last 5 games at home.
- Kentucky is 0-5 SU in their last 5 games against an opponent in the Southeast conference.
- Kentucky is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games played in October.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Kentucky’s last 5 games played in week 7.
- Kentucky is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games played on a Saturday.
- Arkansas is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Arkansas’ last 6 games.
- Arkansas is 3-13 SU in their last 16 games.
- Arkansas is 2-4 SU in their last 6 games against Kentucky.
- Arkansas is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games on the road.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Arkansas’ last 5 games this season.
- Arkansas is 0-13 SU in their last 13 games against an opponent in the Southeast conference.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Arkansas’ last 6 games played in October.
- Arkansas is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games played in week 7.
In ESPN’s matchup predictor, they list Kentucky as having an 80.1% chance of pulling off the victory on Saturday evening under the lights, with Arkansas having just a 19.9% chance to win.
After covering in four consecutive games, Kentucky has now failed to do so in back-to-back matchups against Mississippi State (line closed at UK +5.5) and South Carolina (line closed at UK +3.5).
Kentucky will look to turn its bad string of performances and luck into a victory against one of the worst teams in the SEC.
Sitting at 2-3 on the year, the Razorbacks have taken home losses against Ole Miss (31-17), San Jose State (31-24), and Texas A&M (31-27). The team’s only victories on the year have come against Portland State (20-13) and Colorado State (55-34).
On the flip side, though, Arkansas put together its most well-rounded performance against legitimate competition prior to its bye week last week against Texas A&M.
Part of the reason for the team’s late success against the Aggies? Senior quarterback Ben Hicks, who replaced injured starter Nick Starkel in the second quarter two weeks ago and put together a fairly impressive 188-yard, one-touchdown performance on 15-27 passing.
This week, Starkel is listed as questionable going into the matchup, though there is optimism on Arkansas’ side of things that the junior out of Argyle, TX will suit up against the Wildcats on Saturday. The 6-foot-3, 214-pound quarterback participated in media interviews this week, saying he was excited to take the field in Lexington in front of a rowdy environment.
Through five games, Starkel has racked up 1,019 yards, seven touchdowns, and seven interceptions on 61.8% passing and 7.8 yards per completion. While his passing numbers are promising, he has rushed for -7 yards on just five attempts. Not a scrambler by any means.
Should Hicks see the field, he is 36-72 on the year for 429 yards and one touchdown.
Looking elsewhere, running back Rakeem Boyd is the No. 3 rusher in the SEC with 483 yards and three touchdowns on 91 carries. Through five games, the former Last Chance U star has averaged 5.3 yards per carry, including a long of 59 yards.
At receiver, the Razorbacks have a balanced attack, with five players totaling over 100 yards on the year, including four with at least 230 yards or more through five games. The team’s leading receiver, Mike Woods, has managed 301 yards and two touchdowns on 21 receptions.
As a unit, Arkansas is averaging 28.6 points per game to go with an average of 431.6 yards per contest. While the team is quite successful in terms of total yardage, they struggle to actually convert that to points, finishing 126th out of 130 FBS teams in red zone conversions. On third down, the team converts just 38.56% of attempts, to go with a fourth-down conversion rate of 44.44%.
On defense, the Razorback pass rush has totaled 15 total sacks and five forced fumbles, while the secondary has managed five picks on the season. Collectively, they rank No. 77 nationally in total defense, allowing 396.2 yards per contest, to go with 5.66 yards per play and 17 allowed touchdowns, compared to the team’s 17. They are also ranked No. 77 in points allowed, giving up 28.0 points per contest.
KSR’s Adam Luckett has everything you need to know about the Razorbacks below:
The hype video – as always – is awesome
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) October 11, 2019
What are the Cats wearing?
The chrome domes are back.
Tonight, the Wildcats will be wearing their chrome helmets to go with blue jerseys, blue pants, and blue cleats.
The KSR Pregame Show will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET LIVE at KSBar and Grille. There, you can find several impressive specials to get you ready for the game.
If you can’t make it out to KSBar and Grille, you can listen live on 630 WLAP or the iHeart Radio app.
Then, take the Lextran shuttle to the game in time for the Cat Walk at 5:15 p.m.
Tailgating? Here are the stadium and parking lot arrangements:
And then at 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network, the Wildcats will look to turn its three-game losing streak into a victory on Jared Lorenzen Day at Kroger Field.