The Wildcats come home for a game against the Ole Miss Rebels. Ole Miss put up 35 points against Florida a week ago, but also gave up 51. The Cats are in “Get Right” mode after committing costly errors against Auburn. Let’s dive in to how the Cats win on Saturday.
- Get back to being Kentucky. Stay true to the run and rush for over 200 yards. Leaning in behind that offensive line will control the clock and limit Ole Miss offensive possessions. Both are critical if the Cats are to go 1-1 on the season.
- More chunk plays. Pass catchers need to win 1-on-1 battles and come up with one or more deep shots to loosen up the box for the run.
- Back to the same here. Terry Wilson needs to complete 65% of his passes. He was at 64% vs. Auburn. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask threw for 446 yards and 6 touchdowns by completing 68% of his passes vs. Ole Miss in the opener.
- No turnovers. Winning the turnover battle will be paramount against the Rebels.
- 75% touchdown ratio in the Red Zone. Scoring will be vital on Saturday. Coming away with 7 points from the 20-yard line is a way to circumvent the potent Ole Miss offense.
- Shorten the game. The offense can help the defense by living in the S.L.O.P. (Sustained, Long Offensive Possessions). First down efficiency will be important in sustaining drives. Staying on schedule is key to executing long scoring drives.
- Don’t beat itself. Drive-stalling penalties and turnovers are a sure way to lose a football game. The Wildcat offense needs to clean up its self-inflicted errors vs. Ole Miss.
- Force turnovers. Stealing possessions will give the Cats more opportunities to score.
- Have three QB Sacks. Ole Miss’ intent will be to throw the football all over the yard. Getting to, and landing quarterback sacks will go a long way in slowing down the Rebel tempo. QB Matt Corral excelled in his first game under Kiffin after completing 22 passes out of 31 attempts for 395 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Corral also excels in avoiding the rush and effectively steps up in the pocket or scrambles.
- Communicate. Be ready for tempo and trick plays. Ole Miss will go fast. Really fast. It will also be varied through motions, formations, and personnel packages. It also had a chunk play on a double pass. Communication will be vital.
- Stop the run. Yes, I know Ole Miss threw for 443 yards against the Gators. But, it also rushed for 170. Quick-hitting run plays are drive extenders. RB Jerrion Ealy rushed 16 times for 79 yards and prolonged drives by several first down runs. QB Matt Corral is also dangerous on the ground after gaining 81 yards vs. the Gators. With QB sacks factored in, he finished the game with a net 50 yards.
- Know where Elijah Moore is at all times. The Rebel WR had 10 catches for 227 yards against Florida. The Nickel/Dime positions will be one of great importance on Saturday.
- Defend the middle of the field. Several of Corral’s chunk plays were deep digs and post routes. The sophomore is not afraid to throw the football up for 50/50 ball scenarios.
- Be sound. Simple as that.
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?
Kentucky will have its hands full with Ole Miss. The Rebels’ offense is dangerous and capable. QB Matt Corral has serious arm talent and Lane Kiffin is a masterful play caller. It will go fast and tempo will be a factor. Kentucky will need to slow the game down and not get into a shootout at Kroger Field.
The Rebel defense gave up 643 yards and 51 points to a high-caliber Florida offense led by QB Kyle Trask. The Cats can be effective on offense if they clean up self-inflicted errors.