We’re one day away from Kentucky’s road contest at Mississippi State. Get ready for it by reading this brief statistical rundown…
— Mississippi State is 5-2. A win on Saturday would propel the Dogs to its sixth consecutive bowl game. 2015 is Dan Mullen’s seventh year at the university.
— State is averaging 34.1 points per game while allowing 18 from opponents. Interestingly, it’s only converting 37 percent on third down.
— 21 of 22 starters are juniors or seniors.
— Quarterback Dak Prescott is quietly playing at an elite level by completing 148-225 passes for 1,700 yards, 11 TD passes and zero interceptions. Prescott is also the team’s leading rusher with 325 yards and four scores.
— Dogs lead the SEC with 10 pass plays of over 40+ yards.
— Special teams have been special. MSU has returned both a kickoff and punt for a touchdown and its kicker is perfect for the season.
— Dogs have allowed zero fourth quarter touchdowns and are outscoring opponents 55-12 in the final period.
— UK will face the best quarterback and receiver corps it’s faced in 2015. Prescott’s targets are plentiful. Six-foot-five wide receiver De’Runnya Wilson and Fred Ross are arguably one of the best receiver tandems in the SEC. Add receivers Fred Brown, Gabe Myles, and Donald Gray to the mix to make up an impressive group of pass catchers. Six-foot-seven tight end Darrion Hutcherson is dangerous in the red zone.
— Defensively, linebacker Richie Brown has racked up 61 tackles. As a team, State has 19 sacks by 10 different players. The strength of its defense lies within its front four. Defensive end Ryan Brown (6’6, 260), defensive tackle Nick James (6’5, 325), defensive tackle Chris Jones (6’6, 308) and defensive end AJ Jefferson (6’3, 277).
— Cornerback Will Redmond is a projected first or second NFL selection and leads the team with two interceptions.
KENTUCKY VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE
— Kentucky and Mississippi State are close in SEC standings. One spot separates the Cats and Dogs in the following categories:
Rushing Offense (MSU 11th, UK 12th)
Rushing Defense (MSU 9th, UK 10th)
Pass Defense (MSU 7th, UK 8th)
Total Defense (MSU 9th, UK 10th)
Red-zone Offense (UK 1st, MSU 2nd)
Pass Yards Average (Patrick Towles 252, Dak Prescott 242)
By the numbers, the Cats and Dogs are close. Geography and momentum favor Mississippi State. Coming off a tough loss, UK bounced back from Florida to beat Missouri at home. Much more before and during the game. Yes, we’re going to Starkville.