Kirk Herbstreit has been one of Mark Stoops’ biggest supporters in recent years, so it’s no surprise that he’s all in on Kentucky after their 5-0 start. On the latest episode of his podcast with Ian Fitzsimmons for ESPN, Herbstreit picked Kentucky to beat Texas A&M in Kyle Field on Saturday even though the Cats opened as a 6.5-point underdog.
“When are you guys going to start buying in to Kentucky?” Herbstreit said of the oddsmakers. “A touchdown dog? Is it just that people have a hard time grasping that Kentucky’s playing football?”
“I still think this Kentucky team’s for real,” he added. “A&M has a great D-Line and very physical linebackers, 240 lbs. type guys. They’re going to be determined to challenge that physical Kentucky running game led by Benny Snell. I think Terry Wilson will be the difference. I think his ability to be the compliment to Snell running and more importantly, he’s going to have to make some plays passing. I think Kentucky will be able to get out of there with a very close win.”
Also crucial? Winning the turnover battle. Texas A&M ranks 118th in the country in turnover margin, with seven turnovers lost to only two gained; Kentucky is tied for 63rd with eight lost and eight gained. To win on the road in a hostile environment, Herbstreit said Kentucky’s defense must make life difficult for quarterback Kellen Mond, who’s turned the ball over four times in the last two games.
“This Kentucky defense — you mentioned Josh Allen — they’ve got athletes in that secondary that are ball hawks, so I think Kentucky can come up with a couple big turnovers to be able to get the ball back to Terry Wilson. I like Kentucky to win that one.”
In a spot for TGI Fridays, Herbstreit named Kentucky vs. Texas A&M one of his four games to watch this weekend and reiterated that Terry Wilson needs to have a big day for the Cats to win:
It's that time again! Tune into the Week 6 College Football insights with @KirkHerbstreit. Stop by your nearest Fridays to catch the games this week, order your favorite apps and enjoy an ice cold Coors Light. pic.twitter.com/sSqiV6Wyz4
— TGI Fridays (@TGIFridays) October 4, 2018
You got this, Terry.