Shoutout to the Miller family, who is already in College Station for tomorrow’s game between the Cats and the Aggies.
Here’s a roundup of national picks to help them pass the time. Even though Kentucky is ranked and Texas A&M is not, it seems Kyle Field and the 12th Man are leading most to pick the Aggies.
It’s crazy to see a top-15 team as such a big underdog, but that’s where Kentucky is at the moment. The Wildcats are white hot on the heels of running back Benny Snell and superstar linebacker Josh Allen. But they’ve done their damage the last two weeks at home, not the hostile Kyle Field crowd. The dirty little secret is that Texas A&M’s defense isn’t just good, it’s really good. The Aggies lead the SEC in run defense (85 YPG) and defensive third-down conversions (24.56 percent), and that’s after playing Clemson and Alabama. The Aggies will shut down Snell enough to make Terry Wilson win a game with his arm on the road, and he won’t come through. Pick: Texas A&M (-5.5)
I’m a Kentucky believer. And it seems like A&M has come back to Earth quite a bit since that Week 2 Clemson game. But the Wildcats haven’t played on the road in a month, and Kellen Mond is due for a bounce-back game at some point. It’s no secret Kentucky wants to run the ball with Benny Snell Jr., and the Aggies are holding opponents to a respectable 3.32 yards per carry. Texas A&M 26, Kentucky 20
Can the ’Cats pull off yet another upset? They’ve won in a tough environment at Florida, but as great as Benny Snell has been this season, the Aggies and Mike Elko have the SEC’s top run defense, and I think they can derail UK. If this was in Lexington, I’d go with the ’Cats, but Kyle Field, at night, nope. Texas A&M 17, Kentucky 14
Laken Litman writes:
You know what they say, never bet against Kentucky football. Actually, maybe that’s the basketball team they say that about. Regardless, the Wildcats are off to a white-hot 5–0 start, and if they win in College Station, they’ll be 6–0 for the first time since 1950, back when the coach was Bear Bryant. Jimbo Fisher this week compared UK running back Benny Snell (639 yards, eight touchdowns) to Emmitt Smith, but he’s about to face the toughest run defense he’s seen this season as Texas A&M is holding opponents to 85 yards per game. On the other side of the ball, Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond hopes to avoid rush end Josh Allen, who leads the nation in tackles for loss (10.5) and is second in sacks (six).
Ben Kercheval writes:
Though the Wildcats are nationally ranked, they’ve only been the favorite once against a FBS opponent: Week 1 vs. Central Michigan. They’re 3-0 as dogs and this spread has already come down from a touchdown. Between Benny Snell Jr.’s rushing production and linebacker Josh Allen being a presence on defense, the Wildcats should have enough to at least cover. Pick: Kentucky +5.5