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What they’re saying about Kentucky vs. Mississippi State

Both Kentucky and Mississippi State are looking to rebound after tough games last week. What does the national media believe will happen in Mike Leach’s return to the Commonwealth? For the most part, they’re picking Kentucky to get its first win of the season. Here’s a roundup of predictions.

ESPN: Kentucky (-2)

Doug Kezirian: I am cautiously backing Kentucky, not because I doubt them but because I have a lot of respect for Mike Leach and K.J. Costello. In this very column, I backed the Bulldogs in their opener at LSU. However, the Wildcats have caught some bad luck and seem poised for a breakout performance. I also like what I’ve seen from Kentucky’s defense, and I think the Wildcats will follow the proper script to limit Leach’s offense.

Picks: Kentucky -2, under 58

Preston Johnson: Mike Leach offenses are the definition of high variance. One week you can upset LSU on the road, and the next you can lose to Arkansas at home as a 17-point favorite. I was lucky enough to predict both upsets, but in this matchup, I think the market is discrediting Kentucky for its 0-2 start too excessively. I project the Wildcats a five-point favorite, and when this opened -3 earlier in the week, I planned to pass on the game. Now that we are under the key number of three, it’s a buy on Terry Wilson and the better team, playing at home, at a cheap price.

Pick: Kentucky -2


ESPN Matchup Predictor: Kentucky


Stanford Steve: Kentucky (-2)

Stanford Steve: Kentucky has had some wild things happen during its 0-2 start to the season, like an extra point missed in overtime to lose, which was preceded by a running back celebrating too early and getting tackled short of the goal line — and then, two plays later, fumbling the ball away. Kentucky also blew a double-digit lead last week. I think Mark Stoops has the respect of his team, and the Wildcats will regroup to win and cover versus Mississippi State. I’ll lay the points.

Pick: Kentucky -2 (Kentucky 31, Miss. State 20)


CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee: Kentucky (-2.5)

Mississippi State at Kentucky (-2.5): It’s time for Bulldogs coach Mike Leach to show the world what his team really is after it fell back down to Earth last weekend in a loss to Arkansas. There will be another one coming this weekend. Wildcats coach Mark Stoops is one of the most brilliant defensive minds in the country, and you can bet that he has poured over the film this week to find out what the Razorbacks did well against the air raid (see: a lot of zone). His defense, coupled with a stout rushing attack that will limit Mississippi State’s possessions, will earn the Wildcats a rather comfortable win. Pick: Kentucky (-2.5)


CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli: Mississippi State

Bounce back of the Week

Mississippi State (+2) at Kentucky: So, the thing with Mike Leach is you would much rather bet him as an underdog than a favorite. After beating LSU in the opener, there was no way his team was going to cover against Arkansas, though I didn’t see the outright loss coming. Now that Leach is a dog again, we’re all over it. Leach has gone 29-19 ATS as a dog since 2012, but more than that, it’s who he’s an underdog against this week. I like this Kentucky team, and I thought it could make some noise in the SEC East this season. But so far, it’s 0-2 and has struggled to get anything going in the passing game. Well, guess who has the best run defense in the country right now? Mississippi State is allowing 1.91 yards per carry through two games. That’s the best in the nation. Mississippi State 31, Kentucky 27


Tennessean panel of SEC writers

Each week, the Tennessean asks a panel of SEC writers to pick league games against the spread. Eight of the 14 writers picked Kentucky to cover the -2 spread.

  • Robbie Andreu, Gainesville Sun
  • Eric Blum, Columbia Tribune
  • Eric Boykin, Spartanburg Herald-Journal
  • Glenn Guilbeau, Daily Advertiser
  • Pat Dooley, Gainesville Sun
  • Jon Hale, Courier Journal
  • Nick Suss, The Clarion Ledger
  • Blake Toppmeyer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Sports Illustrated: 3 Kentucky, 1 Mississippi State


Athlon Sports’ Kyle Kensing: Kentucky

Kentucky’s 0-2 start might be the most disappointing development of the early SEC season. An 0-3 start in an abbreviated campaign would be a close-to-insurmountable disaster. Mississippi State poses a unique challenge with its unorthodox offensive approach, and Costello showed in the season-opener just how dangerous he can be.

However, the Arkansas loss proved the Air Raid isn’t infallible. Kentucky must generate turnovers as the Razorbacks did, which starts with applying pressure in the Bulldogs backfield. Should the Wildcats do so, they’ll get off the schneid.

Prediction: Kentucky 30, Mississippi State 27


OddsShark: Kentucky

Predicted score: Kentucky 27.4, Mississippi State 24.1

Kentucky will win, cover the spread (-2.5), and the total (57.5) will go over


Your turn.

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Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

6 Comments for What they’re saying about Kentucky vs. Mississippi State



  1. UKCatAttack
    3:03 pm October 9, 2020 Permalink

    Hard to believe we could stop Miss St Air Raid with a secondary that can’t stop anyone.



  2. jblanton
    3:31 pm October 9, 2020 Permalink

    It depends on the weather. If it rains non stop then the passing game will wash away with it.



    • 4burgoo
      4:00 pm October 9, 2020 Permalink

      Yep, rain was certainly our friend last season.



  3. Rick_S
    6:18 pm October 9, 2020 Permalink

    This is FREE money….Take Mississippi State +2.5 ..Thank me later



    • Bluehender
      6:30 pm October 9, 2020 Permalink

      You take it….we’ll see.



  4. KyZoneBlitz
    5:09 pm October 10, 2020 Permalink

    OF COURSE Pat forde would pick miss state to beat us…SMH, lol, that dude is just a straight up, 100% Kentucky HATER… Doesn’t matter which sport it is, if he knows anything about our team, or the opponent, if there is a UK logo on the Uniform, then hater forde is going with the other team. I think we win, cover the spread and play pretty well. I know miss state has the #1/#2 rushing defense in the league, but it’s only been 2 weeks. I think we rush for over 150/170, and Terry Wilson plays another great game. Hopefully our 2ndary decided to buckle down instead of resting on preseason accolades, because I think we do have a VERY talented 2ndary, but they haven’t given 100% so far this season. I think that changes this week and we show that the first 2 weeks were flukes. We SHOULD be 2-0, but we were robbed of AT LEAST 7 points at auburn and any momentum we had built going into the 2nd half. Yes I know the push back, yada yada yada, point is, if we’re given the 7 we were owed, it’s a completely different game. Last week, we left 18 points on the field, AFTER putting up 41 points… Rose not finishing his run early, DeMarcus Harris dropping a TD pass on the 2 yard line (If he catches it, that’s 7 points), then Ruffalo missing a field goal AND the PAT in OT…. Final score should’ve been 52-35 (Remove the score in OT, missed extra point, as well as ole miss score in OT, then add the 17 left on the field, that’s 52-35, the route we thought would happen before the game started.) Which means we’re in the same boat as Florida, who beat ole miss with a very similar score, but gave up around 200 more yards to Corral and ole miss’ offense.