The UT-Martin offense wasn’t too bad last year, averaging just under 400 yards per game in a two quarterback system with Dylan Favre and Jarod Neal. They get the job done, but anytime you consistently are using two QBs, they can’t be that great. It’s because this offense LOVES to turn the ball over. Neal threw almost as many touchdowns (9) as interceptions (7) last year for a team that had a -15 turnover margin. The one thing the offense can hang their hat on: they return four starters on the offensive line.
Mark Stoops and DJ Eliot have made it a primary focus in the offseason to get more turnovers. There isn’t a better chance to get the ball rolling than against the Skyhawks. Even though they have four offensive linemen back, only two of them are over 300 pounds. After fighting against Jordan Swindle and Darrian Miller during the preseason, Bud and Z are going to have fun teeing off on whichever poor quarterback is in the game.
Tony Bell is the bad boy for Tennessee-Martin. The senior linebacker had 10.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss last season, earning attention from NFL scouts as a strong safety. Bell received the praises from Mark Stoops earlier this week, but he’ll have to do most of the work by himself. There are only four returning starters from a team that gives up a TON of points to Division-I opponents. Last year they gave up 70 to Eastern Illinois, 63 to Boise State, and 45 to Murray State.
I think Kentucky’s better than Murray State, so it’s safe to assume the UK offense is going to put the Wildcat through one hell of a one-armed pushup workout. With superior athleticism and conditioning, Neal Brown’s NASCAR offense is going to abuse the Skyhawks in the heat. If the Cats play like the team I saw practice, they should surpass 50 points before the 4th quarter.
Score: 55-10, but most likely it will be the Cats by 90.