It might be a breather of a football game for Kentucky (3-1) after coming up with a potentially breakthrough win over Missouri, but it’s going to be a rough run for Eastern Kentucky (2-1) for more than just what happens on the field after defensive end Joey Kraemer died this week in a car accident. This is just the fourth time the two programs have met, with UK winning the last time 37-12 in 2009.
Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky Game Preview
Date: Saturday, Oct. 3
Game Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, Kentucky
Network: SEC Network
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Why You Need To Care
It’s going to be a game of heavy hearts for Eastern Kentucky. On the field, this is a good enough team with a good enough defense to potentially give UK a fight. The Colonels had no problems with Valparaiso and Austin Peay, but got shut out 35-0 by NC State a few weeks ago. Even so, they don’t make a slew of mistakes, they don’t give up too many big plays, and they should be good enough to come up with a big year in the Ohio Valley race.
Kentucky needs to figure out how to get the offense rolling after scoring just 30 points in two games, but it’s 2-1 in SEC play with a potentially winnable game against Auburn coming up. Is this the year when the Wildcats go bowling again? This is a must-win to get there, but they have to be focused before getting a week off.
Why Eastern Kentucky Will Win
Kentucky’s offense just doesn’t move the ball. It’s not awful, but it doesn’t come up with enough big plays and it’s really, really inconsistent. EKU has a nasty defensive front that’s great at stuffing the run and tough at keeping the big pass plays to a bare minimum. Can the Wildcats keep on moving the chains like it did against Missouri? Third down conversions have been a problem, and EKU is just feisty enough to come up with stops and get off the field.
Why Kentucky Will Win
The Colonels need turnovers to spark the offense. The attack doesn’t move the ball averaging under 100 yards per game on the ground, and it doesn’t do much for the passing game, but it scored 103 points against the two FCS teams. The Wildcats haven’t have problems with giveaways so far, with just four on the year and none against Mizzou. Don’t give the ball away, win the turnover margin, and win the game with ease – EKU won’t be able to move the chains.
Player Who Matters
Did Kentucky find something for its passing game in Garrett Johnson? The speedy 5-11, 182-pound sophomore caught six passes for 119 yards in the win over Missouri, and he came up with a few big things down the field on his ten catches in the first three games. For a team that needs more pop and explosion, he needs to continue to establish himself as a factor.
What’s Going To Happen?
EKU’s defense will keep this from getting out of hand, but the Kentucky offense will turn it up a few notches in the second half. It’ll turn into an easy win with a good third quarter.
Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky Prediction
Final Score: Kentucky 31, Eastern Kentucky 13, Line: No Line, o/u: No Line
Must See Rating: 5: Steve Jobs – 1: Dr. Ken … 1.5