If you want a team who has been flying under the radar this season, look no further than the Kentucky Wildcats. Led by one of the most talented running backs in the country, Benny Snell. Snell can run through most defenses, and even in a defense heavy conference, he’s still putting up impressive numbers as a Wildcat. They’ve been sleepers in the SEC with a record of 6-1 following their sixth win, a 14-7 win over Vanderbilt last week.
Kentucky also have nice wins over South Carolina and Florida on their resume. It’s not going to be easy to jump over Georgia, but they’re right there tied with the Bulldogs at 6-1. The Wildcats own the tiebreaker over the Gators. All three teams have an overall record of 6-1 and are 4-1 in the SEC. It’s up for grabs, so why not Kentucky?
Kentucky is a basketball school, so if they want respect with the general public, they’re going to have to beat a school like Georgia to get attention. People that follow college football regularly have already taken note of the Wildcats, though. Their offense is about as old school as you will find in the FBS. Their numbers by the end of a game look more like a military academy or Georgia Tech with the triple-option than a prototypical college offense. Kentucky pounds the ball continually with their effective offensive line and star running back.
It’s meant to wear down the opposition and by the 4th quarter they are sucking wind. As a former linebacker, it’s no fun trying to defend a running game as effective as Kentucky. Terry Wilson made just 9 attempts for 3 completions against Vanderbilt. However, there was Snell gashing the Commodores for 169 yards a touchdown. There was only one receiver who made a catch, which belonged to Lynn Bowden that went for a touchdown. Kentucky just better be ready to defend gunslinger Drew Lock who just dropped 4 touchdowns and 65 points on Memphis. They will undoubtably be a stiffer test than Memphis. Head below for our free Kentucky vs. Missouri pick.
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Missouri Tigers NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Missouri -7(-115)
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Kentucky vs. Missouri Pick:
Snell has been a load to handle for opposing defenses. He is 4th in the nation and 1st in the SEC with 868 rushing yards. The junior is averaging 5.4 yards per carry, so why not feed him the ball all game long. As a team they are averaging 231.6 yards per game for 19th in the FBS. Missouri have been average against the run with 131.6 rushing yards allowed per game. They’ve been much worse against the pass, with 301 yards allowed per game for 112th in the FBS. Kentucky don’t pass it much, but with the Tigers crashing the line of scrimmage, there will be chances to complete a big play here and there.
At the end of the day, Missouri have to neutralize Snell and find a way to crack an effective Kentucky defense. They are one of the more underrated defenses in the country at disrupting offenses. 20 points is the most that has been scored on them this season, with an average of just 12.8 points allowed per game. Additionally, the Cats’ defense have allowed an average of 12.9 points per game, which puts them behind Fresno State for 1st in the nation. They are allowing 189.9 passing yards and 112 rushing yards per game.
Lock will be the best quarterback that Kentucky has faced this season. He isn’t lighting it up like last season, and he padded his stats with an impressive outing against a horrible Memphis defense last week. Lock threw 44 touchdowns and 13 interceptions a season ago. In an important season with NFL scouts watching, Lock has thrown 16 touchdowns and 6 interceptions with a 61.1% completion rate.
Lock didn’t good against Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia this season. He was held to an average of 189 yards with 1 touchdown and 5 interceptions. He’s done a tremendous job taking advantage of weak defenses, but has struggled against top units. That in itself should be a red flag to NFL teams. Everyone keeps doubting Kentucky, and that’s fine with me because they continue to get solid value. Give me the points and the better defense in this one.