Time for the Austin Peay at Kentucky Preview and SEC Predictions here at Last Word on College Football. Mark Stoops’ club is still searching for that elusive sixth win and first bowl bid since 2010.
Austin Peay at Kentucky Preview
The Wildcats are now on a two game losing streak after losing to Tennessee 49-36. Kentucky ran for a near school record 443 yards, had five different players rush for over 70 yards, and still lost.
Kentucky rushed for 443 yards in its loss to Tennessee. Entering today, teams were 30-0 when rushing for 400 yards in a game this season.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 12, 2016
The inability to convert in the red zone led to the Cats downfall. On six trips inside the Volunteer 20-yard line, Kentucky only got two touchdowns, one well after the game had been decided. They had to settle for field goals three times and on the sixth try Benny Snell fumbled.
On the other side of the ball the Wildcat defense was torched by Joshua Dobbs. The Tennessee quarterback had 370 yards of total offense and five touchdowns. In four games against the Cats, Dobbs has accounted for 16 scores.
The Cats have now lost 31 of 32 games to the Vols and have not won in Knoxville since 1984.
Making Kentucky Bowl Eligible Again
Austin Peay at Kentucky- (4:30 SEC Network)
Kentucky will try once again for bowl eligibility when they host the Governors. The FCS school has lost 27 games in a row, with their last win coming over two years ago when the beat Murray State 20-13.
Though winless on the season, Austin Peay has one of the best players in the Ohio Valley Conference in Kentel Williams. The freshman running back made history in a 67-30 loss to Eastern Kentucky.
Keep rewriting those history books Kentel Williams, @5K_Dot! 1st Gov to win a national player of the week award!#MissionPossible???⚪️ pic.twitter.com/eju2p5sPpQ
— #MissionPossible (@AustinPeayFB) November 15, 2016
Stopping Williams will be a major key in a Wildcats win.
Another key is this game will be how much to play the starters. If the game goes as expected will Stoops rest his starters with Louisville coming up next week.
Kentucky was hit hard by injuries in the Tennessee game, but the Cats should be able to play some second string guys and still win. In basketball, John Calipari’s clubs constantly over-matches other teams. In Kentucky football, it is very rare when the team is in this situation.
Cat fans could get a first look at Gunnar Hoak at quarterback. Hoak followed Eddie Gran and Darrin Hinshaw to Lexington when they left Cincinnati. If the game is out of reach why not rest Stephen Johnson and let Hoak get a few snaps?
Under Stoops, Kentucky has lost nine straight games in which they could become bowl eligible. A bowl game is a very lucrative thing for Stoops and his staff.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops and staff could earn more than $500,000 of bowl bonuses https://t.co/StRKL6vUCB #BBN pic.twitter.com/STBmFVEIcw
— SEC Country Kentucky (@SECCountryUK) November 17, 2016
On Saturday, four years of hard work and frustration will finally pay off as the Cats get that elusive sixth win.
SEC Prediction Time
The Old Krystal Ball took in on the chin last week going 3-4. That is the first losing week of the season making the overall record 65-15. The next to last Saturday of the season is known as “Cupcake Saturday.” There are quite of few of those on this week’s schedule.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Georgia- (NOON SEC Network)
The Bulldogs shut down the high-powered Auburn offense in winning 13-7 last Saturday. Behind Nick Chubb and Jacob Eason, Georgia should easily win and improve its chances of a New Year’s Bowl Game.
Texas San-Antonio at Texas A&M- (NOON ESPNU)
The Aggies have lost two in a row and have dropped from No. 4 in the first College Playoff Rankings all the way to Number 25.
Jake Hubenak threw for 213 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start against Ole Miss. Playing against the Roadrunners of the Sun Belt conference, he should put up some big numbers.
Texas A&M 45-17
Florida at LSU- (1:00 SEC Network)
By now you know the story of how this game came about. Postponed by Hurricane Matthew back in October, both clubs bought out games to make this game happen. However instead of Gainesville this one will be played in Baton Rouge.
The Tigers went into Arkansas and blew out the Razorbacks while the Gators beat South Carolina.
Florida has to win in order to stay in contention for the SEC East title. However, playing in Death Valley, Ed Orgeron will continue to make his statement for permanent LSU coach.
Missouri at Tennessee- (3:30 CBS)
Maybe the most interesting thing about this game is why is this the SEC game of the week. The Vols control their own destiny and for a date in Atlanta against Alabama.
Butch Jones’ club has righted the ship and will pick up a pretty easy victory against the Tigers.
Western Carolina at South Carolina- (4:00 SEC Network)
The Gamecocks only need to beat the 2-8 Catamounts to gain bowl eligibility. Will Mushchamp’s club has been a different team since Jake Bentley took over at quarterback. He has thrown for almost 900 yards and six touchdowns in his four games. Carolina will punch their ticket to a bowl game with an easy win.
South Carolina 41-13
Arkansas at Mississippi State- (7:00 ESPNU)
The Bulldogs must win here and next week against Ole Miss to make a bowl game. The Razorbacks got hammered at home by LSU a week ago.
Dan Mullen’s club has won the last four in this series, and the games are always entertaining. Last season, the Bulldogs defeated Arkansas 51-50 in one of the year’s best games.
Behind Nick Fitzgerald MSU will make it five in a row in a high scoring affair.
Mississippi State 42-38
Chattanooga at Alabama- (7:00 ESPN2)
The Crimson Tide once again sits in the No. 1 spot in the latest college rankings after beating Mississippi State 51-3.
Nick Saban’s club goes for 23 wins in a row against the Mocs of the Southern Conference, who are 8-2 on the season and ranked 12th.
Three years ago, when these teams last played Alabama won 49-0. A similar score sounds about right in this one.
Alabama A&M at Auburn- (7:00 SEC Network)
The Tigers’ five game winning streak came to a halt in a 13-7 loss at Georgia. Injuries especially on offense has decimated Gus Malzahn’s club over the last couple of weeks.
The good news is they shouldn’t need most of those players against the Bulldogs who are 4-6 in FCS play.
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt- (8:00 SEC Network)
The Rebels pulled the red-shirt off quarterback Shea Patterson and proved immediate dividends.
Patterson three for 338 yards and two touchdowns in leading Ole Miss to a come from behind 29-28 win over Texas A&M. He will face a stout Vanderbilt defense, who saw their hopes of a bowl game all but end after losing to Missouri.
This will be a close game but Patterson will lead the Rebels to a win and bowl eligibility.
Ole Miss 27-20
Thanks for reading, see you next time.