Kentucky Beats Mississippi State 24-2

Kentucky Beats Mississippi State 24-2

Cats Win An Ugly Game

Heading into Saturday night’s game at Kroger Field most everyone, including us , expected a wide open high scoring game. However it turned out to be anything but, as the Wildcats’ defense stole the show. In fact it was an historic night as they held a Mike Leach coached team without a touchdown for the first time ever. If it hadn’t been for a bizarre safety, the Cats would have pitched a shut out. Let’s look at a great night for the defense as Kentucky beats Mississippi State 24-2.

The Group Came To Play

After being torched in the first two games by Auburn and Ole Miss, most of the talk leading into Saturday was on the Wildcat defense. More specifically how would they handle the “Air Raid” offense. The answer was very well thank you. Brad White’s defense pitched a shut out in the first half by taking away the middle of the field from quarterback K,J, Costello. Furthermore, Kentucky picked off two  passes. On the first Josh Paschal nearly took it to the house before being tackled at the two yard line. The next play Christopher Rodriguez took it in giving the Cats a 14-0 halftime lead.

The second pick came on the last play of the first half as Jamin Davis picked off a Costello pass in the end zone. For the Cats it was the first turnovers of the season. One other note Davis wore number 22 in honor of Chris Oats, the Wildcat linebacker who is out due to a medical issue. During the season a different Cat is wearing the number in honor of Oats.

The picks kept coming as Kentucky intercepted six passes overall, four by Costello and two by back up Will Rogers. Leach benched Costello in the second half only two weeks after setting the SEC single game passing record. The picks included a return for touchdown by Jordan Wright. It was his second career score as he sealed the Belk Bowl victory last year with a fumble return. In one night Kentucky went from last in interceptions in the nation to the top 10. As you can see the defense was the main reason why Kentucky beats Mississippi State 24-2.

Where’s The Offense?

Though Kentucky’s first two games the Cats averaged 471 yards per game, with no wins to show for it. However against the Bulldogs the offense went absolutely nowhere. Outside a 51 yard scramble by Terry Wilson which led to a touchdown pass to Keaton Upshaw Eddie Gran’s group did little. Give some of the credit to the Bulldog defense but Kentucky looked out of sync the entire game.

All totaled, the Cats finished with 157 yards, 84 on the ground and 73 through the air. Mississippi State had 295 total yards, led in both first downs and time of possession but still lost. Just as Kentucky proved in the their first two games you can’t lose the turnover battle and expect to win.

Looking Ahead

With the win, Kentucky finally sits on the smiling side of the scoreboard, moving to 1-2 on the season. In addition it’s the third straight home win over Mississippi State for the Cats and ties the all-time series at 24 wins each. With the All-SEC schedule things don’t get any easier for Kentucky next week as they head to Tennessee. The Vols went into the half leading Georgia 21-17 on Saturday. However the Bulldogs ran off 27 unanswered points in the second half for a 44-27 victory. In the process it knocked Tennessee from the ranks of the unbeatens. The Wildcats have lost 17 in a row in Knoxville with their last win coming in 1984.

As for Mississippi State, their record drops to 1-2 on the year. Much like Kentucky things don’t get any easier for the Bulldogs either. They host Texas A&M next week in Starkville. The Aggies are coming off a 41-38 victory over fourth ranked Florida. We’ll see how these games change things in next week’s bowl projections. Currently we have Kentucky slated for the Liberty Bowl and Mississippi State in the Texas Bowl.

Again Kentucky beats Mississippi State 24-2 and in the process holds a Leach coached team without an offensive score for the first time ever. With the win the Cats avoid their first 0-3 start since 1967. Next time out we’ll get you ready for the Tennessee game here at Last Word On College Football.

 

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