Cats Host FCS School On Saturday
Coming off a big win over Missouri on Saturday the Kentucky football team sits at 2-0 on the season. It’s the sixth time in nine years under Mark Stoops that UK’s started with that record. This week not only step out of conference but the FBS level all together. For the first time since 2019 the Cats host an FCS school. Let’s get you ready for the game with every you need to know as we begin previewing Chattanooga at Kentucky.
Offense Is A Bright Spot
For long time readers of our site, we talked all summer about what exactly the “new look” Kentucky offense would look like under Liam Coen. So far through the first two games, the results have been outstanding. Against a good Missouri defense the Cats rolled up 519 yards of total offense. That comes on the heels of gaining 564 yards against Louisiana-Monroe. That’s the first time in school history UK has gained more than 500 yards in each of their first two games. Though his first two contests Will Levis has completed 28 of 44 passes for 546 yards and five touchdowns. Should the Cats do as expected on Saturday Levis joins a pretty exclusive list.
With a win against Chattanooga on Saturday, Will Levis would become the 3rd @UKFootball QB since 1993 to win their first 3 career starts at the school.
– Terry Wilson won his first 5 career starts in 2018
– Mike Hartline won his first 4 career starts in 2008
— Corey Price (@coreyp08) September 12, 2021
In addition to Levis, two other Cats are burning up the stat lines. Chris Rodriguez currently ranks second in all of college football with 332 rushing yards. In addition Wan’Dale Robinson sits 12th in the nation with 299 total yards from scrimmage. All three players should add to their healthy stat lines on Saturday.
If there’s big one big weakness for Kentucky in 2021 it’s turnovers. Against Louisiana-Monroe that Cats had three turnovers. Last week Rodriguez fumbled twice, both near the end zone. While they lost one thankfully guard Eli Cox was right there to fall on the other in the end zone for what eventually gave Kentucky the winning score. It may not matter as much on Saturday but Kentucky has to get the turnover problem corrected as they head into the toughest part of their schedule in October.
As we continue previewing Chattanooga at Kentucky let’s look at the opponent.
Scouting the Mocs
Rusty Wright’s club comes into Saturday’s match up with a 1-1 record. They started the season with a 30-20 loss to Austin Peay. However they blanked North Alabama this past Saturday 20-0 evening their record on the year. It was the school’s first shut out since 2010. In the latest Top 25 poll they come in 27th after starting the year in the Top 25.
Against North Alabama quarterback Cole Copeland threw for 98 yards with two interceptions. The Mocs did most of their damage through the running game with Ailym Ford gaining 114 yards and a score. In addition Tyrell Price added another 68 on the ground.
On the other side of the ball Devonnsha Maxwell led the defense with 3.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for a loss. As a result he was named Southern Conference Defensive Player Of The Week.
— Chattanooga Football (@GoMocsFB) September 12, 2021
Chattanooga’s defensive coordinator is a name familiar to the Big Blue Nation. Lorenzo Ward was the secondary’s coach at Louisville during the 2017-18 seasons. When Bobby Petrino was let go Ward coached the final two games of the year. That of course included the contest against Kentucky where UK won handily 56-10.
A season ago the Mocs played one game in the fall of 2020 losing to Western Kentucky 13-10. However they played an abbreviated schedule in the spring of 2021 going 3-1. They return all 22 starters so the Cats are facing an experienced squad.
Usually at this point we’d spend some time telling you all about the history between the two schools. However that’s not possible in this case. That’s because Kentucky and Chattanooga have never met on the gridiron so Saturday is their first time. Overall the Wildcats are 7-0 against FCS teams under Stoops. In the 21st century Chattanooga is 0-22 against FBS opponents. They are 0-10 versus the SEC and 0-14 against Power Five schools. In addition their most recent game against an SEC school was a 45-0 loss at Tennessee in 2019.
Now that we’ve talked about both teams as we continue previewing Chattanooga at Kentucky it’s time for probably the most important thing on Saturday, how to watch.
Where’s The Game?
Saturday’s contest is not available on ESPN, the SEC Network or any of the normal places you would watch football. The game is only available via the internet streaming on either the ESPN Plus or SEC Network platforms. If you have a cable subscription that includes the SEC Network you should be able to stream it for free. In addition if you have ESPN Plus you can watch it there. The SEC Network has an alternate channel and this seems like the perfect time to use it. Why they refuse to put anything on there is anyone’s guess.
It’s prediction time as we finish previewing Chattanooga at Kentucky here at Last Word On College Football.
Who Wins On Saturday?
This is the type of game where you get the win and hope no one gets injured. You also look at this contest as one where your reserves should get lots of playing time. As mentioned earlier the Mocs are an experienced bunch and could hang around for a half, especially if Kentucky doesn’t cut down on the turnovers. So far eight FCS teams have defeated FBS schools in 2021 so you can’t take any game lightly. The Cats are too talented and will put the game away in the second half. There’s no line on Saturday’s contest yet but somewhere around a 30 point margin sounds about right.
Thanks for previewing Chattanooga at Kentucky with us at Last Word On College Football. We’ll be back after the game with a full wrap up and also an updated look at our bowl projections. Currently we have Kentucky playing Michigan in the Outback Bowl.