Kentucky ground out a 38-24 win over Toledo on opening day in a game that will look way better in December than it did on the day. EMU ground out a 30-23 win over Coastal Carolina on the same day that probably won’t look much better in December than it does now.
By Steve Wright
Key 1 – Clean up the errors
The Toledo game was just straight-up weird. The Wildcats made error after error, yet it somehow felt that the outcome was never in doubt against a quality side. Kentucky making errors was to be expected – the team is simply bedding in too many new players at once because of graduations – but the sense of general calm even though the errors were ongoing is a new feeling within the program.
Good teams win by a decent margin when they aren’t playing well. That is what Kentucky did against the Rockets. Now we have to start to see improvement in the players and the scheme against a team in EMU that is not on Toledo’s level.
Key 2 – Stop Mike Glass III
Glass rushed for over 400 yards and six touchdowns in 2018. Those are not Keenan Reynolds (Navy) or Vince Young level numbers, but they are enough to show that Glass is a threat with his feet. Kentucky has historically struggled against mobile quarterbacks, albeit with many of those quarterbacks being SEC level athletes playing the quarterback position. Mobile quarterbacks are also a big issue for younger players who might not yet be comfortable in the scheme – or with the skillset of their teammates – so it will be important to stop Glass having an impact on the game with his legs.
Key 3 – Defensive effort
Mistakes are fixable and mistakes made at a high tempo are always going to be favored over mistakes made slowly. Kentucky has a very talented front seven if the players reach their potential and this is the type of game where the front seven should be able to work on their chemistry and play well against an offense they can contain. Look for DeAndre Square to again excel after he broke out last week with an 11 tackle and one interception performance against Toledo.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 6:30 PM CT (7:30 PM ET). Watch on the SEC Network.
SEC Football Stories For This Week
|Game||First Looks||3 Keys|
|W. Virginia vs. Missouri||W. Virginia||Mizzou||Preview||Mizzou 38, WVA 7||Stats|
|C. Southern vs. S. Carolina||C. Southern||USC||Preview||USC 72, CSU 10||Stats|
|Tulane vs. Auburn||Tulane||Auburn||Preview||Auburn 24, Tulane 6||Stats|
|N. Mexico St vs. Alabama||NMSU||Bama||Preview||Alabama 62, NMSU 10||Stats|
|USM vs. Mississippi St.||Southern Miss||MSU||Preview||MSU 38, USM 15||Stats|
|Texas A&M vs. Clemson||Clemson||Texas A&M||Preview||Clemson 24, A&M 10||Stats|
|E. Michigan vs. Kentucky||E. Michigan||Kentucky||Preview||UK 38, E Michigan 17||Stats|
|UT Martin vs. Florida||UT Martin||FLA||Preview||Florida 45, UTM 0||Stats|
|BYU vs. Tennessee||BYU||TEN||Preview||BYU 29, TEN 26||Stats|
|Arkansas vs. Ole Miss||OM / ARK||ARK||Preview||Ole Miss 31, Arkansas 17||Stats|
|Murray State vs. Georgia||Murray St||UGA||Preview||UGA 63, Murray St 17||Stats|
|LSU vs. Texas||Texas||LSU||Preview||LSU 45, Texas 38||Stats|
|Vanderbilt vs. Purdue||Purdue||Vandy||Preview||Purdue 42, Vandy 24||Stats|