Kentucky faces Arkansas on Saturday in Lexington. Here are your three keys to a Kentucky win over Arkansas.
By Steve Wright
The Kentucky Wildcats look to get their season back on track when they take on visiting Arkansas on Saturday. Kentucky hasn’t won in over a month and this is a chance to right the ship against an opponent that already has a loss to San Jose State on its record this year.
Key 1 – Win the line of scrimmage
It is an obvious key but the line of scrimmage battleground is one that the Wildcats must win against Arkansas. When you are having a bad season, as both these teams are, football is often about getting back to basics. The most basic building block of all is the ability to move the other team backwards at the line of scrimmage, so the Kentucky linemen need to be ready for a fight this Saturday. There won’t be a lot of finesse here, just low pad levels and physical, attacking play. Kentucky needs to open up lanes for the running game and protect the quarterback to get a win against a beatable Arkansas squad.
Key 2 – Use Lynn Bowden
The bye came at a great time for Kentucky. It should have allowed some of those players carrying knocks to get healthy, namely quarterback Sawyer Smith. Smith has more knocks on his body than anyone on the team, so much of the bye week was dedicated to getting Lynn Bowden snaps at quarterback to give the offense a different look. Bowden was a high school quarterback, so even if Smith is good to go it feels like the coaching staff wants to get use out of the wide receiver in his old position this weekend.
Key 3 – Win the turnover battle
The Wildcats are just about a full touchdown favorite here at home against Arkansas. That though is a slim margin by college football standards and one that suggests the two sides will be evenly matched. Arkansas has a stellar running back in Rakeem Boyd and plenty of downfield threats at wide receiver, so Kentucky cannot get sloppy and give the Hogs bonus possessions. The defense needs to be big here, coming up with a takeaway or two to give the Kentucky offense a short field with which to do damage. Turnovers are always crucial, but the focus on them will be huge this week.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 6:30 PM CT (7:30 PM ET). Watch on the SEC Network.
This Week’s SEC Football News and Analysis
|Game||First Looks||3 Keys|
|South Carolina vs. Georgia||USC / UGA||USC / UGA||Preview||USC 20, UGA 17||Stats|
|Arkansas vs. Kentucky||Arky / Kentucky||Arky / Kentucky||Preview||UK 24, Arky 17||Stats|
|Florida vs. LSU||Florida / LSU||LSU / Florida||Preview||LSU 42, Florida 28||Stats|
|Ole Miss vs. Missouri||Ole Miss / Mizzou||Ole Miss / Mizzou||Preview||Mizzou 38, Ole Miss 27||Stats|
|Mississippi State vs. Tennessee||Tennessee / MSU||MSU / Tennessee||Preview||Tennessee 20, MSU 10||Stats|
|Alabama vs. Texas A&M||Bama / A&M||A&M / Bama||Preview||Bama 47, A&M 28||Stats|
|UNLV vs. Vanderbilt||UNLV||Vandy||Preview||UNLV 34, Vandy 10||Stats|