The Kentucky Wildcats are one win from bowl eligibility after their rushing clinic against Vanderbilt. Next up is a date with UT Martin.
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys:
Run the ball (again)
It is no secret how Kentucky is playing football this season. With Lynn Bowden in the backfield the Wildcats are going to run the ball and they are daring opponents to stop it. Vanderbilt simply couldn’t hold up to the Kentucky rushing onslaught, giving up over 400 yards on the ground as Kentucky came from behind to win. The 127 passing yards from Bowden were a start, but it will still be all about the run.
UT Martin is not going to be the easiest team to run on, though they were ripped apart by Florida early in the year. The key here will be execution, with Kentucky knowing they will be facing eight in the box on a play by play basis.
Ride the defense
The Kentucky defense has been excellent this season, especially given some of the issues the offense has had in given them limited rest when the team was transitioning from Terry Wilson to Bowden. This will be another game where the D is able to dominate, with the Skyhawks not having the running game to cause Kentucky issues on defense. The offense shouldn’t have to do anything fancy as the D will choke the UT Martin offense into a low score.
The key to a ball control offense and strong defense is always going to be field position. The Wildcats are simply better than the Skyhawks – as they should be when facing an FCS school – so the best way to guarantee a win is by not giving the ball away. A heavy run game can lead to fumble issues, with the Wildcats coughing up possession in this way 10 times on the season. Don’t give UT Martin a chance by adding to that number on Saturday.