Kentucky Three Keys: Auburn


The No. 23 Kentucky Wildcats look to start the season with a bang as they travel to Alabama to face the No. 8 Auburn Tigers in the biggest SEC game of the weekend. Here are the three keys to a Kentucky upset:

By Steve Wright

Start fast

This is a game Kentucky can win and the Wildcats will have a better chance the faster they start. The Tigers have a new offensive coordinator in Chad Morris – who is in after a disastrous spell as the head coach of Arkansas – and he will want to get second-year QB Bo Nix into the game with short, easy passes early on.

The Auburn offensive line is almost totally different from a year ago – they have four new starters on the unit – and the lack of practice and preparation will hurt them. The Kentucky defense has a chance to be next-level good in 2020 and that needs to be shown by establishing a pass rush here.

Run the ball

This will obviously be a different style of offense than the one that Kentucky ran in 2019 as Lynn Bowden is in the NFL and Terry Wilson has recovered from injury. There will certainly be a more developed passing attack as part of this, but Kentucky needs to stick to a simple game plan in this one and that includes finding a way to dominate on the ground. Look for the offensive line to front up to an Auburn defensive front that lost Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson to the NFL.

Believe in the process not the hype

Kentucky is a trendy upset pick here. The Wildcats return way more than the Tigers on both sides of the ball and getting this matchup on the first weekend of the revised schedule plays right into the hands of Mark Stoops and his team. Kentucky can win this if the team executes as expected as a veteran team and doesn’t go into the game believing that the hype surrounding the program will be enough to carry them to a victory.

Saturday‘s game kicks off at 11:00 AM CT (12:00 PM ET). Watch on the SEC Network.

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