UK FOOTBALL | 3 keys and a prediction to Kentucky vs. Auburn
10/15/2015 01:35 PM
LEXINGTON —- Football is finally back!
After spending last week resting with a bye, the Kentucky Wildcats (4-1, 2-1 SEC) return to action tonight in a primetime showdown with the Auburn Tigers (3-2, 0-2 SEC) in UK’s first-ever Thursday night game at Commonwealth Stadium.
Despite sporting better overall and conference records, the Wildcats enter the game two-point underdogs to the Tigers, attempting to win only their second game against Auburn in 18 tries.
Here are three keys to Kentucky pulling the “upset” at home later tonight:
1. Patrick Towles Steps Up
After a less-than-stellar start to the season, Patrick Towles hit his stride in Kentucky’s last two games, completing 74% of his passes for 578 yards, five touchdowns, and only two interceptions against No. 25 Missouri and Eastern Kentucky.
Auburn’s defense is mediocre defending the pass, allowing 202 yards per game (51st in FBS) through the first five weeks of the season — including 224 to Mountain West cellar dweller San Jose State in its last game — and has only managed four interceptions this season (76th in FBS).
If Towles can protect the ball and be accurate over the top, it could be another big night for the UK signal caller.
2. Boom Makes Big Plays
Despite sitting out Kentucky’s last game against Eastern Kentucky with a “personal issue,” sophomore running back Stanley “Boom” Williams still leads the Wildcats in both rushing yards (351) and rushing average (7.3) through five games.
Backfield teammate Jojo Kemp struggled to find open lanes against EKU in his first start of the season and lacks the open-field acceleration and big-play capability Williams brings the UK’s offense.
Auburn’s defense is allowing a whopping 210 rushing yards per game (108th in FBS), an enticing opposition for Boom and the Kentucky ground game.
3. Stay Disciplined
Pretty self-explanatory: No turnovers, no penalties, and no dumb mistakes.
Auburn may be down this year, but the Tigers were ranked No. 6 in the nation to begin the season for a reason.
UK needs to finally take an early lead, limit mistakes, and end the night with an impressive victory in front of a primetime national audience.
- SCORE PREDICTION: KENTUCKY 24, AUBURN 21