Dorian Baker (above) is shown in action for Kentucky in last week's win over Eastern Kentucky.
The Wildcats, who are off this week as are the Tigers, will bring a 4-1 (2-1 SEC) record into their Thursday SEC football game vs. an Auburn team that is 3-2 (0-2 SEC).
While Auburn was defeating San Jose State last weekend, 35-21 for Homecoming, the Wildcats had a tougher than expected challenge vs. Eastern Kentucky, their FCS (Division I-AA) neighbor.
Dorian Baker’s touchdown catch with 52 seconds tied the game to set up overtime and the sophomore receiver caught the game-winning pass in overtime as Kentucky prevailed 34-27.
“The first thing that jumps out at you is the skill outside and playing those guys last year they were a little younger,” said Muschamp, who mentioned Baker as one of the players the Tigers will have to contend with in Lexington. “They have really done a nice job outside,” Muschamp added.
Will Muschamp coaches Auburn's linebackers in addition to coordinating the defense.
The Auburn coach said that Stanley “Boom” Williams, another sophomore, is a Wildcat to watch. He leads UK?in rushing with 341 yards at 7.3 yards per carry.
Baker is leading the team in receiving yards with 278 on 19 catches. Muschamp pointed out that running back Jo-Jo Kemp is also a threat as is quarterback Patrick Towles, a 6-5, 241 junior who rallied the Wildcats to victory vs. Eastern Kentucky. “They have got a stable of guys,” he said.
Patrick Towles is an experienced quarterback for the Wildcats.
“I think Towles is playing at a very high level, a guy that can hurt you with his legs,” Muschamp pointed out. “He can throw it well and they have created a little more tempo maybe than they have been before, a little more two-back, some three-back that they have added to their package and things that they do.”
Towles has completed 96-156 passes for 1,153 yards with eight touchdowns and six interceptions through five games. Last year he rushed for 303 yards and six scores. This year he has three rushing scores, but has netted just one yard due to 119 yards in losses on 40 carries.
Mark Stoops is in his third year as head coach at Kentucky, where he has a record of 11-18.
“I think Mark and his staff have done a really good job of athletically improving their football team, especially the skill positions,” said Muschamp, who faced the Wildcats the past two seasons as head coach at Florida.
Kickoff for the game is set for shortly after 6 p.m. CDT and the contest will be televised on ESPN. Auburn leads the series 25-6-1 and has a 12-4 record in games played at Lexington.