With their only other victory this season coming against Idaho State in a game in which they allowed 448 yards of offense to the I-AA opponent (almost 100 yards over Idaho State's season average), the Wildcats are looking to catch lightning in a bottle against the more powerful Tigers. If that happens it will likely come from an offense that has been capable of putting points on the board this season.
Averaging 290.7 yards and ninth in the league in scoring at 20.4 points per contest, the Wildcats are led by sophomore quarterback Andre Woodson. A 6-5, 230 athlete who has a good arm and decent speed, Woodson has thrown for 1,040 yards and five touchdowns this season with just four interceptions. His problem has been protection from a spotty offensive line. In seven games he has been sacked 24 times.
Running the ball the duo of Rafael Little and Arliss Beach combine to form a very formidable tandem for the Wildcats. Little (5-11, 195, So.) leads the SEC in all-purpose yards with 158.5 per game and is rushing for 93 per yards contest. He also leads the Wildcats with 20 receptions this year. Beach (6-0, 220, Sr.) has rushed for 284 yards and five touchdowns this season with 227 of those yards coming in the last three games.
Glenn Holt has 75 career receptions for 734 yards and six touchdowns.
At receiver seniors Glenn Holt (6-2, 195) and Scott Mitchell (6-3, 222) are the starters for the Wildcats with tight end Jacob Tamme (6-5, 234, So.) like another receiver on the field when he's in the game. Mitchell has 19 catches for 240 yards and two touchdowns this season while Holt has returned from an injury with 10 catches for just 124 yards. Tamme is third on the team with 13 receptions in 2005.
Up front the Wildcats are young and thin, not a good combination when facing one of the nation's top defenses. Already short-handed, Kentucky lost tackle Fatu Turituri for the season with a knee injury, the 19th surgery for the team since two-a-days. He will be replaced by true freshman James Alexander (6-5, 250) at left tackle, a problem for Brooks and company. Left guard Michael Aitcheson (6-3, 290, Jr.), center Matt McCutchan (6-3, 295, Sr.), right guard Trai Williams (6-4, 280, Jr.) and right tackle Hayden Lane (6-6, 280, Jr.) round out the front five.
Defensively, Kentucky has been terrible this season in all areas. Last in the league in total defense, scoring defense and rushing defense and next to last in pass defense, the Wildcats haven't stopped anyone until recently when they got the break of having Ole Miss and Mississippi State in back-to-back games.
Up front the playmaker of the group is defensive end Durrell White. The 6-3, 245 junior leads all down linemen with 22 tackles, four tackles for a loss and one sack. The other three starters in the 4-3 alignment are left end B. Jay Parsons (6-5, 250, Sr.), tackle Trey Mielsch (6-3, 280, Sr.), and tackle Jason Leger (6-1, 288, So.).
B. Jay Parsons is a junior college transfer who is tied for the team lead with four passes broken up this season.
Surgery number 20 came this week as well when starting middle linebacker Braxton Kelley (6-0, 224, Fr.) went down with a knee injury. A true freshman, he was third on the team with 44 tackles and had one sack. He will be replaced by redshirt freshman Ben McGrath (6-2, 240), which means sophomore Wesley Woodyard (6-1, 200) will have to take up the slack. The leading tackler on the team, the LaGrange, Ga., native has 65 tackles, one sack and on interception this season.
In the secondary preseason All-SEC selection Muhammed Abdullah is the top player for Kentucky. A 6-0, 205-pounder, Abdullah has 53 tackles and two sacks this season with one forced fumble. Strong safety Roger Williams 6-0, 200, So.) has added 39 tackles this year while top cover guy Antoine Huffman (6-0, 175, Sr.) from College Park, Ga., has 23 tackles and four passes broken up.
Kentucky has one of the best in the the SEC in handling the kicking duties. Senior Taylor Begley (6-0, 198) is 4-6 on field goals this season with both misses outside 35 yards. For his career Begley is 28-44 on field goal attempts. Punter Tim Masthay (6-2, 200, Fr.) is averaging 35.4 yards on 34 punts this season with 13 inside the 20-yard line.