Breakdown: Western Kentucky at Kentucky

Kentucky Sports Report provides a look at matchup between the Wildcats and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

Kentucky Sports Report provides a look at matchup between the Wildcats and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

Western Kentucky at Kentucky

When: Saturday, September 11 – 7:30 pm Eastern
Where: Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, KY

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers' Schedule
9/4 – at Nebraska L 49-10
9/11 – at Kentucky
9/18 – vs. Indiana
9/25 – at South Florida
10/9 – at Florida International
1016 – vs. Louisiana-Monroe
10/23 – at Louisiana-Lafayette
10/30 – vs. North Texas
11/6 – vs. Florida Atlantic
11/13 – at Arkansas State
11/20 – Middle Tennessee
11/27 – at Troy

Statistical Leaders

Western Kentucky Rushing: Bobby Rainey – 30 carries 155 yards 1 TD
Kentucky Rushing: Derrick Locke – 23 carries 104 yards 2 TDs
Western Kentucky Passing: Kawaun Jakes 12-22, 120 yards 1 interception
Kentucky Passing: Mike Hartline 17-26, 217 yards
Western Kentucky Receiving: Bobby Rainey 3 catches 36 yards
Kentucky Receiving: LaRod King 3 catches 57 yards
Western Kentucky Tackles: Jamal Forrest, Thomas Majors 7 tackles
Kentucky Tackles: Danny Trevathan 11 tackles 3.5 for loss
Western Kentucky Sacks: Quanteras Smith 1 sack
Kentucky Sacks: Ricky Lumpkin, Luke McDermott 1 sack
Western Kentucky Interceptions: --
Kentucky Interceptions: Mychal Bailey 1 int.

Team Statistics

Rushing Offense: Kentucky 230 – Western Kentucky 179
Passing Offense: Kentucky 236 – Western Kentucky 120
Total Offense: Kentucky 466 – Western Kentucky 299
Scoring Offense: Kentucky 23 – Western Kentucky 10
Rushing Defense: Kentucky 190 – Western Kentucky 289
Passing Defense: Kentucky 127 – Western Kentucky 247
Total Defense: Kentucky 317 – Western Kentucky 536
Scoring Defense: Kentucky 16 – Western Kentucky 49
Turnover Margin: Kentucky +2 – Western Kentucky 0

Western Kentucky, like Kentucky, has a new head coach with Willie Taggart. Western is a program that is still trying to find itself and will have difficulties competing against most other division one schools. Taggart's game plan will be pretty simple, but executing it will be where the trouble lies.

Western Kentucky will do what they can to run the ball and control the clock with running back Bobby Rainey, who had a solid outing against Nebraska last weekend. Another focus on offense will be to avoid turning the ball over. Kentucky struggled to stop the run on a few plays against Louisville, specifically when Louisville found cut back lanes to run through. Expect Western Kentucky to formulate their plan to attack the middle of Kentucky's defense and also to use some misdirection to get Kentucky off balance and over-pursuing the ball.

On defense, Western Kentucky will struggle to contend with Kentucky's speed and size. They will try to pressure Hartline into making bad throws and hope the defensive backs can capitalize, forcing the Wildcats into turnovers. They will also play Kentucky mostly for the run, trying to make the Wildcats into a one dimensional passing team.

Final Analysis
Kentucky has the advantage in every aspect of this game. Kentucky will likely keep things as vanilla as possible and even in doing that, the Wildcats should be able to impose their will on the Hilltoppers. Expect several backups to get significant reps and the Wildcats should hope to come out of this one injury free with some experience for some of the younger players. Prediction: Kentucky 41 – Western Kentucky 17


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