GAMEDAY: UK vs. WKU

The wait is over. Kentucky is set to take the field for the first time under new head coach Mark Stoops and the much-anticipated return of the "Air Raid" offense under coordinator Neal Brown.

KENTUCKY vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY
Saturday, 7:15 p.m. ET
LP Field, Nashville, Tenn. (68,798)

KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Record: 0-0, 0-0 SEC (2-10, 0-8 SEC in 2012)
Ranking: Not ranked
Last game: L, 17-37 vs Tennessee (A)
Coach: Mark Stoops (Iowa, 1989)
Record: 0-0 (First season)
at UK: 0-0 (First season)
vs. WKU: 0-0

WESTERN KENTUCKY HILLTOPPERS:
Record: 0-0, 0-0 Sun Belt (7-6, 4-4 SB in 2012)
Ranking: Not ranked
Last game: L, 21-24 vs Central Michigan in Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl
Coach: Bobby Petrino (Carroll College, 1983)
Record: 75-26 (9th season)
at WKU: 0-0 (1st season)
vs. UK: 4-1

Series Record: UK leads 3-1
in Nashville: UK leads 1-0

KENTUCKY SCHEDULE:
8/31 vs. WKU [ESPNews] (Nashville, Tenn.) 7:15
9/7 Miami (Ohio) [Fox South] Noon
9/14 Louisville [ESPN] Noon
9/28 Florida TBA
10/5 at South Carolina TBA
10/12 Alabama TBA
10/24 at Mississippi State [ESPN] 7:30 p.m.
11/2 Alabama State TBA
11/9 Missouri TBA
11/16 at Vanderbilt TBA
11/23 at Georgia TBA
11/30 Tennessee TBA

Note: all times Eastern and subject to change
* SEC games

WESTERN KENTUCKY SCHEDULE:
8/31 vs. Kentucky (Nashville, Tenn.) 7:15 p.m.
9/7 at Tennessee 12:21 p.m.
9/14 at South Alabama 7:30 p.m.
9/21 Morgan State 7 p.m.
9/28 Navy 7 p.m.
10/3 at Louisiana-Monroe 7:30 p.m.
10/15 Louisiana-Lafayette 8 p.m.
10/26 Troy 4 p.m.
11/2 at Georgia State 1 p.m.
11/9 at Army Noon
11/23 at Texas State 7 p.m.
11/30 Arkansas State 4 p.m.

Note: all times Eastern and subject to change

TV • ESPNEWS
Play-by-Play Joe Davis
Analyst David Diaz-Infante
Sideline Kris Budden

RADIO • UK IMG SPORTS NETWORK
Play-by-Play Tom Leach
Analyst Jeff Piecoro
Sideline Dick Gabriel

SATELLITE RADIO
Channel TBA – Sirius
Channel TBA - XM

INTERNET/RADIO • www.UKathletics.com

WILDCAT KEYS TO THE GAME:
When Kentucky has the ball… The Wildcats take the field for the first time in the new "Air Raid" offense that Neal Brown originally learned under Hal Mumme and Tony Franklin during his time as a receiver at UK. The system isn't nearly as pass-heavy as it was under Mumme, but UK fans will still be thrilled to see the ball in the air a lot Saturday. They'll also see a breakneck pace that the UK staff hopes will wear down the Hilltopper defense as the game unfolds. The big question remains: who will be throwing most of those passes, Jalen Whitlow or Maxwell Smith? Kentucky has kept the starter a secret to this point, although both have reportedly played well in fall camp. Whitlow is our best bet for getting the most snaps in this game, thanks to his ability to run, either by design or when a play breaks down.

When Western Kentucky has the ball… UK fans are extremely familiar with the potent Bobby Petrino offense, but what it will look like at WKU in contrast to previous stops at Louisville and Arkansas remains something of a mystery. The Hilltoppers have a dynamic running back in Antonio Andrews (6-0, 219, Sr) who is coming off a season which saw him rush for 1,728 yards and 11 touchdowns. He'll be priority No. 1 for a new-look UK defense that expects to be strong up front with senior defensive tackles Donte Rumph and Mister Cobble and defensive end Alvin "Bud" Dupree and Za'Darius Smith. Petrino will likely toss the ball around as much as Brown, so getting pressure on WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty will be a big key, especially with mixed reviews coming out of UK camp on its secondary. Keep an eye on the Hilltopper tight ends, too. The WKU boss has made a living off finding mismatches with that position group, especially against in past meetings with UK, and the Cats have some question marks at outside linebacker.

MILESTONE WATCH:

None of UK's receivers who will play in Saturday's game have ever caught a touchdown pass at the college level… UK running back Raymond Sanders needs only 42 rushing yards to tie Shawn Donigan for 28th on the Wildcaats' all-time list… UK running back Jonathan George needs 263 yards to become the 34th player in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a career… UK defensive end Alvin "Bud" Dupree has nine career sacks. With eight more, he'll move into fourth place in school history.

NOTES:
• Mark Stoops will coach his first game at UK. He is the 37th head coach in program history.

• UK begins its 123rd season of intercollegiate football.

• The Wildcats are 83-34-5 (.701) in season-openers, having won five of their last six.

• This marks the sixth consecutive season that UK has opened the schedule away from home. It's the second time during that span that the Wildcats have played WKU at LP Field in Nashville.

• The current four-year series contract between UK and WKU ends on Saturday.


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