Scout.com/Jeff Drummond

Breaking down the Kentucky Wildcats' Senior Day matchup against Austin Peay

Everything you need to know about Kentucky's "Senior Day" matchup with Austin Peay on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium. The Wildcats will attempt to clinch bowl eligibility for the first time under head coach Mark Stoops.

KENTUCKY vs. AUSTIN PEAY

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 19, 4:30 ET

WHERE: Commonwealth Stadium (61,000) Lexington, Ky.

TV: SEC Network

RECORDS: Kentucky (5-5, 4-4 SEC); Austin Peay (0-10, 0-8 OVC)

COACHES: Kentucky - Mark Stoops (4th year, 17-29, 0-0 vs APSU); Austin Peay - Will Healy (1st year, 0-10, 0-0 vs UK)

RANKINGS: Kentucky NR; Austin Peay NR

LAST GAME: Kentucky lost 49-36 last week at Tennessee; Austin Peay lost 67-30 last week at home against Eastern Kentucky.

LINE: Kentucky -46

SERIES RECORD:  First Meeting

BIG BLUE KEYS TO THE GAME:

When Kentucky has the ball… The Cats are expected to have an opportunity to get a lot of players involved with te offense today as Austin Peay enters the game next to last out of 122 FCS teams in total defense at 516.3 yards allowed per game and last in scoring defense at 46.8 points per game. Look for UK to build a nice lead with its ground attack, leaning heavily on Boom Williams (1,025 yards), Benny Snell (854 yards, 10 TD) and Jojo Kemp (235) early in the game. They've helped the Cats rank No. 3 in the SEC and No. 17 nationally at 238.5 rushing yards per game. With a big lead in hand, Eddie Gran's unit will have a chance to do a couple of things: (1) Get some reps for younger players who haven't seen the field that much this season; and (2) Refine the passing game with starter Stephen Johnson. Today is a great opportunity to work on the passing game in a low-risk scenario. The Austin Peay defense is led by sophomore linebacker Gunnar Scholato (No. 36, 6-2, 230,  120 tackles, 7 TFL)

When Austin Peay has the ball…  The Govs are better on the offensive side of the ball, averaging a respectable 375.8 yards and 24.6 points per game. Kentucky will be challenged by a balanced attack that has played much better since freshman JaVaughn Craig (No. 13, 6-2, 180) moved under center. He's a dual-threat quarterback who ran for a pair of touchdowns last week against EKU. In the Govs' previous game, he passed for 322 and give touchdowns while rushing for 144 yards against Tennessee State. He's the style of quarterback that typically gives UK headaches. If the Cats are able to build a big lead, look for D.J. Eliot & Co. to take an opportunity to get some young talent like defensive lineman T.J. Carter, middle linebacker Kash Daniel and cornerback Jordan Griffin some heavy reps.

MILESTONE WATCH:

Kentucky's Boom Williams and Benny Snell have 1,879 combined rushing yards this season. The duo needs just one yard to break the school record for combined rushing yards by a pair of players, set by between Sonny Collins and Mike Fanuzzi in 1974

ON THIS DAY IN UK HISTORY:

Kentucky defeated Tennessee 21-17 on Nov. 19, 1977, at Commonwealth Stadium. The win capped a 10-1 season and an undefeated run through the SEC for the Cats.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2d2PqKZwhu8

NOTES:

  • Kentucky will be honoring 14 players during "Senior Day" festivities before the game. The seniors are: fullback Will Collins, tight end/fullback Tanner Fink, cornerback J.D. Harmon, running back Jojo Kemp, defensive back Blake McClain, safety Marcus McWilson, defensive end Courtney Miggins, center Zach Myers, wide receiver Ryan Timmons, center Jon Toth, and defensive tackle Zane Williams. Juniors Dylan Greenberg, Alex Montgomery and Ramsey Meyers will also be honored as they have decided to forgo their senior seasons.
  • The Cats are 8-0 all-time against teams from the Ohio Valley Conference.
  • Snell and Williams each have four 100-yard rushing games so far this season. It's the first time in school history that UK has had two players with four 100-yard games in the same season. 
  • The Cats are coming off a 443-yard rushing day against Tennessee, the second-highest figure in school history and just missing a new team record by four yards.
  • UK safety Mike Edwards and linebacker Jordan Jones have been a menace to opposing offenses, registering 85 and 82 tackles, respectively, to rank third and fourth among all SEC defenders in tackles per game

AW PREDICTION:

Kentucky 66, Austin Peay 16


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