1. There’s a weird vibe around Baton Rouge about this game this week – not a lot of energy despite LSU rising to No. 1 in the AP poll. Do you get the sense the Kentucky players know that and are using it for motivation?
I don't know if they know much of anything about the vibe at LSU right now, but I know there's always a possibility for a letdown after a huge road win like the one LSU had at West Virginia. I'm sure the Wildcats are aware of that. But the question is can Kentucky take advantage of that. They definitely want to prove that they are a team that can make some noise, but that motivation will have to come from within.
2. Why have the Wildcats struggled so much offensively most of this season? Is there a glimmer of hope against an LSU defense coming off a rocky performance at West Virginia?
Kentucky's biggest issue this year has been with the offensive line. They have had little continuity because of multiple nagging injuries. It has helped develop the depth a little, but they haven't been able to protect the quarterback. And additionally the wide receivers have dropped a lot passes early on. At least three touchdown passes have been dropped this season already. That would have done wonders for a struggling Kentucky offense.
He has done a decent job of getting UK into the right plays and putting the ball in the right place. Unfortunately it goes back, once again, to the offensive line. They can't protect him and he's not getting rid of the ball effectively. Cobb and Locke were dynamic players for Kentucky, but I can honestly say Kentucky misses Mike Hartline just as much at this point.
4. What does the Kentucky defense do well this season and what must the ’Cats do to keep the Tigers offense in check?
Kentucky's defense does a pretty good job getting pressure on the quarterback and forcing bad throws. But when the quarterback has time, he's been able to pick apart the secondary. The front seven has been very aggressive and physical this year. For the most part the team has once again improved on their tackling. LSU is a difficult team to defense due to the overall power. Kentucky will have to play eight in the box and hope that the Tigers can't beat them through the air.
5. LSU’s coaches have made a point of showing video of the 2007 game in Lexington to the Tigers this week as motivation. How can the Wildcats draw from that game as well?
LSU was probably still a pretty big favorite over Kentucky in Lexington in 2007. Kentucky can look at that and know that if that team could do it, there's no reason why they should back down to LSU. With the game being in Baton Rouge, it's going to be an entirely different experience for all of the players. So they have to be prepared and look at how that team fought no matter what the circumstances were during that game.
6. How do see this game playing out?
Can't say I'm overwhelmingly positive about Kentucky's chances. Turnovers have plagued the Wildcats all season and LSU excels at forcing turnovers. If Kentucky can control the clock somehow and limit turnovers, they have a chance. But my gut says Baton Rouge will be a little too much for the Wildcats. LSU 56, Kentucky 14