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Opponent Preview: Kentucky’s Defense

Game day is in three days.

Kentucky v Mississippi State Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State football team is on the road this week for a game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Kroger Field. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT.

The Wildcats have struggled in three key defensive categories — pass defense, scoring defense and turnover differential.

Kentucky ranks No. 51 in total passing yards allowed, No. 61 in scoring defense and is tied for last in turnover differential. The Wildcats have allowed 553 total passing yards and 276.50 per game, which ranks them dead last in pass efficiency defense. The defense has also allowed seven passing touchdowns and 13.83 yards per completion. Only 15 schools have a worse yards per completion mark. The defense is also surrendering 35.50 points per game and has a minus-two turnover differential after another week of forcing zero turnovers.

Last week, the Kentucky defense surrendered 320 yards passing and four touchdowns from Ole Miss sophomore quarterback Matt Corral. Corral got the ball into the hands of junior wide receiver Elijah Moore 10 times for 92 yards and a touchdown, while sophomore wide receiver Jonathan Mingo torched Kentucky for 128 yards and two TDs on eight catches.

The Kentucky defense isn’t all bad, though. The passing defense of the Wildcats has been atrocious in two weeks, but the rushing defense has done its job relatively well. Kentucky ranks No. 27 in the nation in that category, allowing 115.0 yards rushing per game. The defense is also tied for No. 1 in the nation with a 0.0% conversion rate on fourth down.

Junior linebackers Jamin Davis and DeAndre Square have anchored the defense with 12 tackles apiece. Davis leads with 10 solo tackles. Davis and senior linebacker Jamar Watson lead the Wildcats with one sack so far this season.

You can catch the game on SEC Network.