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Opponent Preview: Kentucky’s Offense

Game day is in two days!

Kentucky v Mississippi State Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Bulldogs will be in Lexington, Kentucky, this week for a game against the winless Kentucky Wildcats. The game is set for Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT at Kroger Field.

The Wildcats boast an impressive offense so far in the 2020 season as they rank No. 18 in the nation in total offense and No. 5 in rushing offense. The Kentucky offense also ranks No. 2 in the nation in time of possession, averaging 36 minutes per game on offense, which is quite the opposite of Mississippi State’s high-powered Air Raid offense. The slow pace of the Wildcat offense has resulted in the 51st-ranked scoring offense at 27.0 points per game. Only six teams have scored fewer points in the Southeastern Conference.

Statistically, the Wildcats have done many things right in outgaining Auburn 384-324 and Ole Miss 559-459. In two games, the Wildcats have accumulated 553 yards rushing on 96 carries. In Last week’s 42-41 loss to Ole Miss, Kentucky accumulated 408 yards on the ground.

However, turnovers have hampered the success of the Wildcat offense. They rank No. 58 in the nation in fumbles lost with three in two games.

Senior quarterback Terry Wilson leads the team in rushing with 171 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries. He has also completed 38 of 55 passes for 390 yards. He has thrown one touchdown and one interception. Kentucky ranks No. 47 in team passing efficiency on the year.

Wilson’s favorite target is senior wide receiver Josh Ali. He is third in the conference with eight receptions per game and ninth in yardage at 93.0.

Senior running back Asim Rose has rushed for 148 yards and one TD on 22 carries, while redshirt sophomore running backs Chris Rodriguez Jr. and Kavosiey Smoke have added 146 yards and 91 yards, respectively. The Wildcats will be without Smoke for a couple weeks after he broke a rib during Saturday’s loss to Ole Miss.

Rose’s career-high performance might be overshadowed by something else, though, On the Wildcats’ first play from scrimmage last week, Rose sprinted around the left end and was headed to the end zone. But instead of finishing the run through the end zone, Rose threw up the ‘peace’ sign around the Ole Miss 20-yard line and was caught from behind at the Ole Miss 3-yard line. He may have been caught regardless, but it was a bad look for Kentucky either way. And on the next play, he fumbled the ball to Ole Miss.

Tune in to the game at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday on SEC Network.