After a disappointing start to their season, the Auburn Tigers (3-2) are still looking for their first SEC win of the year. In order get it this week, they’ll have to do so Thursday night in Lexington against Kentucky (4-1).
“I expect us to improve not only (Thursday) night, but I expect us to improve the rest of the season,” said Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn. “We haven’t played what I consider our best football” continued Malzahn. “We have a lot of room to improve.”
The Tigers snapped a two game losing streak their last time out by beating San Jose State 35 to 21 at home. Sophomore running back Peyton Barber carried the team offensively, running for 147 yards and five touchdowns. Barber has been the key to the offense throughout the season, with the team holding off on naming a starting quarterback for Thursday’s game until kickoff.
Both junior quarterback Jeremy Johnson and redshirt freshman Sean White are being considered to start, says Malzahn. “Both of them (have) improved, and that’s what we’re looking for.”
For Kentucky, the team hopes to make the most out of their first home Thursday night game in 76 years. “If we were fortunate enough to get a victory, it would mean a great deal to our program,” said Kentucky Head Coach Mark Stoops. “(We hope to) to continue to build the excitement that we have going on here.”
The Wildcats are currently sitting at second place of the SEC East standings, led by quarterback Patrick Towles and leading receiver Garrett Johnson. Towles has thrown for 1,153 yards so far this season, to go with eight touchdowns and six interceptions. Johnson has caught 19 passes for 278 yards and a touchdown.
The game will take place at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM and can be seen on ESPN.