After defeating Toledo, Kentucky will take on Eastern Michigan down at Kroger Field this Saturday. The Wildcats are looking to start their season 2-0 for the third straight year.
Last Saturday, the Wildcats got off to a slow start but a strong second half helped them overcome Toledo by a score of 38-24. Quarterback Terry Wilson looked sharp for the Wildcats opener. He threw for 246 yards and completed 19-26 passes. One of the biggest things for Wilson and Wildcats fans is that he had no turnovers.
Moving on to Saturday’s matchup, the Wildcats will look to establish their “three-headed snake” run game featured by A.J Rose, Kavosiey Smoke, and Chris Rodriguez. Smoke, the redshirt freshmen, led the Wildcats last week with 78 yards off seven carries including his 40-yard run for a touchdown.
Not only do the Wildcats have diversity on the ground game, but they also can spread the ball through the air. Wilson showed last week that he can target any receiver on the Kentucky roster. Once the ground game is established, Wilson’s passing game should open up. Having Lynn Bowden line up along with Ahmad Wagner we will allow Wilson to take more chances in the air.
Looking at the other side of the ball, the Wildcats defense is a young one, but one that has a lot of potential. Sophomore Deandre Square was absolutely lethal last week having 11 tackles, one of those for a half-sack and one interception. Square and the rest of the Wildcat defense can be a problem for the Eagles this Saturday if they force them to run the ball.
After 5 straight days of CFB here are the performances that stood out to me. Many more obviously..but wanted to recognize these 5! pic.twitter.com/tQVaJQVGfL
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) September 3, 2019
The Eagles come into Saturday after a 30-23 win against Coastal Carolina. Quarterback Mike Glass had an impressive game throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for one, while also completing 20 out of 22 passes for almost 200 yards.
Eastern Michigan’s @mglassiii had a nearly perfect game, throwing 20-22 (90.9%) with three TD’s in a 30-23 win over Coastal Carolina. His completion percentage was a new Eastern Michigan single-game record in the statistical era! #EMUTOUGH | #MACtion pic.twitter.com/gDOYwAv9pY
— #MACtion (@MACSports) September 2, 2019
Wide receiver Dylan Drummond also had himself a game, finishing with five receptions and two touchdowns. Eastern Michigan could have an advantage in the passing game this weekend, considering the team’s veteran receivers like Drummond and Arthur Jackson will be facing a young secondary.
Eastern Michigan is undersized on the defensive side compared to Kentucky, but their offense is smart enough and can pull off big plays.
The last time these two teams faced off was two years ago. It was a close game, but the Wildcats won the turnover battle and came out with a 20-24 victory. The Wildcats go into Saturday as a 14 point favorite. Still, the Eagles will be ready to battle it out. Over the last two years, the Eagles have upset Rutgers and Purdue both on the road.
The key for the Eagles is to be smart on offense and utilize their passing game. They have a composed dual-threat quarterback in Glass and receivers that can make big plays down the field.
For the Wildcats, the key to winning this game is establishing the run game early and be aggressive on defense. This is the last opportunity for the Wildcats’ defense to gain experience before they enter SEC play.
Kentucky vs. Eastern Michigan will take place on Saturday, September 7th at 7:30 p.m. ET.