Refreshed Wildcats Travel to Mississippi State

After an open date, Kentucky returns to action Saturday at Mississippi State. Game time is 7 p.m. EDT and it will air on SEC Network and the UK Sports Network.

Coming off the first loss of the season, 30-13 at No. 1 Georgia on Oct. 16, the Wildcats seek to return to winning ways. UK hopes to break a streak of six straight games in this series in which the home team has won the game.

Offensively, the Wildcats have been guided by quarterback Will Levis, who is completing 67.2 percent of his passes for 1,326 yards and 13 touchdowns. Levis’ top target has been Wan’Dale Robinson, who is among the leading receivers in the Southeastern Conference with 49 catches for 566 yards and five TDs. The ground game has been paced by Christopher Rodriguez Jr., who has rushed for 775 yards and five scores, and he leads the league in rushing with 110.7 yards per game.

The Kentucky defense ranks 23rd nationally in scoring defense and total defense, but will be challenged by a Mississippi State offense that leads the SEC in passing yardage at 374.7 yards per game. Linebackers DeAndre Square and Jacquez Jones lead the team in tackles, while safety Yusuf Corker and defensive end Josh Paschal are among the SEC leaders in pass breakups and tackles for loss, respectively.

Kentucky at Mississippi State
Sat., Oct. 30 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Davis Wade Stadium
Starkville, Miss.
Game Notes: UK | MSU
Digital Gameday Program
Gameday App

TV: SEC Network
Radio: UK Sports Network
Live Stats

UK Team Stats MSU
6-1 Record 4-3
4-1 Conference Record 2-2
28.4 Scoring/game 27.6
387.7 Total offense/game 423.4
190.9 Rushing yards/game 48.7
196.9 Passing yards/game 374.7
16.9 Kickoff returns (avg) 29.5
3.8 Punt returns (avg) 4.8
45.3 Punting (avg) 41.0
31:45 Time of possession/game 34:15
45.7% Third down conversion 47.4%
50.0% Fourth down conversion 50.0%
19.3 Points allowed/game 25.7
320.9 Total yards allowed/game 327.0
119.0 Rush yards allowed/game 92.9
196.9 Pass yards allowed/game 234.1

Cat Scratches: No. 12 Kentucky Hoping for Better Results in Starkville

Halloween is Sunday but Kentucky football will head into its “House of Horrors”, at least recently, one day prior.

Kentucky heads to Starkville, Mississippi to face Mississippi State on Saturday night. Davis Wade Stadium has not been kind to the Cats, especially during the Mark Stoops Era in Lexington.

The Cats have not won in Starkville under Stoops, falling in all four chances under the UK head coach. In 2013, MSU won 28-22. The 2015 game, when Dak Prescott accounted for six touchdowns, was a 42-16 Bulldog victory. The Cats also lost in Starkville in 2017 (45-7) and 2019 (28-13).

In fact, the last time Kentucky won in Starkville was 2008. In that game, Randall Cobb rushed for a touchdown and passed for another as UK won 14-13 via a blocked extra point in the fourth quarter.

Stoops knows that the challenge is not only the Bulldogs, but their home crowd…Read More

Cats in the National Polls

• Kentucky enters this week No. 12 in The Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls.
• Kentucky entered the AP Top 25 on Oct. 3, coming in at No. 16, advancing to No. 11 after the win over LSU.
• It is the highest AP ranking for UK since Oct. 28, 2018, when the Cats were No. 11 after a 7-1 start.
• The Cats also have been as high as No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, their highest ranking since ending the 2018 season at No. 11.
• UK also is currently 13th in the Football Writers Association of America/National Football Foundation “Super 16” poll.

Series vs. Mississippi State

• The series is tied at 24; Mississippi State leads 14-7 in Starkville.
• UK looks for its first win in Starkville since defeating the Bulldogs 14-13 in 2008.
• Mississippi State is UK’s permanent SEC Western Division opponent.
• The teams first met in 1914, a 19-13 Kentucky victory.
• After playing from 1914-17 the teams did not meet again until 1944.
• They have met every year since 1990 with the Bulldogs holding a 19-12 edge during that time.
• The teams have split the last six meetings dating to 2015 with each team holding serve on its home field.
• In 2019, the Cats yielded an early pick-six and never fully recovered in their first road game of the season. MSU won 28-13 in Starkville.
• Last season, the Cats did not allow an offensive point in a 24-2 victory that saw the boys in blue intercept six passes at Kroger Field.
• Biggest UK win: 28 (42-14) in 1973 in Jackson, Miss.
• Biggest Mississippi State win: 40 (47-7) in 1994 in Lexington
• Games decided by 7 points or less: Kentucky leads 10-7

A UK Win Would…

• Be Kentucky’s first win in Starkville since 2008, snapping a five-game losing streak at MSU.
• Give the Cats back-to-back wins over Mississippi State for the first time since 2005-06.
• Move UK to 5-1 in SEC play and clinch a winning conference record for the second time under head coach Mark Stoops (2018). It would be the second winning SEC record for UK since the 1977 team finished 6-0 in league play.
• Clinch at least a tie for second place in the 2021 SEC Eastern Division standings.
• Give the Cats nine wins in the past 10 games.
• Give Stoops 30 SEC victories at UK, extending his school record.
• Give Stoops 56 career victories at UK, putting him just four wins shy of tying Paul “Bear” Bryant for the school’s all-time winning coach.

Kentucky-Mississippi State Connections

• Kentucky has two players from state of Mississippi: LS Cade Degraw (Lake Cormorant) and DL Josaih Hayes (Horn Lake).
• Mississippi State does not have a player on its roster from Kentucky.
• Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Kentucky during the 1997 and 1998 seasons under Hal Mumme.
• Leach helped mold former UK star quarterback Tim Couch into a Heisman Trophy finalist and No. 1 overall NFL draft pick.

Last Meeting vs. Mississippi State

• Kentucky defeated Mississippi State, 24-2, in Lexington on Oct. 10, 2020.
• The Cats did not allow the Bulldogs’ offense to score. Mississippi State’s only points came on a safety.
• UK intercepted six passes in the victory, four off K.J. Costello and two off Will Rogers. Six different Wildcats picked off a pass.
• The six INTs were the second-most in school history and most since grabbing seven vs. Florida in 1993.
• The interceptions helped offset a 31-play advantage for the Bulldogs, who held the ball for more than 35 minutes of game time.
• UK linebacker Jordan Wright sealed the win when he returned an interception eight yards for a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.
• It was the first time the Wildcats held an opponent without a touchdown or field goal in 11 years and the first time since 1996 they did not yield a TD or field goal to an SEC opponent (25-0 win vs. Vanderbilt).


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