Big Blue Preview: Kentucky at Mississippi State
Info to Know
|Kentucky at Mississippi State | When: Sat., Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. ET | Where: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, Miss. | TV: SEC Network | Radio: UK Sports Network|
Kentucky is looking to snap a three-game losing streak when it meets its permanent Southeastern Conference West opponent Mississippi State in Starkville, Mississippi, under the lights Saturday. The Wildcats and the Bulldogs have defended their home fields well over the last eight meetings, as the home team has triumphed each game since 2015.
Lucky for Kentucky, quarterback Devin Leary and the offense is coming off their best statistical performance of the season against No. 21/20 Tennessee last weekend, setting season highs in several categories. Meanwhile, D’Eryk Jackson and the UK defense will look for a repeat of its performance last season, when it held MSU to 33 yards rushing in Lexington in 2022.
Cat Scratches: Kentucky Defense Building on Positives Ahead of MSU Game
As Kentucky prepares to travel to Mississippi State on Saturday, UK defensive coordinator Brad White wants his unit to keep things simple. It starts with making a single play.
“It’s about getting up, putting one foot in front of the other, staying confident and playing ball,” White said after Wednesday’s practice. “It’s not just going to happen. You don’t get two wins before you get one. You don’t get two three and outs before you get the first three and out. We just have to get back to playing it drive by drive. And that was a message we talked about at halftime. Did we play as well as we wanted? No. But in each game, what positives can you take. There are positives to build on and that’s what we have to continue to do. Drive by drive, quarter by quarter, half by half, then hopefully it turns into a full game.”
White believes that it’s extremely important for his defense to focus on each particular play. That’s because the margin for error, especially in the difficult Southeastern Conference, is extremely thin…Read More
Kentucky-Mississippi State Series
• This weekend marks the 51st meeting between Kentucky and Mississippi State.
• The all-time series between the two programs, which began in 1914, is tied at 25-25.
• The Wildcats trail the all-time series in Starkville,15-7.
• It’s been an even contest for the past eight seasons, with Kentucky and Mississippi State winning every other game since 2015. Hence, each team has won their home game since 2015.
• The Wildcats won the most recent matchup, 27-17, in Lexington in 2022.
• The last time Kentucky has won at Mississippi State was in 2008, 14-13.
Kentucky-Mississippi State Connections
• Kentucky has one player from the state of Mississippi on its roster in senior defensive lineman Josaih Hayes (Horn Lake).
• Mississippi State has one transfer from Kentucky in sophomore defensive back Ja’kobi Albert.
• In 2022, Albert saw action in 10 games as a freshman at UK. There, he registered three solo tackled and 1.0 tackles for loss.
• He has not seen action at Mississippi State thus far this season.
• Mississippi State also had one coach connected to Kentucky in defensive line coach David Turner.
• Turner served two stints at UK, first as the defensive ends coach in 1993-94, then as the defensive line coach from 2010-12.
A UK Win Would…
• Make UK bowl eligible for a school-record eighth straight season.
• Improve UK to 6-3 overall and 3-3 in the Southeastern Conference.
• Help UK break the tie in the all-time series against MSU, 26-25.
• Help UK improve to a 8-15 record against MSU in Starkville.
• Help UK wins its first game in Starkville since 2008.
• Help UK earn its first consecutive wins against MSU since 2005 and 2006.
• Extend head coach Mark Stoops’ all-time school records for wins to 72 and SEC wins to 35.
By the Numbers
Defensive touchdowns for Kentucky this season, tied for second most in the country
Sacks this season for sophomore Deone Walker, most of the team
Turnovers forced by Kentucky through eight games this season, the most for the Cats since 2017
Tackles for freshman Ty Bryant against Tennessee, in a game where the Lexington native made his first career start
Wins for each team in the series between Kentucky and Mississippi State. Saturday marks the 51st meeting between the teams