No. 16 Kentucky Upset No. 20 Florida last week sent shockwaves across the SEC and the college football world. The Wildcats used a stifling defense and an atmosphere clearly too boisterous for the visiting Gators. Meanwhile, quarterback Will Levis has proven to be more than effective for a team that has a lot of guns in skill positions around him.
The chance to cause a bigger stir won’t be available on Saturday, however, because the Wildcats are a favorite over former SEC West Power’s LSU.
The Tigers are coming off a home loss to Auburn for the first time since 1999 and are in an inescapable situation if they hope to stay in the SEC West race. A road victory in what will be a hostile crowd at Kroger Field could be the catalyst for their return to SEC glory.
Let’s break down the match and make choices directly and against the spread.
LSU vs. Kentucky: Need to Know
LSU must start the ground game: The Tigers didn’t even bother trying to set the tone on the pitch against Auburn, a common theme this season. They rank last in the conference in rushing yards per attempt at 2.58, which puts them at 126th nationally. I don’t care how dysfunctional the LSU program is … it should have more than enough talent to at least be functional in the rushed game. That needs to change, but is that possible against a Kentucky team that is as fundamentally sound on the defensive end of the ball as any team in the country?
Lévis must ensure the balance: The Wildcats only gained 224 total yards against Florida, including 87 in the air. The offense was essentially stuck in neutral, and the Gators’ 15 penalties helped them surprise. It’s up to Levis to be efficient enough in the air to prevent a talented Tigers defense from building up against the run and forcing the Wildcats out of their comfort zone. He doesn’t need to throw 300 yards. He may not even have to cross the 200-yard mark. But it will be up to Lévis to do clutch throws to keep the chains moving.
Is Ed Orgeron’s seat heating up? : The natives are restless in Baton Rouge, as the Tigers haven’t been so competitive since winning the national title after the 2019 season. Does that put Orgeron in the hot seat? We’ve seen Gene Chizik get fired two years after leading Auburn to the national title, so it’s a valid question to ask if this LSU season continues to deteriorate. The loss to Auburn stung, but it could look more and more acceptable as the season progresses. A loss to Kentucky – even a very good Kentucky team – won’t suit LSU decision-makers. A loss wouldn’t be the straw that broke the camel’s back, but it could put Orgeron in a position where he has to win on his fingertips in order to prove he deserves the job.
How to watch LSU vs. Kentucky live
Dated: Saturday October 9 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Site: Kroger Field – Lexington, Kentucky
TV: SEC Network | Direct: fuboTV (Try for free)
LSU vs Kentucky prediction, pick
Featured Game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. LSU Tigers
LSU are a broken schedule and Kentucky will break some more glass this weekend with a big win in front of the home crowd. The Wildcats’ pass defense allows just 5.5 yards per attempt, and that’s against teams that are actually trying to run. LSU is one-dimensional by necessity, so it will easily avoid big wins in the air. That will be more than enough to give the Wildcats an easy win and some cover. Prediction: Kentucky (-3)
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