This weekend, the Kentucky Wildcats return to Lexington on the heels of a monumental win over the Florida Gators in The Swamp.
After taking down the Gators in dramatic trend, Kentucky is now set to host Youngstown State on Saturday for a midday kickoff inside Kroger Field. The sport will be seen on the SEC Network.
Obviously, Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow each have robust ties to the Youngstown space, so it is no shock to see the Penguins invited to Lexington for a Power 5 alternative.
The apparent threat right here for Kentucky is the actual menace of getting a let-down sport after their emotional win in entrance of 90,000 folks simply days in the past in Gainesville.
But the truth that Mark Stoops and his teaching workers are so acquainted with the Youngstown program — I might be very stunned if the Cats aren’t shut to 100% prepared to play on Saturday.
During a radio look on WLAP’s Sunday Morning Sports Talk, Vince Marrow talked about the massive quantity of tickets that he and Coach Stoops had to produce for his or her household and pals. So regardless of the Penguins of Youngstown State coming to Lexington, it will be a homecoming of types for a number of of UK’s workers.
Saturday’s sport may also mark the primary time in a very long time because the Cats have taken the sphere ranked as a high 10 crew in America.
Kentucky is presently ranked tenth within the Coaches Top 25 Poll whereas checking in at ninth within the AP Top 25 Poll.
We’ve all seen the wacky outcomes of school football video games simply two weeks into the season, so the Cats focusing solely on getting two victories earlier than touring to Oxford might be the secret in the event you’re a Kentucky fan.
Youngstown State additionally finds themselves undefeated heading into Week 3 with convincing wins over Duquesne and Dayton.
The Penguins have scored 80 factors on the season whereas solely surrendering 30 factors in whole.
Led by sophomore quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw, the Youngstown State offense has confirmed to be fairly environment friendly via eight quarters of play. While Crenshaw is finishing simply 54% of his passes, he is managed to toss 5 touchdowns whereas tallying zero interceptions. He truly held scholarship affords from Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati, Indiana and Boston College as a highschool recruit earlier than signing with the Penguins.
Senior working again Jaleel McLaughlin has totaled 332 yards and 4 touchdowns on simply 33 carries, which equates to over 10 yards per contact. He’s additionally averaging over 20 yards per catch on three receptions this season, together with one landing.
McLaughlin has scored 22 touchdowns throughout his profession at Youngstown State and can certainly be trying to make an impression towards an SEC program.
The receiving core seems to take a by committee method however does function former Wildcat Bryce Oliver, who’s caught 10 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns thus far this season. He performed at Kentucky from 2018-20 earlier than transferring down to the FCS ranks.
Oliver is one among 5 totally different Penguins who’ve caught a landing move this yr.
We’ll see if the Kentucky protection can decide up the place they left off within the Swamp the place they stole the Gators’ dignity within the second half.
Offensively, Rich Scangarello clearly nonetheless has some kinks to work out along with his unit, however all indicators level to a constructive trajectory towards Florida.
The largest space to hold your eye on would be the offensive line play. With 120 minutes of football to tune up earlier than getting All-Sec caliber working again Chris Rodriquez Jr. again within the fold, it will be necessary for the Big Blue Wall to get again to kind.
Will Levis being sacked little or no, if something within the subsequent two video games can be a really welcome sight for the Big Blue Nation.
Nobody is actually giving Youngstown State a lot of an opportunity on this one. ESPN’s matchup predictor has UK’an opportunity at victory at an awesome 97.7%. But as we have seen earlier than, Kentucky has had some sudden struggles vs. FCS foes, most not too long ago being final yr’s slim escape from Chattanooga.
Hopefully, these previous struggles with FCS groups assist hold this Kentucky crew centered and prepared to ball out for 4 quarters this Saturday.
Game Time: 12:00 pm ET on September 17
Location: Kroger Field — Lexington, Kentucky
TV Channel: SEC Network
Announcers: Dave Neal, Deuce McAllister and Andraya Carter
Live Online Stream: WatchESPN, ESPN+, the ESPN app, and a free trial of fubo.television.
radio: Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro may have the UK radio community name on 6:30 AM, 98.1 FM in Lexington, and on the UK Sports Network.
Replay: WatchESPN and the SEC Network (examine native listings for replay schedule).
Weather: A number of clouds from time to time however largely sunny. High round 81F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph, per Weather.com.
Rosters: UK | YSU
Stats to Know: UK | YSU
Odds: There’s nonetheless no official DraftKings Sportsbook unfold for this sport as of Thursday afternoon, so hold checking DK. ESPN’s matchup predictor offers the Cats a 97.7% likelihood at victory.