It’s Saturday Morning in Death Valley and here come your Number One LSU Fighting Tigers.
There is something intrinsically wrong with the above statement. With LSU’s success, Tiger fans have grown accustomed to Saturday afternoon games. At least by the 4th quarter, the announcer, Dan Borne, can whip the crowd up by announcing that the sun is setting and it is officially night time in Tiger Stadium. This 11:20 kick-off nonsense doesn’t even allow for that. The fans might be a little sleepy to start, but once the Golden Band from Tigerland wakes them up with Pregame, things should get a little rowdy. Apparently, Joker Phillips doesn’t consider the early time an advantage either. During Wednesday’s SEC conference call, Phillips commented that he doesn’t consider it any type of advantage to play a team like LSU.
In regards to the actual game, recent history isn’t favoring the Wildcats. Yes, in 2007, the Wildcats stunned a #1 Tigers team that apparently took their trip to Lexington lightly. That won’t be happening this time. UK hasn’t scored in Tiger Stadium in its last two visits. That streak might continue this weekend. Les Miles and his team aren’t making too much of a fuss over their lofty ranking are taking this weekend to improve on their performance against West Virginia.
It is that improvement that should have the Wildcats worried. Possibly the worst thing that could happen for Kentucky is that the LSU defense looked pretty human last week. The secondary is looking to erase the memories of last week’s performance and reassert itself as the best in the nation. LSU will be going up against the SEC’s worst scoring offense (17 PPG). The passing game is very weak and one receiver, La’Rod King has every passing score except one. It shouldn’t be too hard for the LSU secondary to take away Morgan Newton’s options. A defensive line that was maligned last week should be bulls on parade again this weekend. Kentucky has given up 16 sacks this year. Being 91st ranked rushing unit also won’t help this weekend. Kentucky just doesn’t have the firepower to put the Tigers on their heels. Phillips seems to be expecting this. Earlier this week he commented on the LSU team. “..this team is really big up front and tries to bloody your nose. That’s the way football is played, and they do a good job of it.”
On the other hand, the Wildcat defense is only giving up 22 PPG. However, that stat was padded by Western Kentucky and Central Michigan being on the schedule. Against Florida and Louisville, Kentucky gave up 36PPG. Kentucky is also allowing 203 YPG rushing and 5.1 per attempt. Spencer Ware and Michael Ford could both have huge days on Saturday. Which could be needed as Kentucky is fairly respectable against the pass. The Wildcats are holding opponents to under 163 YPG passing and have 7 INTs for the year. Jarrett Lee may have to grind to keep the Wildcats honest.
Speaking of honest, this just isn’t a very good match-up. There is a very good reason that the Tigers are 31 point favorites. Kentucky’s best shot is to catch the Tigers taking a nap while looking ahead to Florida. That won’t be happening this season. Les Miles’ team is full of desire to dominate every opponent, regardless of ranking.
LSU 41, UK 0