Hot or Cold: Kentucky looks to avoid first losing streak of 2014 against No. 1 Mississippi State
What’s the temperature like in Lexington, Ky.? Here’s who’s hot or cold for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Safety Marcus McWilson had the best performance of any Kentucky player. The sophomore recorded a season-best 10 tackles and added the Wildcats’ only turnover on an interception in the fourth quarter. McWilson had plenty of chances to make tackles as LSU broke big plays in open space and threw for 303 yards.
Demarco Robinson led Kentucky with 52 receiving yards on three catches. The senior averaged 17.3 yards per catch, with his longest coming on a 33-yard play in the second quarter. Robinson was one of the few bright spots for Kentucky’s offense that saw little output in a blowout loss.
Patrick Towles threw for 146 yards on 19-of-36 passing. The redshirt didn’t throw for any touchdowns and led an offense that went 5-of-17 on third down. Saturday’s game may have proven that Towles is, at best, a game manager and cannot produce big numbers against top-tier SEC defenses.
Kentucky’s running backs rushed for a combined 71 yards on 27 carries for an average of 2.6 yards per carry among six players. Jojo Kemp, the team’s leading rusher, recorded three yards on four carries and averaged 0.8 yards per carry. Mikel Horton led the Wildcats with 29 yards on five carries.
Kentucky’s status as a rising program. The Wildcats aimed to prove their legitimacy as a contender in the weak SEC East with an upset win on Saturday, despite entering as a major underdog. However, the spread proved to be generous as Kentucky was dominated on both sides of the football. Mark Stoops’ rebuilding process is still ahead of schedule, but the Wildcats may have just been the beneficiaries of several easy matchups early and now enter a difficult stretch of SEC games.