Josh Pate previews big Week 5 contest between Kentucky and Ole Miss
Josh Pate provided his insight on a key SEC cross-divisional matchup in Week 5, as Kentucky and Ole Miss meet at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday.
Kentucky will have Chris Rodriguez Jr. back after the talented running back served a suspension for the first 4 games of the season. The Wildcats’ rush game has struggled in his absence as the team ranks 2nd-last in the conference in run yards per game (81.5) while averaging an SEC-worst 2.42 yards a carry. That’s on top of them having scored just 3 times on the ground. Will Levis, though, has gone over 300 yards passing in all but 1 game thus far, throwing 10 touchdowns.
“Kentucky, if they don’t improve radically this week, and therefore if they are in a lot of obvious passing downs, it just sets itself up for those pressure situations for Will Levis to be effective,” the 247Sports host said during his “Late Kick Live” program.
Meanwhile, Ole Miss enters Saturday with the league’s best rushing offense (280.75 ypg) and is tied for the conference lead in rushing touchdowns with 15. Jaxson Dart, declared by Lane Kiffin as the team’s starting quarterback after a victory against Tulsa, has shown plenty of promise but still has plenty of room to grow.
That said, Pate pointed out what has been a relatively easy series of matchups for both teams, or, in Kentucky’s case, outside of Florida in Week 2, adding that both teams “sleepwalked” in their previous contests. He noted that he was looking to see how both quarterbacks came out in the game, while curious about how the Rebels’ running game will fare against the Wildcats’ defense.
“There are some questions on my side about Ole Miss and their ability to take over the game on the ground, and if they can’t, I know those quarterbacks have it in them to play a complete game, but man, I also know Kentucky’s defense has it in them to change a game,” he added.