On Saturday night at 7:30 PM EST. The 3-2 LSU Tigers travel to Lexington to take on the undefeated and ranked #16 Kentucky Wildcats. LSU will come into Lexington after losing 24-19 to Auburn in Baton Rouge while Kentucky stays home after knocking off #10 Florida 20-13.
Here are my keys to LSU vs Kentucky.
Injuries were always going to be a talking point of this game. Both teams have key players out with injuries.
We will start with LSU. Star cornerback Derek Stingley Jr is out indefinitely after having a procedure done with his foot.
Photo from The Athletic
Next is starting safety Major Burns. Burns suffered a foot injury against Auburn and is out for the time being.
Photo from AP
Those are the guaranteed players out for this week's game. Some other players to keep any eye on as they did not practice on Tuesday afternoon. Those players are star wide receiver Kayshon Boutee, wide receiver Trey Palmer, and defensive tackle Joseph Evans. We will know more by the time game day comes along.
Now we will turn it to the Kentucky side.
I will start with starting wide receiver Josh Ali. Ali got hurt in the Florida game will most likely miss two games.
Photo from UK Athletics
The second person on this list is starting nose guard Marquan McCall. McCall left the Florida game very early on. McCall may be out for 5-6 games which means young players have to step up.
Photo from A Sea of Blue
Both teams will be missing key players so it will not be easy. Sometimes injuries happen and the next man has to stand up and play hard. This will lead to the next topic.
2. Kentucky Offense vs LSU Defense
When we look at this game on paper, we see Kentucky having a balanced offense versing a struggling LSU defense. Kentucky averages 190 yards on the ground and 208 yards through the air. LSU's defense allows 115 yards on the ground while they allow 248 yards in the air. What am i getting from that? I am getting that Kentucky will have to take advantage of LSU's injuries in the secondary.
They allowed more yards than expected with the talent they have fully healthy. LSU will be down Stingley and Burns so that means Wandale Robinson will be getting guarded by Eli Ricks. Just becuase they have injuries does not mean they will just let UK run and pass all over them. Their recruiting is just as good as anyone else's in the country. Well expect Alabama because they always have the best.
That LSU defense will have to play their best game to beat Kentucky. Expect LSU to come out and be ready to play in Lexington. Now we will flip sides of the ball and look at Kentucky's defense and LSU's offense.
3. LSU's offense vs Kentucky's defense
Now we flip to look at LSU's offense. They have a solid quarterback in Max Johnson who has the third most passing yards in the SEC only behind Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers and Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak. Johnson has arguably been the best quarterback in the SEC but if he does not have Boutee or Palmer. He would struggle because he would not have his top two targets. So I am expecting LSU to come out in Lexington and run the ball against a young but powerful front seven of Kentucky. Unless those two are playing and then I expect them to pass the ball out against a experienced secondary.
Freshman Corey Kiner and junior Tyrion Davis-Price will be the running backs in this game. Now let's take a look at the Kentucky defense. The defense is improved last year as Cedrick Dort, DeAndre Square, and J.J Weaver return. Kentucky arguably has the best linebacker core in the country in DeAndre Square, Jacquez Jones, J.J. Weaver, Jordan Wright, and more. The linebacker core will be the group that determines the result of this game.
Let's look at the Florida game. J.J Weaver got a great interception. Jacquez Jones made massive plays during the game and the deflection to seal the upset. DeAndre Square always makes great plays as always. Trevin Wallace returned the blocked field goal for a touchdown. We cannot forget about the beast Josh Paschal. He makes more plays then we expect.
I believe Kentucky will win this game but it will be close because both teams have injuries of key players.
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