Kentucky wins tune-up game over Murray State

Sets up huge clash versus Mississippi State

Photo caption: Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson rushes toward the end zone for a touchdown in the first quarter of a 48-10 win over Murray State Saturday at Kroger Field. (Kentucky Today/Tammie Brown)

The Kentucky Wildcat football team kept up its hot start in front of an announced crowd of around 48,000 Saturday afternoon. The 48-10 win over Murray State pushed the Cats out to 3-0 and set up a showdown with a powerful Mississippi State team next Saturday at Kroger Field. Before taking a look at that SEC contest here is a rundown of the victory.

In what was a scorcher of a September afternoon the Cats offense started similarly behind the feet of Terry Davis. Touchdown Terry’s 47 yard run started the proceedings in the first quarter and gave hope that this would be a contest over within the first half. Penalties, average line play, and dropped passes would keep that from coming to fruition however as the Cats entered the half with a 17-3 lead.

The second half would prove to be a statement for the Wildcats. Behind some big time runs and a flea flicker Kentucky would score 31 straight. A last minute touchdown by Murray would close the scoring at 48-10. This was a game in which the team needed to come out and dominate, showing that there was no let up from the Florida game. Kentucky teams of the past would falter here. This team did not. They did what they were supposed to do and in the process showed balance in the passing and running game. At one point in the 3rd quarter the Wildcat offense had 164 passing yards and 163 on the ground. That will cause a few headaches for future Wildcat opponents. The defense also played stout. Not giving up a touchdown until well into the depth chart late in the 4th quarter. That’s what high level SEC programs do to an overmatched opponent. This all sets up the showdown with Mississippi State.

The Bottom Line

One of the great things about college football is that it is in effect a year long playoff. If you win a big game, it earns you the right to play another big game. The win over Florida has made this Mississippi State game an opportunity for the Wildcats to get the interest of the rest of the country. The issue has been whenever Kentucky has had this type of game (vs Auburn in 2015, Florida last season) they have stumbled. To win this game in front of what’s sure to be a raucous crowd and an opponent who boasts high NFL Draft Picks all over their defense would be a monumental step forward for the program. It would also create another opportunity for a huge win against South Carolina the next week. I’ve been a Kentucky football fan a long time. This has taught me cautious optimism tempered with dread of when the “bad thing” will happen. A win against Mississippi State next Saturday would go a long way in convincing me this is the season Kentucky fans have been waiting for.