Kneauxing the Enemy 2021 Kentucky
by Bryan Follins
Kentucky is undefeated this season. Now, they are in position to challenge Georgia for the top spot in the SEC East. Four of the five Wildcat wins have come by seven points or less. They have not had many easy games.
The transfer effect: Senior linebacker Jacquez Jones is a transfer from Ole Miss, where he led his team in tackles with 75 last season. Junior receiver Wan’Dale Robinson is a transfer from Nebraska. Senior ex-LSU Tiger Dare Rosenthal is a starter at left tackle. The starting quarterback is Will Levis, a graduate transfer from Penn State.
The Wildcats have the fifth leading runner in the country in junior Chris Rodriguez, who has rushed for 604 yards for the season. He averages just under six yards per carry. He has rushed for four touchdowns this year.
Kentucky has the leading receiver in the league. He is junior Wan’Dale Robinson, who has 467 yards in receptions so far this year. Robinson averages 16.1 yards per grab on 5.8 receptions per game.
The Wildcats do not throw much, at least not much against SEC opponents. Quarterback Will Levis, a graduate transfer from Penn State, threw the ball 17 times against Florida last week, 18 times in the win against Missouri, and 22 times against South Carolina.
The Kentucky offensive line is anchored by LSU transfer Dare Rosenthal at left tackle. Senior Darian Kinnard, who was a preseason All-American, mans the right tackle spot. This may explain why the Wildcats are good at running the ball.
Kentucky had a 75-yard drive for a touchdown in their win against Florida, due mostly to a 41-yard touchdown pass catch by Robinson. They were not consistent offensively. They did pile up 520 yards of total offense in their league win against Missouri. Rodriguez rushed for 207 yards in the contest. Rodriguez rushed for 144 yards in Kentucky’s other SEC win against South Carolina. He is the centerpiece of the Wildcat offense.
Kentucky is 10th in the nation in total defense. They have allowed 3.3 yards per rush per game. They give up 180 yards per contest through the air.
The Wildcats have three active linebackers.
Senior linebacker Andre Square is the leading tackler on the team. He has 37 stops, 23 solos, including 5.5 tackles for losses (tfls). Senior linebacker Jaquez Jones is the second leading tackler on the team with 33, 15 unassisted. Sophomore outside linebacker J.J. Weaver has 3.5 sacks for the year.
The Wildcat secondary has yet to see a passing attack like the one presented by the Tigers.
This game against Kentucky will be like most games against Kentucky, hard hitting, and fierce. A lot is at stake for both teams, especially the Purple and Gold. A win for LSU would allow the Tigers to re-insert themselves back into the SEC West title chase.
copyright 2021 Bryan Follins