Last week the TGR crew had the Cats winning 34-28 but when you turn the ball over 4 times in the SEC you lose and the Cats did just that 44-31. So far on the season we are 5-3 on the season with our picks and off of the total score an average of just 3.94 points either way. Here we go for the most important game of the season, again:
Ryan Richardson: KY 31 MSU 28
Kentucky has been great at defending the passing game this year, giving up just 177 yard per game. Their rushing defense has given up 22 touchdowns but actually has done a good job on the run except for Auburn. If the Cats can hold the Bulldogs down on throwing the ball, they should be able to hang tight. I’m sure Joker would want this to be a shootout. Look for the Cats to take shots at a pretty shaky Mississippi State secondary and hopefully hang on to the ball. I’ll take the 6.5 points and roll with the Cats again….
Matt Puckett: cats 37 – state 31
Cats start out hot with Hartline connecting to Cobb for an early TD. While State gives us all we want the Cats stay strong with tough play from Cobb getting over 220 all purpose yards.
Ralph Lee: MSU 27-20
The Bulldogs are probably not a big threat to jump out on the Cats and build a big league like Georgia, Florida or South Carolina. They don’t necessarily rely on big plays as much as they lean heavily on the run, thereby keeping the opposing defense on the field and the opposing offense on the sideline. The Cats must take care of the ball as more than 1 or 2 turnovers could result in their defense spending more than half the game on the field if they can’t stop the Bulldogs’ running game. The Cats’ offensive line will need to be focused and know their assignments and they will need help from the backs on blitz pick-ups. Hartline should still have a decent day as long as he can stay vertical in the pocket. The concern for UK is the defense and whether they can slow down the ground game of State. Based on the performance of the opposing running backs versus the Cats’ “D” this season, Ballard and or Relf could be in for a huge day. My thought is UK should “run the table” the rest of the season, but that run will have to start next week as I think the Bulldogs will outdo the Cats 27-20 in Starkville.
Rob Pedigo: UK 42 – MSU 35
This has all the makings of a barn burner, literally. After the Cats win on a defensive stand on their own 1 yard line, several of the cats leave Starkville and burn several barns on the way to the airport. No one is injured by the obvious illegal acts, but several of the cats report a little bit of a ‘head change’ after one of the barns is found to be filled with marijuana.
Nate Lowe: 38-31 MSU
Ryan Fertig: MSU 10 – UK 41
What’s scary for the Cats is we have to travel to the deep-n-dirty south to play a night game in Starksville, Mississippi with the most annoying sound in the world as a sound track. On top of that the Bulldogs are ranked for the first time in 6 years, carrying only 2 losses, and the Cats are without Derrick Locke, Randall Cobb may be a little banged up and La’Rod King’s knee may be a little sore. Come out hard, score early and don’t put the ball on the ground. If Cats can only do that we may muster up a win.
Samuel Clemmons: Cats – 27, State – 38
I think the Cats can fare better than most of State’s previous opponents in getting the ball into the endzone, but I just don’t see how the defense is going to stop the Bulldogs’ ground attack, as that’s obviously been a point of concern for the entire SEC slate for our boys in blue. I hope I’m wrong yet again, but I think the Cats lose this one on the road and drop to 4-5 heading into the last 3 games of the season.
AVERAGE: Kentucky 33 – Miss. St. 30
The TGR crew has done it again and picked in favor of the Cats by a field goal in Starksville. Let’s hope the Cats protect the football, run the offense and play some defense.