Winners And Losers From Kentucky’s Win Over Mississippi State

AP Photo/Michael Clubb

Winners And Losers From Kentucky’s Win Over Mississippi State


Winners And Losers From Kentucky’s Win Over Mississippi State


AP Photo/Michael Clubb

Kentucky picked up an enormous win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday night at Kroger Field. It was a massive swing game when discussing Kentucky as either a six- or seven-win team to a nine- or 10-win team. In a big win like this, there were a ton of winners, but there also were some losers.  

WINNER: Will Levis

Kentucky’s quarterback has been beaten to a pulp this season. With offensive line issues, the hits have begun to take a toll. He missed last week’s game with a foot injury and left Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury. It didn’t matter. He came right back into the game and led Kentucky to a victory. The kid is a true warrior and a phenomenal leader. Will Levis is someone you want to go to war with. 

WINNER: Chris Rodriguez Jr. And The Offensive Line

“C-Rod” proved once again that he is one of the most dominant backs in the nation. He finished the game with 196 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. Mississippi State’s defensive coordinator, Zach Arnett, really had zero answers for Kentucky’s ground attack. For a team that had struggled running the ball while Rodriguez was suspended, he has come back and totally flipped the script. He is truly dominant. However, he wouldn’t be able to do everything he’s done in his three games back if it weren’t for the offensive line. They’ve made tremendous strides when it comes to the rushing game. 


WINNER: Defense

Mississippi State’s offense is led by Mike Leach and his air raid offense. They are extremely difficult to defend and quarterback Will Rogers is tremendous. The Bulldogs had scored at least 39 points in all but one game heading into Saturday. Kentucky’s defense held them to 10 offensive points, a season low. This is a complete turnaround from the disaster that was last weekend. It was good to see Brad White’s crew get back on track. 


LOSER: Discipline And Coaching 

Now that we have the positives out of the way, here come the negatives. This is a very undisciplined team. There were seven penalties in the first quarter. Kentucky was penalized a total of 11 times. They fumbled and threw a pick-six. This is unacceptable. They really had no business controlling the game like they did. Part of that is, of course, a sign of positive coaching. The continued mistakes, however, is a sign of bad coaching. They beat themselves in Oxford, Mississippi. They were unprepared against South Carolina. The offensive play calling in the last two weeks has been downright awful, to put it bluntly. In the second half of the game, they ran the same screen pass far too many times with little to no shots down field. They ran the screen so many times that the Bulldog corner was able to jump it for a pick-six. Mississippi State’s defense had eight or nine men in the box at times in the second half. The scheme and play calling needs to get better and more diverse if Kentucky is going to win big games going forward. 


Kentucky has a bye this week before making the pilgrimage to Knoxville to face Tennessee on October 29. 


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