Game Day Preview: What you need to know about EKU-Kentucky
Kentucky returns to Commonwealth Stadium to welcome Eastern Kentucky on homecoming weekend. The Wildcats enter at 3-1 after defeating Missouri for their first victory over a ranked opponent under coach Mark Stoops.
Here’s everything you need to know leading up to Saturday’s game.
Eastern Kentucky Colonels (2-1) at Kentucky Wildcats (3-1)
Kickoff: Sat., Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network Alternate)
Weather: A high of 55 degrees with a 60 percent chance of rain (Weather.com)
Line: Kentucky – N/A
By the numbers
4 – Eastern Kentucky players who were previously enrolled at Kentucky. They are Dy’Shawn Mobley, Patrick Graffree, Robby Irgang and Bryson Williams.
64 – The highest percentage of third-down conversions for Kentucky since 2010. The Wildcats have converted 9-of-14 third-down opportunities this season.
215.3 – Average passing yards for Eastern Kentucky. Although the Colonels’ average is slightly higher than the Wildcats, it won’t pose a problem. Kentucky’s run game is significantly better, and the Wildcats have defeated the Colonels in all three meetings.
Storylines to watch
Will Jojo Kemp bring the heat?
The junior tailback stole the spotlight with his strong performance against Missouri. He rushed for 66 yards and exceeded 1,000 career yards. He will start ahead of Stanley “Boom” Williams against Eastern Kentucky.
Since Kemp played well against the two-time defending SEC East champs, expectations are high for him this week.
What’s going on with Stanley “Boom” Williams?
He barely took the field in the second half against Missouri and dropped on the depth chart this week. He also has avoided contact with the media. Stoops said Williams was going through some personal issues that the athletic program would keep in house.
Even though he’s no longer starting, he’s still No. 2 on the depth chart. His performance this week could potentially help him return to the starting spot, but only if Kemp doesn’t play as well as he did last week.
Will Patrick Towles continue to make school history?
The junior quarterback has 3,775 career passing yards, ninth on the Wildcats’ career passing yards list. He needs 374 yards to pass Randy Jenkins (1979-83) for eighth.
Towles is averaging 206 yards passing and threw for 257 in the victory over Missouri.
Prediction: Kentucky 35, Eastern Kentucky 13
The game will be competitive at the start, but it won’t take long for Kentucky’s run game to cause problems. The running back position has some serious depth, and with Towles’ abilities as a passer and rusher, the Wildcats won’t have much of a problem scoring. Eastern Kentucky’s offense will have a tough time getting past the secondary, led by senior safety A.J. Stamps.