Has the high from the Florida game finally wore off? The 16th ranked Cats return to Kroger Field this weekend to take on the LSU Tigers in an attempt to improve to 6-0 before a huge battle with Georgia. LSU sits at 3-2 and will be coming in off a 24-19 loss to Auburn. This is a huge game for LSU to stay in contention with the standings and for the future of Ed Orgeron, so Cats must be prepared for a tough match with the Tigers. Kentucky cannot overlook LSU, as the team has had some bad memories playing against the Tigers.
Thank God that this LSU team isn’t led by Joe Burrow, but the Sophomore Max Johnson has been pretty solid for the Tigers this year. Johnson has passed for 1,469 passing yards with 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions. His numbers are very solid through the season so far. His completion percentage sits at 62.4% and a rating of 155.4, so the defense should be ready for a pass heavy offense. The running game for the Tigers is weak once again, but their receiver core is solid. They do not compare to Burrow’s weapons, but Sophomore Kayshon Boutte and Freshman Jack Bech have turned out to be a nice duo for Johnson to pass to. Boutte has 30 receptions for 436 yards and a whopping nine touchdowns for the season. Bech has 19 receptions for 252 yards and only one touchdown. Kentucky’s strong secondary will have their hands full for this battle.
Defensively, LSU has a few players to look for. First, Senior linebacker Damone Clark leads the team in tackles with 55 total, second on the team has only 27 total. He will be the leader for LSU this weekend defensively. Sophomore defensive end B.J. Ojulari leads the team in sacks with 4.5 on the season. For the secondary, Freshman Major Burns will be a name to watch for, for the Cats. He is tied for the most interceptions on the Tigers with one only but has racked up 25 total tackles. Their defense lacks in area, but these names will need to be on Kentucky’s players to watch list.
Kentucky’s defense continues to carry the load for the Cats. With a lineup full of Seniors and a mix of our future, the defense has never looked so good. The Cats defense sits at 12th nationally in the country and rightfully so. The Cats give up only 284.4 yards a game through their first five. What helps is that 7 players on defense have over 20 total tackles. Deandre Square leads with 38, Jacquez Jones with 30, and Carrington Valentine and Yusuf Corker both are tied with 29. The defense has nine total sacks and three interceptions. The stats do not pop out to someone checking stats, but the defense gets the stops when they are a must, just like In the Florida game.
This will be no easy game for the Cats. The Tigers will be looking to bounce back from the Auburn loss. Kroger Field needs to be as loud and rowdy as it was against Florida. The team feeds off the fans during the game and this is a game where we need all we can get to make sure the Cats leave for Athens 6-0. My prediction for the game will be the Cats winning 28-17 over the Tigers. The offensive star will be Izayah Cummings with a big breakout game and for defense, be on the lookout for a big game from Octavious Oxendine. It’s never Geaux Tigers, it’s always GO CATS!
Watch The MESPORTS Show live every Thursday 7-8 PM ET on The Plug Network Online
Follow Us On Twitter @MESPORTS
Like Us On Facebook @ Main Event Sports Radio
Devin Hall is a columnist for MESPORTS digital. A University Louisville graduate who loves good music, good games and good times. He can be reached at DHall@maineventsports101.com. Follow him on Twitter @Mista_Hall25