Thursday night’s ESPN primetime broadcast this evening brings us an SEC matchup. Now, before everyone gets excited, it’s not exactly a contest between two of the elite in the college football power conference. However, it is a game with some implications on the line.
The Kentucky Wildcats travel to Starksville to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a clash of two teams trying to carve out their niche within the SEC.
Kentucky, under first-year head coach Mark Stoops, enters the game at 1-5, but to their credit, they’ve played four Top 20 teams in a row to this point. They’ll be starting Max Smith at QB, however, Jalen Whitlow, who suffered a sprained ankle against Alabama, will be available for use, giving this offense a great dynamic.
Mississippi State at 3-3 is fighting their way to a bowl bid. Every win for this team, at this point, counts toward that goal. The key for this team is finishing games. It has been a criticism of the Dan Mullen era that this squad is nowhere near being a second half team. They’ll compete against anyone in the first half, but they disappear somewhere in between taking to the locker room for the intermission and returning to the field.
Odds: Mississippi State -11 (via Bovada)
Prediction: Kentucky has a definitive shot at making some noise within the conference in this one, especially if Mississippi State continues those second half woes. With that being said, though, this Wildcats team is beat up from the tough run that they’ve had. Even if Mississippi State does struggle in the final 30 minutes, they should still get the victory at home.
Mississippi State 27, Kentucky 14