Week 11 - Missouri at Kentucky

Posted Nov 6, 2013

Week 11 SEC Fearless Predictions & Preview - Missouri at Kentucky

Missouri (8-1) at Kentucky (2-6) Nov. 9 12:00, ESPNU

Why You Should Give A Hoot: South Carolina, this is essentially it. There are still ways for the Gamecocks to play for the SEC title if Missouri beats Kentucky, but it's going to be really, really difficult.

The Georgia win over Florida was a problem for USC, because now, Georgia has to lose at Auburn or to Kentucky, and the Gamecocks can't slip against the Gators. If that happens, then one Missouri loss is all that's needed. For the Tigers, they're in the SEC title game if they win this game, split against Ole Miss and Texas A&M, and if Georgia wins out. However, if Missouri suffers an East loss to Kentucky, then SEC tie-breaker scenario goes haywire.

Or they can just win the final three games and settle the matter themselves.

How depressed was Missouri after the soul-crushing loss to South Carolina? It came out roaring with a near-perfect performance over Tennessee to right the ship. Now it's all about focus and not missing the layup in Lexington.

Kentucky got its payday win over Alabama State last week, but its only other win this season came against a miserable Miami University team. The Wildcats fought hard in a nationally televised loss to Mississippi State and pushed South Carolina, but they're still looking for their first SEC win. Beating Missouri would be a defining moment in the start of the Mark Stoops era and would through the SEC race into hyperdrive.

Why Missouri Might Win: The Kentucky secondary gives up big plays, while the defensive front gets gashed way too much by decent running games. Missouri's offensive line came out roaring against Tennessee, paving the way for 339 yards with a score, and while UK has been okay against the run at times over the last month, the bigger problem is a secondary that gives up midrange throws and doesn't clamp down well enough with just one interception on the year. The Missouri receiving corps matches up well with everyone, but it matches up really, really well with the Cats.

Why Kentucky Might Win: The Wildcats aren't killing themselves. Missouri is a disruptive team that's great at getting into the backfield and forcing mistakes, but UK is all about ball control and not screwing up. The SEC leader in turnover margin might not pick off passes or come up with enough big plays, but the offense has been phenomenal at holding things close to the vest, not turning the ball over in the last four games despite playing South Carolina and Alabama.

Who To Watch Out For: Do you really put Maty Mauk on the bench? He's not passing consistently enough, hitting fewer than 50% of his passes in the last two weeks after connecting on half of his throws against Florida, but he threw three touchdown passes against Tennessee and ran for 114 yards. However, James Franklin was ready to go if absolutely needed last week and now he appears healthy again after suffering a shoulder injury. In a perfect world, Franklin gets another week to heal, but he might go.

What Will Happen: Missouri's offensive line will take over early on, and the defensive front will shut the UK passing game down with constant pressure. It'll be another impressive Tiger performance.

Prediction: Missouri 30 … Kentucky 14
Line: Missouri -14.5 o/u: 56
Must See Rating: (5 The Wolf of Wall Street – 1 Ass Backwards) … 2
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