Mississippi State Football: Friends with the enemy vs. Kentucky

Oct 8, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops looks on during the first quarter against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops looks on during the first quarter against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports /

Mississippi State football heads to Lexington to take on the Kentucky Wildcats this Saturday night. The game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. CT at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. The Bulldogs come into this game 5-1, and the Falcons at 4-2.

To learn more about the Kentucky Wildcats, I met up with Tyler Reed. Tyler is the site co-expert for Wildcat Blue Nation. He strongly believes that cowbells should be banned from all college football stadiums and that you should leave yours at home if you’re traveling to Lexington. Enjoy Keeneland if you’re making the trip, and did I mention I hate cowbells?

Is Kentucky still known as a basketball school or has that changed in recent years?

Without question, we are a cheerleading school. Our cheerleading program has 24 national championships, which is more than every other school combined. If I must be serious for a second, the University of Kentucky will always be a basketball school. How could it not? But Mark Stoops and his staff have brought a new wave of passion for this football program and have made people who once thought of football as an afterthought become more passionate about the program.

Do you have a wildcat mounted anywhere in your house?

While I wish I did, growing up, my favorite fried chicken restaurant called “Mooney’s” had to have at least one because folks ate in the presence of deer heads and fish surrounding them. Best fried chicken and catfish you could find in eastern Kentucky.

Who are Kentucky’s most valuable players? 2 offensive and 2 defensive?

The most valuable offensive players would be none other than QB Will Levis and RB Chris Rodriguez. The Cats have an explosive offense, that is, if the offensive line holds up. On the defensive side, the Cats are loaded at linebacker. If Bulldog fans aren’t familiar with them, expect to hear J.J. Weaver and DeAndre Square’s names a lot during the game.

What are the thoughts amongst the Wildcat fanbase on Will Levis playing Saturday night?

According to Stoops, everything is trending toward Levis starting this Saturday, which is the only way the team stands a chance. However, going back to that O-line, if they’re not ready for the Bulldog defensive front, Levis will spend a lot of time looking up at the lights.

Has the Wildcat community recovered from the Will Levis fumble vs. Ole Miss? Because I haven’t.

I’m sorry the Cats couldn’t help you out there, but I think people have forgotten about the fumble just because of the poor performance last week against general Cock Commander Shane Beamer and South Carolina. The fanbase had huge expectations coming into this season, and laying an egg to South Carolina really has dropped morale around Lexington.

Kentucky put up a fight vs. Ole Miss and really should have won. What have been the vibes in Lexington since that loss?

As I mentioned in the fumble question, morale dropped after last week. After the loss to Ole Miss, I think the fan base felt, as you mentioned, it was a game we should’ve won. It’s hard to win on the road in the SEC, so it was more of a let’s wash our hands and move on from this one. But after last week, morale dropped. I believe the players still believe, but a third straight loss on Saturday will all but have fans ready to watch the basketball Cats.

Who do you expect to have a big game on Saturday?

For it to be a good night for Kentucky, the Wildcats have to get pressure on Will Rogers. I look for Square and Weaver to bring relentless pressure and collect at least two sacks.

Score prediction and analysis of what happens on Saturday between the Bulldogs and Wildcats?

This game seems to always dictate the season for the Wildcats. However, with two losses already, I think the best season the Wildcats can have will be another trip to the Music City Bowl. But you’d be sadly mistaken if you think I’m picking the Wildcats to lose on a page dedicated to Mississippi State. Stoops and the Wildcats will not accept three straight losses, and the crowd stays alive all game for a Wildcats win 37-28. Levis connects for 3 TDs, while Barion Brown has a back-breaking special teams play that’s too much for the Bulldogs to handle. Go Cats!