Kentucky vs. New Mexico State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the matchup between the Wildcats and Aggies.
Kentucky vs. New Mexico State Game Preview
When: Saturday, September 17 – 4:00 p.m. ET
Where: Commonwealth Stadium
TV Broadcast: SEC Network
Kentucky needs a win in the worst way after starting the season 0-2. The two losses have come in different ways: against Southern Miss, the Wildcats held a 35-10 lead and then gave up 34 straight points to lose 44-35. In the loss to Florida, the Wildcats played like they were still asleep, falling down 45-0 before scoring a garbage touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
New Mexico State comes into the matchup against Kentucky with some energy after pulling out a 32-31 win over in-state rival New Mexico. The Aggies will look to quarterback Tyler Rogers, who passed for two touchdowns in the win against the Lobos, to move the offense against a Kentucky team that has given up a lot of yards through the air.
What To Know About Kentucky
It can only get better in Lexington, right? This was the year the Wildcats put it all together, only to see those hopes go flying out the door in the first two weeks. In the loss to Florida, Kentucky was downright awful, including an offense that gained a dismal 149 total yards. Quarterback Drew Barker played well in the first half against Southern Miss, but has been nowhere to be seen since. Running back Boom Williams needs to take it upon himself to revive the rushing attack for the Wildcats.
The secondary has been torched in both games so far this season, including making Luke Del Rio look like the second coming of Danny Wuerffel in the blowout loss in The Swamp. The defensive front led by Courtney Love must provide pressure up front to help out the secondary.
What to Know About New Mexico State
Here’s your chance to go in and defeat an SEC team, Aggies. Rogers played okay under center in the win against New Mexico, but now faces a Wildcats’ defense that has given up 578 passing yards in the first two games. Running back Xavier Hall, along with the legs of Rogers, will get the chance to set the tone early and set up the passing game downfield.
Linebacker Rodney Butler was a tackling machine against the Lobos, recording 24 total stops while fellow linebacker Terrill Hanks nabbed an interception. The duo of Butler and Hanks combines size, power, and speed that will be difficult for the Wildcats to handle.
Offense: Tie. Which Drew Barker shows up?
Defense: New Mexico State. Butler would be a major player for many SEC teams.
Special Teams: New Mexico State. Parker Davidson went 4-for-4 on field goals, including a career-long 45 yarder in the Aggies win.
Coaching: New Mexico State. Remember when Mark Stoops was the hot coach coming up?
Intangibles: Kentucky. The Wildcats need this win or Stoops could be shown the way out of Lexington.
Matchup To Watch
Tyler Rogers vs. Kentucky secondary
If Kentucky doesn’t fix its coverage, Rogers could have a big day throwing the ball. The Wildcats better not forget that he can run the ball as well.
Kentucky vs. New Mexico State Betting Odds
Spread: Kentucky -19
Kentucky vs. New Mexico State Prediction
All signs point toward an upset by the Aggies over a Kentucky program reeling from the 0-2 start. Luckily for the Wildcats, they still have the talent advantage in this matchup, and with a few corrections, could turn into the team everyone thought they would be entering the season. Barker will rebound from most likely the worst game of his career and get the Wildcats their first win of the season.
Kentucky vs. New Mexico State Score Prediction: Kentucky 34, New Mexico State 21