Players to watch: Kentucky
I’ll be looking out for Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline. Kentucky was fairly timid on offense and Hartline did what he could to make things work. The Wildcats made their first big mistakes on the season, committing two turnovers against Florida—coming at the hands of Hartline with two interceptions.
Hartline will have to do a better job of reading coverage’s, but that also plays into the hands of Kentucky’s offensive coordinator Randy Sanders. He’ll definitely have to do a better job of coming up with options that play into Hartline’s strengths rather than weaknesses. Don’t be fooled however, as Hartline is having a pretty good start in the team’s first four games on the year. Going 75-of-114 for 922 passing yards and six touchdowns, Hartline is setting up to have the best year statistically of his college career.
Make sure to keep an eye on how Kentucky’s offensive line plays during Saturday’s game. With senior Derrick Locke getting off to a hot start—84 carries for 475 yards and five touchdowns—it will be interesting to see how the offensive line helps both Hartline and the running game bounce back after losing to Florida. The more time for Hartline to get off his passes, the better.
Players to watch: Ole Miss
There’s no doubt that Brandon Bolden is the guy to watch for Ole Miss. With the noted defensive struggles of Kentucky during their loss to Florida, Bolden could very well have another huge day against the Wildcats like he did against Fresno State. On 19 carries, Bolden racked up a career-high 228 rushing yards for an average of 12.0 yards per carry. Not only will his play put points on the board, but it will keep the chains moving and drives alive for Ole Miss. The Rebels coaching staff will most likely try to get Bolden involved early and often to test the weary ‘Cats defense on Saturday.
Why not Jeremiah Masoli? The embattled quarterback who formerly started at Oregon now tries his hand with the Rebels. Masoli hasn’t had to do too much work through the air because of Ole Miss’ rushing attack, but if the Wildcats can clog up the running lanes it will be up to Masoli to get things going. He struggled against Vanderbilt in the Rebels only SEC loss thus far, but can mix it up with his ability to pass the ball as well scramble out of the pocket—he already has 219 yards rushing and two touchdowns.