The Kentucky Wildcats present an early-season test for the Tigers’ offense. Will Missouri overcome Mark Stoops’ defense?
2020 Kentucky Wildcats SEC Defensive Rankings
- 4th in yards per game (380.7)
- 5th in points per game (25.9)
- 1st in passing yards per game (224.6)
- 6th in rushing yards per game (156.1)
After Arkansas and Florida, the defensive units get much more daunting.
Don’t misconstrue the stats; the Wildcats play a ball-control style of offense, thus limiting opponents’ offensive production. It is an old-school, clock-grinding game plan where the Wildcats only broke the 40 point threshold twice in 2020.
In contrast, the Wildcats defense gave up 42 points to an average Ole Miss team and 35 points to an atrocious Vanderbilt offense.
Still, this unit may present problems for the Tigers.
Thanks to its offensive scheme, the Wildcat’s defense spends less time on the field and is less of a liability. Defensive coordinator Brad White’s defense has slid in SP+ rankings since he joined the staff in 2018 but is still a top-50 unit. Kentucky did rank eighth nationally for interceptions per game, averaging almost two a game.
The defense is hardly a game-changer for the Wildcats but will take full advantage of overly aggressive quarterbacks and offensive coordinators.
Look for secondary players like redshirt junior Yusuf Corker to set the tone for Kentucky. The front seven has limited talent and production during 2020 but will be just good enough to be a problem.