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October 12, 2012

Young, depleted Cats face Arkansas on Saturday

KENTUCKY AT ARKANSAS| SATURDAY | 7 p.m. | FOX SPORTS NETWORK
KENTUCKY (1-5, 0-3 SEC)
Coach: Joker Phillips
Record: 12-19 (4-15 SEC) in three seasons at UK, overall
Last game: Mississippi State 27, Kentucky 14
Next game: Georgia, Oct. 20
Roster | Depth chart
ARKANSAS (2-4, 1-2 SEC)
Coach: John L. Smith
Record: 2-4 (1-2 SEC) in one season at Arkansas; 134-90 (1-2 SEC) in 19 seasons overall.
Last game: Ark. 24, Auburn 7
Next game: Ole Miss, Oct. 27
Roster | Depth chart
Game/Series Information
Game Information
Site: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (72,000)
TV: FSN South (Bob Rathbun play-by-play, Tim Couch analyst, Elizabeth Moreau sideline)
Radio: UK IMG Sports Network (Tom Leach play-by-play, Jeff Piecoro analysis; Dick Gabriel sideline); XM 200; Sirius 134.
Internet: Audio | Video
Favorite: Arkansas by 17

Series Information:
Series record: Kentucky leads 4-2
At Fayetteville: Kentucky leads 2-0
Coaches' records:Phillips 0-0 vs. Arkansas; Smith 3-2 vs. UK

Last meeting
Kentucky 21, Arkansas 20 (Oct. 8, 2008, in Lexington)
Freshman wide receiver Randall Cobb wore No. 12 to honor teammate Dicky Lyons Jr., who was lost for the season in the previous game. The Wildcats fell behind 17-0 and trailed 20-7 entering the fourth quarter when Cobb took over. He caught two touchdown passes from Mike Hartline in the fourth quarter after much of the crowd at Commonwealth Stadium had left. Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino lost to the Cats for the first time after going 4-0 against them at Louisville.

Keys to the Game
1. Fresh to the Fight: Kentucky expects to start three true freshmen and a senior in the secondary on Saturday. Not counting defensive linemen, the entire UK defense has just two upperclassmen among the linebackers and secondary. That could be a recipe for disaster against Tyler Wilson, who ranks ninth in the country with 314 yards per game passing. UK's freshmen have been solid at times, but Wilson will likely find a way to exploit them over the course of 40 pass attempts.


2. Up the Knile: Tailback Knile Davis led all SEC tailbacks with 1,322 yards in 2010 as a sophomore before missing all of last season with a knee injury. He's back this year, but hasn't looked the same. He's averaging just 3.2 yards per carry and had -4 rushing yards on three carries against Auburn. He splits carries with other tailbacks, but Saturday could be his chance to get right. UK is giving up 187.8 yards per game on the ground.


3.Pigs on the Fly: UK's injury woes have been well-documented in recent days, but Arkansas has had nearly as many problems. This week, seniors Tenarius Wright and Alonzo Highsmith were lost for the season. Wright had nine sacks in 2010 and Highsmith was the team's leading tackler. Arkansas was already struggling defensively before those losses, and they won't have much time to replace them.

Staff Predictions
Ben Jones, Staff Writer: Arkansas 35, Kentucky 20
Neither team has a defense that can win the game on its own, but the Razorbacks have one major advantage: senior quarterback Tyler Wilson. He should torch the UK secondary and while Whitlow might find some holes to exploit early, defenses have figured him out in each of his last two games. The leaks in the defense are unlikely to be solved against the nation's No. 24 passing offense.

T.J. Walker Staff Writer: Arkansas 41, Kentucky 7
For the first time since the Florida game, UK will struggle to find positives on Saturday. The Cats are ailing on offense, and flat out depleted on defense. Expect Wilson to torch the incredibly young UK secondary. Whitlow will struggle on the road, and falling behind early won't help his - or UK's - chances. The Cats continue to sleep through their nightmare season.

Aaron Smith, staff writer: Arkansas 34, Kentucky 7
The Razorbacks have fallen from a preseason Top 10 team to struggling 2-4 squad. But they've still not fallen low enough to think UK can pull off a road upset, especially not with a depleted secondary facing an Arkansas passing attack averaging almost 300 yards per game. Factor in the continuing quarterback problems, and it's looking like a rough road loss.

Brett Dawson, Publisher: Arkansas 35, Kentucky 13
Not long ago, this looked like an Implosion Bowl between two teams watching their seasons slowly corrode. But Arkansas showed life last week against a young Auburn team. Beating Auburn is no great feat this season. Neither, though, has beating UK been. Arkansas has enough talent - and an explosive enough passing game - that it should continue heading in the right direction, at least for a week.



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