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Ohio Bobcats vs. Kentucky Wildcats Preview

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This Week 2 matchup pits a young, high-scoring offense against a young, stingy defense.

Kentucky marching band outside of Commonwealth Stadium
Kentucky marching band outside of Commonwealth Stadium
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, Kentucky does in fact have a football team. The university based in Lexington is known more for basketball; a squad so successful it now challenges Duke for the nation's most hated team. While the Wildcats cruise through a conference lacking in basketball prowess during the winter, Kentucky spends its autumns getting pummeled by the likes of Alabama and Auburn.

Current head coach Mark Stoops went 2-10 in 2013, the exact same record that was posted in 2012 by the joker Stoops replaced. His lone wins were against FCS opponent Alabama State and the MAC's own FCS team, Miami.

Tomorrow Ohio heads down to Lexington to face Kentucky in what should be an intriguing matchup.

The Wildcats do have some exciting young talent, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Patrick Towles, a redshirt sophomore, sparkled last week in Kentucky's spread offense, completing 20 of 29 passes for 337 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 30 yards and a touchdown. JoJo Kemp and Mikel Horton combined for 76 yards and 3 touchdowns on 15 carries, five receivers made at least two catches, and all of these players were underclassmen. The future is bright, even in such a tough conference.

That said, all those yards came against UT-Martin. And though the Wildcats prevailed by a score of 59-14, UT-Martin still racked up 400 yards of offense. The question this weekend will be, can Ohio's defense stop Kentucky's high-octane offense?

Ohio should be able to score against Kentucky. Quarterback Derrius Vick was impressive last week, and running back Daz'mond Patterson should be able to hold onto the ball (after fumbling twice in the second half vs. Kent State), so points shouldn't be too hard to come by. Kicker Josh Yazdani also gives the Bobcats an opportunity for three points when most teams would punt.

Ohio's defensive line should be strong again, and will force Towles to throw. But with so many receiving options, it will be tough to stop the Wildcats' passing game. It's the strength of the offense, and home field advantage, that will give Kentucky the edge in a close game.

Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.