How UK and Louisiana-Monroe match up

ccosby@herald-leader.comOctober 24, 2009 

QUARTERBACK

Kentucky is into week two of the Morgan Newton era, with the true freshman set to make his second career start. However, as many as three quarterbacks could see the field for the Wildcats. Junior Will Fidler could get a series or two, and receiver Randall Cobb will get his hands on the ball in the Wildcat package. UK needs to work on polishing up the passing game.

Louisiana-Monroe redshirt freshman Cody Wells will be making his first career start in place of regular starter Trey Revell, who broke a thumb in ULM's last game.

Advantage: Kentucky

RUNNING BACK

Junior tailback Derrick Locke has been on a tear of late but was slowed this week in practice by a strained knee. This figures to be a game in which UK would like to get Alfonso Smith, Moncell Allen and true freshman Donald Russell more work.

The Warhawks have a nice weapon of their own in Frank Goodin, who is averaging 93 yards a game and has scored nine touchdowns.

Advantage: Kentucky

RECEIVER

ULM will spread the field with four- and five-receiver sets. The Warhawks' No. 1 guy, Darrell McNeal, has caught a pass in 28 straight games.

Kentucky continues to struggle to find a solid complement to Randall Cobb.

Advantage: Even

OFFENSIVE LINE

The Kentucky line has been the stabilizing force for the Wildcats, protecting the quarterbacks and opening holes in the running game.

The strength of the ULM offensive line is on the left side with tackle Mitch Doyle and guard Brett Thompson.

Advantage: Kentucky

DEFENSIVE LINE

The Warhawks operate with a three-man front. The UK offensive line will have to keep an eye on both of ULM's defensive ends: Aaron Morgan is tied for seventh in the Football Bowl Subdivision with seven sacks, and Troy Evans was named co-Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week after getting two sacks on the final drive against Arkansas State.

Kentucky tackle Corey Peters followed his huge game against South Carolina with another solid showing at Auburn.

Advantage: Even

LINEBACKER

The Kentucky linebackers had a coming out party at Auburn, with Micah Johnson, Danny Trevathan and Sam Maxwell combining for 38 tackles.

ULM senior linebacker Cardia Jackson ranked in the nation's top 10 in tackles last season and is averaging nearly nine per game in 2009.

Advantage: Kentucky

SECONDARY

Junior cornerback Paul Warford's return from a quadriceps injury provided a boost against Auburn, and sophomore Randall Burden continues to improve. Freshman Martavious Neloms will also be back after missing the Auburn game because of illness.

The Warhawks use five defensive backs in their base set but have struggled in pass coverage. Safety Greg James is second in the NCAA among active players with 13 career interceptions, and cornerback Otis Stamps picked off Texas QB Colt McCoy in the season opener.

Advantage: Kentucky

SPECIAL TEAMS

ULM punter Scott Love is a three-time All-Sun Belt selection, but the Warhawks have given up two kickoff-return touchdowns this season. That plays right into the hands of Kentucky's Derrick Locke, one of the nation's top kickoff returners.

The Wildcats need to avoid the catastrophic blunders that have set up three opponent touchdowns the past two weeks.

Advantage: Even

Chip Cosby

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