Instant analysis (gleaned from watching the game on the SEC Network broadcast) from Kentucky’s 42-16 loss to Mississippi State:
How the game was won
Dak Prescott ran for three touchdowns and threw for three and Mississippi State embarrassed Kentucky.
1. Dak Prescott. An exceptional dual-threat quarterback (348 yards passing, 3 TDs; 117 yards rushing, 3 TDs) who will stalk the nightmares of UK defenders.
2. Mississippi State offensive line. Flat embarrassed Kentucky’s defensive front.
3. Chris Westry. The Kentucky true freshman cornerback’s leaping interception that snapped Dak Prescott’s streak of 288 straight passes without an interception was about the only notable thing the UK defense did in Starkville.
1. Kentucky defense. In hiring Mark Stoops, a coach with a defensive pedigree, the hope was UK’s days of surrendering 586 yards and 42 points in SEC games was over.
2. Patrick Towles. A TD pass/interception ratio of 8/9 — which Towles now has this season — is less than ideal. But it’s also true that Towles’ receivers do not consistently make the kind of tough plays for him we see other SEC wide-outs making week after week.
3. Mark Stoops. His team regressed badly this week. In the coming week, can Stoops stymie the negative echoes of last season’s second-half collapse?
22-21. Thanks to Dan Mullen’s 7-0 mastery of Kentucky, Mississippi State now leads the all-time series with UK 22-21.
For the seventh game of 2015, the Wildcats wore chrome blue helmets, white jerseys and blue pants.
On Halloween Night, Kentucky will face Tennessee (3-4, 1-3 SEC) in Commonwealth Stadium. The Volunteers put a scare in No. 8 Alabama on Saturday but fell 19-14 in Tuscaloosa.
Know your foe
1. In the last 30 football meetings between UK and UT, the record stands Volunteers 29, Wildcats 1 (bless you, Matt Roark). The Vols lead the all-time series 77-24-9.
2. This year will be the first time Kentucky and Tennessee have faced each other outside the month of November since Oct. 16, 1909 — a 17-0 Cats win in Lexington.
3. A year ago, Tennessee humiliated Kentucky 50-16 – and that was with UT Coach Butch Jones “calling off the dogs” in the fourth quarter. Tennessee outgained Kentucky 511-262 and dual-threat quarterback Josh Dobbs threw for 297 yards and three TDs and ran for 48 yards and a score. Dobbs, now a 6-foot-3, 207-pound junior, is back to torment a UK defense that has not exactly distinguished itself against QBs who can both run and throw.