Kentucky Sports

Mark Story: Three key questions about Kentucky's game vs. EKU

UK head coach Mark Stoops watches pregame warm-ups prior to the University of Kentucky-Missouri football game at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, September 26, 2015. Photo by Ken Weaver
UK head coach Mark Stoops watches pregame warm-ups prior to the University of Kentucky-Missouri football game at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, September 26, 2015. Photo by Ken Weaver Ken Weaver

THE FACTS

Game time: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Records: Eastern Kentucky (2-1, 1-0 OVC); Kentucky (3-1, 2-1 SEC)

Series: UK leads 3-0

Last meeting: UK won 37-12 on Nov. 7, 2009, in Commonwealth Stadium.

TV: SEC Network alternate channel (Mike Couzens, Cole Cubelic, Kevin Weidl)

Radio: WLAP-AM 630, WBUL-FM 98.1, XM Channel 202, Sirius Channel 118

THREE KEY QUESTION

1. Will UK be ready 
to play?

Facing an FCS foe after three straight SEC throwdowns carries the risk of an emotional letdown for Kentucky. It is also imperative that the Cats not be distracted by the drama that surrounded running back Boom Williams this week. One presumes the offseason fight(s) between UK and EKU players provide both teams with motivational impetus. In a matchup of a team with 85 scholarship players and one limited to 63, the former should win if it is ready to play.

2. What is Eastern’s frame of mind?

Coach Dean Hood’s Colonels have had a wrenching week. On Sunday morning, redshirt freshman Joey Kraemer, a transfer from UTEP, was killed in a car accident. Hood fought to compose his emotions at his Monday news conference. EKU quarterback Bennie Coney emitted deep sighs while speaking of Kraemer. Having to play so soon after the loss of a teammate is a difficult and challenging scenario.

3. Will Dy’Shawn Mobley get to face his old team?

From the moment of his surprise transfer from UK to EKU after the 2013 season, running back Dy’Shawn Mobley was pointing to this return trip to Commonwealth Stadium. “I’m looking forward to that game,” he said in August 2014. Problem is, the reigning OVC Offensive Player of the Year has been hampered by lingering problems related to a hamstring pull. He sat out last week’s Eastern win over Austin Peay and has gained only 38 yards combined in EKU’s first two games. Whether Mobley can go — and play like his old self if he does — may go a long way in determining how competitive Eastern is.

THE MOOD

Is good. Kentucky shook off the disappointment of losing a winnable game to Florida by recording its first victory over a ranked foe since 2010 against then-No. 25 Missouri. With the Cats at 3-1, visions of bowl trips are dancing in heads. Against a quality EKU team, Kentucky can keep the good feelings rolling by emphatically taking care of business.

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