UK Football

Arkansas-Kentucky matchups

Matchups

Quarterbacks

Casey Dick's numbers aren't all that great, but Bobby Petrino has him making plays in the offense. UK is still trying to find answers. Sophomore Mike Hartline is coming off his worst game of the season, while freshman backup Randall Cobb tries to get back in the groove after missing time with a high ankle sprain.

Advantage: Arkansas

Running backs

Michael Smith leads the Southeastern Conference in rushing average (119.8) and tore through Auburn for 163 yards last week. There's not much depth behind Smith, as he and quarterback Casey Dick have combined for 136 of the team's 183 carries. Look for UK to go with more two-running back sets with Derrick Locke and Alfonso Smith.

Advantage: Even

Wide receivers

Dick has a couple of nice targets in tight end D.J. Williams (28 catches, 315 yards, two TDs) and freshman receiver Joe Adams (22 catches, 285 yards). The Hogs also spread the wealth, as 15 different players have caught passes. For Kentucky, an already struggling unit was weakened with the loss of Dicky Lyons to a season-ending knee injury.

Advantage: Arkansas

Offensive line

Arkansas has one of the nation's top centers in senior Jonathan Luigs, but the unit has struggled as a whole this season. The Hogs have the highest sacks-per-game average in the league, and while Michael Smith is having a good year, Arkansas is 11th in the SEC in rushing offense. Kentucky's line has pass protected fairly well but hasn't been able to generate much push in the running game.

Advantage: Even

Defensive line

UK tackle Myron Pryor was named honorable mention on Collegefootballnews.com's mid-season All-America team, and the Wildcats are getting solid play across the board up front. The Razorbacks start two freshmen on the line. Junior rush end Adrian Davis has been a playmaker with three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.

Advantage: Kentucky

Linebackers

UK senior weakside linebacker Braxton Kelley is quietly putting together a solid season with a team-high 38 tackles and three sacks. Arkansas has one of the league's most productive freshmen in weakside 'backer Jerry Franklin, who's sixth in the SEC with 50 tackles.

Advantage: Kentucky

Secondary

The Hogs are in the middle of a youth movement here. They start a true freshman free safety (Elton Ford) and a pair of sophomore cornerbacks (Isaac Madison and Ramon Broadway). Kentucky's Trevard Lindley has been as good as any corner in the country, and his sidekick David Jones has been solid as well.

Advantage: Kentucky

special teams

Arkansas hasn't been getting much out of its kicking game. The Razorbacks rank last in the SEC in kickoff coverage and field-goal percentage, are next-to-last in punt returns and eighth in kickoff returns. The league's best punters will be on display in UK's Tim Masthay (45.2) and Arkansas' Jeremy Davis (44.2). Randall Cobb will take over the punt return duties for the injured Dicky Lyons.

Advantage: Kentucky

Chip Cosby

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