UK Football

How Kentucky and Louisiana-Monroe match up

Kentucky running back Jojo Kemp prepared to run the Wildcat Offense in the fourth quarter when UK hosted South Carolina on Oct. 4, 2014.
Kentucky running back Jojo Kemp prepared to run the Wildcat Offense in the fourth quarter when UK hosted South Carolina on Oct. 4, 2014. Herald-Leader

How Kentucky and Louisiana-Monroe match up for Saturday's game at Commonwealth Stadium:

QUARTERBACKS

At 265 yards a game, Kentucky's Patrick Towles remains third in the Southeastern Conference in passing. In the victory over South Carolina, the redshirt sophomore completed 20 of 29 passes. ULM quarterback Pete Thomas is a travelin' man. He began his career at Colorado State, transferred and played at North Carolina State and is now finishing up at Monroe. The 6-foot-5, 236-pounder is averaging 231.8 yards a game passing and is completing 56.9 percent of his passes.

Advantage: Kentucky

RUNNING BACKS

Operating from the Wildcat formation, UK sophomore Jojo Kemp decimated South Carolina with 131 yards rushing and three TDs. It will be interesting to see how much Wildcat UK runs Saturday. The Cats get true freshman Stanley "Boom" Williams back from a one-game suspension from the " air-gun affair." ULM's Centarius Donald ran for 117 yards in the Warhawks' 17-10 victory over Wake Forest. However, he is expected to miss Saturday's game with an injury. Number one on the ULM depth chart instead is Tyler Cain, a 5-8 junior who has rushed for 130 yards this season and caught 15 passes.

Advantage: Kentucky

WIDE RECEIVERS

Kentucky sophomore Ryan Timmons had five catches and a TD last week. The Franklin County product leads the Cats with 25 receptions. Freshman Dorian Baker (11 catches) is back from air-gun suspension, too. ULM's receiving corps is well-balanced, led by Rashon Ceaser (30 catches), Kenzee Jackson (24) and Ajalen Holley (18 catches, four TDs).

Advantage: Kentucky

TIGHT ENDS

Kentucky seniors Steven Borden and Ronnie Shields still have not caught a pass since the season opener. ULM's Alec Osborne (eight catches, one TD) has made four career starts, while Harley Scioneaux (four catches) has made 12.

Advantage: ULM

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

Back from a neck injury, UK junior left guard Zach West had 12 knock-down blocks against South Carolina. Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown said it was the best game West, a Lexington Christian product, has played under the current coaching staff. ULM left tackle Joseph Treadwell has 42 career starts, but is expected to miss Saturday's game due to injury. Redshirt freshman Frank Sutton Jr. will start in his place.

Advantage: Kentucky

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

Kentucky standout end Bud Dupree is the reigning SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week after making five tackles and scoring the game-winning TD on a 6-yard interception return vs. South Carolina. Senior tackle Mike Douglas tipped the ball that Dupree picked off. ULM nose tackle Gerrand Johnson, a 6-foot, 280-pound junior, is one of the best defensive linemen in the Sun Belt. He has 36 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.

Advantage: Kentucky

LINEBACKERS

Kentucky middle linebacker Josh Forrest had 15 tackles and weak-side linebackers Khalid Henderson and Ryan Flannigan combined for 10 stops (five each) against South Carolina, but UK's coaches were not happy with their play against the run. ULM's Hunter Kissinger is third on the team with 35 tackles, but one of his running mates in the Warhawks' 3-3-5 alignment, outside linebacker Ray Stovall (30 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss) is expected to miss the game with an injury.

Advantage: Even

SECONDARY

Kentucky safeties A.J. Stamps and Ashely Lowery each had pass interceptions against South Carolina. Junior-college transfer Stamps returned his pick 50 yards, made seven tackles and had two pass break-ups vs. the Gamecocks. ULM's Mitch Lane plays the "Hawk" (a hybrid position) and leads his team in tackles (40) and interceptions (three). Cornerbacks Trey Caldwell and Lenzy Pipkins, who began the year as starters, are both out with injuries.

Advantage: Kentucky

SPECIAL TEAMS

Punter Landon Foster dropped two kicks inside the South Carolina 20 and was praised by Mark Stoops this week. Demarco Robinson ignited UK's fourth-quarter rally last week by setting up a TD with a 41-yard kickoff return. ULM says its kicker, Justin Manton, is one of six players in the Football Bowl Subdivision who handle both punting and place-kicking for their teams. In his career, the senior has three punts of 70 yards or more. This year, he is 5-for-6 on field goals with a long of 37.

Advantage: Kentucky

PREDICTION

Kentucky 38, Louisiana-Monroe 13

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