Mark Story

Blue Preview: Your guide to Kentucky’s football game vs. Eastern Michigan

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UK vs. Eastern Michigan preview

Check below all week for coverage of the University of Kentucky football team leading up to its game against Eastern Michigan on Saturday.

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Kentucky vs. Eastern Michigan

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 7).

Where: Kroger Field (capacity 61,000).

TV: SEC Network Alternate Channel (play-by-play, Mike Morgan; analysis, Hutson Mason; sideline, Taylor Davis).

Radio: WLAP-AM 630, WBUL-FM 98.1, XM Channel 203, Sirius Channel 98, Internet Channel 967.

Records: Kentucky (1-0, 0-0 SEC), Eastern Michigan (1-0, 0-0 MAC).

Series: Kentucky leads 1-0.

Last meeting: Kentucky defeated Eastern Michigan 24-20 on Sept. 30, 2017, at Kroger Field.

Favorite: Kentucky is favored by 15.5 points.

The story line

Coming off a 14-point victory over the team, Toledo, projected to win the Mid-American Conference West Division, Kentucky will seek to run its record to 2-0 in a season for the fifth time in Mark Stoops’ seven seasons as Wildcats’ head coach against an Eastern Michigan team picked to finish fourth in the MAC West.

The big threat

Eastern Michigan quarterback Mike Glass III was a model of efficiency in the Eagles’ 30-23, season-opening win at Coastal Carolina. The 6-foot, 209-pound senior completed 20 of 22 passes for 188 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a score. A dual threat, Glass III had back-to-back 100-yards-plus rushing games in 2018, 101 yards vs. Western Michigan and 125 yards against Toledo the next week.

On the spot

The Kentucky offensive line. Two seasons ago, when UK barely escaped an Eastern Michigan upset bid with a 24-20 victory, the Wildcats offensive front was dominated by the Eagles up front. The Cats allowed quarterback Stephen Johnson to be sacked five times, surrendered a whopping 10 tackles for loss overall and were held to a net 53 yards rushing. For a UK offensive front that starts a fifth-year senior and three fourth-year juniors, EMU’s return to Lexington is a chance for some vindication.

The mood

Is satisfied. Kentucky’s opening victory over Toledo might not have wowed, but it was a solid showing against a good football program by a UK team replacing a ton of star power from last year’s 10-3 season. Compared to the opening-week travails that befell SEC East rivals Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee, the Wildcats are golden with their fans right now.

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Mark Story has worked in the Lexington Herald-Leader sports department since Aug. 27, 1990, and has been a Herald-Leader sports columnist since 2001. I have covered every Kentucky-Louisville football game since 1994, every UK-U of L basketball game but three since 1996-97 and every Kentucky Derby since 1994.
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