No. 22 Kentucky welcomes No. 16 Mississippi State to Lexington, Kentucky, for an intriguing SEC contest on Saturday. On one side, the Bulldogs are looking to keep their three-game winning streak rolling, while on the other, the Wildcats will attempt to snap a two-game skid.
Since falling apart in the second half against LSU, all Mississippi State has done is outscore its next three opponents by a combined 127-55. That includes the Bulldogs' last two games against Texas A&M and Arkansas. The Mississippi State offense is humming, and quarterback Will Rogers leads the SEC with 2,110 passing yards. Now, Rogers will get a stiff test on the road against a Kentucky defense that's allowing just 174.2 passing yards per game.
In a stark contrast to the rising Bulldogs, the Wildcats have stumbled in the last two weeks. Kentucky dropped a heartbreaker at Ole Miss, and then it suffered a disappointing loss to South Carolina without starting quarterback Will Levis. UK coach Mark Stoops believes Levis is on track to play this weekend, but regardless of his status, Kentucky has to be much better in every facet of the game in order to avoid a third consecutive loss.
These two SEC programs have gone in opposite directions of late, and that makes this a fascinating Top 25 clash. More information about how to tune in is below.
How to watch Kentucky vs. Mississippi State live
Date: Saturday, Oct. 15 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Kroger Field -- Lexington, Kentucky
TV: SEC Network | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Three players to watch
Will Rogers, Mississippi State QB: Few quarterbacks in the country are as hot as Rogers right now. Over the last three games, Rogers has thrown for 1,133 yards, 12 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Now in his third season with the Bulldogs, Rogers is delivering on high preseason expectations. As well as he has played at home over the last three weeks, the difficulty will kick up a notch with this night game in Lexington. It'll be interesting to see how Rogers handles another SEC road challenge.
Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky RB: After missing the first four games of the season due to suspension, Rodriguez has played in Kentucky's last two games, and he has picked up where he left off in 2021. In the Wildcats' loss to the Gamecocks, Rodriguez was one of the few bright spots. He carried the ball 22 times for 126 yards, and Kentucky will need another performance like that in order to defeat Mississippi State.
Will Levis, Kentucky QB: Levis' value to this Kentucky offense was on display this weekend. The Wildcats scored just 14 points and backup Kaiya Sheron completed 15 of his 27 attempts for 178 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Even if Levis isn't at full health, he will provide a boost for Kentucky on that side of the ball. Levis is considered a potential first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and this game will be a great opportunity for him to show what he can do on the national stage.
Kentucky vs. Mississippi State prediction
Assuming Levis is back in the fold, Kentucky is more than capable of winning this game in front of its home crowd. The Wildcats have a solid defense, and the offense should be capable of moving the ball on the Bulldogs. However, Mississippi State seems to be hitting its stride at the right time. Will Rogers is dealing, and if that continues, he'll put pressure on the Kentucky offense to keep up. The Bulldogs take care of business against the Wildcats, and that sets up a big-time matchup against Alabama in Week 8. Prediction: Mississippi State -4
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 7, and which top-15 favorite will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,000 in profit over the past six-plus seasons -- and find out.