UK defense vs. wide receiver Gerald Stevenson
Stevenson is a FCS-version of Randall Cobb. The senior from Naples, Fla., is a versatile weapon in the Charleston Southern offense and has registered 643 receiving yards, 154 rushing yards, a passing touchdown and averages 192.3 all-purpose yards per game. Stevenson is particularly dynamic in the return game, where he averages 38.3 yards per kickoff return and has added three touchdowns, including a 100-yard return.
On the other hand, Stevenson’s lofty statistics, unlike Cobb’s, have not come against several Southeastern Conference opponents, but mostly other FCS opponents.
So, the Cats’ defense should prove to be too quick and too athletic for Stevenson to have a big day, but if any one of the Buccaneers will be capable of making a play, Stevenson is a prime candidate.
Edge: UK defense
Linebacker Danny Trevathan vs. running back DeMarcus Moon
Trevathan leads the SEC in tackles and just like the above matchup, his blazing speed should easily lead him to a sixth consecutive game with double-digit tackles against less athletic opposition.
Moon leads the Buccaneers with six touchdowns and has carried the ball 95 times for a team-leading 323 yards.
Moon is a smaller back, standing at 5-foot-10 and weighing 197 pounds, and his 3.4 yards per rush total should not intimidate Trevathan or the rest of the UK defense for that matter.
For the Cats, this game should provide a nice break after facing some of the best running backs and dual-threat quarterbacks in the country week-in and week-out in conference play.
UK vs. Embarrassment
UK senior fullback Moncell Allen said it best earlier this week: “If (Charleston Southern) beat us then we’ve really got trouble.”
It would be hard to disagree with Allen’s statement, considering the Cats need at least two wins from their final three games to become bowl eligible and extend their bowl streak to a school-record five straight seasons. To assure themselves of a bowl bid, the Cats almost certainly have to take care of business on Saturday.
Though the Cats’ season hasn’t gone according to preseason plans, they still want to end the season on a positive.
“You definitely want to get these last three games so you can go into the offseason with a little steam and a little momentum,” junior defensive tackle Mark Crawford said.
Losing to an FCS minnow at home would not only kill what little momentum the Cats have, severely dent their bowl chance, but most of all, prove to be rather embarrassing.
Final Edge: Maximum edge for UK