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Wildcats To Watch: Three Players MSU Will Have To Handle Against Kentucky

Kentucky's record may not be the best indicator of the team as a whole, but the Wildcats have high-level talent on both sides of the ball.

Mississippi State is set to meet the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday evening in Davis Wade Stadium, marking the 49th meeting between the two teams, with each team at 24 wins apiece. 

This one will be the tiebreaker. 

The last time Bulldogs head coach Mike Leach went into a game with a tied series was against Texas A&M, and everyone knows how that one turned out. Kentucky is also the type of team that may be worse than its record shows, if you dig past it. This is not a team that is going to beat you in the box score.

If Leach and company wish to keep up the momentum after their first 40 point scoring performance of the season, there are, however, a few key players that the Bulldogs will need to contain.

WR Wan’Dale Robinson

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Robinson makes a strong case to be called the most talented player on this team. He currently sits at 566 yards and five touchdowns on the year. For reference, the last Kentucky wide receiver to total 1000 yards on a season was Randall Cobb back in 2010. It’s not often Kentucky has a receiver with this kind of production, but when they do, the Wildcats tend to make the most of it.

A big game from him could be the Achilles heel for the Bulldogs this week, so expect Emmanuel Forbes and Martin Emerson to be locked in come kickoff.

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RB Chris Rodriguez

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Rodriguez is the do-it-all back for the Wildcats. The junior workhorse comes into this game leading the SEC in rushing with 775 yards on the ground. MSU has not been terrible against the run this year, showcasing its ability during the NC State and Texas A&M games to keep talented running backs in check.

If the Bulldogs plan to do the same this week, they will have to come prepared for four full quarters of Chris Rodriguez, as he can be expected to be a part of almost every snap come Saturday.

LB DeAndre Square

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Plainly put, Square has the potential to be a menace to opposing offenses each and every time he steps foot on the field. The linebacker comes into this game with a total of 50 tackles and three sacks on the year, with 13 of those tackles coming in a single game against Florida.

Square flies to the ball better than anyone else on the Wildcat defense, and will more than likely be someone Leach has circled this week in film study. Kentucky has talent -- that point cannot be argued. Mark Stoops is also a defensive coach with one of the best reputations in the SEC in terms of preparation, and the obvious history between the two coaches cannot be overstated.

It’s going to be an interesting weekend in Starkville, to say the least. The homecoming court will be presented, the Diamond Dawgs will receive their national championship rings, and oh yeah, there’s a football game, too.