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Ole Miss Week Five Opponent Preview: Kentucky Wildcats Defense

Our college football preview series continues this week with the Rebels' week five matchup.
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After enjoying what should be an easy start to the 2022 college football season, the Ole Miss Rebels welcome their first SEC opponent of the season to Oxford, Miss., in week five, the Kentucky Wildcats.

In 2021, the Wildcats won 10 games for the first time since 2018 under coach Mark Stoops. Stoops is the longest-tenured coach in the SEC behind Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban. Under Stoops, Kentucky is preparing to put the rest of the SEC on notice in 2022 and prove that 2021 was not a fluke. It helps that the Wildcats have a quarterback already getting first-round hype for the 2023 NFL Draft, Will Levis. Kentucky started the 2021 season hot, rolling to a 6-0 start, and later made it to the Citrus Bowl versus the Iowa Hawkeyes.

On Monday, we did an overview of the Kentucky football program, now we will dive deeper into the Wildcats' defense. Here is a look at Kentucky's defensive playmakers for the 2022 college football season.

Defensive Players to Watch

Tackles: Jacquez Jones

Jones transferred to Kentucky from Ole Miss in June of 2021 after spending three seasons with the Rebels and led the Wildcats in total tackles with 82 last fall. 

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Interceptions: J.J. Weaver

Sacks: J.J. Weaver 

After tearing his ACL in 2020, Weaver played in every game in 2021 and proved to be an emerging star for the Wildcats recording 73 tackles, 16.5 TFLs, 6.5 sacks, and he also led the defense in interceptions with 2. Weaver was named the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year.

The 2022 Wildcat defense will be anchored by three senior linebackers in Jones, DeAndre Square, and Jordan Wright.

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