Though the score didn't necessarily show it, there were plenty of things to build off of from Nebraska. For one, junior running back Bobby Rainey rushed 30 times for 155 yards and a touchdown. Now, it's time to set the sights on the state school, Kentucky. It was a rough go in the teams' last and only meeting two years ago, but how many strides has WKU made since? Each week, InsideHilltopperSports.com will compile the three biggest keys on each side of the ball to keep WKU in the game:
Find another playmaker :
Though Rainey will tell you he'll do whatever his team needs and do it to the best of his ability, there's no way Rainey can sustain an entire season with the workload he had against Nebraska. But no one else has really stepped up thus far. Whether it's another running back or receiver stepping up, someone has to help lessen the load on Rainey.
Kawaun Jakes needs a better start:
It took a bit to get going for Jakes at Nebraska. That was one big reason for having to use Rainey as much as he was used. Hopefully, Jakes has all the jitters out from a big atmosphere. This one will be another big crowd, but not like Nebraska. Jakes being able to start smooth is huge for the offense.
Get Jack Doyle involved:
We said it last week, but Doyle is so versatile, he has to be used offensively. He had only one catch last week and couldn't haul in a pass in the red zone that was slightly thrown behind him. He has to get more looks to open up things for the other receivers.
Tackle, tackle, tackle:
It's hard to be much more up front than that. There were far too many blown tackles or just poor form tackles. Coach Willie Taggart talked about guys wrapping up better and he's right. WKU's defenders have to be more sound tackling, so opponents can't slip through.
Don't get too far down early:
Last season, WKU had good starts before breaking down thereafter, for the most part (i.e. Navy, Tennessee). At Nebraska, it was almost the opposite. It wasn't very far into the game when WKU was already staring down a 14-0 deficit. It's critical that the Toppers not let UK get the early momentum, especially playing on the road. The offense is there to score points, but probably won't be able to pull out a shootout win.
Keep an eye on Randall Cobb:
Cobb could be the most versatile athlete int he country. He'll be used in a myriad of ways: out of the backfield, in the slot, out wide and under center in the 'Wild Cobb' formation. Plus, he has a decent arm. WKU needs to know where he is at all times. There's no excuse if he slips out wide open. Kentucky has other playmakers, but not any as explosive as Cobb.
We'll be on the sideline for all the action and after the game, catch InsideHilltopperSports.com's extensive post-game, with a full game wrap and audio from coach Willie Taggart
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