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    Football Preview: Western Kentucky at Kentucky

    WESTERN KENTUCKY at KENTUCKY
    7:30 p.m. ET
    Lexington, Ky.
    Commonwealth Stadium (67,942)
    Overall: 0-1
    LIVE TV: CSS
    [Matt Stewart, play-by-play; Chris Doering, analyst; Allison Williams, sidelines]
    Overall: 1-0
    SEC: 0-0
    XM: 203
    Sirius: N/A


    THE COACHES

    Willie Taggart is in his first season at WKU and overall. The Hilltoppers' offensive coordinator is Taggart and the defensive coordinator is Clint Bowen.

    Joker Phillips is in his first season at Kentucky and overall. The Wildcats' offensive coordinator is Randy Sanders and the defensive coordinator is Steve Brown.

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN WESTERN KENTUCKY HAS THE BALL

    Junior running back Bobby Rainey rushed for a career-best 155 yards on 30 carries last week at Nebraska. His previous high was 144 yards last season at Florida Atlantic. Dating back to last season, Rainey has now recorded more than 100 yards in three of his last four games, averaging 144.3 yards in those three games. Nebraska ranked ninth against the run nationally in 2009. Rainey also registered a career-best 36 receiving yards, and his 191 yards from scrimmage were the most in his career at WKU.

    Since the 2006 season, with the Wildcats going to a school-record four-straight bowl games, Kentucky is +23 in turnover margin. For the 2010 season, UK is +2 in turnover margin after the Louisville game, to rank tied for first in the SEC and tied for seventh nationally. Only six starters return on the Wildcat defense - ends DeQuin Evans and Taylor Wyndham, tackle Ricky Lumpkin, linebacker Danny Trevathan, cornerback Randall Burden and safety Winston Guy, with Evans and Lumpkin the only seniors.

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN KENTUCKY HAS THE BALL

    Senior linebacker Thomas Majors was the only Topper to earn first-team, preseason Sun Belt honors, while fellow linebacker Chris Bullard and defensive lineman Kenny Martin were fourth-team picks. In his first game playing on the defensive side of the ball, wide receiver turned defensive back Derrius Brooks collected six tackles and a pass breakup last week.

    Kentucky's 466 yards of total offense vs. Louisville marked the most since the Cats gained 488 yards in the 2009 opener vs. Miami-Ohio. Tailback Derrick Locke won the inaugural Howard Schnellenberger Award as most valuable player of the Governor's Cup. Locke rushed 23 times for 104 yards and two touchdowns and also caught three passes for 21 yards. Mike Hartline became the first quarterback in Governor's Cup history to go 3-0 as the starting QB. Hartline completed 17 of 26 passes for 217 yards in leading the Wildcats to victory. Against Louisville, Randall Cobb rushed four times for 80 yards and was 1-for-1 for 19 passing yards in the "WildCobb" formation.

    SPECIAL TEAMS

    Freshman Willie McNeal made his Hilltopper debut last week, and proceeded to rack up 169 all-purpose yards — including 132 on kickoff returns. He averaged 22 yards per return, with a long of 29. He also rushed for 19 yards and caught an eight...yard pass.

    Kentucky kickers Joe Mansour and Ryan Tydlacka were honored on by the College Football Performance Awards for their individual performances in the Louisville game. Mansour, a freshman from LaGrange, Ga., was named the Kickoff Specialist of the Week after kicking off five times against the Cardinals, three of which went for touchbacks. Tydlacka was honorable mention for the Punter Performer of the Week after booting four punts for 199 yards with an average of 49.8 yards per punt. The native of Louisville, Ky., had a career...long punt of 62 yards, pinning the Cardinals within their own 20...yard line once. The 62...yarder was also a Governor Cup record for longest punt.

    SERIES/GAME NOTES
    Record: UK, 1-0

    Kentucky and Western Kentucky meet for just the second time in school history ... In 2008, the Wildcats and Hilltoppers played for the first time with Kentucky winning 41-3 in Commonwealth Stadium... In 2009, UK and WKU agreed to play each other for the next four years with the 2010 and 2012 meeting coming in Commonwealth Stadium and the 2011 and 2013 meetings taking place at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn... UK is 10...1all...time vs. teams from the current alignment of the Sun Belt Conference.