We must admit that we are a little apprehensive about writing this column this week. BlueRaiderZone.com’s Five Bold Predictions usually consists of us going out on the limb with our predictions. We base our predictions on an educated knowledge of the upcoming game, but we will be the first to admit that we never expected to be so close on our predictions last week. We were very close on three of our predictions and hit two of them on the money, including calling for the upset AND correctly predicting the final score. Now the pressure is on. Was it beginners luck or do we have a crystal ball? We should know the answer in a few days.
Bold Prediction #1- The Blue Raiders will score a touchdown and will end Kentucky’s streak of no defensive touchdowns allowed this season. This may not seem like a BOLD prediction because the average fan would always expect their team to score at least one touchdown in a game, but the Kentucky faithful feel this streak will stay intact. The Blue Raider offense will be the best offense Kentucky has faced this year. Yes, better than the once powerful Louisville offense. To take it one step further, the Blue Raiders will score multiple offensive touchdowns in this game.
Bold Prediction #2- Offensively, neither Sancho McDonald nor Malcolm Beyah will be the star of the game. These two freshmen will play well, but the Kentucky defense will key on them. Patrick Honeycutt will continue to be steady, but look for Chris McClover or Wes Caldwell to have a break-out game. One of these two players will get their first collegiate touchdown against Kentucky.
Bold Prediction #3- For the 2nd straight week the Blue Raider defense will rise to the challenge. The Blue Raiders will once again win the turnover battle. There will be enough defensive pressure that the Blue Raiders will pick off three passes for the 2nd straight game.
Bold Prediction #4- The Blue Raiders will score on a non-traditional play. In other words, Middle Tennessee will score by safety, kick return, interception return, fake punt, or some other way besides a traditional offensive play (or field goal). The Middle Tennessee coaching staff proved last week they are willing to take calculated risks. Manny Diaz has his defense swarming. Look for this aggressiveness to result in points on the board for the Blue Raiders.
Bold Prediction #5- We always reserve the five spot for the final score. After hitting it right on the money last week we feel that some may have more faith in our predictions than they should. We feel it necessary to add the disclaimer that these predictions are just for fun and they should not be used for gambling purposes.
This week’s outlook is much harder to predict for two reasons. First of all, we have not been able to see Kentucky play this year. However, we have researched their team, their stats, and individual positions. Secondly, it is tough to predict how the young Blue Raider team will react after winning against Maryland. It can be a real confidence boost or we can see a let down this weekend.
Looking at the talent level and key match-ups, we feel that the sensible prediction would be Kentucky winning this game by the score of 31-20. As we stated last week we make no apologies for being homers. This column is for BOLD predictions and that’s exactly what we will do. Coach Rick Stockstill and his staff have won many big games. They know how to positively use this energy to propel their team to new heights. The Blue Raiders will head to Commonwealth Stadium with a renewed confidence and a sense of purpose. Final score, in a huge upset, Middle Tennessee 24 Kentucky 20.
When you see these predictions come to fruition on the field, remember, you heard it first at BlueRaiderZone.com.