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Kentucky football vs. UT Martin: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Wildcats battle Skyhawks

Gunnar Hoak #12 of the Kentucky Wildcats throws a pass against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Commonwealth Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky can't reach last season's 10-win plateau that marked the high point of the Mark Stoops era, but still has something big to play for in Saturday's game against visiting Tennessee-Martin. The Wildcats can lock down a bowl appearance for the fourth straight season, one shy of the school record, by handling the Skyhawks from the FCS.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network. LINE: No Line

The Wildcats put themselves in position to receive a bowl bid and possibly enjoy a winning season by running all over Vanderbilt last week. Lynn Bowden, Jr. had 110 yards rushing to tie school records held by Mike Fanuzzi for rushing yards in a season for a quarterback (723 yards) and 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback (four). The former receiver, who is a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award that is given to the nation's most versatile athlete, had a lot of help from freshman Christopher Rodriguez, who enjoyed his best game with 129 rushing yards, while another freshman, Kavosiey Smoke, fell five yards short of giving the Wildcats three 100-yard rushers in the same game. Freshman John Bachus III, a four-time winner of the Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week, has thrown 18 touchdown passes for the Skyhawks, who have gone 1-27 all-time against FBS teams - including 0-10 against the SEC.

ABOUT TENNESSEE-MARTIN (7-4)

Senior Terry Williams is a threat in the passing game as his 50 receptions for 507 yards and three touchdowns would attest, but he is also a threat in the return game. The 5-10 native of Mississippi averages 23 yards per kickoff return and 16.9 yards per punt return and has a school-record two punt returns for TDs. Colton Dowell is the deep threat at 20.7 yards per catch and Jaylon Moore has scored on one-third of his 15 receptions this season.

ABOUT KENTUCKY (5-5)

It took a while for Rodriguez to get an opportunity to shine but the Georgia native has not disappointed. After sitting out four games and logging a high of six carries in three other contests, Rodriguez broke through last week against Tennessee, notching 81 yards on 12 carries before recording his first career 100-game game and scoring a pair of touchdowns against Vanderbilt. “Keep on sowing those seeds. Keep on working, keep on doing the right things and eventually you’re going to have your opportunity,” Stoops told the media. “He’s done that. He’s been doing that and it goes back to his practice habits.”

EXTRA POINTS

1. Bowden, who is 116 rushing yards away from having 1,000 yards in rushing and receiving in his career, needs 178 rushing yards for 1,000 in the season, something accomplished by only eight players in school history.

2. The Wildcats rank second in the FBS and SEC in running plays of at least 20 yards (32), including three by Rodriguez over the last two games.

3. The Skyhawks fell 45-0 earlier this season to No. 10 Florida - a team that handed Kentucky a 29-21 defeat one week later.

PREDICTION: Kentucky 37, Tennessee-Martin 6