The time has come, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, for Mark Stoops and the new-look Wildcats to prove they are headed in the right direction. It's game time.
I have, and still do, maintain that this is as close to a must-win game as Kentucky has had in a long time. UK is favored in this game by 4.5 points, which is not a particularly large margin, and by Vegas standards, it wouldn't be a huge upset. In fact, it is exactly the same margin as LSU at Texas Christian. But a loss here would hurt the outstanding momentum the summer has given this program. A win would be a huge shot in the arm that might carry over to some upsets later down the road.
Here's what I want to see tonight:
Scoring. Kentucky was among the worst offensive teams in the country last year, and moving the ball around a lot will not help that. The only thing that will is putting the football in the end zone.
Enthusiasm. I want to see a team that is happy to be here, and I fully expect we will.
Focus. I don't want to see a bunch of mental errors and blown coverages.
Defense. I expect the front seven to be the star tonight.
Intensity. I am tired of lackluster, laissez-faire football. I want to see this coaching staff show emotion and motivate this team by example. Mark Stoops is not Nick Saban, so I want him to pump up this team all game long, and will them to the win. I want to see some passion out of this coaching staff, and I want that reflected by the players.
Clean football. No stupid first-down, drive-killing penalties.
That doesn't seem that much to ask, bu after last year, I just don't know. I am expecting a whole lot from this staff, and I expect all of that to be reflected in the team. If I don't see that reflection, well, I'm going to blame the staff. As Big Julius said in Remember the Titans, "Attitude reflects leadership."
Let's win this. Western is my alma mater, but tonight, I'm all Blue and White. Go, 'Cats!