In the meantime, the opening line has Kentucky as a 10-point road favorite over the Golden Eagles on Saturday. To be a double-digit favorite on the road against a team that won by double digits at Kroger Field last year may seem odd, but the Cats return far more of their 7-6 roster than the Eagles’ 7-6 squad of last season.
Vegas is favoring the Cats, and so is ESPN. Their FPI Index gives Kentucky an 84 percent chance to beat the Golden Eagles and start the season 1-0.
Kentucky romped to a 35-10 lead at home over Southern Miss a season ago, but went scoreless in the second half and lost 44-35. If Vegas and ESPN are correct, this will be the redemption game for Kentucky.
Kentucky won’t have to deal with Nick Mullens, the four-year starting quarterback at Southern Miss who holds virtually every passing record in school history.
But this time around, it’s in different territory. USM will host in Hattiesburg, Mississippi at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Hopefully, this will be the start to a second consecutive bowl-bound season for the Wildcats. After the collapse against the Golden Eagles last year, UK eventually turned their season around.