Through the first half of the college football season it has been nice to be a Wildcat and be a part of BBN. The team’s success on the field hasn’t been seen by this fanbase for a long time.
The offensive line, for the most part, has been in complete control in the games and dominated the line of scrimmage, even against Mississippi State, who is believed to have one of the best lines in the country.
The defense has been outstanding all year with the way they are able to make opposing offenses uncomfortable and they are doing it against tough SEC opponents. They are one of the best defensive units in the country by numbers not opinions.
ESPN released their midseason All-American team for college football, and two Kentucky players made the list. This is not a list of the top NFL draft prospects, and it’s definitely not a list of the players who were being touted as All-Americans before the season even started. It’s just a list of the players who have played like All-Americans up to this point in the season, and a couple of Wildcats happened to make the list.
On offense, it was Bunchy Stallings, and on the defense, Josh Allen made it.
From watching the games, we know just how big Stallings has been for the Cats’ run game and he has been a big factor in the success Benny Snell has had.
Bunchy Stallings with the enormous pancake block. (2018) pic.twitter.com/5cJ9adFZP1— KY Clips (@KY_Clips) September 9, 2018
Chris Low had some high praises for Bunchy in the article.
“One of the keys to Kentucky’s hot start this season has been its experience. The Wildcats are laden with players who’ve been in the program for at least three years, and the 6-3, 305-pound Stallings is a redshirt senior who paved the way for a big chunk of Benny Snell’s 699 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Stallings played some center earlier in his career and is in the best shape of his career. He has been a road-grader for the Wildcats. Go see for yourself and turn on tape from the Florida game”
Flipping to the other side of the ball, Josh Allen has been a beast all season and opposing offensive lines have no answer when Allen blitzes off the edge. Most of the time he gets held but is still able to get to the QB and has been causing havoc for the opposing QB.
Josh Allen (@JoshAllen41_) gets held and still gets the sack #BBN pic.twitter.com/YHM9Sd4LJD— KY Clips (@KY_Clips) September 4, 2018
ESPN has noticed just how good Allen has been and how no one is able to block him.
“As pass-rushers go, the 6-5, 260-pound Allen has been right there at the top from his outside linebacker position. He’s having a sensational senior season and has been a blur off the edge. Allen has 10.5 tackles for loss, including six sacks. Five of those sacks have come against SEC opponents, and he also has five quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles. Offenses simply haven’t been able to block him one-on-one”
That wasn’t the only praise Kentucky players got this week. Sporting News also released their midseason All-America team, and Allen made it as well.
At this point, there probably wouldn’t be an All-American list that Allen was not part of, and if he keeps up this pace, he could be in contention for some national awards as well when the regular season ends.
Someone who probably should be getting All-American love is Derrick Baity. The senior cornerback has put the clamps on opposing receivers this season as good as any defensive back in America:
Kentucky cornerback Derrick Baity has been ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/4V788nvjLm— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) October 15, 2018
That’s an insane level of play at cornerback, so it’s time Baity started getting more national recognition.
Along with that, Kentucky had some high praise from a SEC Network host who predicted Kentucky to win the SEC East. With Georgia’s loss to LSU this weekend it helps Kentucky’s dream of making the SEC Championship a little bit more realistic.
The November 3rd showdown with the Georgia Bulldogs is getting ever closer, and Peter Burns called his shot, picking Kentucky to win the SEC East and go to Atlanta for the SEC Championship.
“With Georgia going down, this thing is absolutely within reach, a trip to Atlanta. I’ll be honest with you, I’m picking Kentucky to win the SEC East now because of that schedule. SEC East is going to be the Kentucky Wildcats in Atlanta.”
“I’m picking @UKFootball to win the SEC East now … The Kentucky Wildcats will be in Atlanta.”— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 15, 2018
- @PeterBurnsESPN #SECThisMorning pic.twitter.com/a0JoWvj195