With the Mississippi State game on deck and a 3-0 start, the Kentucky Wildcats are set up for a successful season. There is no doubt in my mind that the Wildcats will be in a bowl game again at the end of the season, as all they need is three more wins to secure it.
But expectations have risen for this program, and the hope is eight or even nine wins are very realistic for this game, regardless of what happens against the Bulldogs. However, there are some challenging games left on the schedule that will make getting to that 8/9 win range very tough to accomplish.
Let’s take a look at the hardest games the Cats have remaining on their schedule.
South Carolina Gamecocks
I am confident the Cats can pull this one out, too, especially since it’s another home night game. However, there is the fact that the Gamecocks are likely out for revenge after having beat them the past few years and knocking out Deebo Samuel last season. Samuel is an immensely talented player, and he is back with a chip on his shoulder. The Gamecocks have looked really good at some points this season, but if the Cats play well and the crowd shows up, there is no doubt in my mind that they can pull out this win, too. But it could very well be a close one and is a toss-up.
While Kentucky has three straight wins over the SEC East Tigers, they’ve been a pleasant surprise this year. They have three wins, including one at Purdue, who just demolished 23rd-ranked Boston College. They did lose to Georgia, but they pushed the Bulldogs more than most teams have over the last two seasons. This has suddenly become a very challenging game for Kentucky to win, and they’ll probably be underdogs in Columbia.
Mississippi St. Bulldogs
The Cats will either be 4-0 or 3-1, still not a bad start to the season. I’m hopeful they’re able to hit the 4-0 mark and am confident that if the crowd at Kroger Field shows up, they can pull this team to a victory. However, there is no denying the talent of Mississippi State and this game could come down to the wire. Honestly, either team could win this one, but the Bulldogs are 10-point favorites for a reason. Kentucky will need an A game to be able to beat this loaded Bulldogs team.
Texas A&M Aggies
This could be a team that beats the Wildcats. They have shown some real talent this season, and resiliency when they’ve had their backs against the wall, especially against one of the top teams in the nation, Clemson. What might hurt the Cats is that this game is played at Kyle Field, and their home-crowd is special. However, we can’t forget the Jimbo Fisher is their new coach ,and Mark Stoops is pretty familiar with him, having coached with Fisher at Florida State, and that could be an advantage for the Cats.
This is the hardest game the Wildcats have on their schedule. It’s honestly daunting. The Cats would have to play an almost perfect game to pull this one out. It does help that it, too, is a home game but I’d be lying if I said I expected them to win this one. Georgia is really good. This is not a game where I expect to add another notch in the W column. However, if they’re able to pull it off, it would be one of the biggest wins of the Mark Stoops era.