It has been a tough season for the Kentucky Wildcats football program.
There have been a slue of injuries and COVID-19 issues have ravaged the Cats over the last few weeks.
That’s not even accounting for the tragic loss of offensive line coach John Schlarman, who passed away earlier this month after a long battle with cancer, and we can only imagine how much that’s weighed on the players and coaches over the last month.
However, this is still a chance to finish this season off on the right foot as the Cats take on the 2-7 South Carolina Gamecocks this week.
But regardless of how Saturday’s game goes, it sounds like there’s a chance Kentucky will not accept a bowl invitation if extended one.
During his Monday press conference, head coach Mark Stoops admitted that he’s uncertain if the program will play in a bowl game this year, even if they’re invited to one.
“I’m not sure...I haven’t really addressed that yet,” Stoops said. “I need to visit with our team. I think the biggest thing would be the mindset of our team and to make sure that they would be all in and want to do that.
“I certainly would want to, and I think our staff would and our administration. There’s going to be a lot of teams playing in bowl games with 3-4, and so we need to win this game (vs. South Carolina).
“I’ll address that next week, and it will really be the temperature of our football team. I definitely don’t want to go in there half-hearted. I want to go in there with an all-in mentality and ready to play and compete.”
KSR’s Matt Jones added he’s heard there’s a real chance Kentucky does not accept a bowl bid.
I think it would be a big mistake if UK doesn’t accept a Bowl bid— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) November 30, 2020
But from what I hear, it is a definite possibility https://t.co/zDfXyXlQ9V
In more positive news, Kentucky just dropped the latest depth chart of the season, and it included star running back Chris Rodriguez Jr., who now appears healthy and set to play this week. Senior tight end Justin Rigg is also on the new depth chart, so both guys should be good to go this week.
The unfortunate news is linebacker J.J. Weaver being left off due to a torn ACL he suffered on Saturday in Florida.
The Gamecocks have had an even worse season than the Cats. So bad that they had to fire their head coach and their athletic director. Their team just hasn’t quite looked the same since, but this will still be a dog fight like it is every year.
As for the Cats, the known struggle with the team has been its offense. Having Rodriguez and Rigg back are great, but it seems to be a deeper issue than any of the players. The offensive play calling has been brought into question by players, media and fans as of late.
It will be important for Stoops and Gran to pull it together and get a victory at home on Senior night against SC. If not, there will be heavy questioning on what the future of this team will look like.
Check out the updated depth-chart ahead of Saturday’s matchup here: