Heading into the season, Mark Stoops may be fielding his most talented team he has had since he took the Kentucky job.
In 2018, the Cats burst onto the scene when they finished with 10-wins and ended the season with a big bowl win over Penn State.
Despite losing multiple QBs including starter Terry Wilson in 2019, Stoops moved WR Lynn Bowden to QB and he led the Cats to an impressive 8-5 record with a bowl win over Virginia Tech.
The 2019 bowl appearance was the 4th in a row for Stoops and the 2nd straight win. However, the national buzz around Kentucky has been nonexistent.
That is all changing as the 2020 season approaches.
On Saturday, former NFL and Alabama safety Roman Harper was on SEC Nation and while he believes Florida is the favorite in the SEC East, he said people need to keep an eye out for Kentucky.
“I look at Florida to win it, or a team like Kentucky to come out of nowhere with the addition of Terry Wilson coming back off of injury,” Harper said. “They’re returning a strong offensive line, the run game that they have, I want Kentucky to come out there and maybe have a chance to surprise some teams and represent the SEC in the East.”
Sam Marsdale of CatsPause noted that Wilson did something as a first year starter in 2018 that has never happened in the history of the program.
“As a first-year starter in 2018, Wilson became the first player in school history to throw for 1,500+ yards and rush for 500+ yards in the same season while helping lead the Wildcats to just the third 10-win season in school history and first in 41 years.”
In the two games he played in 2019 prior to the season ending injury, Wilson was 33/52 passing for 360-yards and zero INTs and well as rushing for a TD.
It is nice to finally see Kentucky getting national respect after seeing what Stoops has built since becoming the head coach.
The Cats will get the season started Saturday, and that game will kick off at 12 pm EST on the SEC Network.