No matter what program you are — there typically is no shame in losing on the road at Auburn. The University of Kentucky has nothing to be ashamed about after their 29-13 loss on Saturday, but there are a number of things that need to improve quickly.
Starting off 0-1 doesn’t change much for the season outlook as a whole when you consider the win totals that most predicted before the year began. With a brutal 10-game schedule, it was obvious that playing teams like Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and Florida was going to be a tall task. So dropping the first one on the road isn’t the end of the world, even though it stung knowing that the Cats had multiple opportunities to take control of the game but squandered them all.
Now the questions becomes — What now?
ESPN updated their Football Power Index (FPI) after the week one of the SEC and it’s clear that their next two games at Kroger Field are crucial.
ESPN’s predictive model assigns a percentage chance at winning a particular matchup and is updated each week.
Here is the breakdown for UK’s remaining games.
When Ole Miss travels to Lexington this weekend the Cats will be a slight favorite, ESPN says UK has a 63% chance at victory. That’s a pretty tight margin and it becomes especially concerning for Kentucky fans when you consider the fact that Ole Miss sophomore redshirt quarterback Matt Corral threw for nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns.
The Rebels eclipsed 600 total yards offensively in a 51-35 loss to Florida on Saturday.
Winning the next two games at home against Ole Miss and Mississippi State will be key if UK wants to have a year that more closely mirrors the past two seasons. Splitting the games would be acceptable and there would still be a path to seven wins or so.
But if the Cats drop both of those and fall to 0-3, it’s hard to see how they can ultimately accomplish what they would deem as a great year.
Did your opinion of Kentucky change after Week 1?