- Game Time: 7 pm ET on September 3rd, 2022
- Location: Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky.
- TV Channel: This game will be online only through the SEC Network + channel.
- Live Online Stream: Watch the game online with WatchESPN, ESPN+ and the ESPN app. You can also catch the game with a free trial of fubo.tv.
- Announcers: Mike Morgan, Tom Ramsey and Coley Harvey will be on the call.
- Radio: Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro will have the UK radio network call on 6:30 AM, 98.1 FM in Lexington, and on the UK Sports Network.
- Replay: WatchESPN and the SEC Network (check local listings for replay schedule).
- Weather: 74 degrees and cloudy with a 65% chance of rain at kickoff, per Weather.com.
- Rosters: UK | MU
- Odds: Kentucky opened as a 19-point favorite, and the line has since dropped to 15, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the Cats a 93.3% chance at victory.
- Score Projections: TeamRankings has the Cats winning 35-20. Go here for more game predictions and betting info.
The dreaded offseason has finally run its course, and the masses are ready to celebrate the return of football across America.
The University of Kentucky Wildcats will kick off their 2022 season under the lights at Kroger Field on Saturday at 7:00 pm ET.
The Cats will take the RedHawks of Miami-Ohio — a group that is favored to win their division in the MAC.
If you’re planning to listen on the radio you can hear Tom Leach on the call live from the press box by listening to WLAP630 on UK’s radio network.
Mark Stoops’ team will begin this season with unprecedented, lofty expectations that are heavily reliant on a budding star under center. To give you an idea of this, every season prediction here at A Sea of Blue and over at KSR has Kentucky finishing no worse than 9-3, with several predicting double-digit regular-season wins.
Will Levis will enter his second year quarterbacking for UK as a much more than a question mark from the transfer portal. He’s now a nationally known player with first-round NFL Draft buzz spewing from all media outlets.
After throwing for 2,800 yards and 24 touchdowns, most are expecting Levis to take a major jump working in tandem with first-year offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello.
The absence of star running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. could create a scenario where Levis and company are airing the ball a bit on Saturday night. Star outside linebacker Jordan Wright is also expected to be suspended for this game.
Whether the Cats are throwing the ball a lot or not one major thing to keep your eye on will be UK’s brand new wide-receiver core. Tayvion Robinson, Dane Key, Dekel Crowdus and Barion Brown are a few of the guys pegged to replace the insane usage of Wan’Dale Robinson.
For Kentucky’s opener, expect to see a bevy of offensive weapons get an opportunity to shine, including a tight end room, highlighted by rising junior Izayah Cummings, that has been receiving rave reviews this summer. Other names to watch at this position include seniors Brenden Bates and Keaton Upshaw, as well as promising redshirt freshman Jordan Dingle.
Defensively, Kentucky will be competing against one of the top QBs in the MAC this week. Brett Gabbert, whose brother is long-time NFL QB Blaine Gabbert, threw for 26 touchdowns and only six interceptions in 10 games. Along with many of his top receiving options back in the fold, expect the junior signal-caller to keep his poise in what will be a rocking environment inside Kroger Field.
Among the RedHawks’ other top returning offensive skill players are:
- RB Keyon Mozee (556 rushing yards and four scores with a 4.6 avg in 2021).
- WR Mac Hippenhammer (786 receiving yards and five scores with a 16.4 avg).
- RB Kevin Davis (342 rushing yards and three scores with a 5.5 avg).
- WR Jalen Walker (398 receiving yards and four scores with a 12.8 avg).
- TE Jack Coldiron (293 receiving yards and one score with an 18.3 avg).
Thankfully, Kentucky has a lot of firepower returning on the defensive side of the ball led by stud pass-rusher J.J. Weaver on the edge and potential All-SEC pick Octavious Oxendine at defensive tackle.
And we can’t forget about what should be one of the SEC’s best linebacker units, featuring Citrus Bowl hero Deandre Square and super senior Jacquez Jones, while second-year backer Trevin Wallace looks primed for a breakout season.
While Kentucky typically plays a lot of cupcake teams in the non-conference schedule, these RedHawks are not to be trifled with and can absolutely make the Kroger Field crowd sweat this one out if the home team doesn’t bring its ‘A’ game. We’ve seen plenty of examples of this over the years, most recently last year’s squeaker vs. FCS Chattanooga.
But if Mark Stoops’ bunch comes ready to play, they’ll likely cruise to a double-digit win heading into next week’s Gainesville clash with the Florida Gators.
It’s officially football time in the Bluegrass!