As we start off the week this morning, the Kentucky Wildcats’ season opener against Ball State inches closer by the minute. 2022 was mostly a season to forget.
Several new faces wearing Kentucky blue paired with offensive coordinator Liam Coen back on the sidelines have fans optimistic for a rebound year.
That optimism has led to quite a bit of build-up for the Kentucky hype train throughout the summer. The departure of Will Levis would have been tough for any program to swallow. But the Wildcats have a new quarterback in Devin Leary and have their three best wide receivers (Barion Brown, Dane Key, and Tayvion Robinson) returning to give him a boost.
Kentucky did lose bell cow Chris Rodriguez to the NFL, too, but has a committee of talented running backs ready to manage the load. And don’t fall asleep on Kentucky’s defense this fall. A more experienced group is expected to be one of the best units in all of the Southeastern Conference.
When you look at their schedule and start to project just how many wins Kentucky can string together this season, it’s difficult to find a double-digit number. Their first half of the year is rather favorable, while the back half of the season is somewhat daunting.
A 4-0 start with wins over Ball State, Eastern Kentucky, Akron, and Vanderbilt seems likely. But then Kentucky has a tester as they host Florida before visiting No. 1 Georgia. So, one has to think they’ll have a 5-1 start at best by the mid-way points.
After a tough road game at Georgia, Kentucky will host Missouri and then have a BYE before welcoming No. 12 Tennessee. The Wildcats will then travel to Mississippi State before hosting No. 4 Alabama (senior day) and wrapping up the schedule with road games at both South Carolina and Louisville. So what does that look like? Four wins? Three? Two? One?
That’s where “projections” get tricky. Because there’s a world where Kentucky could lose five of those games. But there’s also a chance the Wildcats put together a multitude of strong performances and get to an eight, nine or even 10-win record fans are hoping for.
If Kentucky is going to take a step forward with their new QB and a highly talented roster, they’ll have to win those games. But it all starts when they host Ball State on Saturday at noon ET. You can watch via the SEC Network and listen via your local UK Sports Network affiliate.
Tweet of the Day
All of the Kentucky players have been great with the kids, but Aaron Bradshaw is on a different level. As good as they come. pic.twitter.com/Vi4ti8U5Eu— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) August 27, 2023
His much-anticipated UK debut is on the horizon.
The NCAA investigation is still ongoing.
They’re his surprise pick in the SEC for this season.
Good news for the Angels.
He’s a star.
So many preseason injuries.
First game in less than three weeks.
From the owner himself.