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Is a 9-1 start possible for the Kentucky Wildcats?


Going into the bye week, the Wildcats sit “pretty” at 5-1. We’ve seen some ugly victories, injuries pile up, and production struggles from various position groups, but the football team now has two weeks to regroup.

Luckily for them, the next several games following the bye week are absolutely winnable, and if they play their cards right, we could be set up for the best regular season since 1977.

Here is the blueprint to Kentucky’s 9-1 start and a shot at Atlanta.

Mississippi State

The Bulldogs started the year 3-0, and after an annihilation of the LSU Tigers, many analysts felt they may be the team to beat in the SEC West.

Since then, however, Mississippi State has been blown out in two consecutive games, and the team as a whole has looked extremely mortal.

After a bye week this past weekend and an upcoming game against BYU (1-5), they could be coming into their matchup with the Wildcats in two weeks fresh and firing on all cylinders.

As we saw last season, Nick Fitzgerald is a legitimate dual-threat quarterback and could put a hurting on Kentucky’s defense.  That being said, the Bulldogs have not dramatically improved from last season. They are well-coached, talented, and deep at most positions, but they are not an elite football team.

If the Wildcats come out of the bye week loose and play up to their ability, they will win. Make careless mistakes, commit turnovers, and they’ll go home 5-2.

Tennessee

As of today, the Tennessee Volunteers are an absolute dumpster fire, and there are no immediate resolutions to put the flames out.

If Butch Jones is still the head coach of the Volunteers when they come to Lexington, I’m extremely confident in Kentucky pulling off the victory. The Wildcats are better at most positions, they’re better coached, and almost no one still supports the UT administration for tolerating it. Yet they’ve adamantly stood behind him as the orange-tinted fanbase slowly crumbles into nothingness.

If Jones is fired, I’m a little more hesitant. Teams get weirdly confident and rally around interim head coaches, so I’d rather watch the collapse continue.

Kentucky sends Jones into unemployment with a victory over Tennessee.

Ole Miss

This is an absolutely winnable game for Kentucky, and they will almost certainly be favored going into it. But it won’t be a cakewalk, especially if the Wildcat defense slacks.

Similar to Missouri, the Rebels have a prolific offense and a mediocre defense. They gave up 27 points to South Alabama, 23 to UT-Martin, and 27 on the road against California. In their first two conference games, they gave up a combined 110 points to Alabama and Auburn.

Shea Patterson has put up over 340 yards in four of five contests, with a total of 1792 yards, 13 touchdowns, six interceptions, and a QBR of 156.2. Three Ole Miss receivers have touchdown receptions of 70 yards or more, and five receivers with over 250 yards on the year.

If Kentucky’s secondary doesn’t get it together, the Rebels will put up massive numbers. If the Wildcat offense struggles, this could set up to be an embarrassing loss at Kroger Field.

Vanderbilt

After starting the year 3-0, fans held up signs with “We want Bama” plastered over the front.

The Crimson Tide then went to Nashville and knocked off the Commodores by a score of 59-0. It was an obliteration in all facets of the game.

The following week, they lost to Florida 38-24 in the Swamp, and then Georgia slaughtered them 45-14 this past Saturday.

Derek Mason is a solid coach and this isn’t the same Vandy program of recent memory, but they’re nothing special on either side of the football. Kyle Shurmur has thrown for 1157 yards, 12 touchdowns, and just one interception, but Stephen Johnson has put up similar stats. Ralph Webb was supposed to be one of the best running backs in America this season, but he has only rushed for 245 yards on 87 carries, good for just 2.8 YPC.

The Wildcats will have to make it happen on the road, but they will be favored in the second weekend of November for a potential ninth win of the season.


Kentucky vs. Georgia for the SEC East title.

Both teams ranked in the top 15.

November 18.

Be ready.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

30 responses to “Is a 9-1 start possible for the Kentucky Wildcats?”

  1. timewilltell

    No

  2. jahanc2uky

    While we are playing lets look a month ahead. 2 months from now, if we win the SEC Championship game, do we get in the final 4?

    1. maximumscott

      Hard to say. Id like to say yes but the committe has proven to not take title game winners before (Penn St). We would need SC to get better. UL to be ranked. UGA on the road top 10. I think the resume is there especially if you beat Bama to take it. I say yes, no doubt.

  3. UKfanman01

    I like to entertain this thought but as of now this is still UK football and Stoops has given me 0 reason to believe this is reachable. I’d feel much better had they finally closed a won game against Florida, but the EPIC collapse haunts me as a fan and brings me back to earth. I really want to believe this is possible. I don’t think the Cards can handle them this year either. Only legit loss should be Georgia. But I’m not holding my breath

    1. maximumscott

      One thing I will say about Stoops is that when he has had depth he has gotten the team better the 2nd half of season. Dont forget this team is 5-1 with significant injuries to starters and limo to a 5-1 with 2nd and 3rd stringers. For us to make this happen we cant have so many 1st stringers out. If we stay relatively healthy then we can do this.

  4. maximumscott

    If this happens, like probably wont but if it does. If we were somehow able to get to the SEC Ship. We would be 1 game away from the Playoff…. long road ahead but it isnt that far off considering whats left on the schedule and where other programs sit.

    1. TBW3011

      We wouldn’t make the playoff IMO.

    2. Catuary

      I don’t think our schedule would be strong enough to get us into the championship playoff. I don’t think we have much chance to win out either, but while we’re dreaming…

      If somehow we won out and beat an undefeated Alabama in the SEC championship game, Alabama would still have a better chance to make the playoff than us. Our non-conference schedule consists of 3 non-majors and Louisville. Our conference schedule is a weak SEC East, plus the Mississippi schools. Not going to cut it.

    3. TBW3011

      Agreed. We have an INCREDIBLY weak schedule this year. When the year ends, it’s very likely we will have only faced one ranked team. IMO, Georgia is the only team we play that will end the year ranked.

  5. BluKudzu

    Somebody is drinking the bong water.
    I want UK to win it all. I want them to be the best. We have a lot to do to get there, but, Lord willing it will be done.
    Go Cats.

  6. original slappy

    Simple answer: No

  7. Catuary

    Possible? Yes. Probable? No.

    If Kentucky had an 80% chance of winning each of its next 4 games, that’s still just a 41% chance of winning all 4. Our chance are probably much lower than 80% in any of the next 4 games.

    1. Luether

      Possible? No…

  8. catsby90.1

    How in the world can anybody be confident about beating Tennessee? We have had so many opportunities in the past 15 years and we all know the result. Heck the way Kentucky football is, I’m not “confident” about beating anybody. Could we win those games: yes Should we: maybe…however, we still have a lot of work to do in my opinion

  9. jaws2

    If we end up 9-3 I’ll be veeeeery happy!

  10. callitlikeiseeit

    YES they are all winnable and 9-1 is possible, I mentioned this on a comment last week. However with this team 6-4 is also possible. We should beat Vandy, Ole Miss and Tenn as we are simply more talented and 2 are at home. MSU I think we have better talent but playing there will be tough. I love this team, and their fight, but I just don’t see us beating UGA on the road. Hope they prove me wrong but I do think we can finish 9-3 or maybe 10-2. I really want us getting a bowl game in Tampa {Outback} or Orlando {Citrus} on Jan 1. Right now they predict MSU and LSU in those games so we can get there.

  11. UKPROF

    Whatever it is you’re drinkin’ Jack, it’s really strong stuff. Let’s just hope Missouri wasn’t our last victory for 2017. We’ve played 6, we have 6 left. Since you didn’t even mention our last 2 games, does that mean you have already conceding to Georgia and Louisville? I’d love to see a 9-3 season, but I’m hoping for 6-6. I know, we’ve won 5, but how did we look and who were they? Has UK has been taking ‘cat naps’ and not yet fully woken up? We’ll find out, since it gets real from here on out.

  12. Catuary

    I’d be content if we go 3-3 in our second half of the season and finish the regular season 8-4. Anything better and I’d be ecstatic. We’ve shown we play to the level of our opponent. We could win any game and lose any game.

  13. sprtphan

    Please. One game at a time.

    1. Rembrandt

      Amen

    2. UKPROF

      I second that Amen!

    3. Miller45

      ^^^^

  14. Miller45

    Need to be 6-1 first……

  15. RedComet90

    No.

  16. Luether

    Is a 9-1 start possible for the Kentucky Wildcats? No…

  17. bailey000

    We should be 6-0

  18. MadHatter

    You playoff people need to pump the brakes lol.

  19. MadHatter

    This is about the time, like in previous years, the wagon falls apart.

  20. CatesDuncan

    I’m pretty confident we can win 3 more at least

  21. Catuary

    Is this click bait?