At the midway point of the college football season, the Kentucky football team is sitting pretty. The fine folks at The Athletic aren’t too hesitant to heap praise on fourteenth-ranked Wildcats.
Bruce Feldman handed out multiple midseason awards. Leading off the article is Midseason Coach of the Year, Mark Stoops.
He’s made UK football respectable the past few years, and this season the ’Cats have mauled some solid SEC opponents. They won at Florida for the first time since 1979 by running it down the Gators’ throats. They also whipped Mississippi State by three touchdowns and beat South Carolina by two touchdowns. Their only blemish is an overtime loss at Texas A&M.
It wasn’t the only honor a Wildcat received. Feldman named Josh Allen the top linebacker in the country through the first half of the 2018 season. The staff at The Athletic gave Allen First Team All-American honors.
An overlooked two-star recruit who nearly ended up at Monmouth, an FCS school, Allen leads a Kentucky defense that ranks 13th in the FBS in yards per play allowed. He has an SEC-best 10.5 tackles for loss, with six sacks, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles. According to Sports Info Solutions, he ranks third nationally with 34 total quarterback pressures.
Allen did not have any other Wildcats with him on the first team, but there are a few Kentucky second team midseason All-Americans. Running back Benny Snell, offensive guard Bunchy Stallings and safety Darius West make the cut for The Athletic.
It’s the third midseason All-American honor for Allen (AP, ESPN) and second for Snell (AP) and Stallings (ESPN).