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Kentucky Subplots From SDS

Saturday Down South is profiling the subplots of teams from around the SEC and today they took a look at our beloved Wildcats. With excitement at a near all time high there are plenty of storylines to keep an eye on for the upcoming season. Here’s a bit of what SDS picked for the top stories to watch as the season unfolds:

1. Bowl game bound?

Any rational college football fan knows Kentucky may not have the depth or the players to notch six regular season wins. Although James Franklin at Vanderbilt and Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss inherited terrible programs and were able to accomplish the feat, Stoops has the tallest measure of any of the three. Not only is the roster depleted, but Stoops also has to go out and play one of the toughest schedules in college football.

I guess this is something to watch despite the odds of it happening being pretty slim. If the Cats go bowling in year one then Stoops will have lead one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the history of the sport. I’d expect the Cats to be bowling in year 2 but if a miracle happens next year then it’ll be party time in Lexington.

2. Quarterback(s)

Kentucky has three of them in Max Smith, Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles. Smith is the gunslinger of the three, but Whitlow may give them the best opportunity to win now. The dual-threat Whitlow flashed ability last year and this spring, and he may be the front-runner to start against Western Kentucky week one.

For more on the biggest question facing Kentucky sports scroll on down a handful of posts. Seems like every year since Woodson left we’ve had a debate rage over who would be the starting QB. Once this starter is named I’d guess that this argument will be put to rest for a few years. Wait, Drew Barker will be on campus next fall? Expect this one to also keep going as four guys will be competing next year.

3. Defensive line

There are not many positions Mark Stoops feels comfortable about heading into fall camp, but one of the stronger units is the defensive line. Led by bookends Alvin Dupree and JUCO transfer Za’Darius Smith and tackles Donte Rumph and Mister Cobble, there’s some serious talent to work with.

The Cats may finally be able to hold there own against the great running backs of the SEC. Unfortunately they may not get too many chances to prove their worth as the secondary is a bit suspect. Still it’s nice to know we have at least one  pillar to start building this program around.

4. Air Raid

Kentucky wants to throw the rock around the yard 40 times per game under new OC Neal Brown. I love the offense and the hire by Mark Stoops, making the Air Raid tough to prepare for week-in and week-out. Ironically, they may not have the depth at receiver to have that type of offense, but the Cats do have a bevy of depth at running back with Raymond Sanders, Jonathan George and Dyshawn Mobley.

Final Verdict

SDS takeaway: Everything about Mark Stoops’ seven-month presence has been impressive. There’s momentum within the program that hasn’t been there in a long time, and the players seem to believe they can accomplish something special this season. I love where the program is headed. The over/under is set at 3.5, and I’m taking the over. I’m a believer. I’ve bought into Big Blue.

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

8 Comments for Kentucky Subplots From SDS

  1. Rei
    9:51 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Towles has been a lot of hype and no production, granted he got hurt. I’d like to see him put up some nice backup stats this year so we can really see how good this kid can be.

    9:55 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Only 40 days away!!!! I am not worried about the wins and loses this year. I want to see a well ran program with life and heart. So far I am in heaven.

  3. Choices
    10:25 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Interesting dilemma. If Stoops takes this team to bowl game this year and does one of the greatest turnarounds in sports history, that would almost certainly mean his time as head coach at UK will be short. Bigger programs will come calling. More money, more tradition, bigger fan bases, better facilities, and football first schools.

  4. Admiral Halsey
    10:36 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    @Choices. True but why would he do that when he can become an SEC legend.

    10:46 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    If Stoops can take this depleted roster with these run down facilities to a bowl this year, why would he leave? You know Uk is going to pay him through the nose, everything on UK’s campus is being upgraded to state of the art, from CWS, to the libraries, to the freaking dorm rooms. Plus he has some of the best caliber players UK’s ever had coming in. He would immediately have carved his name into the side of the SEC at Kentucky. The world of CFB has changed. There is a reason Franklin didn’t leave Vandy for the multitude of better jobs he was offered.

  6. 2020
    11:40 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Last year team’s talent was better than 2-10. Probably 4-8/5-7, with Joker’s poor game plans, play calling and motivation killing the team. So take the over… This year’s team is going to knock off some good teams.

  7. Wildcatsteeler
    4:51 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    We will win 3 of 4 out of conference games. So will take 3 SEC wins. Hard but not impossible.

  8. fanfan
    11:09 am July 24, 2013 Permalink

    2020 knows what he’s talking about. We could have won georgia and south car game last year if we had coaching. They were not motivated no game play on offense or defense. We are going to shock the world!