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25 Things We’re Looking Forward To This Season

It’s been a long strange road, but Kentucky finally kicks off the 2020 season tomorrow. To celebrate, the KSR crew each came up with five things we’re looking forward to this year. We could have easily done 50.

The return of Terry Touchdown

This is totally obvious, but the thing I’m most excited for this year is Terry Wilson taking the field again. Even though the SEC Network gets his name wrong, the Cats were 10-3 with Terry under center in 2018 and he helped snap the Florida streak, which will forever cement him in UK lore. Losing him to a torn patellar tendon in the second game last season was a gut punch, especially considering how well he was playing at the time, but the long road back will just make seeing him run out of the tunnel even sweeter. Plus, with a healthy Terry (protected by the Big Blue Wall), Kentucky’s passing game can finally get off the ground, making the offense even more dynamic and dangerous.

— Tyler Thompson

Ditto. Terry Wilson’s return.

He’s back and better than ever, according to everyone who has seen him this fall. Wilson’s center, Drake Jackson, said Wilson has been making the difficult throws downfield and to the sidelines better than ever, and that Wilson has fully recovered from his injury. Stoops called Wilson “older and wiser” going into the season.

— Drew Franklin

Injured Wildcats returning to action

Everyone’s excited about Terry Wilson’s return, as they should. He’s primed for a star season in Lexington. But I’m also looking forward to the return of homegrown standout Davonte Robinson following his season-ending injury last preseason, along with guys like Phil Hoskins and Isaiah Epps.

With all the craziness we’ve seen throughout the nation already, maintaining depth is crucial.

— Jack Pilgrim

10 SEC games

I’m probably in the minority here, but I am very excited about the all-conference schedule in the SEC. It will be much more difficult, obviously, but the Cats are built as well as anyone with experience on both sides of the ball, especially in the trenches, to make the most of this COVID season that allowed very little time for offseason prep.

Each win will be earned, and though the record may not look good on paper, anything above .500 would be considered a huge success. Every Saturday will be a war.

— Drew Franklin

Kavosiey Smoke (and Kavosiey jokes)

There are plenty of running backs to choose from this year, but I’m going with Kavosiey Smoke as the one I’m most eager to watch. We’ve been making jokes about his name since he was a recruit and the redshirt sophomore has lived up to it thus far, busting free for a 37-yard score vs. Louisville as a true freshman and then running it 70 yards against the Cards the following year. Anyone who does that gets high marks in my book. Plus, watching a national media member think they’re the first to make the “Pass the Kavosiey” joke on Twitter is always fun.

— Tyler Thompson

Drake Jackson’s Last Ride

Quietly, the Woodford County product has been a steadying force on the Big Blue Wall since taking over the position in 2017 and has been one of the best players in the country ever since. The Rimington Trophy candidate has a chance to become a two-time first-team All-SEC selection and not many guys have done that in program history. He’s taken for granted more times than not so we should all make an effort to notice his work this year because he is a special player.

— Adam Luckett

Max Duffy

Is it weird to be excited about the punter? Steve Spurrier probably thinks so, but has he seen Max Duffy? The reigning Ray Guy Award winner is back for another year of flipping the field with his rugby-style kicks and maybe even tackling a guy or two.

— Tyler Thompson

Max Duffy rushing yards

Duffy has the green light to call his own fakes this season so expect some runs for the nation’s best punter. Let’s just hope he runs out of bounds, as he explains here:

— Drew Franklin

Spicy Italian Meatball (Matt Ruffolo) drilling field goals

Kentucky’s kicking battle is no longer a battle. The Spicy Italian Meatball has won the competition and will lead the way for the Wildcats on field goals and PATs. After several career-longs in practice and scrimmages, Mark Stoops has hyped up the senior kicker over and over since winning the job a few weeks back. Time to show us again on game days.

— Jack Pilgrim

Strip Sacks

It’s the most beautiful play in all of football. There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as seeing a defender tee-off on an unexpected passer and jarring the ball free. It’s even more satisfying when some of the biggest athletes on the field don’t hit the QB, but they sneak up behind him and knock the ball out of his hands. Between Boogie, Wright and Weaver, we’re getting no less than five this season.

— Nick Roush

Pancakes

The only thing that can compare to the deliciousness of a sack lunch, is a fresh stack of flapjacks. The Big Blue Wall is bound to produce quite a few, but can any ever top Bunchy’s big hit at Florida?

If anyone is up for the task, it’s this guy:

Jacob Noger | UK Athletics

— Nick Roush

Bossman Fat

The transfer cornerback from LSU will make his Kentucky debut this season and he’s expected to make an immediate impact. Phil Steele named him a preseason All-SEC player and UK’s wide outs spoke highly of him throughout camp, even though they don’t know his real name.

His name is Kelvin Joseph by the way and that’s the last time I’ll call him that. He’s Bossman Fat or Fats.

— Drew Franklin

A star-studded secondary

After losing the likes of Mike Edwards, Lonnie Johnson, Derrick Baity, Chris Westry, and Darius West following the 2018 season, the expectation was that UK’s secondary would suffer immensely in 2019.

Instead they went out and overachieved from start to finish. Going through the depth chart in Week 1, not only are the top playmakers back in the secondary, they got better with the addition of Kelvin Joseph Bossman Fat and the return of Davonte Robinson, who the staff feels will be better than he was prior to injury. Add in Yusuf Corker and Brandin Echols, who saw breakout years in Kentucky last season, along with Tyrell Ajian, Jamari Brown, Cedrick Dort Jr., Quandre Mosely, Taj Dodson, and Vito Tisdale rounding out the two-deep.

— Jack Pilgrim

Bully and his belly

Junior nose guard Marquan “Bully” McCall is one of my favorite players, not only because he’s really good, but because his jersey rides up and shows off his belly a lot.

Opposing teams — GET IN THAT BELLY. (Note: as a former fat kid, I’m allowed to make these jokes.)

— Tyler Thompson

Darian Kinnard’s Blocking

The true junior who came to Kentucky from Cleveland St. Ignatius became one of the best right tackles in college football last season and is looking like he’ll be Kentucky’s first three-and-done offensive lineman. Kinnard was PFF’s top rated offensive line player in the SEC last year and in 2020 he’ll get to show off his pass protection after shining as a true freshman. He’s an all-timer, folks.

— Adam Luckett

A.J. Rose’s Home Runs

We don’t get them all of the time, but when they arrive there’s not a prettier play in college football.

When it hits, the offensive line is able to climb up on linebackers and Rose runs like a gazelle as he sprints into the secondary. The Cleveland native has 18 rushes of 20-plus yards in his career and we should see plenty more in 2020..

— Adam Luckett

SEC Network Saturday Nights

The opener at Auburn will be a nooner, but it will feel like a Saturday night special in a way due to Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers and Cole Cubelic being on the call. The late time slot has kind of become a tradition in the Bluegrass and it has provided many fun tailgate days. We’ll have to be a little more creative how we spend the days this year for a night kickoff, but I’m sure we’ll find a way to do it in style.

— Adam Luckett

Joey Gatewood’s eligibility (crosses fingers)

He’s not expected to suit up against Auburn, but Mark Stoops is optimistic that the SEC will approve Joey Gatewood’s waiver and he’ll have him for the rest of the season. It’s Terry Wilson’s team and he is the starter, but fans should be drooling at the possibility of Gatewood coming in on 3rd-and-short and goal line situations, giving the Wildcats yet another dynamic running threat at their disposal.

Jack Pilgrim

Tight End Love

It didn’t happen last year as Kentucky went all in on Bowden Ball in Eddie Gran’s modern day version of the single-wing offense, but it won’t take long to hear it this year. UK fans adore passes to the tight end and as soon as everyone gets a glimpse of the first big play Keaton Upshaw makes we will hear plenty about wanting Eddie Gran to get the tight end involved in the pass game.

— Adam Luckett

“When are they gonna throw the ball to the tight ends?”

Is it really football season if Kentucky fans aren’t asking this question? I don’t think so. I also don’t think there are enough targets in the world you could give to the tight ends to satisfy the fan base. Honorable Mention: “If the wide receivers can’t catch it, then throw it to the running backs!”

— Nick Roush

Ryan Lemond Pep Talks 

The Ryan Lemond pep talk has evolved over time, but you know football is near when you hear the words, “Gentlemen, take a knee.” Unfortunately, social distancing has forced KSR’s resident goofy sidekick to adjust how he delivers his message. Fortunately, this means we’ll see a lot less of Shirtless Ryan Lemond.

— Nick Roush

Grove St. Party

We’re stuck with a max capacity of 20% this year, but Grove Street will have Kroger Field rocking like a full sellout.

 

— Jack Pilgrim

Saturday Morning Anxiety 

Let’s face it, we’ve had more than enough stress and anxiety in 2020. There is such a good thing as nervous energy and there’s really no other way to replicate it. College football Saturday mornings just have more juice. Even though most of us won’t be making the trek to The Kroge this fall, the crisp autumn air accompanying College Gameday with a cup of coffee is the perfect start to a restless day that is filled with nonstop excitement. Before kickoff there are moments of confidence that the Cats will dominate, followed by worries that the worst case scenario will come true. The roller coaster of emotions does not end until “It’s Football Time in the Bluegrass.” Then it’s all adrenaline until the final horn sounds.

Postgame celebrations

From “We’re just getting started, bro” to punching through the ceiling at Missouri, Mark Stoops cannot contain himself after big wins. Thanks to some locker room videos, we were even privy to his speech after the Belk Bowl when he told the team, “WE DON’T TAKE SH*T FROM NOBODY.” I can’t wait to see what he does after Kentucky beats Georgia on October 24.

— Tyler Thompson

Kicking Auburn’s ass

It’s happening.

— Drew Franklin

Article written by KSR

2 Comments for 25 Things We’re Looking Forward To This Season



  1. bbn606
    7:04 am September 26, 2020 Permalink

    Nice article and yes we are not Tight End U.



  2. ucac4817
    2:56 pm September 26, 2020 Permalink

    Terry Wilson is horrible, and out O-line is overrated. We’ll lose at least three out of games against Georgia, Florida, Tenn, and Bama.

    Our offensive scheme is a bad dream from the 1950’s. Not even remotely competitive in 2020.