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GAMEDAY: Kentucky Opens the Coronavirus-Plagued 2020 College Football Season at Auburn

Image via SEC

Image via SEC

This is the closest Auburn’s War Eagle will get to Jordan-Hare Stadium this weekend. The ban on live mascots at SEC stadiums this fall is just one of the many alterations in a season unlike any other.

Beginning three weeks later than expected, the Kentucky Wildcats begin a ten-game SEC-only schedule by returning to the Plains for the first time since 2009, a UK victory by Randall Cobb and Co. About 17,500 rowdy Auburn students will be in the stands when the eighth-ranked Tigers kick off at noon on the SEC Network. A challenge that’s much more difficult than Kentucky’s typical season-opener against a MAC opponent, Terry Wilson doesn’t care that he missed out on revenge against Eastern Michigan. He is grateful just to have the opportunity to play this fall.

“I’m really fortunate to be in this position right now. I’m just really ready to get back on the field,” Wilson said Tuesday. “There was times that I didn’t think that we were going to have a season. I’m just really fortunate to get back out there with my brothers and compete.”

Thankfully, there will be a Kentucky football season in 2020. The talking ends today. It’s football time in the Bluegrass.

Vegas, TV, Radio

At the start of the week the Wildcats opened as underdogs by as many as ten points in some sports books. That number is now typically right around 7 or 7.5 in favor of the home team. Kentucky has been successful recently as an underdog. Mark Stoops’ team is 8-4 ATS in its last 12 games as an underdog, winning five outright.

Tom Hart, Jordan Rogers and Cole Cubelic will be on the call for the SEC Network, ditching primetime to provide their services for the noon kickoff. Many people were upset when the league announced UK would open the season at noon. They believed the marquee matchup deserved a bigger spotlight. I was among that crowd, yet today I am grateful that kickoff will be here as soon as possible. If I have to wait any longer for Kentucky football, there’s a chance I could spontaneously combust.

If you can’t watch all of the action, you can hear the Voice of the Wildcats, Tom Leach, on a variety of platforms.

  • AM: 840 WHAS, 630 WLAP
  • FM: 98.1 WBUL
  • Satellite: XM-192 and Sirius-136
  • Online: iHeart Radio

The Schedule

  • 9:00: KSR Pregame Show w/Kash Daniel on 630 WLAP
  • 10:30: Doors Open at KSBar and Grille
  • Noon: Kickoff on SEC Network

Prepare with KSR Podcasts

This week’s KSR Football Podcast lineup is a murderer’s row, with each different piece of audio providing something different for the listener. Here’s everything you can find, ranging from slapstick to serious discussions on the X’s and O’s between Kentucky and Auburn.

Kentucky is #22OatsStrong

The Wildcats will be honoring their teammate each week as he begins the long road to recovery from an undisclosed medical emergency. Today the man he played alongside for the last two years, linebacker DeAndre Square, will wear Oats’ No. 22 in his honor. Each week No. 22 will be worn with pride by a different Wildcat. There’s a way you can help Oats too. His roommate, tight end Keaton Upshaw, organized an NCAA approved GoFundMe that has already raised almost $20,000 in less than 24 hours. You people are crazy.

2019’s Tale of the Tape

Before you read too much into these stats, consider this: Auburn lost almost it’s entire secondary, including Jeremiah Dinson, the Tigers’ leading tackle. They also are replacing almost their entire offensive and defensive line. Big Kat Bryant is the only returner after Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson were selected in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. Kentucky lost significantly less last season, but there’s one big absence, Lynn Bowden.

Kentucky Homecomings

A pair of rising stars on Kentucky’s offense could become household names across the BBN if they have big games close to home. Running back Kavosiey Smoke grew up 50 miles west of Auburn in Wetumpka, Al. Before he committed to UK, many feared Auburn would swoop in with a scholarship offer and steal him from Kentucky. That offer never came. Anymosity from that decision may still linger.

Junior wide receiver Allen Dailey was a state champion in his final season at Pinson Valley High School. He caught 23 touchdowns in 2017, tied for the second-most in a single season ever recorded in the state of Alabama, from now Auburn quarterback Bo Nix. Bo’s father, former Auburn great Patrick Nix, was Dailey’s coach too.

Their coach is also quite familiar with Jordan-Hare Stadium. Eddie Gran spent ten years coaching running backs and special teams at Auburn. Today he returns to the place where he raised his kids for the first time since he was fired.

Today’s Uniforms

Blue Lids + White Jerseys + Blue Pants = Perfection

The Reds are Playoff Bound

The KSBar Watch Party Mojo carried Cincinnati to a 7-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins to secure a spot in the expanded 2020 MLB Playoffs. The Reds still have a little room to improve their seeding today and tomorrow at Minnesota. First pitch tonight is at 7:10 pm ET.

Johnson Central Victorious in Kroger KSR Game of the Week

For the first time a Kroger KSR Game of the Week wasn’t decided by a late fourth quarter score. Johnson Central rolled over Simon Kenton 47-17 in Northern Kentucky, a statement victory for the defending 4A State Champs. We’ll have more from Troy Howell and Bradley McKee soon, until then here are a few other scores from Friday night:

  • Newport Central Catholic 17, Newport 14
  • Mercer County 31, CAL 28 (OT)
  • Pikeville 58, Henry Clay 41
  • Collins 21, Madison Southern 13
  • Martin County 14, Bath County 10
  • West Jessamine 36, East Jessamine 28

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

8 Comments for GAMEDAY: Kentucky Opens the Coronavirus-Plagued 2020 College Football Season at Auburn

  1. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    8:22 am September 26, 2020 Permalink

    The rule about mascots makes no sense. Free Tiger (that’s the eagle’s name)! Tiger swooping down to the field in the pregame is one of the coolest things about college football, and the live mascots in general is one of the things that separates college from the NFL. Stupid rule.

  2. Section233
    8:44 am September 26, 2020 Permalink

    Can eagles get COVID. I wonder if he ever got the flu? If we wear a mask and they say we can’t get COVID while wearing a mask – do we need a flu shot? Pretty sure the bird can fly around before the game. It looks really cool on tv. Agree stupid rule. They’ll probably show an old clip

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      8:48 am September 26, 2020 Permalink

      Maybe Tiger can wear a mask, and while they’re at it put some rubber gloves on his wings and talons. SMH.

      This stinks for UGA, Ralphie, Bevo, Smokie, etc. They should all be on the field. Keep these games as normal as possible since the crowds will be so small, not to mention the shortened season.

  3. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    8:45 am September 26, 2020 Permalink

    Wow, I forgot Dailey played at Pinson Valley! How ironic, especially for me, since Bo’s granddaddy was the longtime very successful coach at my high school. Of course I’m pulling for the Cats, but I would like to see Bo have a good year. Maybe the Cats & Tigers will meet in the ATL! An all cat SEC championship!

  4. cats646
    8:59 am September 26, 2020 Permalink

    GAMEDAY!!!!!!!!! It’s finally here. Let’s go out there and KILL SOME TIGERS!!!! GOCATS!! #whynotnow

  5. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    9:06 am September 26, 2020 Permalink

    So Matt starts the pregame with one of his famous “I know something you don’t know but I can’t say” statements. Brother.

    • runningunnin.454
      10:09 am September 26, 2020 Permalink

      Typical; and, I picked UK 21-17; Matt says 23-17, now I’m worried.
      I just hope it doesn’t end up with our depending on a FG, two points behind, and two seconds on the clock; not sure my heart could take it, ha ha.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      10:46 am September 26, 2020 Permalink

      In case you didn’t hear it, he said 1 player didn’t make the trip. He said he’s not CRUCIAL, but then seemed to act like it wasn’t some 3rd string scrub. I guess we’ll find out at about the time that toe meets leather.