The great Kentucky football bowl debate of 2020 may not wage for long.
On Monday Mark Stoops would not commit his team to a potential bowl game without speaking with his team first. There are many pros and cons behind the decision-making process. Kentucky’s head coach wanted to make sure his team was not hesitant to put on football pads one more time. After speaking to only two players, it sounds like they want to play one more time after the season finale against South Carolina.
“I know a lot of guys — they really want to play in the (bowl) game,” senior offensive tackle Landon Young said. “That’s the same thing for me. I want to go out there and I want to be able to have one more opportunity because if not, this Saturday literally is the last time I get to strap up Kentucky blue and white. I would love to have one more opportunity to just be able to maximize everything I can here.
“I know a lot of guys are in the same mindset that I am. They want an extra opportunity. They want to be able to have that experience, especially for the young guys coming in. Every single season you’re going to go through ups and downs. You’re going to go through a hard time. This year has definitely been a trying season on anybody. I think some kids, they get a reality check a little bit. But I definitely think the mind of the team is back on… like we definitely want to go out there and want to beat South Carolina this weekend and definitely want to continue that on to a bowl game and get that experience of going to five consecutive bowls. When’s the last time that’s ever happened?”
To answer Landon’s question, Kentucky has never been to five consecutive bowl games. Obviously, there are more postseason options now than there were 30 years ago, but it will nevertheless still be a remarkable accomplishment.
Like Young, senior wide receiver Josh Ali could potentially return for one more season. Unlike Young, he never used his redshirt, making another year in Lexington a little more enticing. He’s given his future some thought, but Ali’s mind is not wandering too far ahead of Saturday.
“I’m actually not sure yet. I’m really focused on this game and if we have a bowl game, I’m excited about that. I gave it a little bit of thought, not too much. I’m just focusing in on this game and what we have to do to win,” said Ali.