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Kentucky’s toughest stretch in 2016

Well nobody ever said it was going to be easy. UK faces one heck of a schedule for the 2016 season, and the toughest portion of the schedule doesn’t even include road trips to Bama or Florida. Good lord.

ESPN writer Greg Ostendorf pinpointed the troubling schedule ahead for the Cats, and the unfortunate stretch of SEC games they have to get through before they even face a probable preseason top-25 team from Louisville two weeks later.

The first two games (vs. Mississippi St., @ Missouri) won’t be easy for Mark Stoops and his team, but they’re nothing compared to the back half of this four-game stretch.

Georgia comes to town the first weekend in November, and the last time the Bulldogs played at Kentucky, a freshman running back by the name of Nick Chubb went off for 170 yards and a touchdown on just 13 carries. Chubb is expected to be healthy again this year, and with a new coach (Kirby Smart) and possibly a new quarterback (Jacob Eason), the Bulldogs are a team that could hit their stride down the stretch.

And last, but certainly not least, is a road trip to Tennessee. Any time you play four conference games in four weeks, the last game is going to be brutal. But it’s especially brutal when you have to play on the road against a team that’s ranked No. 5 in the FPI. The Volunteers, who have won 30 of the last 31 meetings against Kentucky, might be the most talented team in the SEC.

Cherry on top, anyone? UK has won one game past October 15th in the last two seasons combined, with that win coming against the Charlotte 49ers at home last season. I’m not saying get down on your Cats, but gauging expectations might be a good idea after last season’s debacle.

Kentucky does have the good fortune of coming off a bye week right before the Mississippi St. game, as well as facing a largely rebuilding Muschamp’s Gamecock unit in Lexington for the possibility of a third win in three straight seasons. Beating Muschamp would be like a mini bowl-win, right?

Article written by Kaan Solagan

Senior at the University of Kentucky. Atherton High School Alumnus. "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." - The Greatest

5 Comments for Kentucky’s toughest stretch in 2016

  1. BocoCat
    2:31 pm May 15, 2016 Permalink

    Am I the only one who actually kind of likes our schedule this year? Yes, having Bama sucks and we’re going to get killed. Tennessee at Neyland will destroy us again 🙁
    But otherwise…I like it. The home schedule is favorable (three Non-conference games and Vandy and SC should all be wins). Miss State and Georgia should beat us, but MSU loses half its offense including Dak and we’ll be coming off a bye, and Georgia is rolling with a first time head coach. Yes, it’s Kirby Smart, and no I have zero expectations to win that game…but weird things happen with coaching changes.
    Then the road schedule has Florida, whom we should have beaten two years in a row, and Missouri, whom we beat last year, has a new coach and a lot of turmoil. Louisville will be tough and Lamar can kill us all on his own and yes, they embarrassed the hell out of us last year…but we were also up 24-0 at one point.
    It really depends on how much our new offense works and it sounds like it should at least be somewhat improved. If we had ANY sort of offense last year we would have won three more games. I figure at least 4 for sure wins (non-conference homes and South Carolina) and 3 for sure losses (Bama, Tenn, and prob Georgia). That’s five swing games, and I expect us to go 2-3 in those to make a bowl game. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if we go 0-5 or 5-0 in those, either (ok, maybe a little at 5-0, but not overly)

    • DrSayre
      2:43 pm May 15, 2016 Permalink

      I dont think we should automatically assume SC and Vandy will be wins (especially Vandy since they beat us last year). Also I wouldnt assume Southern Miss will be a win either.

  2. onsides
    2:55 pm May 15, 2016 Permalink

    Kentucky opens with defending C-USA (west) champion Southern Miss. Kentucky needs to worry about that game. Nothing else.

  3. Blueblueblueblue
    6:48 am May 16, 2016 Permalink

    I know they won some games, but if you look at Southern Miss’ schedule from last year, they didn’t beat a single good team. As long as UK is not in total collapse mode (which could totally happen), they will no lose this game.