Before the season officially kicks off, it’s time to get in as many last-minute hot takes as possible. I hope you’re ready for the flame and the fire.
1. Miss. State will be UK’s Toughest Opponent
Fans fear Georgia more for obvious reasons, but the SEC’s other Bulldogs have the most top-end talent of any team Kentucky faces. Montez Sweat and Jeffrey Simmons give State the second-best defensive line in the nation, behind just Clemson. Aeris Williams and Nick Fitzgerald might be the most difficult running tandem to tackle in the SEC.
Kentucky has beaten State just once in the last nine meetings. Even though the game is at home and we like to scoff at Starkville’s cowbells, the BBN isn’t giving Joe Moorhead’s team the respect they deserve.
2. Kentucky will lose to a team they aren’t supposed to.
There will be a disappointing loss in 2018. Last year’s disappointing loss was to Ole Miss. This year that loss might be Mizzou. Even though the Cats have won three in a row over the Tigers, their offense has so many weapons. They are built much like last year’s Ole Miss team. It’s easy to visualize a scenario where UK has the game in-hand, only to let a road win slip away with a late offensive explosion by Drew Lock and Co.
3. Kentucky will beat a team they aren’t supposed to.
The game against Texas A&M is the antitheis of the game against Miss. State. People are writing off the road game as a loss just because it’s on the road against a big name, but that’s really the only thing A&M has going for them. Jimbo Fisher has unproven quarterbacks who will have to play Clemson and Alabama leading into the UK game. Don’t be surprised if Stoops hands his mentor a crushing loss in his first season in College Station.
4. Lynn Bowden will take one kickoff to the house
Last year he run approximately 150 yards, only to be tackles six yards shy of the end zone. He was close to busting one free multiple times. This year he’s finding the end zone.
5. The Cats will have a Top Three Rushing Offense in the SEC
The SEC turned into the nation’s preeminent football conference behind four yards and a cloud of dust. Miss. State, Georgia and Alabama will have potent rushing offenses, but Kentucky has just as many weapons and an experienced offensive line.
When UK’s offense featured Benny, Boom and Stephen Johnson, the Cats were third in the SEC. It will not be crazy to see Kentucky replicate that success with Terry Wilson, Benny Snell, and a dash of Lynn Bowden, Sihiem King and AJ Rose.
6. UK will have one a Top Five Scoring Defense in the SEC
It’s the most complete defense Mark Stoops has put on a Kentucky football field. With an improved defensive line creating havoc in the backfield, expectations have never been higher. They may not produce the best numbers by dominating one specific facet of the game, but they will uphold a “bend don’t break” mantra.
7. Tennessee won’t score a Touchdown against Kentucky
Tennessee is trash. The Vols only have two things going for them: they have a quarterback and haven’t lost to UK at home since 1984. That’s changing this year and changing in a big way.
8. Only One Career Record will be Shattered
Josh Allen is shooting for the career sack record, but 12 sacks in one season is too much to overcome. Benny Snell on the other hand just has to keep being Benny Snell to achieve the milestone, one that will be surpassed on Senior Day against Middle Tennessee, likely Benny’s last game at Kroger Field.
9. Benny will Pick Up POY Hardware
Kentucky hasn’t had an SEC Offensive Player of the Year since Artose Pinner was on the sidelines in 2002. Benny won’t be a Heisman finalist, but he will take home this coveted award, one of many trophies he will add to his large display case.
10. UK will win 8 Regular Season games for the first time since 1984