After back-to-back 2-10 seasons, Kentucky football hasn’t had a marquee victory to celebrate in awhile. The 2011 win against Tennessee (in which the Cats snapped a 26-game losing streak) would probably qualify, but as awesome as the victory was, it occurred when UT had a sub-.500 record, and UK knew that it wouldn’t be bowling for the first time in four years.
Though the team struggled in his first season, Mark Stoops has rejuvenated interest in the program throughout the Bluegrass with his top-notch recruiting. While Kentucky isn’t necessarily expected to win a signature game this season, a marquee victory would confirm the program’s momentum on a national level. Here are the three games in which UK may be most likely to pick up such a win:
1.) Sept. 13 @ Florida: A win against the Gators at the Swamp would be huge for Stoops and co. Not only would it end a 27(!!) game losing streak against Florida, it could ensure a 3-0 start to the season for the Cats. A victory here is certainly obtainable. Coming off of a 4-8 season, Will Muschamp’s team should be as vulnerable as the Gators are ever going to get.
2.) Oct 4th vs. South Carolina: The Wildcats came within a touchdown of the Gamecocks last season at South Carolina. This year’s team will be without pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney and veteran quarterback Connor Shaw; plus they’ll have to travel to Lexington this go-around. While the Gamecocks certainly won’t be scrubs, the home environment and the loss of a few key players could provide the Wildcats a good chance to hand The Old Ball Coach another loss.
3.) Nov. 29th @ Louisville: Next year’s Louisville team has a lot of question marks after the departures of Charlie Strong and Teddy Bridgewater. The squad will also face tougher competition in their move to the ACC. However, they are otherwise returning a lot of key players from their 2013 team which went 12-1, and will have a winning coach in Bobby Petrino. The Cats and Cards will meet in each team’s last game of the regular season. A win for Kentucky would give the team a ton of momentum heading into the post-/off- season, and seems feasible at the moment.
UK could certainly beat LSU, Georgia, or Missouri, but I feel the above three games will be Kentucky’s best chance at a marquee victory.
What do you think, will the Cats pick up a significant win this season?