Team Capsule: Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky finished second in the SEC East a year ago, winning five of its last eight, 19 of 24 starters (counting specialists) return and it was ranked No. 29 in the nation in recruiting. Yet the Wildcats are Dangerfield-ian in their lack of respect. They were picked to finish fifth in the SEC Media Poll and by Street and Smith. Stephen Johnson has apparently won the QB job over Drew Barker, who will be a quality reliever if need be. There is experience and talent at wideout if Johnson can improve his accuracy. Benny Snell is a 1,000-yard rusher and most of the O-line is back, though starting LT Colt Mosier was lost for the year with a torn knee injury in a scrimmage. Maybe people can’t seem to take UK football serious. Maybe they should.

Head Coach:  Mark Stoops (fifth year at Kentucky, 19-30)

Coordinators: Eddie Gran (offense), Matt House (defense)

Social Media: ukathletics.com, @UKFootball, @UKCoachStoops

2016 Record: 7-6 overall, 4-4 in the SEC, lost to Georgia Tech in the TaxSlayer Bowl

2017 Schedule:

  • Sept. 2 at Southern Miss
  • Sept. 9 Eastern Kentucky
  • Sept. 16 at South Carolina
  • Sept. 23 Florida
  • Sept. 30 Eastern Michigan
  • Oct. 7 Missouri
  • Oct. 14 Off
  • Oct. 21 at Mississippi State
  • Oct. 28 Tennessee
  • Nov. 4 Ole Miss
  • Nov. 11 at Vanderbilt
  • Nov. 18 at Georgia
  • Nov. 25 Louisville

Circle The Date: Hosting Tennessee on Oct. 28 may give Wildcats the edge for third spot in East behind Florida and Georgia

Top Returnees: S Mike Edwards, LB Jordan Jones, DE Denzil Ware, RB Benny Snell Jr., WR Garrett Johnson

Will Win SEC East If…: Florida and Georgia underachieve and the Cats can take advantage of homefield against the Gators and Tennessee. An unlikely confluence of events.

What They Said:  “The biggest thing with our program is consistency, our attention to detail. Our players are doing that. And we’re ready to take it to the next level. Again, each and every year I’ve been here, we talked about build, select, develop. And that’s building a winning culture, selecting the right players and developing them and have an intentional development plan once they get on campus.” – Mark Stoops

What We Say: Third in SEC East, Music City Bowl