Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Kentucky Wildcats season with what you need to know.
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players | Key Players, Games, Stats
– What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Kentucky Previews 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015
2018 Record: 10-3 overall, 5-3 in SEC
Head Coach: Mark Stoops, 7th year, 36-39
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE KENTUCKY OFFENSE
– There was a method to it all. UK had the SEC’s worst passing game, there was nothing happening down the field, the ground game managed just 199 yards per game, and it’s not like the O dominated on third downs or controlled the time of possession battle. It was an opportunistic attack that relied on not making huge mistakes and pounding away with Benny Snell, but …
– Snell is now a Pittsburgh Steeler, and there isn’t another heart-and-soul running back type who’ll carry the team on his back. Even so, there’s a good group returning with Asim Rose a good-sized junior who averaged over six yards per carry with five scores behind Snell. The depth is young, but there will be more of a rotation than there was last year with 225-pound redshirt freshmen Kavosiey Smoke and Christopher Rodriguez stepping in.
– The O will rely even more on QB Terry Wilson now. The former Oregon transfer was second on the team in rushing with 547 yards and four scores, and he hit 67% of his passes, but he only threw for 1,889 yards and 11 scores with eight picks.
He came through in the clutch against Missouri, and he stepped up when he had too. Considering the main man is just a junior – Gunnar Hoak transferred to Ohio State – he’s the lone experienced backup.
– Three of the top four receivers are done, but top target Lynn Bowden is back after catching 67 passes for 745 yards and five scores. He’s the no question No. 1 target who should come up with at least 75 grabs, but junior Josh Ali is ready to do more after catching ten passes for 115 yards and a score. Isaiah Epps is a 6-2 target who made eight grabs.
Second-leading receiver CJ Conrad is done at tight end, but Justin Rigg is a promising 6-6, 263-pounder who can hit and appears ready to be a bigger part of the passing game. However, 6-5, 244-pound redshirt freshman Keaton Upshaw has the upside to be the better receiving talent.
– The offensive front wasn’t amazing, but it was a steady rock – and should be again. Three starters are gone, but Drake Jackson is a good-sized veteran at center, and 322-pound senior Logan Stenberg is a fixture at left guard. The key is the return of 6-7, 324-pound junior Landon Young from a knee injury. If he’s right, he steps right in at left tackle and the line might be better despite all the losses.