College Football News Preview 2020: Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Kentucky Wildcats Offense
The offense has GOT to score whenever it gets the chance. Even with all of the success over the last two years, it’s been like pulling teeth at times to get points.
One of the strangest parts of the puzzle has been the inability to dominate on third downs. UK has been able to control the tempo and keep games within range despite not always dominating statistically.
However, against the tougher teams in the biggest games, score, score, score.
The Cats were a mediocre 80% in the red zone last year, failing to score twice in the loss to Florida, twice in the loss to Mississippi State, and didn’t come away with points once in the 17-13 loss to Tennessee. In all, they were 6-of-12 inside the 20 in the five losses (50%) and 26-of-28 in the eight wins.
Biggest Key To The Kentucky Wildcats Defense
The run defense has to be a bit nastier. That should happen with a veteran front seven, a ton of size up front, and physical hitters who know what they’re doing, but the production has to come.
The Wildcats were able to survive a few times when they were run over, but there were way too many games when they gave up big yards in chunks.
The 2018 defense allowed 4.27 yards per carry and just 12 touchdowns. More than that, they only allowed five yards or more per carry against three FBS teams, and went 1-2 in those games.
They were more hit-or-miss last year, allowing five yards or more per carry six times, losing four of those games and needing to battle to survive against Arkansas and Virginia Tech.
Over the last two years, UK was 13-2 when giving up fewer than five yards per carry.
Key Kentucky Wildcats Player To A Successful Season
QB Terry Wilson, Sr.
The Wildcats were able to get by with Lynn Bowden running wild in a special season, but it would be nice if the quarterbacks were able to complete 50% of their passes. Getting Wilson back and healthy would be a start.
Wilson – a former Oregon transfer who took over two years ago – is a solid runner and around a 65% passer, but he’s coming off a bad knee injury that’s taking him close to a full year to get right again. He has to stay in one piece and/or be back to form, and/or Auburn transfer Joey Gatewood has to be eligible this year, and good.
There are other options – Beau Allen was a good local recruit – and Sawyer Smith is still around after leading the team with 690 passing yards, but a healthy Wilson makes the offense terrific.
Key Game To The Kentucky Wildcats Season
at Florida, Nov. 28
It’s time to halt a new streak before it gets rolling. Kentucky had lost to Florida every year from 1987 to 2018 and won just twice from 1979 to 2018. The brutal run of Wildcat futility stopped the last time the two met in Gainesville – a 27-16 UK win – but the Gators pulled off a 29-21 victory last season in Lexington.
Coming off the date at Alabama, what kind of shape will the Wildcats be in? With South Carolina to close things out, UK needs an upset in Gainesville to finish strong.
– Kentucky Wildcats Schedule
2019 Kentucky Wildcats Fun Stats
– 2nd Quarter Scoring: Kentucky 111 – Opponents 50
– Rushing Yards Per Game: Kentucky 278.8 – Opponents 156.8
– 4th Down Conversions: Kentucky 14-of-27 (52%) – Opponents 6-of-17 (35%)