The college football season is trudging along, with many teams bursting with energy and enthusiasm about their prospects. Each week’s game presents a new opportunity to wow the nation, please the fans, and rocket up the polls. For the Kentucky Wildcats, however, that dream laid dying in Lexington during the waning moments of a crushing loss to Southern Mississippi. I don’t believe it’s necessary to say more about that game. I’ll leave it at that.
Florida walloped Kentucky last week. I hesitate to even call it game because, as someone viewing it, the outcome never seemed in question. It didn’t seem for a moment like Kentucky would win. Honestly, the only thing going through my mind was the number 30. Florida beat them for the 30th straight year. That’s far longer than I’ve been alive, and the streak may go on for indefinitely longer, but I digress.
Kentucky was a team already struggling with a moral letdown, and last week’s game provided no reprieve. The Gators left them haggard as the Cats went through the motions, seemingly running out the clock on a game that had the air of being a foregone conclusion.
It really goes without saying, but Kentucky needs a win this week (and they should get it easily). If—for some abstruse reason—the Wildcats lose, you may actually see Kentucky fans making their way downtown on Sunday morning in order to construct a literal countdown clock to basketball season in the spot where the CentrePointe pit currently sits. This season had so much promise. The Cats need to make sure they win this one.
What to watch for
It’ll be really interesting to see what unfolds at the quarterback position for Kentucky this week. After starting quarterback Drew Barker put up unfathomably terrible passing numbers last week (2/10; 10 total yards; 3 INTs) and back-up Stephen Johnson did just alright after replacing him (1/3; 45 total yards), it’ll be interesting to see how Stoops runs his offense.
Of course Drew Barker will be starting, but Mark Stoops will likely not be as patient with him, as the former could very well be coaching for his job. He cannot afford to have a quarterback consistently completing only 2 passes per game.
This week’s game against New Mexico State won’t be fun. Now, that’s not to say that Kentucky will lose or win in a start-to-finish showdown. On the contrary. Kentucky should win by a comfortable margin. Still, it’s not a win that defines a season or boosts a resume. It’s a win meant to be simply a number on a stat sheet.
However, for Kentucky, a team sitting at 0-2, that win will mean a lot more than we can even realize. For a team that has seemingly reached the nadir of the season, that win might just spark something special. Let’s hope.
Score: New Mexico State 18, Kentucky 37