The calendar has flipped to September and if you’re reading this article that means something special to people like us. We’ve trodden through the broad wilderness known as the college football offseason. Week 1 is finally upon us! To add to the excitement of the SEC starting on time this season, we learned that Texas and Oklahoma will eventually join the ranks.
But that has been covered extensively and will continue to be, so let’s shift the focus to an original SEC team, the Kentucky Wildcats. The Cats welcome the ULM Warhawks to Lexington to kick off their 2021 campaign on Saturday.
How to watch Kentucky vs. ULM
TV: SEC Network
Watch Online: ESPN App
(via Draftkings Sportsbook)
Spread: Kentucky -31 | ULM +31
Moneyline: Kentucky -6500 | ULM +2200
ULM comes into this game as the purest definition of a team in transition. The Warhawks were defeated last season with an 0-10 record. Their big story coming into the season is the new coaching staff which features *squints* Terry Bowden at head coach and Rich Rodriguez at offensive coordinator. If anything, this new era in Monroe will be interesting. Rich Rod will be looking to cook something up to keep the Wildcat defense off balance on Saturday.
Kentucky enters 2021 with decently high expectations mostly due to their wealth of experience on defense that has been stingy the past few seasons. The Wildcats look to be starting nine seniors on defense this week. Everyone knows Kentucky is solid on defense, however, and all of the focus will be on Penn State transfer Will Levis at QB.
Cats fans are desperate to see any semblance of a downfield passing game return to Lexington. It has been the glaring missing piece of a UK program that has been ascending overall. Although the 2019 season featured a wide receiver at QB for most of it, Kentucky has ranked no higher than 98th nationally in passing YPG in the past four seasons. Liam Coen, formally of the LA Rams, has been granted the opportunity to turn things around as offensive coordinator.
This game is a simple good team, bad team situation. Kentucky will be tuning up for a pivotal contest vs. Missouri on September 11. Expect there to be some teases of the new passing identity and play packages of the Cats’ offense, but nothing too wild.
Prediction: Kentucky 41, ULM 10