Friday, August 27, 2010
SEC 2010-Kentucky Wildcats
2009 Record: 7-6 (3-5)
Head Coach: Joker Phillips (1st season, 0-0)
Offensive Coordinator: Randy Sanders (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Steve Brown (4th season)
2009 Bowl Game: Music City Bowl, lost to Clemson 21-13
Offense: There is good news and bad for UK. The good news is that the top 4 skill players return. QB Mike Hartline has won a QB battle and will bring a strong knowledge of the offensive system to play. He is a winner, although he does not have the physical skills that other on the team do. RB Derrick Locke is a solid dual threat, and returns to start. Randall Cobb is expected to break out at WR this season, and will be playing WR primarily after rotating in at QB last season when Hartline injured his knee. The bad news is that only one starter returns on the line, which will make it very dificult to get the offense rolling.
Defense: Very few teams passed the ball well against the Cats, as UK finished 17th against the pass last season. The cats cannot, however, stop the run, as they finished 100th in that category. 3 starter return on the line in DEs DeQuin Evans and Taylor Wyndham, and DT Ricky Lumpkin. They are not the best group in the league, and they leaked like a sieve last season. Danny Trevathan is the lone returnee at LB, which will make it even more difficult to improve against the rush. Both CBs return in Paul Warford and Randall Burden, which is good news as UK will have to depend on their vaunted pass defense. Winston Guy returns at FS, but the SS spot is open.
Special Teams: Ryan Tydlacka was a solid punter for the Wildcats last season, and may very well take over at PK this season if freshman Joe Mansour fails in fall camp.
Wins: 9/4 @ Louisville, 9/11 Western Kentucky, 9/18 Akron, 11/6 Charleston Southern
Toss Up Games: 10/2 @ Ole Miss, 10/30 @ Mississippi State, 11/13 Vanderbilt, 11/27 @ Tennessee
Losses: 9/25 @ Florida, 10/9 Auburn, 10/16 South Carolina, 10/23 Georgia
There are even shots at having a winning, .500,or losing season. The win against Charleston Southern means nothing, and UK should not schedule squads like this. If you are going to play a 1-AA teams, there are better options. There are opportunities within the toss box, and there are 3 opportunities for upsets in the loss box if everything comes together. The Cats have to show some semblance of having the ability to stop the run if they are going to get Joker to a bowl in his first season. Kentucky has been to a bowl for 5 straight seasons.