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Kentucky has turned into prime time attraction

Jeff Houchin Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky’s 5-0 start has vaulted the Wildcats from unranked and unloved going into the season to No. 13 in this week’s Associated Press ranking.

This Saturday’s game at Texas A&M will also be the prime-time game on ESPN as kickoff has been confirmed for 7 p.m. It will be Kentucky’s first ESPN game — the Cats have been on ESPN2, ESPNU — since a 41-38 win over Louisville in 2016.

Kentucky is 5-0 in SEC play for the first time since 2007 — the same year it beat eventual national champion LSU in overtime. The Cats are off to a 3-0 start in SEC play for the first time since 1977 when they finished 10-1 under coach Fran Curci and a perfect 6-0 in SEC play. The only loss was 21-6 at Baylor in game two.

How good has Kentucky been?

Josh Allen leads the SEC in sacks with six and tackles for loss with 10.5. Darius West is tops in the SEC in passes defended with seven and Benny Snell leads in rushing yards with 664, rushing touchdowns with eight and runs of 20 or more yards with eight.

If that’s not enough, Kentucky is also third nationally in scoring defense.

Barrett Sallee of CBSSports.com lavished praise on Snell Sunday and says there’s no doubt Kentucky has emerged as a legitimate threat to Georgia in the SEC East.

3 comments

  1. My advice, stay humble, hungry, and focused UK one game at a time. Take care of business Sat. Don’t fall for all this sudden praise right now. This will be the biggest challenge UK football will face so far this season, due to their exposure now on the national scene. Get ready for a war in Texas UK.

  2. It’s one thing to get to where they are, it is another to stay there.
    UK is not used to this kind of praise and media attention, so they will be learning as they go. Put cotton in your ears and keep your head down.

  3. A&M is not going to be an easy game. The loss of Kash for the first half won’t help either. Plus So. Carolina figured out how to stop UK’s running game. They put 8 guys in the box and dared Wilson to throw. They had him under constant pressure because of playing so many players close to the line. Expect to see this happen again this week. Wilson and the receivers need to learn to make good reads and make the right passes. Screens will help. They can’t run straight into the teeth of 8 men in the box. It pretty much can’t be done by anyone or it hasn’t been done since Woody Hayes left Ohio St. with his 3 yards and a cloud of dust approach to football. UK is not a team that can do that. They need an effective alternative to Snell running the ball and they need it fast.

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