With college football set to kickoff a mere three days from now, its time to look at every team the Kentucky Wildcats will face this year as they look to rise in the elite SEC while earning a postseason berth after failing to become bowl eligible for the first time in 5 seasons last year. Here’s how the season will look for the Cats:
At Louisville Cardinals
2011 record- 7-6, 5-2 in the Big East, Co-Big East Champions
After perennial Big East powerWest Virginiabolted for the Big 12, the Cardinals enter the 2012 season as heavy favorites to win the Big East outright and earn the automatic BCS Bowl berth. After being relatively young last season, UL returns 8 starters on offense, including All-Big East freshman Teddy Bridgewater, and 9 on defense, including All-Big East safety Hakeem Smith. Still, this is a team that finished 7-6 last year with losses to Marshall and FIU, but found their groove in Big East play, going 5-2 down the stretch with a road win against Orange Bowl championsWest Virginia. If the Cardinals can maintain that second-half consistency, they’ll runaway with the Big East and likely finish the year in the top-25, something they haven’t done since the days of Bobby Petrino. The team that has had the most rushing yards has won 16 straight meetings, so that will once again be key to who wins this game.
Prediction: 23-20 UK
Kent State Golden Flashers
2011 record- 5-5, 4-4 in the MAC
The last time the Cats playedKentwas in 2007 when an Andre Woodson-led squad won going away by a score of 56-20. UK is 6-0 all time vs. the Golden Flashers and have won 6 straight home openers.
Prediction: 31-20 UK