After yesterdays near comeback against South Carolina, the Kentucky Wildcats are starting to garner some attention for their constant improvement. The last two seasons, Kentucky has lost to Florida and South Carolina by an average of 38 points. This year, they lost by a COMBINED 24 points. This is a significant improve from years past, but also a continuing trend of improvement throughout the season so far. In the opening game, Kentucky lost a heartbreaker to Western Kentucky by a score of 35-26. The next week, the Cats came out and dominated a bad Miami Redhawks team by a score of 41-7. The stretch that no team should ever have to face began after this, starting things off with a high-flying Louisville team. They won by a score of 27-13, although it was a three-point game at halftime. ThenFlorida came marching into town, which many fans thought would be a blowout. Instead, Kentucky’s defense came to play and was able to slow down the rushing attack of Florida for much of the game, losing by a score of 24-7. Last night’s game in Columbia, South Carolina showed some heart and resiliency from the Cats, who fought and clawed their way back with a 21-point fourth quarter, nearly coming up with the come-from-behind win. Falling short to a superior team and only losing by a touchdown 35-28 is NOTHING to be ashamed of. This improvement is what Stoops and company were hoping for.
Now, another tough team comes into Lexington for battle. This time, it is the two-time defending National Champion and #1 Alabama Crimson Tide. The opening spread for the game is 27 points in favor of Alabama. In the past, I would have said that this was to low and Kentucky would probably get blown out in a demoralizing loss. However, the improvements we have made cannot go unnoticed. Is it possible that we beat Alabama? Not without great play from the Cats, terrible play from Alabama, and a miracle from God. It is possible, however, that Kentucky could continue to show improvement and keep the game close for the first half and well into the second. If this can be done against an Alabama squad that is out for blood in seeking out their third consecutive title, then it should be considered a success. Although, as Stoops said yesterday, moral victories shall not be celebrated. Stoops is out to win, and it can be guaranteed that his players will respond with fight and resolve, or ride the bench!