Week 2 of the college football season is in the books and the Kentucky football team is sitting where they hoped they would be – undefeated and atop the Southeastern Conference East standings.
That’s a statement not often heard in the Bluegrass, but after surviving and winning a pivotal 35-28 battle with Missouri on Saturday that’s the reality.
What is even more clear is that following that win, coupled with a victory over Chattanooga this upcoming weekend will send them into a four-game slate of SEC games that will define the 2021 season.
Kentucky football taking care of business so far before daunting SEC slate
The Wildcats should take care of South Carolina the ensuing week in Columbia which leaves looming on the Week 6 horizon is a match-up of undefeated teams doing battle for the second spot in the SEC East hierarchy when Florida comes to Lexington.
What they can’t do after that is leave any points on the field. Something that is driving head coach Mark Stoops a bit crazy as you could tell after the game.
“Well, I would have to liked to have gotten that field goal at the end. And, you know, like I talked about the one at the end of the half, we got to — we can’t leave points on the field. I mean, we had a chance to — what did we score, 35 and it should have been 45, right? And, you know, we legitimately — you know, got to say as far as (offensive coordinator Liam Coen) is concerned, the offense to me, they scored 45. You know, they didn’t but they did a good enough job to.”
Kentucky would host LSU next weekend before traveling to Georgia.
Whoooo. Let’s pump the breaks and see how these teams performed and looked after Week 2 and what that means for Kentucky.
The Mocks are 1-1 after a 20-0 win over North Alabama on Saturday. They dropped their opener 35-24.
Chattanooga’s offense didn’t quite pile up the numbers that Kentucky did but rush for 198 yards on 44 attempts. Through the air, Cole Copeland was 10-of-22 passing for 98 yards and a pair of interceptions.
We’ll get into more on them in upcoming previews, but safe to say the Wildcats will be 3-0 after a Noon kickoff.
South Carolina wins on a late field goal
Kentucky hits the road for the first time in Week 4 when they go to Columbia to tangle with South Carolina under the lights in a 7 p.m. game on ESPN2.
Watching the Gamecocks have to rally to beat East Carolina 20-17 on a last-second 36-yard field goal after bumbling and fumbling their way through that game leaves me to believe Kentucky should again continue to master USC. Kentucky has won five of the past six games.
South Carolina turned the ball over to the Pirates three times in its first five drives, including couching it up at the goal-line fumble that scooted through the end zone in the first half falling behind 14-0.
ECU turned to the trick play on the game’s first play for a 75-yards touchdown pass.
Kentucky offensive coach Liam Coen I am sure has made a note.
Had it not been for a 63-yard interception return for a touchdown just before halftime it would have been worse.
South Carolina has wins over Eastern Illinois and ECU but in those games has been flagged 16 times for 116 yards.
They face Georgia this week.
Florida possesses two QBs teams must deal with
Florida still can’t seem to decide between starter Emory Jones or backup Anthony Richardson,but it doesn’t matter both have been rock solid. Yet Richardson seems to be shining brighter after the Gators (2-0, 0-0) rolled South Florida 42-20.
The pair shared playing time throughout the game with each carving up the Bulls’ defense in the opening half putting up touchdowns on five consecutive possessions.
The Gators weren’t quite as spectacular to open the second half with Jones tossing a pair of interceptions and the team turning the ball over on downs on four straight possessions.
Richardson is a running threat as well that Kentucky will have to prepare for as well. Just how effective each is will be tested when the Gators tussle with No. 1 ranked Alabama this weekend.
LSU offense still sputtering but gets first win
The good news for LSU is that it took on and whooped an FCS school in McNeese State 34-7 after a lackluster performance loss the week before at UCLA.
But the bad news is their offense still looks shaky and questionable. The Tiger offense continued to struggle and netted just 166 total yards in the first half.
All that bodes well for Kentucky who will host the Tigers (1-1) in Lexington on October 9. Provided Kentucky hasn’t been too battered from the Gators.
Potentially though should there be an upset of Florida then Kentucky would be 5-0, still atop the SEC East and surging up the polls.
LSU can thank placekicker Cade York for helping with points they left hitting a career and LSU stadium record a 55-yard field goal and then topping that again in the game with a 56-yarder.
Kentucky special teams please take note here. We had a simple one blocked on our only attempt on Saturday. Can’t leave those points out there.
LSU continues its non-conference run hosting Central Michigan.
Georgia rules East no matter who is at QB
Stetson Bennett, the senior and former walk-on tied a school record with five touchdown throws in the first half to launch No. 2 Georgia to a 56-7 rout of Alabama Birmingham. JT Daniels was out with an injury.
All you need to know is that he was perfect on his first six passes and four resulted in touchdowns.
It began with a 73-yard TD on Georgia’s second offensive play and before the opening minute of the second quarter, the five-game starter last year had added scoring passes of 12, 89, and 61 yards.
Kentucky has a long way to dethrone the King of the SEC East and it really is anyone guess just how the Wildcats will look going into this matchup. UK will have its bye week the following week to regroup from the grueling SEC start.
Other SEC scores
Vanderbilt 24, Colorado State 21
Pittsburgh 41, Tennessee 34
Ole Miss 54, Austin Peay 17
Mississippi State 24, NC State 10
Arkansas 40, Texas 21
Alabama 48, Mercer 14
Texas A&M 10, Colorado 7