The 10 Game Slate Is A Tough One
A couple of weeks ago the Southeastern Conference announced the league members would play a 10 game schedule. In addition, there would be no out of conference games meaning each team added two more league games. For Mark Stoops’ Wildcats that meant a couple of teams from the SEC West, Alabama, and Ole Miss. Finally, in a “made for TV event” on the SEC Network the Cats now know who and when they are playing. Let’s take it week by week and begin examining Kentucky’s 2020 Football Schedule.
Our 2020 schedule 👀⤵️ pic.twitter.com/2SGixWg0IZ
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) August 17, 2020
Hitting The Road
Kentucky begins the season away from Kroger Field facing Auburn down on the plains on September 26th. The Tigers lead the series 26-6 all-time however the Wildcats won the last time they played in Auburn back in 2009. Many think Stoops’ Troops can steal this one and a win here sets up the rest of the season nicely.
Welcoming The State Of Mississippi
In the season’s first home game the “Lane Train” makes a stop in Lexington on October 3rd. Ole Miss comes to Lexington for the second time in four years. The two schools last met in 2017 with the Rebels winning at the buzzer 37-34 on a pass from Jordan Ta’amu to D.K. Metcalf. As it stands right now UK has a date with Lane Kiffin’s Rebels in Oxford next season.
The next week a familiar face comes to town in Mike Leach and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Leach of course was offensive coordinator under Hal Mumme in the late 1990s ushering in the “Air Raid” attack. A season ago MSU handled Kentucky easily 28-13. Get that win at Auburn and a 3-0 start looks likely.
Breaking An Ugly Streak
Following three straight games against the SEC West, the next four are against the east. Up first, the Cats head down Interstate 75 for a match up with Tennessee. Any True Blue Fan knows the awful recent history against the Vols. Not only have the Cats not won in Knoxville since 1984 but they generally play their worst game of the year against the Big Orange. An interesting note the October 17th date is the earliest the teams have met since 1944.
After that Kentucky welcomes in the defending eastern division champs, Georgia. Kirby Smart’s club has dominated recently winning the last ten. The Wildcats’ last beat Georgia in 2009 and last win in Lexington was 2006.
We’re halfway through examining Kentucky’s 2020 football schedule. Up next are two games the Cats must win in order to have a successful season.
Looking For History
The second half of the season kicks off on Halloween night when the Wildcats head to Missouri. Kentucky’s won five in a row against the Tigers including a 29-7 win victory last year. A victory against new coach Eli Drinkwitz makes six in a row for UK. If they win, that ties the record of most consecutive wins against an SEC team. The Cats beat Vanderbilt six times in a row from 1976-1981.
Kentucky’s bye week comes on November 7th. That’s a pretty smart move by the SEC as Lexington is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup that weekend.
After the off week, Kentucky hosts Vanderbilt. Winners of four straight against Derek Mason’s Commodores the Cats should make it five in a row.
We’re heading into the homestretch in examining Kentucky’s 2020 football schedule. The next couple are huge road games. However, there’s reason for the Big Blue Nation to be hopeful.
Tough Games With A Silver Lining
On November 21st Kentucky heads to Alabama to face Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. The two teams last played in 2016 with the Cats losing 34-6 in Tuscaloosa. Alabama holds a 37-2 margin in the all-time series with one tie. Kentucky’s last win came in 1997 on a 40-34 overtime victory. The next scheduled meeting between the Cats and Tide is 2023 in Lexington.
What’s the silver lining in playing Alabama? Kentucky catches the Tide between games at LSU and the Iron Bowl against Auburn the following weekend. As a result, there’s a chance of a let down against Kentucky. We’re not saying they’re going to win in Tuscaloosa but don’t be surprised if it’s close.
Thanksgiving weekend the Wildcats head to “The Swamp” for a battle against Florida. There are worse times to head to the Sunshine State than during the holiday season. As Kentucky fans as well aware the last time the two teams played in Gainesville the Cats broke a 31 game losing streak to Florida. In addition, five of the last six years Kentucky seemingly had the game won only to find a way to lose.
This game’s a bit of a throwback as the teams used to play in November every year. It certainly would be fun seeing Dan Mullen’s team come to Lexington that late in the season.
Speaking of late in the season the Cats finish up 2020 hosting South Carolina on December 5th. Last season Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks broke a five-game losing streak to the Cats. Knowing the crazy Kentucky weather, it’ll probably snow that day. How long has it been since the Cats played a regular-season game in December? Try over 100 years. In addition, the school wasn’t even known as the University of Kentucky then.
For the first time since 1907, @UKFootball will have a home game played in the month of December (Kentucky State College, now known as UK, played Kentucky University, now known as Transylvania, on December 5th, 1907)
— Corey Price (@coreyp08) August 18, 2020
A Final Word
Heading into 2020 Kentucky’s schedule was already pretty difficult. With the addition of Alabama, the Wildcats now play four of the pre-season top 13 teams. Though it offers quite the challenge, the schedule actually sets up pretty nicely for Kentucky. While daunting it could always be worse, just ask Arkansas and Missouri. However, for True Blue Fans one of the best squads in recent memory is more than up for it.
Thanks for examining Kentucky’s 2020 football schedule with us here at Last Word On College Football. Agree or disagree with our thoughts on the schedule? Leave a comment below or on twitter. Coming up it’s time to get out the Crystal Ball as we predict the order of finish in the SEC East and West.