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Kentucky’s Must Win Games Of 2024

It’s hard to believe it’s already June which means August 31st will be here before you know it. Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats are coming off back-to-back disappointing 7-6 campaigns. Just the mere fact we’re called 7-6 “disappointing” shows how far the program has come. If the Cats want to take a step towards a better bowl game there are a few games they need to win. Let’s take a look at Kentucky’s must-win games of 2024.

Keeping The Cup

Louisville- November 30th- You have to go back to 2017 to find the last time the Cardinals beat the Wildcats. Of course, in the COVID year of 2020, the schools didn’t play. During the recent winning streak, UK has outscored the Cards 217- 88. A year ago Kentucky shocked the Cards on the road after coming in as a heavy underdog.

With former Cardinal Jeff Brohm back coaching his alma mater UL wants to beat the Cats badly. On the other side of the ball, Kentucky wants to keep its in-state dominance rolling. This season-ender could be crucial for bowl game positioning.

Not Since The 1950s

At Florida- October 19th- You have to go back over 70 years to find the last time Kentucky won four straight against the Gators. Going back through history UK beat Florida four straight from 1948-1951. A season ago the Cats won big at home over the Gators behind a career game from Ray Davis. 

Right now things in Gainesville aren’t very rosy and Gator Nation is getting a little restless with Billy Napier. They don’t like the fact UK has taken the upper hand in the series and desperately wants it back. Another win by Kentucky could put the Florida headman in some really deep water.

Continuing with a look at Kentucky’s must-win games of 2024 with a streak the Cats want to end.

It’s Been Such A Long Time

Auburn- October 26th- Kentucky has lost 18 of the last 19 to the Tigers with the only win coming on the road in 2009. Going a step further the last time UK won in Lexington was 1966. They came close in both 2010 and 2015 but couldn’t get over the hump. Hugh Freeze’s squad went 6-7 last year and is hoping for improvement in 2024.

One thing the Wildcats have struggled with over the last two years is winning at home in the SEC. They’ve gone 1-3 in back-to-back seasons and that’s not going to cut it, especially with the new-look league.

Wins over Florida and Auburn in back-to-back weeks go a long way in helping Stoops’ Troops to a special season.

Let’s wrap up our look at Kentucky’s must-win games of 2024 with our number one on the list.

A Huge Early Game

South Carolina- September 7th- From 2014-2021 the Wildcats won seven of eight from the Gamecocks. However, since then Shane Beamer’s club has rolled off two straight and in the process talked a lot of trash.

Let’s face it USC wasn’t that good last year but Kentucky played arguably one of its worst games ever under Stoops in a three-point loss. The season before Will Levis was out due to injury as the Cats lost at home by 10.

When the SEC announced the times for the first three weeks of the year the UK-USC contest got the 3:30 pm game on ABC. That means the Cats have a chance to set the tone for the season in front of a huge audience.

Two of Kentucky’s first five games include a home date with Georgia and a road test at Ole Miss. It’s imperative UK gets off to a good start. As a result, the South Carolina game is the biggest of the season.

Thanks for checking out Kentucky’s Must Win Games of 2024 here at Last Word On College Football. Up next are the first bowl projections of the year.

Photo Credit: Jeff Faughender/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK


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