Three More Streaks Kentucky Can End In 2018
Last Saturday, the Kentucky football team broke a 31-game losing streak to Florida with a 27-16 victory. Not only was it the first win in against the Gators since 1986 it was the first in Gainesville since 1979. With that huge albatross off their backs, there are several other things the Cats can accomplish this season. With that in mind let’s look at three more streaks Kentucky can end In 2018. In addition, we will preview the game against Murray State on Saturday.
Beat Tennessee In Knoxville
When you look at the history of Kentucky football two years continually stand out, 1977 and 1984. You will see those years come up time and time again looking at these streaks.
The Wildcats last beat the Volunteers in Knoxville 17-12 in 1984. Since then, most of the losses have been blowouts. In fact, only three times has the game been decided by less than 10 points.
However, this is not the Peyton Manning or Phillip Fulmer led squads Tennessee fans are used to seeing. Under first year coach Jeremy Pruitt, the Vols currently sit at 1-1, losing to West Virginia and beating East Tennessee State 53-6. There is a good chance Kentucky will be favored when they meet on November 10th in Knoxville.
The last time the Wildcats beat both Florida and Tennessee in the same season was 1977. Furthermore, the last time Kentucky beat Tennessee two years in a row was 1976 and 1977. Pruitt is eventually going to get the Vols back to what they used to be so this is Kentucky’s best chance for a win.
An Eight Win Regular Season
The last time Kentucky had an eight-win regular season was 1984. The Jerry Claiborne led Cats finished the year 8-3. They capped off that campaign with a 20-19 win over Wisconsin in the Hall Of Fame Bowl in Birmingham.
Since 1984, the Cats have won seven games in the regular season on seven occasions, including the last two years. Looking at the Cats’ remaining schedule, there is a path to eight wins. Other than Georgia at home and Texas A&M on the road, every game looks winnable.
Murray State, Vanderbilt, and Middle Tennessee should be victories. Louisville has struggled in their first two games and the Cats seem to play better on the road in that series. Should Kentucky pull out the win against Tennessee there are seven wins. That leaves games against Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Missouri. Kentucky has defeated the Gamecocks four years in a row and the Tigers three. Winning one of those three gives Mark Stoops and the Cats their eight-win regular season. The last of three more streaks Kentucky can break in 2018 involves conference play.
A Winning Record In The SEC
With a 6-0 mark, the 1977 Kentucky football team is the last team to finish with a winning record in the SEC. However, due to probation, Fran Curci’s 10-1 squad was unable to play in a bowl game. Over the last 40 seasons, the Wildcats have finished at .500 in the league only six times.
Following the same formula as the road to eight wins, this year’s club has a real chance to finish with a winning record in the SEC. Should the Cats accomplish any or all of these feats it would go down with 1977 and 1984 as one of the most memorable seasons ever. Based solely on the strength of the league this is the most difficult of the three to accomplish.
Looking At Murray State
Now that we have looked into the future, let’s look at the present in terms of a visit from the Racers. Murray State is 0-2 on the season losing 49-10 to Southern Illinois and 26-13 last week to Central Arkansas.
The Ohio Valley Conference school is coached by Mitch Stewart who is in his fourth season compiling a 10-25 record. Quarterback Drew Anderson leads the Racer attack. In the first two games, Anderson has thrown for 359 yards and one touchdown. However, he does have three interceptions. Look for Josh Allen, Mike Edwards and the Kentucky defense to have a big day.
Coming off the huge win over Florida, it is imperative the Cats don’t experience a let down in what should be a blowout. With last week’s win, Stoops became only the second coach in school history to beat Florida, Tennessee, and Louisville. Granted the Cats and Cards didn’t play from 1925 to 1993 but still an impressive accomplishment.
List of Kentucky Football coaches that have beaten Florida, Louisville, and Tennessee:
1. Fred J. Murphy
2. Mark Stoops
That’s it… pic.twitter.com/JbovTUQ10T
— Classic KY (@KY_Clips) September 9, 2018
These are the types of games where you want to get your starters some playing time to keep their rhythm. However, you also want to put the game away early and get the second and even third-string players in the game.
Most importantly, you want to avoid the injury bug with three tough conference games coming up. It’s a rare sight for Kentucky to have what should be an easy win. The Cats move to 3-0 with a blowout victory.
Kentucky 42 Murray State 10
Thanks for checking out three more streaks Kentucky can end in 2018 here at Last Word On College Football. Next week, the Cats entertain Mississippi State under the lights at Kroger Field.