September 6, 2012- The Kentucky Wildcats have probably never played a bigger game against a MAC opponent out of the 34 the Cats have played in school history. Coming off a 32-14 loss to rival Louisville in Kentucky's season opener Sunday, apathy and or anger are rising to uncomfortable levels. Wildcats season ticket sales are down 10,000 tickets and under Head Coach Joker Phillips, UK has gone 8-15 over their last 23 games. The Cats really need to beat Kent State Saturday night, 7:30 pm ET on CSS.
Whatever bump the Kentucky program got from beating Tennessee last November for the first time since Reagan was president, has long since been forgotten. Furthermore the window is small for this football program more than any other in the SEC. The national championship basketball program will officially begin practice next month. In fact if you look at the Lexington newspaper, there are more basketball articles in today's edition than football stories...but then again that's usually the case regardless the time of year. If this team is to reclaim it's fan base and remain relevant in the Big Blue Nation this season, they've got to do it in a hurry. The Cats really need to beat Kent State Saturday night, 7:30 pm ET on CSS.
The most distressing thing about Kentucky's loss to Louisville Sunday was the defense. The Cats were dominated by the Cardinals. Louisville had four TD drives of 71 yards or longer and time of possession of 36-minutes plus. Distressing because Kentucky thought the defense would be better. The Wildcats offense led by sophomore QB Max Smith moved the ball, racked up yards but hurt themselves with turnovers. Fumbles inside the 25 and five-yard-line plus a makeable missed FG left a potential 17 points on the field. Do the math and those 17 points put Kentucky right in the game. That's the spin this week and that's why the Cats really need to beat Kent State Saturday night, 7:30 pm ET on CSS.
The Wildcats have never lost to Kent State in six all-time meetings and although it was 14-14 at halftime the last time these two played in 2007, Kentucky routed the Golden Flashes in the second half en route to a 56-20 win. A victory like that this weekend won't necessarily buy the Wildcats any more time, afterall as a SEC team, they are supposed to do that, but anything less than that will no doubt increase the noise for a change at the top, and God forbid a loss. Hey...I just called Texas State's 30-13 beat down of a Houston team last Saturday night. That was a Cougars team that was a nation's best 13-1 last season getting jackhammered by a Bobcats team playing its first-ever game as a FBS program. So yeah...anything can happen. Did I mention that the Cats really need to beat Kent State Saturday night, 7:30 pm ET on CSS?
Join me along with Cole Cubelic and Angela Mallen for the call of the game from Commonweath Stadium. Follow me on Twitter: @Matt_StewartCSS