The Kentucky Wildcats posted a 7-5 overall record last year, and look to improve on that this year. The Wildcats open the year against a solid Louisville club at home, and face Florida, Alabama, and Arkansas on the road this year.
The Cats return 7 starters on offense this year, including Quarterback Jarod Lorenzen (2267 psg yds), and 4 on the defensive side of the ball. Offensive tackle Antonio Hall is All-SEC caliber. Vincent Burns is a great pash rusher, and accounted for 14.5 sacks last year.
The defense will have to be rebuilt from the bottom floor, and could struggle early. The Cats will line up in a new 3-4 alignment this year. Because of this switch, a couple of young defensive ends have had to make the switch to the OLB slots. As a matter of fact, all 4 linebacker slots will be filled with newcomers.
The Wildcats will be under the direction of a new head coach this year. Rich Brooks takes over the spot. He brings a great staff with him to Lexington. Recruiting suffered only minimally last year because of NCAA sanctions, and the near future is promising. The Cats could be very competetive this year with Lorenzan behind center.
Prediction: 7-5 Overall. 3-5 SEC. Mid level Bowl bid.
SEC Sports Smack Note: The Cats went out and hired a top notch head coach in Brooks. He has assembled a great group of assistant coaches that will surely keep Kentucky competetive in the SEC. But, he is untested in SEC waters.
Any offense led by Lorenzan will be exciting to watch. He is, simply, phenomenal. Give this kid a running game behind him, and watch him win.
Defense appears to be the worry here. Still, I think the change to a different defensive alignment better suits the defensive objectives at Kentucky.
The program is on the rise. Recruiting was solid this year, even though NCAA sanctions were in place. Brooks is the right man for this job.
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