Kentucky Wildcats 2023 College Football Preview
August 1, 2023
Record – 7-6
ATS – 8-5
The Wildcats got off to a 4-0 start and managed to upset Florida on the road during their September HEEETER. They struggled the rest of the way and only managed to win three of their final nine contests. Two of those victories were vs quality opposition (Mississippi St, LUA-VUH) but they also found a way to lose to Vanderbilt in November. The year ended on a sour note when they were skunked by Iowa in the Music City Bowl (lost 21-CACK).
Kentucky Wildcats 2023 Outlook
The offense couldn’t get much of anything going LY (20.4 PPG, dead last SEC) despite having a 2nd round NFL DC at QB in Will Levis. The main culprit was a horrible OL that allowed 47 (!) sacks (#126 FBS) and paved the way for a measly 3.3 net YPC (#119). The line should be much improved this season as they retain four starters, add in a bunch of talented transfer specimens, and boast over 120 career starts amongst the group. Kentucky pulled off one of the biggest COUPS of the offseason by snagging star QB Devin Leary from the transfer portal (career 62-16 TD to INT with NC State) and they’ve got a deep WR corps for him to utilize. Keep your eye on sophomore wideout Barion Brown who had a fine freshman campaign in 2022 (50-628, 4 TD). The Cats replaced former #1 stud RB Christopher Rodriguez with Vanderbilt’s 1,000-yard RB Ray Davis and that was another clever move. We expect much better production and efficiency this season.
One of more underrated units in college football over the last five seasons has been the Kentucky defense. If you throw out the 2020 PLANDEMIC season, the Cats have allowed a mere 19.2, 21.7,19.3, and 16.8 PPG since 2018. They’ll be stout once again this season as they bring back their top-two tacklers whilst adding a number of talented players thru the transfer portal. The DL features a pair of rising stars in Deone Walker and Keeshawn Silver and the Cats retain three starters at LB including #1 tackler D’Eryk Jackson. The secondary returns just one starter but Kentucky hopes that a pair of transfer CBs (Cincinnati, Ohio St) will become regular contributors. The other concern outside of CB is the apparent lack of PENETRATING ability as the Wildcats tallied just 20 sacks LY (#11 SEC). We expect this defense to do another fine job in 2023.
The Wildcats feature a dangerous KR in Barion Brown (27.5, TD LY) but will need to feature a new PK. It appears as tho they did a good job filling the hole by acquiring Alex Raynor from Georgia Southern (18-20 FG, 49-50 XP LY).
Overall – Here we go again. Again. <Tugg Speedman> <Scorcher VI – Global Meltdown>
Kentucky is a yuuuge favorite to start the season 4-0 for the 2nd consecutive year as their first difficult test comes on Sept 30 when they host the Florida Gators. The 2nd half of the schedule is nasty and they draw ROLL TIDE (H) and Mississippi St (A) from the West.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at South Carolina (Nov 18)
This is a tough scheduling hurdle to clear as they’ve gotta travel to play the COCKS a week after the emotional game with ROLL TIDE. Also note that they have a road rivalry date with LUA-VUH on deck.
Season Win Total
Market consensus August 1
Over 7 -125
Under 7 +105
That looks like the right number. There are several ‘6.5s’ out there with high juice attached, so if you wanna dabble with the ‘over’, that’s probably the route you should take. Our GUN TO THE HEAD ** selection is the ‘over’ but we need to do a bit more work on it over the summer.
** Take it easy, Karen. That’s just an expression. Oh, and good thing you’re wearing three masks because it looks like one has a small hole in it. #TrustTheScience
If you discount the 2020 SCAMDEMIC season, the last time Kentucky failed to post a winning record was way back in 2015 (!) when they finished 5-7. That’s pretty impressive.
The great PHIL STEELE points out that Kentucky is 0-11 (!) on the road vs SEC West squads under HC Mark Stoops. Keep that in mind when the Cats travel to STARK VEGAS to tangle with Mississippi St.
We were worried about how the Wildcats would fare this season without the star combo of QB Will Levis and RB Christopher Rodriguez and then BOOM, they worked some magic in the transfer portal. The defense should be rock solid and the big stumbling block is the difficult set of assignments that begins in week five. They don’t appear ready to challenge for the SEC East crown but this is still a solid team that’ll most likely book about seven wins and get to a decent bowl game.