Thursday, June 9, 2016

Kentucky Wildcats 2016 outlook

Kentucky Wildcats

2015 record: 5-7, 2-6 SEC East

2016 schedule:

Sept. 3 vs Southern Miss
Sept. 10 at Florida
Sept. 17 vs New Mexico State
Sept. 24 vs South Carolina
Oct. 1 at Alabama
Oct. 8 vs Vanderbilt
Oct. 22 vs Mississippi State
Oct. 29 at Missouri
Nov. 5 vs Georgia
Nov. 12 at Tennessee
Nov. 19 vs Austin Peay
Nov. 26 at Louisville

For the last five seasons, the Kentucky Wildcats have been at the bottom of the SEC Eastern division.

The last three have been under the guidance of coach Mark Stoops and this season is a de facto do or die in terms of improvement in the win department.

The Wildcats have not made a bowl appearance since the 2010 season and in order for the drought to end, they must improve on offensive production after going for 209.3 yards/game in 2015 (79th in the FBS).

Players To Watch For- Redshirt freshman quarterback Drew Barker:

In order for the Wildcats to improve on offense, Barker will be counted on as the projected starter going into fall camp.

Barker stood out in the spring game on April 16 going 12-of-18 passing for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

After taking a redshirt, Barker steps in after outgoing starter Patrick Towles finished with nine touchdown passes and 14 interceptions last season.

Senior center Jon Toth:

Named to the Remington Trophy Spring Watch List on May 17, Toth headlines four returning starters on the Kentucky offensive line. 

Toth started in the last 35 games for the Wildcats and has excelled off the gridiron as a three-time SEC academic honor roll member.

Key Game- Sept. 10 at Florida:

The Wildcats' biggest hurdle in the last 29 seasons has been their inability to knock off fellow SEC East foes in the Florida Gators.

Despite coming close in a 14-9 loss last season to Florida, Kentucky's hopes to make some noise can happen at Florida in the second full week of action.

The game at Florida could be the first of many challenging opponents away from Commonwealth Stadium as Kentucky makes trips to schools such as Alabama, Tennessee and in-state rival Louisville.

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Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.