After the two debacles we have witnessed the last two Saturday’s, I think we can all agree that we as fans need a break.
The big question that surrounds the football program right now is who is starting at QB?
Now, that question isn’t one that you want to have five games into a season after going 10-3. But, after Terry Wilson’s season-ending injury and Sawyer Smith’s struggles, that’s where we stand.
Sawyer Smith may or may not play due to his injuries. But, the one thing Kentucky has going for them right now is they have a week-off to get it all figured out.
Kentucky needs to beat Arkansas to keep the hopes of making a bowl game alive. With that, let’s look at how Kentucky has faired in games coming off a bye-week.
Loss to #20 Florida: 24-7
Loss to Mississippi State: 28-22
Yeah, we can forget about this year.
Win against Vanderbilt: 17-7
Loss to #24 Louisville: 44-40
If you remember, that Vandy win came two weeks after the Cats got screwed in Gainesville with the game-clock going to zero. Kentucky has struggled in the past with games following heart-breaking defeats.
The loss to Louisville was a game Kentucky wasn’t expected to be in. The Cats started that year 5-1 and ended 5-7. One of two mid-season slides.
Loss to Auburn: 30-27
The Cats only got one bye-week in 2015. However, the hype was real as Kentucky got a shot at Auburn under the lights of Kroger Field on a Thursday night. Unfortunately, the Cats took a heart-breaking L to the Tigers. After starting 4-1, Kentucky would go 1-7 in their last eight games to finish the season 5-7.
Win against Mississippi State: 41-38
Loss to Georgia Tech: 33-18
After a terrible start to the year, Kentucky got back on its feet with wins against New Mexico State, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt. A loss to #1 Alabama was followed by a win against Vandy, making the Cats 3-3 going into a bye-week. The game that followed was one for the ages. Austin MacGinnis’ game-winning FG gave the Cats a 4-3 record and kept their bowl hopes alive.
They made the TaxSlayer bowl and got smacked by Georgia Tech, 33-18, in Jacksonville, Florida.
Loss to Mississippi State: 45-7
Loss to Northwestern: 24-23
After Kentucky got off to its second 5-1 start in the Mark Stoops era, the Cats went into the bye-week. They then travelled to Starkville to play Mississippi State, with a chance to start 6-1. Well, the Cats got crushed, 45-7.
Kentucky would go on to make the Music City bowl in Nashville, Tennessee, after going 7-5, ending the regular season with an embarrassing loss at home to Louisville. An early Benny Snell ejection put Kentucky in a hole early. A banged up Stephen Johnson and Kentucky fought back, but lost 24-23.
Win against Vanderbilt: 14-7
Win against #13 Penn State: 27-24
I will never forget last season. The Cats had a chance to start 6-0, but travelled to College Station, played terrible, and lost. A bye-week followed with a very important Vanderbilt game, one they had to win. It was ugly, but it was a 14-7 win.
Kentucky finished the season 9-3 and kicked Louisville’s ass at Cardinal Stadium to cap it off. A game that I was at and was literally fearing for my life.
Anyway, Kentucky went on to face #13 Penn State in the Citrus Bowl. It was quietly a crazy game. Mark Stoops and James Franklin didn’t like each other, Benny Snell set the rushing record, and Trace McSorley almost brought the Nittany Lions back on one leg. But, they didn’t, and the Cats won 27-24, finishing the season 10-3.
Kentucky hasn’t played a game coming off a bye-week yet, but they’re getting ready to. A VERY important game. In the Stoops era, Kentucky is 4-7 in games coming off a bye-week, which isn’t great.
Kentucky will face Arkansas next Saturday. I will make an official prediction after I know who’s playing QB. But, that doesn’t change the fact that Kentucky HAS to win this game. They will also be honoring Jared Lorenzen, so more of a reason to kick some Razorback ass.