Kentucky football has only had three high water mark, double-digit win seasons in their history. They went 11-1 under Bear Bryant in 1950, 10-1 in 1977 under Fran Curci and 10-3 last season under Mark Stoops.
How did they fare in the follow up seasons?
In 1951 they were 8-4, they slipped to 4-6 in 1978. Yesterday’s 45-13 rout of Louisville guaranteed that Mark Stoops and the Cats (7-5) will have a winning season and a shot at eight with the bowl game. A winning season after a double digit win season may not seem like much; but it does show Stoops is starting to build consistency. The path to get there was a difficult one to say the least.
Stoops Showing Consistency
Back in September, they were sitting at 2-3. Terry Wilson and Nick Scalzo had already been lost for the season. Sawyer Smith was banged up to the point that he was ineffective. They were facing serious about what they were going to do going forward at the quarterback position.
Enter Lynn Bowden and a switch to a dominant running game. Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran had to feel like it was 2016 all over again when they had to change the offense on the fly after losing Drew Barker to injury early in that season.
Since Bowden became a fixture at quarterback, Kentucky has gone 5-2 down the stretch and have ground opposing defenses into submission with their potent ground attack. The Paul Hornung Award for the nation’s most versatile college football player should already have Lynn Bowden’s name engraved on it.
The season finale against Louisville was more of the same. Lynn Bowden making history.
Everyone knew what was going to happen but it still happened anyway. There hasn’t been a passing game to speak of. Bowden was the best receiver on the team and the offensive production was still through the roof.
The 2018 season was fun to watch, it was historic. A lot of Kentucky fans hadn’t seen the Cats play in a New Year’s Day bowl game, much less win one like they did by defeating Penn State.
That earned Mark Stoops the SEC Coach of the Year Award. But you could argue that keeping it together this season with all of its adversity is every bit as impressive.
Another season has flown by at warp speed and bowl game preparations and curiosity about destinations are a part of it once again.
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Vinny was born and raised in Lynch, KY and currently lives in Morristown, TN with his wife and two sons. In addition to UK, he’s a fan of the Atlanta Braves, Dallas Cowboys and Houston Rockets. He hosts Cats Talk Wednesday each Wednesday evening from 6-8 PM with Terry Brown on Blog Talk Radio.