The Kentucky Wildcats have just completed perhaps the nation’s toughest stretch of games this season. In its last four games, Kentucky has faced a pair of unbeaten, top-10 teams (the Louisville Cardinals and the Alabama Crimson Tide), and two more top-25 teams (the Florida Gators and the South Carolina Gamecocks).
As many would figure, Kentucky lost all four of those games, although three of them were relatively close contests. Only the Alabama game turned into a total blowout.
However, the worst-case scenario may have happened for Kentucky during this stretch. Not only did the Wildcats get beat, they got beaten up. The list of injuries was too long for head coach Mark Stoops to address after the Alabama game. “There’s so many guys, I hate to get into it right now,” Stoops said. “But we’re banged up.”
Among the players injured, starting quarterback Jalen Whitlow might be the most significant. Whitlow played well, especially in the second half against South Carolina, but he was taken off the field early in the game against Alabama and did not return. Kentucky said that it is an ankle injury, and the latest update indicated that Whitlow would likely miss at least the next game.
The good news for Kentucky is that they get this week off before a Thursday night contest (October 24) against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Stoops and his squad can definitely use the time to heal as well as getting ready for the next game.
If Kentucky can get healthy, the second half of the schedule appears to be much more manageable. There are games against Mississippi State, Alabama State, the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Tennessee Volunteers, none of whom are as good as any team Kentucky has faced in the last month.
If Kentucky could get a win or two out of those four games, it would help to build some momentum heading into next season. Right now, getting as healthy as possible should be the focus for the Wildcats.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.