The Kentucky Wildcats have struggled in 2013, as many expected they would. Kentucky stands at 1-6 after losing at the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Thursday night.However, there is potentially good news for Kentucky this week. As they look at the schedule for November 2, they see a team they should actually be able to beat, and that’s FCS-level Alabama State.
Kentucky not only should win this game, they actually need to win this game. The Wildcats were just 2-10 last season, and they seem to be headed down that same road again this year. Head coach Mark Stoops has done a tremendous job recruiting and changing the culture around the program, but everyone in the Big Blue Nation would like to see the team win a few more games.
This is one of the games Kentucky should win. While Alabama State is 6-2 and has won six straight, this is strictly a battle of numbers, where the Wildcats have more and better players than the Hornets.
A win would also do wonders for the psyche of this young team. While Stoops is encouraging his younger players, as well as his recruits, to hang in there during this transition, it would make things easier on everyone if Kentucky could win a game.
The biggest question for the Wildcats right now is, who will play quarterback on Saturday? Both Jalen Whitlow and Maxwell Smith played in Thursday’s loss, and neither seemed particularly healthy. Whitlow played limited snaps on his bad ankle, while Smith played the majority of the game, but didn’t look good as he continues to battle shoulder problems.
If something happens and neither Whitlow nor Smith could go, it would be interesting to see if the Wildcats’ staff would burn the redshirt of sophomore Patrick Towles or freshman Reese Phillips. They all hope it doesn’t come to that.
This is a week that Kentucky needs to embrace and, most of all, a game that Kentucky needs to win. And that would help to at least temporarily ease the pain of the 2013 season.
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.