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NCAA Football Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky Wildcats Must Show Improvement in 2015

Mark Zerof, USA TODAY SPORTS

Mark Zerof, USA TODAY SPORTS

As the 2015 season approaches, hopes are running high for the Kentucky Wildcats. The Big Blue went 5-7 last season, losing their final six games to finish one win short of bowl eligibility.

But as head coach Mark Stoops and his troops get ready to begin fall practice, there is a positive vibe coming from the Kentucky football program. Renovations to Commonwealth Stadium appear to be coming along nicely and the ‘Cats appear to have plenty of returning players who can contribute in 2015.

Perhaps the most important player on the field will be the quarterback. It appears that last year’s starter, Patrick Towles, will beat out redshirt freshman Drew Barker for the position. Towles showed signs of how good he could be last year, although he was plagued by inconsistency. If Kentucky hopes to take that next step this season, Towles must get better

The Wildcats will have a number of playmakers at the skill positions. Running back Stanley “Boom” Williams is back, along with backfield mates Mikel Horton and Jojo Kemp. At wide receiver, Kentucky appears to be loaded, with Garrett Johnson, Joey Harrick, Dorian Baker, Jeff Badet, Ryan Timmons and T.V. Williams all expected to see significant playing time.

Stoops and defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot must answer questions on the defensive side of the ball. Gone are last year’s stellar defensive ends, Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith. Expect Jason Hatcher to fill in on one side, but the other side remains up for grabs.

This is year three of Stoops’ time in Lexington, and he has brought great excitement, specifically regarding upgrades in talent and facilities. Now, it’s time for that excitement to carry over to wins on the field.

Tim Letcher is a Featured Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.