UK football takes on Toledo Rockets’ experienced secondary


The entire team poses for a photo during football media day on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Sydney Carter | Staff

Chandler Wilcox

College football is finally here, and the Kentucky Wildcats look to build off of their historical 2018 season. Their first opponent: the Toledo Rockets.

Toledo and Kentucky have never actually played each other, even though UK has played many schools from the Mid-American Conference. Although the MAC isn’t a power five conference, the Rockets have a history of taking down superior opponents, and after completing a conference championship season in 2017, they look to do the same this year.. They return 13 starters from last season, including All-MAC senior tight end Reggie Gilliam, and on defense they return nine starters with at least 30 tackles including senior safety DeDarallo Blue. They move fast and play fundamental football.

Like any game on the road, the Rockets are presented with a potential challenge taking on the Wildcats on their home turf at Kroger Field. Despite losing Benny Snell and Josh Allen, along with other key components, the Cats return playmakers like Terry Wilson at quarterback who looks to prove himself as a stout SEC signal caller. Lynn Bowden, who proved last season to be a threat on offense and on special teams, is also a weapon the Cats plan on using against Toledo’s experienced secondary.

The Cats, however, are young in their defensive backfield, especially after losing Davonte Robinson for the season due to a quad injury. The oldest player in the secondary is Jordan Griffin, the only senior in the position group. 

The matchup will be an interesting start to see how the Kentucky offense did or didn’t improve (specifically the passing game) over the offseason. Considering Toledo is a team that likes to fly with a fast moving offense, it will be a challenge for Kentucky’s young secondary. 

The game starts off the Saturday of games at noon on SEC Network.