With bowl eligibility one win away, UK looks to finish the job on senior day


Kentucky safety Marcus McWilson runs with the American flag before the Wildcat’s game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Commonwealth Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky.

By Chris Angolia

On Saturday, UK football is looking to do something that it has not done since the 2010 season, become bowl eligible. A win on senior day over 0-10 Austin Peay on Saturday would give the Cats six wins for the first time in the Mark Stoops-era.

While becoming bowl eligible looked highly unlikely after the teams horrid 0-2 start, UK has rebounded to change the question from ‘if’ to ‘when’.

“We wanted to get six two weeks ago but it is important to get six,” Stoops said Monday. “I’ve never denied that. I said it in the summer and when we were sitting here at 0-2. It’s important. We were never quit fighting or improving and we’ll battle tooth and nail until the season is over.”  

After the Cats won five of six games the question of when they would get to bowl eligibility began with the Georgia game. UK lost to the Bulldogs and then Tennessee the following week, but now in week 12 of the college football season, there is a much easier task in front of the Cats.

And with all due respect to Austin Peay, they just simply struggle to compete in their own league let alone the teams that UK has faced this year.

The main thing that the Cats have done to their opponents so far this season, is run the ball and come Saturday, running the ball should be a priority. The Governors have allowed an average of 255 rushing yards per game so far this season and UK has been able to put up big numbers against even the stiffest of run defenses.

The run game has undoubtedly been perhaps the biggest reason that the Cats are one win away from bowl eligibility despite the 0-2 start. And in the biggest game in the Mark Stoops-era, UK has a chance to literally run to a bowl game by taking advantage of an Austin Peay team that has struggled to stop the run.

With the opportunity clearly there for the taking, the Cats are looking to get that elusive sixth win that has evaded them each of the past two seasons. All season there has been talk about program defining wins, and a win on Saturday will show everyone the progress that UK football has made finally becoming bowl eligible.