Kentucky Football Three Keys: Miami (Ohio)

Kentucky football Three keys-

The Kentucky Wildcats won the Citrus Bowl (formerly the Capital One Bowl) for the second time in the past half-decade in the 2021 season.

By Matt Zemek

Coach Mark Stoops continues to get great results from his players. He was once on the hot seat. Now he’s actually doing a better job with his teams – and his talent – than John Calipari is in Lexington.

The topic of Calipari is mentioned because Stoops and Calipari got into a verbal fight on social media. Kentucky fans actually defended their football coach in response to Cal’s claim that Kentucky is a basketball school. The remark by Calipari seemed innocent enough, but there was a sense from some Kentucky fans that Calipari needlessly got involved in an exchange he should have stayed out of. In many ways, the uproar from Kentucky fans seems to be little more than the continued frustration pouring out after the stunning loss to Saint Peter’s in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Nevertheless, the point remains: Mark Stoops is very popular right now at the University of Kentucky. He has this program in a good place. Fans believe in Kentucky football with a level of passion they haven’t always shown in the past.

As Kentucky begins its season against Miami of Ohio, let’s look at some keys for Week 1:

1 – Throw the rock

If Kentucky wants to at least threaten Georgia – taking the Bulldogs down to the wire as opposed to giving them a good battle but falling 10 to 17 points short – it will need to throw the ball well down the field. Doing things against Miami of Ohio to prepare the team for Georgia and other really tough opponents is something Kentucky and Stoops should certainly aim to achieve in this season opener.

2 – Offensive line

Whether Kentucky runs more or passes more, the Wildcats have to know that if they’re going to stand up to the big boys in the SEC, they will need an offensive line which can handle the heat. If there’s one unit which can really use a solid game versus Miami to set the tone for the upcoming weeks, it’s the offensive line.

3 – Depth at wide receiver

Flowing from point No. 1 about throwing the ball, Kentucky needs to walk away from this game knowing it has several options, not just one or two, at wide receiver. Quarterback Will Levis will need as much help as possible if Kentucky is to make a run at the SEC East or a big bowl game (or both). Getting a reliable third or fourth outlet at receiver would move UK closer to those high-end goals.

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