Midway through his third year with Kentucky, coach Mark Stoops is still looking for that signature victory.
“Sure. I’d be lying if I said they didn’t,” Stoops said earlier this season when asked if “program-building” wins mattered.
Kentucky went 2-10 in Stoops’ first year, with the only victories coming against Miami (Ohio) and Alabama State.
The Wildcats started 5-1 last year – with the biggest victory coming against South Carolina — but ended on a six-game losing streak.
Kentucky is off to a 4-1 start, but every game has been decided by single digits.
The Wildcats ended their 22-game road losing streak with a 26-22 victory at South Carolina on Sept. 13, but the Gamecocks (2-4) have only won one game since then.
Kentucky also is 1-8 against ranked opponents under Stoops, with the only victory coming against back-to-back SEC East champion and then-No. 25 Missouri on Sept. 26.
Stoops is winless against these teams:
- UGA (0-2)
- Mississippi State (0-2)
- Florida (0-3)
- Tennessee (0-2)
- Louisville (0-2)
There is a bright side, though.
Mississippi State, Tennessee and Georgia are all unranked.
The bad news?
ESPN’s Football Power Index lists Kentucky as an underdog in six of its final seven games.
The Wildcats are two wins away from being bowl eligible, which would be a first under Stoops, but they still need victories against marquee opponents.
New Story | Kentucky has another chance to earn statement win in Thursday game http://t.co/JPW4Y7xOst
— Jon Hale (@JonHale_CJ) October 14, 2015