The Wildcats wore their traditional blue jerseys and white pants with blue helmets in their season opener against UT-Martin, but have shuffled through “alternate” looks in each of their other three games: Ohio (gray jersey, blue pants, chrome blue helmets), Florida (white jerseys, blue pants, matte white helmets) and Vanderbilt (blue jerseys, gray pants, chrome blue helmets).
For this week’s game, they may be breaking out yet another look. The program’s promotional Twitter account, @UKFootball, announced Monday morning that fans are encouraged to participate in a “Blackout” for Saturday’s game against South Carolina.
“We have a lot of options,” UK head coach Mark Stoops said during Monday’s weekly press luncheon. “Some of the people in our office and some of the people in marketing did a nice job in the summer and took some pictures of a lot of different options with our players in it so we could look at it and just see what we want to do with that particular week.
“It is good to change it up. I think our players like it. It's good for recruiting. It's been good for us to spice it up a bit.”
Kentucky has experienced mixed results in the black uniforms. The program’s first “Blackout,” during the 2009 season, turned out to be a mishap as fans came to Commonwealth Stadium decked out in their black UK gear on Halloween night only to be surprised when the Cats took the field in their traditional blue. They lost 31-24 to Mississippi State, and UK head coach Rich Brooks later explained that his staff was never made aware of the marketing department’s promotion.
The Cats tried black against Mississippi State again in 2011, losing 28-16. They finally broke through for a black-clad victory in the season finale, beating Tennessee 10-7 to snap the 27-year drought against the Vols.
UK went back to the well versus Mississippi State in 2012 after a scheduling quirk with new conference members sent the Bulldogs back to Lexington, and once again they left town with a 27-14 victory.
Black jerseys produced a pair of losses last season, a 27-13 setback against Louisville and a 27-14 defeat at the hands of Tennessee.