2003 SEC Football Preview- Kentucky

Kentucky went 7-5 in 2002, but lost coach Guy Morriss to Baylor. The 2003 Wildcats have a brand new head coach, Rich Brooks, a former coach at Oregon and in the NFL. Today's edition of our 2003 SEC Football preview takes a look at UK.

COACHING

Head Coach: Rich Brooks (Career Rec: 91-109-4)
Offensive Coordinator: Ron Hudson
Defensive Coordinator: Mike Archer

2002 Record: 7-5 overall (3-5 SEC)

2002 NCAA STATS RANKINGS

Total Offense: 87th (347.42)
Rushing Offense: 57th (148.50)
Passing Offense: 70th (198.92)
Scoring Offense: 23rd (32.08)
Total Defense: 82nd (401.25)
Rushing Defense: 87th (174.33
Pass Efficiency Defense: 68th (124.34)
Scoring Defense: 51st (25.08)

Kentucky receiver and return specialist Derek Abney had 6 returns for touchdowns to go along with 40 receptions in 2002. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

STARTERS RETURNING

Offense (7):

LT Matt Huff (6-5, 304, Jr.)
LG Jason Rollins (6-5, 292, Jr.)
C Nick Seitze (6-5, 282, Jr.)
RT Antonio Hall (6-5, 299, Sr.)
*WR Derek Abney (5-10, 175, Sr.)
WR Tommy Cook (6-0, 194, Jr.)
*QB Jared Lorenzen (6-4, 275, Sr.)

Defense (4):

DT Jeremy Caudill (6-3, 297, Sr.)
DE Vincent Burns (6-2, 258, Jr.)
S Mike Williams (5-11, 185, Jr.)
CB Leonard Burress (5-11, 189, Sr.)

* All-Star Candidates

Roster

TEAM STRENGTHS

Offensive line, quarterback.

TEAM QUESTION MARKS

Linebackers, running backs.

KEY GAME

September 13 at Alabama. A win at the Tide's house would get thinks going really well for the 'Cats.

HEAD COACHES COMMENTS

When you are at my age it's a pleasure to be anywhere. I just want tell you how excited I am to be back in college football and be coach at University of Kentucky. I think I'm going into a program in similar situation in SEC as Oregon was in Pac-10, were team most other schools put W by at beginning of season. But at Oregon, we didn't have facilities, didn't have fan support. Oregon didn't produce as many Division 1-A players as Kentucky does. We have facilities and population and we have a tremendous fan base."

"We have 67,000 fans, were 25th in nation in attendance last year in football, coming off 2-9, 2-9 and 7-5. Speaks volumes about Kentucky football. I look at this as great opportunity. I'm their (players) third head coach. This senior class has seen three head coaches and sometimes four positions coaches. Not what they went to Kentucky and bought into. Difficult transitions, difference philosophies, different offensive and defensive systems."

"Coach Morris did a good job a year ago of turning the corner off those 2-9 seasons. My goal is to win enough games for this senior class to have them leave with a bowl game under their belt for all the hard work they put in their years at Kentucky."

"No serious injuries in the spring. Two outstanding under center in Jared Lorenzen and Shane Boyd. Lot people would love to have their capability taking snaps for them. Not enough quality players. Not overall team speed that a lot of teams in this league have.

"Pleased with staff able to assemble. They can coach, they can evaluate, they can recruit. Will see a significant uptake where Kentucky will be regarded in the recruiting wars. As I look going into fall, only 10 seniors, two are on defense. Have more experience on offensive side than do on defense."

"Jared finished spring in excellent shape, he lost a lot of weight. I don't know where he is right now, been working out this summer. Not so concerned with a number. Told him in January not make weight an issue with the media, make his conditioning an issue with He and I. He admitted a year ago that he tired as the game wore on and didn't look fundamentally like the same quarterback in the fourth quarter. Threw off his back foot some. My goal have him in good shape for the opening game against Louisville."

VandyMania Projection

Kentucky will take its lumps under first-year head coach Rich Brooks. 2-10 overall. 0-8 SEC.

2003 SCHEDULE AND PREDICTIONS


Aug. 31 Louisville, L 35-28
Sept. 6 Murray State, W 31-3
Sept. 13 at Alabama, L 27-24
Sept. 20 at Indiana, L 31-27
Sept. 27 Florida, L 31-21
Oct. 11 at South Carolina, L 34-21
Oct. 18 Ohio, W 27-3
Oct. 25 Mississippi State, L 28-27
Nov. 1 Arkansas, L 28-20
Nov. 15 at Vanderbilt, L 21-20
Nov. 22 at Georgia, L 27-14
Nov. 29 Tennessee, L 28-19


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