If they're honest, the Kentucky coaches aren't positive what's going to happen this season.
When nearly 65 percent of the players on your full roster have a year of college football playing experience or even less, it's hard to know exactly how a season is going to go.
On the Cats' depth chart for Saturday's season opener versus Tennessee-Martin, as many as 19 players have never played a down of football at Kentucky.
Ten offensive players, seven defensive players and two on special teams will be expected to contribute in big ways as year two under Mark Stoops begins.
That's not even mentioning the number of first-time starters like quarterback Patrick Towles taking on huge roles starting Saturday.
"They just need to go through it," Stoops said of the vast array of newcomers. "We just got to throw them out there and see what they can do. I expect them to go out and play well."
On defense, all but three (Matt Elam, Kendall Randolph, Regie Meant) of the seven newcomers on the two-deep are junior college players. So that experience helps.
Noting that UK might play as many as four redshirt offensive linemen and perhaps five true freshmen wide receivers made Stoops feel most sorry for offensive coordinator Neal Brown.
"Tell you this, if you had to do that on defense, I got very little hair left, but I think it would all be gone," Stoops joked.
Brown combed at the side of his head when asked about it later.
"I've got a lot more gray hairs," he said. "I don't know if it's because I've got two (daughters) or because all these young guys. This is basically year number two of it."
Tommy Mainord, wide receivers coach, might have the worst of it.
For the second straight season, he's teaching true freshmen how to play college football quickly.
"There's a bunch of young guys who aren't getting to just sit back and hang out for a year; they're having to learn fast," he said of players like Blake Bone, Dorian Baker, Garrett Johnson, Thaddeus Snodgrass and T.V. Williams.
"They're making freshman mistakes and they will on Saturdays," he continued. "That's fine. We're going to move through it. This is a good group of players; we'll fix them as they go and rebuild and get better every day."
Some of the newcomers will exceed expectations, Stoops said in a reassuring tone. Some of them will make mental mistakes, physical mistakes and other mistakes he's never even imagined before.
But the coaches think they've prepared them for almost everything.
"We tried to put them in as many game– like situations as we could," Stoops said. "We try to prepare them the best we can with all different situations."
Brown has simplified the language of the offense this season. He's simplified the game plan.
He still has no idea what's going to happen.
"I know going in we're going to make some mistakes," Brown said. "Our philosophy really for the last week and a half or so has been next play. I got to preach that to myself more than them, really."
Some story lines to watch
There are a couple of Tennessee-Martin players to keep an eye on in this game, leading with linebacker Tony Bell, who led the Ohio Valley Conference with 10.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss in 2013.
"An exceptional player," Stoops said of the defender. "He's a really good football player. He can play anywhere in the country."
Stoops added that Bell is similar to UK's Bud Dupree in that he's versatile and excels in the pass rush.
"He's comfortable on his feet, got great instincts, he's an extremely good pass– rusher," Stoops said. "He's a mismatch for some people on the edge."
On the right side, Bell will be going up against two redshirt freshmen offensive lineman playing in their first collegiate games in Kyle Meadows and Ramsey Meyers.
They're a part of a reconfigured UK offensive line that will be without two-year starter Darrian Miller, who was suspended for the opener. In his absence, Jordan Swindle moves over to left tackle.
"I've got faith in Swindle at left tackle and Kyle Meadows has gotten a lot of reps," offensive coordinator Neal Brown said. "So I feel comfortable."
UK quarterback Patrick Towles wasn't concerned.
"I fully trust Kyle Meadows at right tackle," Towles said. "I think he's going to do a great job."
■ Kentucky's defense will have to contend with not one but two quarterbacks for the Skyhawks, in Dylan Favre, nephew of former NFL quarterback Brett Favre, and Jarod Neal.
"They're both good football players," Stoops said. "So you could certainly see the talent there. Some of those throws and plays (Favre) makes are fun to watch."
Last season, Neal started seven games, throwing for 1,529 yards and nine touchdowns while completing just 57.4 percent of his passes. Favre started five games, passing for 1,081 yards and nine scores (completing 71.1 percent of his passes. He also ran 79 times for 191 yards and a TD).
In what should be a familiar story for UK fans, Coach Jason Simpson has caught some heat for not being able to settle on one guy.
"Both of them are playing well," he said. "I've read some things where some people are criticizing me for playing them both, but they're both good players. They both can win games. ... Eventually just like it did last year, it'll work out based on who's playing the best and injury free."
■ UT Martin's coach can't stop watching and worrying about UK defensive ends Bud Dupree and Za'Darius Smith as he prepares for the opener.
"Their defensive ends are outstanding future NFL players," Simpson said. "That's where my eyes have been most this preseason camp, their team speed, the size up front. Those are some things that are not only going to cause us some problems but some other teams as well."
For his part, Dupree sounded more than ready to hit someone.
"It's horrible having quarterbacks in red jerseys, having to stop on the play, stop before you get to them," he said. "It's just — sometimes you want to just go through the linemen and hit him. ... Now we can go out this Saturday and just hit those guys."
Fan suggestions take shape
Kentucky took more than 1,700 fan suggestions this season and some of them will be a part of the season opener on Saturday.
Some things to look for this weekend include: a live national anthem performed by Miss Kentucky Ramsey Carpenter on her fiddle, roving pregame pep bands and the unveiling of a pre-fourth quarter event that UK hopes will become a tradition.
Other new things UK announced Friday:
■ In partnership with four Lexington radio stations, there will be a weekly music vote for songs to be played during timeouts of home games. Fans can go to the web page and vote for their favorite songs: http://www.wlap.com/pages/football/music.html.
■ A continuous loop of game scores on the ribbon boards to keep fans updated.
■ A giant cornhole board at the Wildcat Refuge with special activities for families and children outside Gate 9.
■ Fans can get a complimentary 10-ounce cup of water at stadium concession stands this season.
■ The restrooms will have attendants working in them.
■ Each week, fans will be able to critique music selection, video content, and discuss various stadium issues at bbnfirst.ukathletics.com.