Photo slideshow: UK takes care of business with rout of Murray State
Yes, it was against a winless Murray State team.
Yes, it was a 48-10 victory for Kentucky.
But the win at Kroger Field on Saturday afternoon was about more than just one game.
Here are some things to ponder about undefeated Kentucky as the Cats move into the meat of conference play, with three of the next four games at home, including massive Southeastern Conference matchups against No. 16 Mississippi State next week and against South Carolina on Sept. 29.
For Kentucky, it’s good to be 3-0. Here are three reasons why:
Since 1950, Kentucky has started a season with three consecutive wins just 11 times (including this season) and that has been a good predictor of a future bowl game.
Of the 10 previous 3-0 starts, UK advanced to a bowl game eight times with the exceptions being in 2002 when the Cats faced a bowl ban because of NCAA violations and in 1964 when UK finished the season 5-5 after the fast start.
Even if it doesn’t always guarantee a trip to the postseason or a winning record, a 3-0 start does get the Cats halfway to bowl eligibility and gives UK a greater margin for error the rest of the season.
A few more wins and the season could be setting up for a much bigger, better bowl game.
A little more buzz
After ho-hum crowds the past few home games, a night game versus a ranked (and also probably unbeaten) Mississippi State team promises to bring about a crazy atmosphere at Kroger Field next week, possibly the first Cats sellout of their home venue since 62,945 fans witnessed a heart-wrenching loss to Florida a year ago.
No place like home
Speaking of Kroger Field, there’s not just reason for optimism in upcoming games, but also a little bit of recent history on the Cats’ side. Kentucky is now 11-3 in its past 14 games on its home turf — including a 40-38 victory over the incoming Bulldogs in 2016 — and the Cats are 20-5 in September games over the past five seasons.