Hundreds of fans greet the Wildcats during a pep rally before the Citrus Bowl
Kentucky will go into this coming football season with something to prove, Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart said at the Southeastern Conference Spring Meetings on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporter Jimmy Hyams of Knoxville radio station WNML, Barnhart said, “We’re looking for the opportunity to get in the mix. We have a seasoned quarterback. I think the kids are anxious to prove to people it wasn’t a fluke.”
By fluke, Barnhart was referring to Kentucky’s 10-3 record in the 2018 season. That included the program’s first winning conference record since 1977.
Barnhart saluted the leadership of Coach Mark Stoops.
“Mark has done a remarkable job of building a foundation,” Barnhart said.
In a separate interview session, Stoops touted the player evaluation and development in the program. Of the eight UK players who were drafted or signed as free agents by National Football League teams this spring, seven were two- or three-star prospects, he said.
When asked if Kentucky could post another 10-3 record in 2019, Barnhart said, “I can’t answer that with facts. I can only answer that with hope.”
2019 UK football schedule
Aug. 31: TOLEDO
Sept. 7: EASTERN MICHIGAN
Sept. 14: FLORIDA
Sept. 21: at Mississippi State
Sept. 28: at South Carolina
Oct. 5: Open
Oct. 12: ARKANSAS
Oct. 19: at Georgia
Oct. 26: MISSOURI
Nov. 2: Open
Nov. 9: TENNESSEE
Nov. 16: at Vanderbilt
Nov. 23: TENNESSEE-MARTIN
Nov. 30: LOUISVILLE
NOTE: Home games are in all capital letters. All times and television will be announced at a later date.