Jennifer: In this Countdown to Game Time, a new season of UK football is kicking off this weekend. We're less than 24 hours away from Kentucky's first game of the season. The Cats take on UT-Martin tomorrow at noon in Commonwealth Stadium.
So what can UK fans expect this season? Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones is back to share his thoughts. It's great to have football back!
Matt: It is! This has been the longest off season, probably for Mark Stoops especially. With back to back two win seasons, they're ready to get on the field. If they can win their first two games, they'll match what they've done the last two years. I think they're ready to get going.
Jennifer: What do you see as you look ahead to this season?
Matt: I think this group is going to be a lot better. They're going to be able to move the ball a lot more than they did before. I also think you'll see some maturity. A lot of these guys are in their 2nd or 3rd years. I don't know how many more wins they're going to have, but I do think they're going to be better. They'll be more fun to watch. Last year's team was kind of tedious so I think fans will enjoy themselves more. I think they probably win 4, but play a lot of teams close, are very competitive, maybe squeak out 5. I'll be very surprised if they win 6.
Jennifer: We know that redshirt sophomore Patrick Towles is going to be the starting quarterback. What are your expectations for him this season?
Matt: He's got a strong arm, probably the best arm of all the quarterbacks. He makes a lot better decisions than he did. I think he'll have games where he plays excellent and throws a ton of touchdowns, and he's going to have games where he plays bad and throws interceptions.
He's a young kid, and people need to be patient with him. I hope people are patient with this team, Jennifer, because a year or two down the road, I think they're going to be good. But I'm not sure they're there yet.
Jennifer: Anything for fans to watch in the UT-Martin game?
Matt: They have a quarterback who is Brett Favre's nephew, and he looks like my accountant. He does not look like a football player. He's 45 with a worse receding hairline than I do. So when you watch him just go 'He can't be good at football, but he does have good bloodlines.'
Jennifer: It's tomorrow at noon in Commonwealth Stadium on the SEC Network. And it's never too soon to start talking about UK basketball. The Cats are back from the Big Blue Bahamas tour, and you saw it all. What did you learn from that tour that you didn't know before?
Matt: I learned that 9 days without sleep is the Bahamas is a lot. I'm amazed at how well they played and distributed the ball. They have 12 guys that can play. This sounds crazy. This could be the deepest team in college basketball history. Is it the best team? No. Is it going to go 40-0? No. But could this be the deepest team? Yes.
Derek Willis is probably their 12th man. There are 330 college teams. He would start on 275 of them, and he's the 12th man! It's really unbelievable.
Jennifer: And we didn't even get to see Willie Cauley Stein and Trey Lyles.
Matt: Trey Lyles dad just wrote a song called BBN. He's an R&B singer. We know what Trey can do.
Willie was just walking around soaking up the sun. Those are two of the best players, and they didn't even get to play. You can't help but be excited. This is going to be a special run this year.
Jennifer: Matt, we're looking forward to a great season. Thank you so much Matt. So how is your game day forecast looking for tomorrow? Let's get a final check of the weather.