LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky will look to build off a historic 2018 season with its week 1 matchup against an upset-minded Toledo.
Photo: Regina Rickert
This is the first matchup between the Wildcats and the Rockets. Toledo is coming off a 7-6 season which concluded with a bowl loss to Florida International.
Toledo was picked in the MAC Preseason Poll as the favorites to win the conference's West Division.
Kentucky will look to continue its winning ways without some key players from the Wildcats' first 10-win season in four decades. Quarterback Terry Wilson is back, and the team hopes he can become more of a weapon in the passing game to complement his running skills. He lost many of his targets from 2018, but wide receiver and return specialist Lynn Bowden Jr. will be back as a key playmaker.
It will be a tough task for Kentucky to maintain its 2018 success on the defensive side of the ball. The Wildcats lose top draft pick Josh Allen along with some key players in the secondary, but there will be some consistency in the front 7 with players like Kash Daniel and Calvin Taylor Jr. expected to be key players.
Toledo named Mitch Guadagni the starting quarterback ahead of the Kentucky game. He played in seven games in 2018, throwing for 13 touchdowns with only three picks. The dual-threat quarterback also gained 500 yards on the ground during the season before being sidelined because of an injury at the end of the season.
Guadagni isn't the only player who poses a running threat, as Toledo returns talented running backs including Kentucky transfer Bryant Koback, who ran for 917 yards on 153 carries in 2018. Shakif Seymour also adds depth to the position, averaging more than 100 carries in his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Kentucky will look to capitalize on a Toledo defense known for giving up yards and points. The 2018 team gave up at least 28 points in 9 of 13 games last season.
Kickoff Time: Noon
TV: SEC Network
Series Record: First Matchup
Spread: Kentucky -11.5