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Home sweet home: Kentucky football team set to play seven games at Kroger Field next season


By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

Kentucky will play seven home football games next season.

The team’s schedule was released Wednesday and the Wildcats will take on Florida, LSU and Georgia in a three-game stretch during the first three weeks of October.

The Wildcats played a full conference slate this past season and finished with a 5-6 mark, defeating North Carolina State in the TaxSlayer Bowl. Just like last season, the schedule is flexible depending on how the ongoing pandemic unfolds this summer.

“We are proud to have completed the 2020 football season under unique circumstances and will now focus on playing the 2021 football season as scheduled,” said Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey. “Circumstances around the COVID-19 virus will continue to guide our decision-making should any adjustments need to be made.”

Kentucky will kick off the season on Sept. 4 against Louisiana Monroe, followed by two home games to start the new year. The Wildcats will open Southeastern Conference play against Missouri on Sept. 11, followed by facing Chattanooga on Sept. 18.

Kentucky will then play seven straight league games, starting win a road encounter at South Carolina on Sept. 25. Kentucky also will play non-conference foes New Mexico State and Louisville to close out the regular season.

Kentucky welcomes back a solid nucleus of players next season but will be looking for a new starting quarterback, competition that likely will feature Joey Gatewood and Beau Allen. New offensive coordinator Liam Coen will be charged with determining who will fill that role next season.

With 13 playing weekends, the league schedule includes one open date for each team and conference contests scheduled each week beginning in Week Two.

Each SEC team will play eight conference football games to include six games against division opponents and two games against non-division opponents. One of the non-division opponents will be a permanent annual opponent and the other non-division opponent will rotate each year.

The SEC championship game is scheduled for Dec. 4 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Earlier this week, Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart was named to the College Football Playoff Selection Committee for a three-year term, beginning this spring.

“It’s a privilege to be invited to join the selection committee,” Barnhart said. “It will be an honor to work with Bill Hancock, the CFP staff, and an outstanding group of people on the selection committee. I look forward to helping with one of the great events in college athletics.”

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com.


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