The Kentucky Wildcats finished the 2014 season with a 5-7 (2-6 SEC) record. The Wildcats opened with a 5-1 record, but finished on a six-game losing streak. Kentucky’s special teams unit played a major factor in the team’s struggles down the stretch.

The Wildcats were abysmal in special teams coverage this season, allowing big returns for short field position. Kentucky ranked No. 100 in kickoff return defense and No. 114 in punt return coverage. The Wildcats allowed four special teams touchdowns, the most in the SEC.

Special teams coach Craig Naivar received criticism from many, including head coach Mark Stoops, who called out Naivar’s unit after allowing two return touchdowns against Georgia.

“He should be on me,” Naivar said of Stoops to the Courier Journal. “That’s all part of it. It’s what we sign up for. It’s our job – it’s my job – to get us in the right place, in the right position to make those plays. And when it does not happen, it’s on me. So I’m fully responsible for that.”


Redshirt Freshman kicker Austin MacGinnis earned first-team All-SEC honors after leading the conference in field goals made (21) and attempts (27), breaking Moe Williams’ 19-year-old school record with 104 points. MacGinnis finished fifth in field goal percentage and went 41-of-41 on extra point attempts.

The freshman was 4-of-5 from 20-29 yards, 9-of-10 from 30-39 yards, 5-of-7 from 40-49 yards and 3-of-5 from 50 yards or farther. MacGinnis’ was a season-best 4-for-4 during the Wildcats’ season-ending loss to Louisville.

The Weedowee, Ala., native also handled kickoff duties, recording 3,961 yards on 67 attempts, averaging 59.1 yards per kickoff. MacGinnis had 25 touchbacks, one kick out-of-bounds and one onside.


Landon Foster was seventh in the SEC in punting average (42.6). The junior recorded 2,810 total yards and averaged 234.2 yards per game. Foster recorded over 300 yards punting in three games (LSU, Missouri and Tennessee).

In Week 9, Foster earned honorable mention punter performer of the week by the College Football Performance Awards. The junior recorded 287 yards on six attempts for a season-best 47.8 average.

The Franklin, Tenn., native was also named a second-team Capital One Academic All-American.