Kentucky football: 6 Wildcats we hope to see against Chattanooga
Phew. Week 2 was a draining experience for Kentucky — a conference win, a close game when it looked like the game might become a blowout … but a crucial victory for the team. Next comes a breather against FCS foe Chattanooga … and given the grind of the SEC season, this should be a great chance to get a better look at a few faces that were on the bench for most or all of Saturday’s win.
Here are 6 Wildcats we’d like to see more of Saturday:
1. Izayah Cummings, tight end
Cummings switched to tight end during fall camp and was immediately the subject of much discussion, given his pass-catching abilities. He played briefly in the first 2 games and deflected a Will Levis pass into an interception last week — although he promptly responded with a nice catch and run soon thereafter. UK can use the receiving help and given Cummings’ inexperience, some game snaps should help him.
2. Jager Burton, guard
In the past, Kentucky has rotated 6-to-8 offensive linemen. Against Missouri, Kentucky played the starting 5 on almost every snap. Burton is a talented freshman who already saw some time in Week 1. He’s strong enough and talented enough to fill in at guard now and shift out to tackle as a sophomore or junior. The time might be right for more snaps.
3. Trevin Wallace, linebacker
Wallace is listed as a co-starter with Jacquez Jones. Given Jones’ success, Wallace hasn’t played a ton of snaps. But given his speed and ability to seek out the football, he’s definitely the future standout of the linebacking crew. Hopefully, Saturday will give opportunities for both ‘backers to see plenty of time.
4. Tre’vonn Rybka, defensive line
Against Mizzou, Kentucky’s pass rush came up surprisingly flat. UK had just 1 sack and that came in the final minutes. Look for the Wildcats to give some looks to a few of the younger defenders up front. Octavious Oxendine looked good in Week 1 (and may be another face to watch for), but Rybka was used in pass rush situations Saturday and should see more clock against Chattanooga.
5. Chris Lewis and/or Chauncey Magwood, wide receiver
So far there’s a definite difference in Kentucky’s starters at receiver — Wan’Dale Robinson and Josh Ali — and everybody else. Lewis and Magwood are true freshmen who might have adapted to the speed of college football. It would be worth some snaps for both to see if either would be ready should Kentucky have the need for more depth.
6. Beau Allen, quarterback
Fortunately, the desire to see more of Allen (4-for-7, 52 yards in the opener) isn’t because of any issues with Will Levis. But Kentucky has lost its starting quarterback twice in the past 6 seasons. It’s always a possibility, and Allen’s poise and game management skills can only be helped by getting a few more snaps. That’s one of the purposes of playing opponents like this.