Much of the discussion in the SEC East has centered around Georgia, who was the overwhelming choice to win the division and take on Alabama for the SEC Championship. But Kentucky, picked to finish 3rd in the SEC East, will be looking to turn a few heads of its own in 2021.

With Terry Wilson having transferred to New Mexico, all eyes are on a quarterback battle in Lexington that features former Auburn signal-caller Joey Gatewood, Penn State transfer Will Levis, and sophomore Beau Allen. Offensive lineman Darian Kinnard was a preseason 1st-team All-SEC pick, with defensive lineman Josh Paschal getting a 2nd-team nod while offensive lineman Luke Fortner, defensive back Yusuf Corker and running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. were 3rd-team selections. Leading receiver Josh Ali opted to come back for a 5th year instead of declaring for the NFL Draft.

So there’s plenty of talent to build on for the Wildcats, who were named by Pro Football Focus draft analyst Mike Renner as the most underrated team in the SEC.

Mark Stoops’s team finished 5-6 last year, ending the season with a victory over N.C. State in the Gator Bowl. They also faced off against Ole Miss in a memorable 42-41 overtime loss on Oct. 3 that saw Rodriguez rush for 2 touchdowns and 133 yards on 17 carries and Ali haul in 88 yards on 7 catches.

The Wildcats open the 2021 season against Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 4.