Kentucky's week 1 win over Miami OH left us with a lot to worry about moving forward. From the struggles of the "Big Blue Wall", to a fairly non-existent run game, the Cats have a lot to fix before going to take on their 12th ranked rivals down in The Swamp. However, there was also a ton of positives to take away. Special teams were near perfect, with Matt Ruffalo making 3/3 field goals, including a 50 yard bomb. JJ Weaver blocked a punt and true freshman Barion Brown took a kick off 100 yards to the house. While the defense gave up a first drive touchdown, they only gave up 2 field goals the rest of the way. To me, it was the wide receiving corps that showed the most promise to be an elite unit this year.
Tayvion Robinson made it seem as if Wan'Dale Robinson never left, seemingly playing the exact role the current New York Giants wideout played for us last year. Dane Key brought in 4 receptions for 51 yards, including a very impressive touchdown catch on a tight window out route, where his hand strength was on full display. The aforementioned Barion Brown, on top of his kick return, added 3 catches for 45 yards, highlighted by a 38 yard catch-and-run to set up Dane Key's touchdown in the fourth quarter. If our three headed monster can consistently keep up this level of performance, they will achieve a feat that has not been done by a Kentucky team in 8 years.
In 2014, led by quarterback Patrick Towles, three Kentucky wide receivers had broken the 500 receiving yards threshold: Ryan Timmons (536), Javess Blue (525), and Demarco Robinson (501). Assuming Kentucky reaches a bowl game and plays 13 games this season, Robinson (1768), Key (663), and Brown (585) are all currently on pace to break the 500 mark.
Yes, Kentucky will start to play an SEC schedule and the competition will get better, but with Key and Brown being just true freshmen, it is fair to assume that they can get much better as well. With a struggling offensive line and a concerningly thin depth chart at the running back position, Kentucky may have to rely heavily on their passing game in the coming weeks. With a quarterback like Will Levis, and arguably the most talented trio of receivers this program has seen in some time, our offense will be in good hands.