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First Down Kentucky: 100 Days till Kentucky Football

Nick Roushby:Nick Roush05/23/24


The smell of charcoal on the grill that accompanies an ice-cold cooler isn’t what has you ready for Memorial Day weekend. Those are the visions of an August tailgate outside of Kroger Field as the Kentucky Wildcats prepare to open the 2024 season.

Today we are officially 100 days away from the return of Kentucky football.

The 2024 season will be the 12th with Mark Stoops leading the Wildcats, but it will look significantly different than its predecessors. The days of divisions are done. Staples of the annual schedule, Mississippi State and Missouri, are no more. Instead, trips to Oxford and Austin await.

The dulcet tones of the SEC on CBS now accompany the Big Ten. That’s been replaced by primetime treatment for Kentucky on ABC.

College football will look fundamentally different in 2024. Twelve teams will end the season by competing in a playoff for the National Championship crown. It’s time to embrace the changes and prepare for a season unlike any other. 100 days sounds like a lot of time, but it’ll be here before you know it.

Sounds we can’t wait to hear at Kroger Field

Football is a sensory experience. We love to see the long ball fly through the air to an open receiver, but the sounds create lasting imagery in our heads. The following sounds will have you ready for Kentucky football.

“I got a whole lot of money…”
The first “It’s Football Time in the Bluegrass”
The Coal Whistle before a Deone Walker sack on third down
Pads crunch as Chip Trayanum breaks free from a tackle
A roar as Barion Brown breaks free with nothing but green grass in front of him
The explosion from fireworks after a Wildcat touchdown
Dumas Walker after a Win

You Can Bet on the First Kentucky Football Game

The 100-day milestone provides the BBN with wagering opportunities. On Wednesday Adam Lucket used the SP+ power rankings to calculate the projected spreads for every Kentucky football game against FBS opponents. In that calculation, Kentucky was a 28-point favorite over Southern Miss.

DraftKings posted lines for every week one matchup and the Wildcats open as 24-point favorites over Southern Miss. Kentucky is 3-1 all-time against Southern Miss.

Salute to a Sturdy Kentucky Football Fan

The first Kentucky football game will be a little different this fall. Typically, a day in Lexington begins at the Cat Walk where I’ll run into plenty of Kentucky football friends. On one road trip early in my KSR days, I almost bit off more than I could chew when I stumbled into a familiar face at the Cat Walk.

It was a road trip to Athens in 2013. The night before, my friend and I did not depart until after my brother’s high school playoff game, putting off our arrival at the Athens Motel 6 until about 4 am. After a few hours of sleep, we found a place to grab some lunch and a pitcher of beer. Only 21 at the time, I did not realize we ordered a 10% ABV beer. It wasn’t the best mixture after a night without sleep.

As soon as we scarfed everything down, we hustled over the hills to the Cat Walk. We were laboring when we stumbled into some Kentucky football fans. “You doing alright?” It was the familiar voice of a regular KSR caller, Danny. He gave me a little hell and was kind enough to take a photo I could use for the website.

Shortly thereafter, Danny called into the KSR Pregame Show and called me out for “having too much fun.” My chops were busted and a friendship sparked.

We met at almost every Cat Walk and shared many meals over the years to talk Kentucky football and catch up on life. Known in the group of Wildcat fans as “Sturdy Dan,” he rarely missed a game and never hesitated to brag about his grandkids. Over the weekend I learned ‘Sturdy’ Danny Forrest passed away at 73. We send our deepest sympathies to his wife, Lynn, and their entire family. Kentucky football games in the fall will not be the same without seeing that familiar face at every Cat Walk.

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