1996 Kentucky Wildcats football team

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1996 Kentucky Wildcats football
UKentucky logo.png
Conference Southeastern Conference Eastern Division
1996 record 4–7 (3–5 SEC)
Head coach Bill Curry
Offensive coordinator Elliot Uzelac
Defensive coordinator Rick Smith
Home stadium Commonwealth Stadium
(Capacity: 57,800)
Seasons
« 1995 1997 »
1996 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Eastern Division
#1 Florida x   8 0         12 1  
#9 Tennessee   7 1         10 2  
South Carolina   4 4         6 5  
Kentucky   3 5         4 7  
Georgia   3 5         5 6  
Vanderbilt   0 8         2 9  
Western Division
#11 Alabama xy   6 2         10 3  
#12 LSU x   6 2         10 2  
#24 Auburn   4 4         8 4  
Mississippi State   3 5         5 6  
Ole Miss   2 6         5 6  
Arkansas   2 6         4 7  
Championship: Florida 45, Alabama 30
† – Conference champion
x – Division champion/co-champions
y – Championship game participant
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1996 Kentucky Wildcats football team represented the University of Kentucky in the 1996 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Wildcats scored 138 points while allowing 322 points; they opened the season with 1 win and 6 losses, and then after the firing of head coach Bill Curry was announced, the Wildcats won three straight SEC games before losing their final game to finish 4–7.[1][2]

Season[edit]

Kentucky opened with a 38–14 loss to Louisville, then lost 24–3 at Cincinnati due to repeated special teams breakdowns. A game in a driving rainstorm against Indiana remained a scoreless tie until the final seconds when a Kentucky field goal led to a 3–0 win. A 65–0 loss at Florida and 35–7 loss at Alabama were followed by Kentucky blowing a second half lead to lose 25–14 to South Carolina. After a 41–14 loss at LSU, Kentucky stood at 1–5 on the season and the firing of head coach Bill Curry was announced. The Wildcats responded by reeling off three victories in a row: 24–17 against Georgia, 24–21 against Mississippi State and 25–0 against Vanderbilt. A 56–10 loss to Tennessee ended the season with the Wildcats at 4–7.[3][4]

Kentucky's victories over Georgia and Mississippi State kept those two teams out of bowl games, as each finished 5–6 due to their losses to Kentucky. Kentucky's 25–0 shutout of Vanderbilt on November 16 was the team's first shutout since a 21–0 win against #25 Ole Miss on October 2, 1993.[5][6] Kentucky played four road games against ranked teams in 1996.[7] Kentucky's three game SEC win streak (Georgia, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt) was its first since 1993 (South Carolina, Ole Miss, LSU).[8][9] This was the first college season for highly touted freshman quarterback Tim Couch, who later went on to be a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and was the #1 overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft.[10]

Schedule[edit]

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
August 31 6:30 PM Louisville* Commonwealth StadiumLexington, KY (Battle for the Governor's Cup) L 14–38   59,384
September 7 3:30 PM at Cincinnati* Nippert StadiumCincinnati, OH L 3–24   30,729
September 21 7:00 PM Indiana* Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY W 3–0   40,500
September 28 3:30 PM at #1 Florida Ben Hill Griffin StadiumGainesville, FL CBS L 0–65   85,422
October 5 2:00 PM at #13 Alabama Bryant–Denny StadiumTuscaloosa, AL L 7–35   70,123
October 12 7:00 PM South Carolina Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY L 14–25   50,500
October 19 8:00 PM at #17 LSU Tiger StadiumBaton Rouge, LA PPV L 14–41   79,660
October 26 7:00 PM Georgia Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY W 24–17   34,000
November 9 1:30 PM Mississippi State Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY (Rivalry) W 24–21   26,500
November 16 12:30 PM Vanderbilt Commonwealth Stadium • Lexington, KY (Rivalry) JPS W 25–0   33,000
November 23 3:30 PM at #9 Tennessee Neyland StadiumKnoxville, TN (Battle for the Barrel) CBS L 10–56   102,534
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.

[11][12][13]

Team players in the 1997 NFL Draft[edit]

Player Position Round Pick NFL Club
Van Hiles Defensive back 5 141 Chicago Bears
Chris Ward Defensive end 7 205 Baltimore Ravens

[14][15]

Postseason[edit]

Leading rusher Derick Logan, the SEC Freshman Player of the Year, did not return. Head coach Bill Curry was replaced by Hal Mumme. Sometime-starting quarterback Billy Jack Haskins transferred to Rhode Island after Mumme announced that Tim Couch would take the starting spot.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1996 Kentucky Wildcats results". jhowell.net. Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2009. 
  2. ^ 1997 Kentucky Wildcats Football Media Guide, p.209
  3. ^ 1997 Kentucky Wildcats Football Media Guide, p.209
  4. ^ "1996 Kentucky Wildcats scores". jhowell.ent. Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2009. 
  5. ^ 1997 Kentucky Wildcats Football Media Guide, p.209
  6. ^ "1996 Kentucky Wildcats scores". jhowell.ent. Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2009. 
  7. ^ 1997 Kentucky Wildcats Football Media Guide, p.168, 209
  8. ^ 1997 Kentucky Wildcats Football Media Guide, p.209
  9. ^ "1996 Kentucky Wildcats scores". jhowell.net. Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2009. 
  10. ^ 1997 Kentucky Wildcats Football Media Guide
  11. ^ "College Football Reference". jhowell.net. Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2009. 
  12. ^ 1997 Kentucky Wildcats Football Media Guide, p.168, 209
  13. ^ 1996 Kentucky football scores
  14. ^ "1997 NFL Draft Listing". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2009. 
  15. ^ 1997 Kentucky Wildcats Football Media Guide, p.166
  16. ^ 1997 Kentucky Wildcats Football Media Guide