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Wildcats to Watch

Stanley Boom Williams (Photo: Kentucky Athletic Department)
Stanley Boom Williams
(Photo: Kentucky Athletic Department)



Is this Kentucky team the surprise team in the SEC in 2016? Right now, they sit in second place in the Eastern Division and have won their last 3 games. They will host the Bulldogs for a night game in Lexington on Saturday. Here are some Wildcats that have been a big part of Kentucky’s success this season.



Originally a Georgia commit, Boom Williams wound up in the bluegrass and has led the Wildcats in rushing for three seasons now. Possessing both quickness and power for his 5-9, 196-pound frame, this junior back from Monroe, Ga. is a big key for Coach Mark Stoops’ UK offense. Williams ran for 181 and 123 yards in wins over New Mexico State and South Carolina this season and is sure to test the Bulldogs’ defensive front when he runs both inside the tackles and on the edge come Saturday night in Lexington.


JON TOTH (C, #72)

This senior center has been a starter for the Wildcats ever since his redshirt freshman year at Kentucky in 2013. A powerful blocker, the 6-5, 310-pound Toth is ranked by some as one of the top 10 center prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft and paves the way for the running of Boom Williams, Benny Snell and Jojo Kemp, while also providing good protection for the Cats’ leading passer, Stephen Johnson. Georgia’s linebackers will have to be at their best going against Toth Saturday evening.



Only a sophomore, the 6-2, 220-pound Jones has emerged into the Wildcats’ leading tackler this fall. Jones seems to always be around the football and is very capable of disrupting the Bulldogs’ offense Saturday night … if he’s not neutralized by Georgia’s offensive front. Along with fellow sophomore defensive end Denzil Ware, Jones also ranks among the Kentucky leaders in tackles-for-loss and quarterback sacks.



Even if the Georgia defense is able to keep the Wildcats out of the end zone, the Bulldogs will still have to deal with one of the SEC’s best kickers in MacGinnis. Entering Kentucky’s game at Missouri this past weekend, the junior had drilled nine of his 11 field goal attempts and it was his 51-yard kick as time expired that handed the Wildcats a thrilling 40-38 win over Mississippi State on Oct. 22. Certainly, MacGinnis is every bit the weapon for the UK offense as is Boom Williams running the football.



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Murray Poole is a 1965 graduate of the University of Georgia Journalism School. He served as sports editor of The Brunswick News for 40 years and has written for Bulldawg Illustrated the past 16 years. He has covered the Georgia Bulldogs for 53 years.