When the Kentucky Wildcats host Rutgers on Thursday night, it will mark the fourth time in five years that the two programs have met.
But the Wildcats are the only team in the Big Ten Conference to have made it to the national title game.
“We were able to get the win, we have a lot of respect for Kentucky,” Rutgers head coach Chris Ash said.
“It’s a tough place to play, but we’re going to get after it and we’re looking forward to it.”
The Wildcats (12-4, 8-2) will have a much different feel this time around, with Ash calling the Wildcats the underdog for the first time in his coaching career.
Ash said the program has seen its talent level dip since the 2015 season and the loss of All-American linebacker Tyler Starr to a knee injury last week.
The Wildcats also lost three starters in the 2015 recruiting class, including five-star defensive tackle Austin Allen.
Ash, though, said the team will still have the same depth as it did last year.
“It’s tough, but you have to be ready for anything, no matter how big or small,” Ash said about the depth.
“We’re going for a championship.
We’ll have a good foundation to build off of.”