If the season ended now, Kentucky would have a couple of its top players on some major postseason awards lists.
Two UK players are listed on midseason All-America teams put out by ESPN and other national sites.
ESPN’s midseason All-American team includes right guard Bunchy Stallings among its top players nationally, noting that the senior helped pave the way for a large portion of Benny Snell’s 699 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
On defense, ESPN also includes senior outside linebacker Josh Allen among the nation’s best, noting his 10.5 tackles for loss and six sacks, including five against Southeastern Conference foes.
“Offenses simply haven’t been able to block him one-on-one,” the site said of Allen.
Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops said he doesn’t pay much attention to midseason awards lists, noting that individual honors will continue to come as long as the Cats keep winning.
“I’m sure they’re really not worried about that,” he said of players like Allen and Stallings. “They’re worried about playing good and they’re worried about playing good for their team and helping their team win games.”
Pro Football Focus, which creates its teams based on the work of 500 analysts that have “dissected and graded every snap of every game,” has Josh Allen as its top edge defender nationally.
The site gives Allen a 91.7 grade for his pass rushing, including six sacks, seven quarterback hits and 20 hurries on just 138 pass rushes overall.
His versatility was a key factor, with the site noting that Allen also graded at 83.3 against the run, and that the senior dropped back into coverage 83 times as part of UK’s defensive scheme.
Allen also was a defensive midseason All-American via the Sporting News.
“I think he’s the most dominant player that I’ve seen,” Stoops said of the senior.
Stallings, who has won multiple SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week awards, has been an anchor for that group this season.
“It shows his versatility jumping in and playing so well at center,” Stoops said of Stallings. “He’s extremely athletic and he’s been a great leader, so I’m very happy for him and what he’s doing.”