|1981 Kentucky Wildcats football|
|1981 record||3–8 (2–4 SEC)|
|Head coach||Fran Curci (9th season)|
|Home stadium||Commonwealth Stadium|
|1981 SEC football standings|
|#7/6 Alabama §||6||–||0||–||0||9||–||2||–||1|
|#6/5 Georgia §||6||–||0||–||0||10||–||2||–||0|
|§ – Conference co-champions |
Rankings from AP Poll / Coaches Poll
The 1981 Kentucky Wildcats football team represented the University of Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) during the 1981 NCAA Division I-A football season. In their ninth and final season under head coach Fran Curci, the Wildcats compiled a 3–8 record (2–4 against SEC opponents), finished in a tie for sixth place in the SEC, and were outscored by their opponents, 224 to 134. The team played its home games in Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky.
The team's statistical leaders included Randy Jenkins with 1,079 passing yards, Lawrence Lee with 275 rushing yards, and Rick Massie with 448 receiving yards.
At the end of November 1981, Curci was fired by the University of Kentucky. The decision followed four losing seasons, arrests of 18 players from 1978 to 1981, and recruiting violations that resulted in the program being placed on probation.
- "1981 Kentucky Wildcats Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/kentucky/1981-schedule.html. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
- "Kentucky Football Media Guide". University of Kentucky. 2015. p. 184. http://www.ukathletics.com/page/2015-football-media-guide. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
- "1981 Kentucky Wildcats Stats". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/kentucky/1981.html. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
- "Kentucky Fires Coach Curci After Athletic Board's Vote". The Palm Beach Post: p. D2. November 25, 1981. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/6393754/kentucky_fires_coach_curci/.
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