We knew going into this game that it would be tough. What we didn't know is that we would follow up two horrible offensive performances with one that was even worse. So bad, in fact, that there is probably no way to recover from it. Kentucky has fallen and they can't get up, and the ambulance probably won't get here in time to keep the patient from perishing of point starvation.
Congratulations to the South Carolina Gamecocks. They thoroughly victimized the hapless Kentucky offense, and played well enough offensively to make UK's defense look almost as bad, particularly throwing the football. Connor Shaw's debut as the new full-time starter was, by any measure, a brilliant success. In typical Steve Spurrier fashion, he kept the pedal to the metal well past the point at which it was necessary, almost getting his new quarterback hurt in the process. But that's the Spurrier we all know and hate, so I could really care less.
There is even less to say about this game than there was about the LSU and Florida games. Kentucky did not manage even 100 yards of offense, and the Gamecocks racked up over 500 yards in total offense, easily the biggest number they've had so far this year.
South Carolina was aided by no less than six Kentucky turnovers (which could have easily been seven), and they were nearly flawless handling the ball themselves, turning the ball over only once on two fumbles. Kentucky's defense played the run pretty well, but unfortunately, the Gamecocks got off far too many plays for Kentucky's defense to handle. In the end, this was an embarrassment, pure and simple. Phillips & Co. are clearly at a loss to fix what's broken, and if this performance is what "good" practice performances produce, I'm going to suggest that maybe somebody doesn't know what a good practice really is.
There is now little hope for this season. It isn't just a bad loss, but it was a loss of such galactic futility that it recalled the worst years of the Bill Curry era. This Kentucky offense is arguably the worst the SEC has seen this century, and there is absolutely nothing at all that I can point to to offer any hope for the immediate future. To me, at this point in the season, this team has lost all confidence in Newton and the coaching staff, and this looks to me like the point at which the football team will splinter into agendas and could easily go winless the rest of the season.
I am looking for something, anything, to pin hopes on for future games, but I simply can't find anything anywhere. This team is recalling memories of football badness that we thought we had left far behind. Receivers can't catch, quarterbacks throw to the other team, and the offense is so hapless that they snap the ball to a man in motion not intended to receive it.
Kentucky now gets a bye week, and one they most certainly need. After that, they have to play Jacksonville St., an OVC team that sits at 4-1 right now, and looks more than capable of handing Kentucky its first loss to an FCS team in my memory. I wish I could offer hope, or even something, but I can't. As of right now, and largely because of this performance, this looks like a lost season.