Kentucky Wildcats 8 @ Vanderbilt Commodores 38:  Postmortem

For the first time all season, I find myself writing a postmortem about a game I didn't see a second of.  I did keep up with the score while my wife and I enjoyed some well-deserved time at the racetrack, but unfortunately, Ken had computer problems, which left postmortem duties to me and my relative ignorance.  If this sounds like a comedy of errors, I can say that this is a case where A Sea of Blue mirrored the performance of the Kentucky Wildcats.

First off, congrats to the Vanderbilt Commodores for the win.  They have really been good this year in a lot of ways, much better than Kentucky has, and they proved today that was no fluke.  They handled the Wildcats as if this game were much further south, or much further east than Nashville, and it wasn't all about Kentucky's futility -- Vandy has a good team this year, and they've proven it in every way but winning, and they added that one this afternoon.

How badly did Kentucky fail in this game?  How about 32 net yards rushing.  For the game.  On 22 attempts.  That's 1.5 yards per rush, and folks, the only good thing you can say about that is that ... I'm sorry, I just can't think of anything.  Maybe we could say that it's better than a negative net rushing yardage, but that is a redefinition of the aphorism, "damnation by faint praise."  That statistic is earth-shattering, galactic futility against a team that can hardly be considered among the best in the league.

What else is there to comment about statistically?

  • 41 yards total offense for the first half. I didn't see it, so I can only express my shock and disgust.
  • Third down conversions for Kentucky:  0-12.  That is a big, fat, goose egg.  I don't know if I have ever seen that.
  • Vanderbilt dominated time of possession for three of the four quarters, and proved that they could not only move the ball against Kentucky, but force the offense off the field with regularity.
  • The defense has officially become as loathsome as the offense.  There is really nothing I can see in the stats to offer an encouraging word except one long drive.
  • Once again, for the umpteenth time this year, UK gave their opponent an easy touchdown early in the game that clearly crushed any confidence they had.  They never came close to recovery.
  • Ryan Tydlacka, a strong punter all year, lost all his mojo today.

Despite the fact that there are two games left, I can't imagine Kentucky winning both of them, and given today's results, even one seems a stretch.  This team has completely let itself down on both sides of the ball, and I don't think anyone is standing tall right now.  Injuries have been a problem, of course, but injuries are a part of football.

This was one ugly loss where UK simply failed to fire, if I'm reading the stats right.  UK kept giving Vanderbilt good field position, and Vandy made them pay over and over again. That's how you win football games.  Kentucky did not take advantage of either of their opportunities with good field position.

Okay, that's about all I can tell from the game stats.  This was yet another brutal beating in a season full of them.  Like the rest of you, I hate it and I'm not used to it, but this is just one of those years.  We've been here before a bunch of times, it's just been a while.

Dawgs between the hedges next.  You never know.  Stranger upsets have happened.

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