Kentucky 14 WKU 3: The 'Cat-astrophe by the Numbers

Last Friday I was a guest on the Tom Leach Show (Ryan Lemond filled in for Mr. Leach), and during the course of my appearance I urged UK fans to "man-up" and make the trip to Nashville to support the 'Cats in their season opener against the Toppers of WKU -- Ticket sales to the Thursday night contest were dreadfully slow, so slow in fact, the powers that be at WKU offered students free admission with a student ID. Then again Wednesday, on "Wildcat Wednesday," a UK radio program based in Bowling Green, I urged UK and WKU fans to "man-up" and make the drive to Nashville to support their teams. My thinking was, hey, so what if you get home at 3 or 4 am, get only a few hours of sleep, then go to work. It's only one day ... take a nap when you get home (in a stinging commentary on how much pull I have with either fan base, the night's attendance was 24,599).

If only I would have known. Known that Kentucky would play possibly their worst game in a decade, I never would have encouraged folks to forsake their sleep (and spend a small country's gross national product on gas) to take in such a pitiful effort (save the UK defense and punter Ryan Tydlacka). Sure, it was the first game of the year, but in my mind, the 'Cats weren't expected to play like the New England Patriots, but playing competently, I don't feel, is too much to ask. As painful as it might be, for a by-the-numbers look at the catatonic 'Cats win over the Toppers, follow me after the jump:

Through the First Quarter

0 -- The number of UK first downs in the first quarter.

4 -- For the sake of comparison -- Number of WKU first quarter first downs.

0 -- The number of UK passing yards in the first quarter.

16 -- For the sake of comparison -- Number of WKU passing yards in the first quarter.

0 -- The number of third down conversions UK had in the first quarter (out of four third down plays).

1 -- The number of interceptions WKU had in the first quarter.

6 -- The number of rush yards UK had in the first quarter (in nine rushes = .7 yards per carry).

8 -- Number of times I told myself: "It's the first quarter of the first game of the year ... let's not get too emotional."

Through the First Half

 3 -- The number of first downs UK had in the first half.

4 -- The number of on-target drops the UK receivers had in the first half.

7 -- The number of rushing yards UK had in the first half (including a -18 yards rushing for Kentucky quarterback Morgan Newton).

55 -- For the sake of comparison -- The number of rushing yards WKU had in the first half.

28 -- The number of passing yards UK had in the first half (on 11 attempts).

1 -- The number of third down conversions UK had in the first half.

5 -- The number of punts Tydlacka kicked in the first half (Mr. T averaged a highly competent 45.8 yards per punt with his first five efforts).

30 -- The number of rush yards UK tailbacks Raymond Sanders and Josh Clemons combined for in the first half (on nine attempts = 3.3 yards per carry).

1 -- The number of receptions UK offensive lineman Stuart Hines had in the first half.

1 -- The number of receptions UK's No. 1 receiver, La'Rod King, had in the first half.

12:35 -- UK's time of possession in the first half.

17:25 -- For the sake of comparison -- WKU's time of possession in the first half.

11 -- Number of times I pinched myself in an attempt to exit my nightmare.

Through Three Quarters

6 -- Number of first downs UK had through three quarters.

9 -- For the sake of comparison -- Number of first downs WKU had through three quarters.

13 -- Number of rushing yards UK had through three quarters (on 22 carries = .6 yards per carry).

75 -- Number of yards UK gained through three quarters.

155 -- For the sake of comparison -- Number of yards WKU gained through three quarters.

7 -- Number of punts Ryan Tydlacka lofted through three quarters (The incredible Mr. T improved his average to 47.1 yards per punt).

1 -- Number of third down conversions UK had through three quarters (out of nine attempts).

34 -- Number of negative "rushing" yards UK quarterback Morgan Newton had through three quarters.

47 -- Number of rushing yards UK running backs Raymond Sanders and Josh Clemons had through three quarters (on 15 rushes = 3.1 yards per carry).

99 -- For the sake of comparison -- The number of rushing yards WKU running back Bobby Rainey had through three quarters (on 25 carries = 3.9 yards per carry).

18:01 -- UK's time of possession through three quarters.

26:59 -- For the sake of comparison -- WKU's time of possession through three quarters. 7 -- Number of Rolaids I dropped through three quarters.

Through Four Quarters

11 -- Total number of UK first downs.

13 -- For the sake of comparison -- Total number of WKU first downs.

3 -- Total number of third down conversions UK executed (out of 13 attempts).

60 -- Number of yards UK penalized.

120 -- Number of yards WKU penalized.

93 -- UK's net rushing yards (on 33 attempts = 2.8 yards per carry).

58 -- Length of a single Morgan Newton rush in the fourth quarter.

51 -- Number of UK offensive plays.

51 -- Number of times the WKU defensive line gained penetration on the UK offensive line (or at least it seemed).

69 -- For the sake of comparison -- Number of WKU offensive plays.

97 -- Number of UK passing yards.

74 -- Number of rushing yards UK running backs Raymond Sanders and Josh Clemons combined for (on 24 carries = 3.1 yards per carry).

3.7 -- Average gain per UK offensive play.

45 -- The number of points I predicted Kentucky would score in the game. 

7 -- (So as not to totally depress the BBN with outrageously negative numbers) -- Number of positive numbers the UK defense are responsible for: 1) Linebacker Danny Trevathan had 13 tackles, giving him 10 straight games with double-figure tackles, 2) Linebacker/safety Winston Guy had 10 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and two interceptions, 3) Linebacker Ronnie Sneed had 10 tackles, and .5 tackles for loss, 4) UK's defense held WKU to 3.4 yards per carry, 5) UK's defense limited WKU quarterback Kawaun Jakes to 9 of 27 passing with two picks, 6) UK's defense held sensational Topper running back Bobby Rainey to 3.8 yards per carry (last year Rainey dusted the 'Cats with 184 yards on the ground, 7) The 'Cats held the Tops to 234 total yards and a single field goal.

Fear not UK football fan, the 'Cats pathetic showing in Nashville doesn't necessarily portend a season to forget. There is still time to get better, learn from the experience, and put the Music City 'Cat-astrophe in the rear-view mirror. And after all, a win's a win.

Thanks for reading and Go 'Cats!

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