Kentucky Football Stats after South Carolina

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know about you, but I was thinking “Same Ol’ Kentucky”as the first quarter ended Saturday night.

Kentucky does not have a SEC quality quarterback and both offensive and defensive lines are out-manned, particularly against SEC opponents. South Carolina was superior in talent across the board (with a couple of exceptions), just like Florida.

Then Kentucky scored and you could actually see an attitude change on the sidelines. Kentucky decided to fight. I wondered if it was too late since the Gamecocks scored again in the second quarter and went into the locker room ahead 21-7 at the half. Kentucky wound up playing its best game of the season and the best they've played since we beat Tennessee in the 2011 finale.

Talent aside, I think most UK fans began to think that "it isn't the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." I guess I could've used cats as opposed to dogs. Kentucky played well enough to win in the second half.

Have they grown up? Many believe so, including Coach Stoops. He said last night that the culture is changing in the locker room. He may be right. The Cats fought through adversity and made a game of it by beating the 21.5 point spread on South Carolina's home field. And while they really had no answer for Connor Shaw, the defense did not make him look like a Heisman Trophy candidate. The defense also made Dylan Thomas look like the second-string quarterback that he is.

The decision to stick with one quarterback proved to be a wise one as Jalen Whitlow became more comfortable and confident as the game wore on. He completed 17 of 24 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He ran for another 69 yards on 17 carries for a 4.05 yard per carry average. He got us some third down conversions and he was able to take some time off the clock providing some rest for the defense. Let's look at the NCAA stats for the season to date.

Offense:

Rushing Offense: 162.2 (71) down from 172.0 (64) 2012 Rank 138.75 (87)

Passing Offense: 226.6 (71) down from 238.8 (58) 2012 Rank 176.25 (102)

Passing Efficiency: 138.85(54) up from 134.7 (65) 2012 Rank 108.62 (111)

Red Zone Offense: 78.9% (t-84) up from 73.3% (100) 2012 Rank N/A

Scoring Offense: 23.0 (97) up from 21.8 (94) 2012 Rank 17.92 (116)

Total Offense: 388.7 (84) down from 410.8 (62) 2012 Rank 315.00 (113)

Tackles for Loss Allowed: 30 (t-71) down from 26 (t-75) 2012 Rank N/A

Sacks Allowed: 2.40 (t-90) improved from 2.50 (t-97) 2012 Rank 2.17 (75)

Time of possession: 26 (114) up from 25 (117) 2012 Rank N/A

3rd Down Conv. %: 27.6% (117) up from 23.4% (119) 2012 Rank N/A

4th Down Conv. %: 72.7% (t-11) up from 66.7% (t-21) 2012 Rank N/A

First Downs: 90 (t-105) up from 71 (t-108) 2012 Rank N/A

After Florida things had to get better on offense and they did, but we could've done better.

Defense

Rushing Defense: 196.2 (98) up from 200.8 (100) 2012 Rank 161.25 (62)

Passing Defense: 195.0 (24) down from 175.0 (18) 2012 Rank 229.75 (57)

Scoring Defense: 25.6 (59) down from 23.3 (52) 2012 Rank 31.00 (85)

Passing Efficiency Defense: 147.95 (101) down from 136.90 (83) 2012 Rank 146.56 (100)

Passes Intercepted: 1 (t-117) down from 1 (t-112) 2012 Rank N/A

Tackles for Loss: 4.0 (t-114) down from 4.1 (112) 2012 Rank 4.42 (105)

Sacks: 2.40 (t-32) down from 2.25 (t-34) 2012 Rank 2.17 (49)

Total Defense: 391.2 (59) down from 375.8 (52) 2012 Rank 391.00 (59)

3rd Down Conv. %: 36.1% (41) down from 32.7% (32) 2012 Rank: N/A

4th Down Conversion %: 80.0% (t-115) down from 80.0% (t-114) 2012 Rank: N/A

First Downs: 96 (t-41) down from 74 (t-36) 2012 Rank: N/A

The defense in the South Carolina game gave up too much in the first half and it shows in the numbers above. They didn't get any help from the offense until the fourth quarter. With the tougher schedule this year we might not show much improvement over last year's numbers even though we know, intuitively, this year's team is better than last year's.

Turnover Margin: -.2 (t-83) improved from -.5 (t-92) 2012 Rank N/A

Net Punting: 34.00 (108) improved from 33.89 (105) 2012 Rank 39.46 (18)

Punt Returns: 7.82 (60) no change from 7.82 (64) 2012 Rank N/A

Punt Return Defense: 6.90 (t-58) improved from 8.63 (75) 2012 Rank N/A

Kickoff Returns: 24.43 (26) dropped from 25.73 (18) 2012 Rank N/A

Kickoff Return Defense: 17.50 (t-11) improved from 18.45 (25) 2012 Rank N/A

Early in August, Neal Brown talked about his expectations:

Plays per game: 75

3rd Down Conversion Rate: 48%

1st Down yards: 4 or more yards

Actual

Saturday's plays: 60

3rd Down Conversion Rate: 45.5%

1st Down yards: 51.8% - 4 or more yards (14 of 27) 17 run plays and 10 pass plays

So, we expected improvement in small steps this year and most realized that might not translate into wins. While the numbers above don't show a lot of improvement, consider this comaparison:

Scoring Offense: 23.0 (97) 2012 Rank 17.92 (116) 5 point per game improvement

Scoring Defense: 25.6 (59) 2012 Rank 31.00 (85) 5.4 point per game improvement

Also consider this: Last year, Louisville beat us 32-14; Florida beat us 38-0; and South Carolina beat us 38-17. This year, Louisville beat us 27-13; Florida beat us 24-7; and South Carolina beat us 35-28. Two of the games this year, we were running a dual quarterback system that provided no consistency.

Another thing to consider is Kentucky is holding its own in the red zone.

Kentucky Inside Opponent Red-Zone

times

times

points

rush

pass

FGs

Failed to score in RZ

date

opponent

score

in RZ

scored

scored

TDs

TDs

TDs

made

FGA

downs

int.

fumb

half

game

Aug 31

vs WKU

L

26-35

4

4

20

2

2

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0


















Sep 07

MIAMI

W

41-7

5

4

20

2

2

0

2

0

0

0

0

1

0


















Sep 14

Louisville

L

13-27

5

3

13

1

0

1

2

0

1

0

1

0

0


















Sep 28

Florida

L

7-24

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0


















Oct 05

at South Carolina

L

28-35

4

4

28

4

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0


















TOTALS

19

15

81

9

6

3

6

0

2

0

1

1

0

15 of 19 (78.9%)














Opponents Inside Kentucky Red-Zone

times

times

points

rush

pass

FGs

Failed to score in RZ

date

opponent

score

in RZ

scored

scored

TDs

TDs

TDs

made

FGA

downs

int.

fumb

half

game

Aug 31

vs WKU

L

26-35

6

5

35

5

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0


















Sep 07

MIAMI

W

41-7

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0


















Sep 14

Louisville

L

13-27

5

4

20

2

1

1

2

1

0

0

0

0

0


















Sep 28

Florida

L

7-24

4

4

24

3

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0


















Oct 05

at South Carolina

L

28-35

2

2

15

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0


















TOTALS

19

15

94

12

9

3

3

2

1

0

0

1

0

15 of 19 (78.9%)














Will Alabama skew our stats in a negative fashion? If so, then the Alabama game will offset the positive skewing of the Miami game. Since Alabama is the #1 team in the country, I submit that the best we can hope for is disciplined play where we don't shoot ourselves in the foot.

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