After the first possession which resulted in a 75 yard touchdown drive, I thought the Cats would play a good game and a win was possible until the extra point was blocked and Vandy ran it back for two points. That seemed to be a game changer for the offense. The defense played well until the fourth quarter, but the game was already over after the first muffed PAT. From KSR:
Mark Stoops said today that the UK football team fought harder against Vanderbilt than in any game this season. He said he was proud of the effort and just wished the team could make a few more plays down the stretch to make a victory happen. Stoops was overall upbeat and says especially on the defensive side, he has seen marked improvement as the year has gone on. With only two games left, the spirit of the team still feels high and there remains the possibility of stealing a victory in the last game of the year versus Tennessee.
I don't know what to make of this. I can agree if he's talking about the defense, but don't agree if he's talking about the offense. This was the worst game on the offensive side of the ball since the WKU game, in my opinion. The turnovers and penalties stopped every drive after that first one. Actually, this is the first game since that WKU game where I questioned some of the play calling by Neal Brown.
If I were to criticize the coaches, right now I would have to choose Bradley Dale Paveto for Special Teams and John Schlarman for the Offensive Line. I would also question some of Chad Scott's substitutions at Running Back.
Here's the stats:
Rushing Offense: 157.4 (78) down from 159.1 (t-75) 2012 Rank 138.75 (87)
Passing Offense: 191.8 (95) down from 199.8 (91) 2012 Rank 176.25 (102)
Passing Efficiency: 123.06 (82) down from 130.13 (67) 2012 Rank 108.62 (111)
Red Zone Offense: 83.3% (t-61) up from 82.8% (66) 2012 Rank N/A
Scoring Offense: 21.5 (102) down from 23.2 (93) 2012 Rank 17.92 (116)
Total Offense: 349.2 (104) down from 358.9 (99) 2012 Rank 315.00 (113)
Tackles for Loss Allowed: 69 (t-102) down from 59 (t-92) 2012 Rank N/A
Sacks Allowed: 2.80 (t-104) up from 3.00 (t-107) 2012 Rank 2.17 (75)
Time of possession: 28 (103) down from 28 (102) 2012 Rank N/A
3rd Down Conv. %: 30.9% (117) up from 29.3% (117) 2012 Rank N/A
4th Down Conv. %: 64.0% (21) down from 69.6% (7) 2012 Rank N/A
First Downs: 179 (109) rank is down from 162 (109) 2012 Rank N/A
Inconsistency rules the day for the Wildcats. Particularly hurtful was the holding call on the long pass to Aumiller. Three of the four interceptions were of consequence. The offense, other than that first drive, was disappointing.
Rushing Defense: 192.0 (92) down from 200.4 (100) 2012 Rank 161.25 (62)
Passing Defense: 218.7 (42) up from 221.1 (42) 2012 Rank 229.75 (57)
Scoring Defense: 28.8 (78) up from 29.6 (80) 2012 Rank 31.00 (85)
Passing Efficiency Defense: 150.26 (105) down from 149.33 (102) 2012 Rank 146.56 (100)
Passes Intercepted: 1 (123) (dead last) down from 1 (123) 2012 Rank N/A
Tackles for Loss: 4.6 (t-111) up from 4. (114) 2012 Rank 4.42 (105)
Sacks: 2.10 (t-52) up from 2.00 (t-57) 2012 Rank 2.17 (49)
Total Defense: 410.7 (73) up from 421.6 (85) 2012 Rank 391.00 (59)
3rd Down Conv. %: 43.4% (94) up from 45.5% (103) 2012 Rank: N/A
4th Down Conversion %: 66.7% (t-104) down from 66.7% (t-102) 2012 Rank: N/A
First Downs: 198 (47) up from 184 (t-51) 2012 Rank: N/A
The defense seems to get a little better with each passing week with a couple of exceptions. Donte Rumph came alive with 10 tackles against Vanderbilt, but Avery Williamson's tackle numbers are falling which might mean he's getting some help from the other linebackers. We don't have enough size in the defensive backfield and it shows up in the stats. Only one interception for the year provides a clue.
Turnover Margin: 0.0 (t-65) up from +0.4 (t-39) 2012 Rank N/A
Net Punting: 35.75 (91) down from 35.82 (89) 2012 Rank 39.46 (18)
Punt Returns: 6.52 (86) down from 6.74 (85) 2012 Rank N/A
Punt Return Defense: 6.95 (t-48) up from 7.44 (t-55) 2012 Rank N/A
Kickoff Returns: 22.50 (40) improved from 22.85 (40) 2012 Rank N/A
Kickoff Return Defense: 18.97 (29) improved from 19.21 (32) 2012 Rank N/A
Landon Foster continues his slump as Coach Paveto calls it. Slump or not, his punting has hurt us. The blocked PAT looked easy for Vandy and that's on the O-line. The failed trickery on the FG situation was a dumb call by the coaches and poor O-line play.
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
Saturday's plays: 68
3rd Down Conversion Rate: 43.8% - 6 of 17
1st Down yards: 41.9% - 4 or more yards (13 of 31 attempts)
As you can see, we are not making our own goals and haven't during the whole season.