I had no delusions or illusions about playing Georgia. I didn't have an opportunity to give you a comparison and preview of the Georgia game due to an unexpected stay in the hospital. I was totally out of the loop as a result and didn't know about the suspensions. Home was a great place to be after three days and two nights of misery and pain. Had I been able to give you a preview and statistical comparison, it would not have been pretty, especially after Georgia's loss to Auburn on that miracle play that reminded me of the LSU "Bluegrass Miracle" a few years back.
While the announcers marveled at that final play, it became obvious to me that these guys hadn't really seen much football since they didn't mention the play that LSU made against Kentucky as a Gator-Aid soaked Guy Morris watched students storm the field. Further evidence that announcers don't know squat is the fact that they never saw Vanderbilt did the same thing to Kentucky that Auburn did to Georgia back in the waning days of Stoll Field and McLean Stadium.
Kentucky strolled into Sanford Stadium last night and was greeted by an enraged Georgia Bulldog team hell bent on making a statement and faced a crowd with a blood lust. Both got their pound of flesh. After Dyshawn Mobley's 69 yard touchdown run, I thought maybe the Cats could make a game of it.T'was not to be. Mark Stoops was particularly hard on himself after the game, but he didn't throw his players under the bus. Maybe he should have. During the game he held fast, refusing to break. It would serve no purpose. There just aren't enough red shirts to affect the outcome of the some red shirts. I don't think anyone could blame him if he had. He has held fast in an effort to look toward the future. Now would be a bad time to break those red shirts since the season is essentially over.
On to the stats:
Rushing Offense: 148.7 (83) down from 157.4 (78) 2012 Rank 138.75 (87)
Passing Offense: 187.9 (97) down from 191.8 (95) 2012 Rank 176.25 (102)
Passing Efficiency: 124.66 (81) up from 123.06 (82) 2012 Rank 108.62 (111)
Red Zone Offense: 81.3% (t-71) down from 83.3% (t-61) 2012 Rank N/A
Scoring Offense: 21.1 (103) down from 21.5 (102) 2012 Rank 17.92 (116)
Total Offense: 336.6 (108) down from 349.2 (104) 2012 Rank 315.00 (113)
Tackles for Loss Allowed: 79 (t-107) down from 69 (t-102) 2012 Rank N/A
Sacks Allowed: 2.91 (t-110) up from 2.80 (t-104) 2012 Rank 2.17 (75)
Time of possession: 27 (107) down from 28 (103) 2012 Rank N/A
3rd Down Conv. %: 30.5% (116) up from 30.9% (117) 2012 Rank N/A
4th Down Conv. %: 63.0% (20) up from 64.0% (21) 2012 Rank N/A
First Downs: 189 (111) rank is down from 179 (109) 2012 Rank N/A
Max Smith didn't really play all that badly. He was good for 10 of 16, a touchdown and 149 yds. You have to consider he wasn't in the game plan and came in cold. He didn't have much help from his offensive line or the fumbles. If Sanders was suspended, why did he play? He had a single carry which he fumbled. He caught 2 of 5 passes for 5 yards. I'm willing to dispute Smith's lost fumble. It sure looked to me that his knee had touched the ground before he lost control of the ball.
Rushing Defense: 195.5 (96) down from 192.0 (92) 2012 Rank 161.25 (62)
Passing Defense: 232.6 (75) down from 218.7 (42) 2012 Rank 229.75 (57)
Scoring Defense: 31.5 (91) down from 28.8 (78) 2012 Rank 39.46 (18)
Passing Efficiency Defense: 154.62 (111) down from 150.26 (105) 2012 Rank 146.56 (100)
Passes Intercepted: 2 (122) (t-dead last) down from 1 (123) 2012 Rank N/A
Tackles for Loss: 4.4 (115) down from 4.6 (t-111) 2012 Rank 4.42 (105)
Sacks: 2.00 (t-62) down from 2.10 (t-52) 2012 Rank 2.17 (49)
Total Defense: 428.1 (90) down from 410.7 (73) 2012 Rank 391.00 (59)
3rd Down Conv. %: 44.1% (100) down from 43.4% (94) 2012 Rank: N/A
4th Down Conversion %: 68.8% (t-112) down from 66.7% (t-104) 2012 Rank: N/A
First Downs: 233 (t-75) down from 198 (47) 2012 Rank: N/A
This was the first game all season where the defense did not improve in ANY area. They were on the field far too long (see Time of Possession). Even with no help from the offense, I think it is reasonable to expect some improvement in at least one area of stats. It was not to be. I can't count how many times the injury to Aaron Murray has been shown on T.V. and each time I see it, the more convinced I become that Z'Darius Smith was most fortunate that a flag wasn't thrown for roughing the passer.
Turnover Margin: -0.1 (t-65) down from 0.0 (t-65) 2012 Rank N/A
Net Punting: 36.29 (79) down from 35.75 (91) 2012 Rank 39.46 (18)
Punt Returns: 6.52 (88) down from 6.52 (86) 2012 Rank N/A
Punt Return Defense: 5.96 (38) up from 6.95 (t-48) 2012 Rank N/A
Kickoff Returns: 21.50 (t-59) improved from 22.50 (40) 2012 Rank N/A
Kickoff Return Defense: 19.08 (30) improved from 18.97 (29) 2012 Rank N/A
Even with Landon Foster's punting troubles, we actually improved our net punting against Georgia. And, we managed to improve our punt return defense.
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: 47
3rd Down Conversion Rate: 25.0% - 3 of 12
1st Down yards: 40.0% - 4 or more yards (8 of 20 attempts)
Kentucky hosts Tennessee on Saturday. The Vols managed to lose to Vanderbilt at home so this won't be an easy game for the Cats as Tennessee will want to end their season on a positive note. This will be a fight for the most hapless of hapless. If our Kentucky Wildcats manage to win this final game, will that salvage the season?