Without a doubt, this was the most disappointing and frustrating Kentucky game this year. It makes the LSU game look like a garden party in terms of unacceptable non-competitiveness, fusillades of mistakes on both sides of the ball, and a complete lack of discipline. It was memorable only for it’s abject and piteously feeble futility.
Congratulations to Georgia, they really played well on special teams and offense. Defensively, they were their average selves and Kentucky put up a few points, but the outcome was never really in doubt five minutes into the second half. Heck, you could argue it wasn’t in doubt after the opening kickoff return for a touchdown. I wouldn’t quite go that far, but if you did, I doubt if I’d try to gainsay you.
In a word, this was a massacre. It was an across the board, comprehensive, unadulterated, unalloyed slaughter. There was not more than ten minutes of this contest where a rational fan could’ve mustered reasonable doubt that Georgia would not win. There are three words that describe Kentucky in this game, spoken by the immortal DeForest Kelley: "He’s dead, Jim."
Dead. Morte. Deceased. Kaput. Expired. In concrete overshoes. Sleeping with the fishes. Pushing up daisies. Dead, dead, dead. I’m not going to point out individual failings, that’s not productive. This was a comprehensive team failure, so I will evaluate them in that aspect only.
The offense wasn’t dreadful, it was merely average against an average Georgia defense. It had moments of excellence, but those moments were outweighed by a litany of mistakes blocking, running, and executing plays. The offense was vanilla, looked disinterested and listless just like the entire team. Dropped passes, fumbles, half-hearted efforts at receiving that resulted in interceptions. The word I would use to describe the offense, in total, is indifferent.
This was easily the worst defensive effort by the Wildcats all season, and the seniors led the way in horribleness. It is rare when you see a Division I football team look this comprehensively deficient in so many phases of the game. The defensive line was overrun as if Georgia fielded an entire corps of Matt Elams. The much-vaunted UK defensive secondary was shredded by Hutson Mason, a quarterback who hasn’t looked close to this good all season. To be fair, a lot of that was due to the weak run defense, which set up the play action and left Kentucky’s defensive backs on an island all day. The words I would use to describe the defense today: Wretched.
Once again, special teams were a major cause of the rout. From the opening kickoff return for a touchdown to poor punting to allowing a punt return for a touchdown, special teams this season have been singularly loathsome in almost every aspect. The one positive play that special teams made was a pooch kick UK recovered, only to fizzle on the drive and provide a field goal. Let’s do the math: 14 for Georgia, 3 for Kentucky due to special teams play. Where I come from, that’s an epic fail.
The coaches did not have this team prepared. That’s just a fact. Yes, Kentucky executed poorly, but incomprehensible calls (the bubble screen deep in Kentucky territory comes immediately to mind) and a failure to rally the team at half has to be laid at the feet of the staff. Nobody gets to walk away from this mess unscathed, so I’m scathing away.
This was a butt-ugly disaster of a football game that just pisses me off. At this point, I think I’ve remonstrated enough for public commentary, but you can be assured that my private thoughts are both unprintable and unsafe for work. This was an ungodly mess the likes of which we didn’t even see last season, and a genuine, unquestionable setback for the program. All most of us ever asked for was Kentucky to be competitive, and they completely failed to do that today. It’s understandable, after games like this, why UK fans go into a shell and wait for basketball to begin before they emerge.
Perhaps I’ll be more positive in the postmortem. Don’t count on it.