Kentucky’s bye-week is over, as most college football teams will take the field for Week 7 of the season.
Despite starting 5-1 and finding themselves ranked in three-straight weeks, there are still four areas the team can improve in.
Terry Wilson is indeed 5-1 as a starter at Kentucky and has been more successful than any other quarterback under head coach Mark Stoops. However, his play has been far from the recipe of Kentucky’s success. Wilson’s three touchdowns to five interceptions is the worst ratio of any starting QB in the SEC. Wilson also ranks last in passing yards when compared to the other 13 starters.
Though backup quarterback has thrown just 14 passes, he’s managed two touchdowns without an interception and is averaging 9.1 yards per attempt (compared to Wilson’s 6.2). If Wilson wants to keep a firm grip on his job, the young Wildcat will drastically need to improve his play coming out of the bye week.
Finding the Deep Ball
While sophomore wide receiver Lynn Bowden is tied for fourth in the SEC with 27 catches, he ranks only 18th in yards. The young talent had his coming out performance when Kentucky pulled off an upset at Florida in week two, posting four receptions for 79 yards and a score.
Kentucky has to relieve a substantial amount of pressure from their backfield and that all starts with keeping opposing safeties honest. Bowden presents the skillset to do just that, along with Dorian Baker & Tavin Richardson.
While it’s on offensive coordinator Eddie Gran to call more shots down the field, it’s also his receivers’ responsibility to execute when given the opportunity.
Know Your Identity
Snell had just 13 carries in Kentucky’s only loss this season at Texas A&M. Though receiving a light workload, he still managed 60 yards with his longest run only going for 11 yards. Snell’s yards per carry this season are once again above five and with Gran’s emphasis on getting four yards on first down, there’s no excuse for Snell’s lack of involvement against the Aggies.
While opposing defenses will fixate themselves on stopping Snell, the improvement of Wilson’s play at quarterback and execution by wide receivers should allow Kentucky to have a more balanced offense. However, while a healthy balance is necessary, so is feeding the beast who has firmly made his presence felt in the SEC.
Kentucky’s fatal appearance at Texas A&M is most remembered by missed 43-yard field goal attempt by Miles Butler. Butler wasn’t wide, as he was indeed dead-center. However, his attempt came up short from just 43 yards.
As teams continue to force players other than Benny Snell Jr. to beat them, Butler will need to step up as much as anyone when it comes to late-game field goals.