It’s been a struggle of late for the Kentucky Wildcats offense.
The first five games of the season saw Kentucky’s offense score 162 points, which was good for an average of 32.4 points a game. The Cats went 5-0 in that span.
In their last five games, however, the Cats have only put up 67 points, which is a woeful 13.4 points per game. The record in that span: 2-3.
Tight end C.J. Conrad says the team is doing all they can to get back on track:
“We’re really, really trying.” the captain said after practice Tuesday. “We’re going to try to get this thing figured out and get a win on Saturday.”
The road to righting the ship starts with a non-conference clash with Middle Tennessee Saturday afternoon.
The Blue Raiders are a very respectable non-conference foe as they come into the game first in the Conference USA Eastern division with a 7-3 overall record.
Two of their losses came against SEC foes Vanderbilt and Georgia.
The Blue Raiders defense has had its struggles. They rank 75th in the nation in total defense. However, they’ve held their opponents to 26.5 average points. which ranks in the middle of the pack in the country at 64th best.
“Really good football team,” offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said of the Blue Raiders. “They really own that conference (Conference USA) and have done a heck of a job. We’re going to have to be detailed in what we do.”
“They do a lot of different defenses,” quarterback Terry Wilson added. “They try to do some stunts on the D-Line; I feel like we will pick it up we have a good game plan against those guys.”
As for what the offense needs to do, Coach Gran preached improving their mentality.
“It’s a mentality and it’s coaching,” Gran said about the cause of the struggles.
He did, however, see improvement from his unit in practice today. saying, “Today I thought they were very detailed.”
An aspect of the offense that has been struggling the most during the two-game losing skid is the offensive line. A few months ago, several offensive lineman were getting first-team All-SEC mentions. Now, fans are wondering what on earth is going on, especially after giving up five sacks to a Tennessee team that has struggled at getting to the quarterback all season long.
Both George Asafo-Adjei and Drake Jackson talked about what the team has to do to improve and the faith they have in one another.
“We watch the film and move on and importantly learn from the game and we just have to attack next week,” Asafo-Adjei said.
Jackson said the team has to play more consistent. “We know we can do, we know we have done, and we just have to play more consistent.”
Wilson, who has been taking the hits when the offensive line struggles, had a simple response when asked if he still trusts his men up front:
“Always, every day.”
As for if he thinks that his offense will get back on track this week, Coach Gran said this:
“I think we do. I really do.”
Conrad is with Gran:
“We’ve worked extremely hard this year, and we’re not going to let two little hiccups cost what we think is a really good season here at Kentucky.”
Conrad and many other seniors will look to guide the Cats to a big offensive performance and most importantly right the ship for what has been a long few weeks for the Kentucky offense.