The Kentucky Wildcats fell to the No. 5 ranked Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon by a score of 14-3.
The Dawgs got on the board first as they ran the ball right down the field to take a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter. However, after a Kentucky stop, the Cats had a 19-play, 10:30 drive to get a field goal cutting the lead to 7-3.
After the break, Georgia marched right down the field to make 14-3 and that was the end of the scoring.
Kentucky kept it close, but once again, there just wasn’t enough offense for an upset bid. Despite the great play from the defense, UK just couldn’t get anything going on the other end.
Next up, the Cats will look to recover during the bye week before returning to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores in two weeks.
Joey Gatewood was QB1 today
I’m a bit torn on how Gatewood played today. Gatewood got the start after Terry Wilson was ruled out with a minor wrist injury.
The offense looked better than it had in recent weeks, but that seemed like a byproduct of feeding Chris Rodriguez, not anything JG did specifically.
He only threw short passes, just like Wilson, and he’s not the fastest runner. He is big and has sneaky speed, but the offense looked much the same. The only way Kentucky can move the ball is to run, run, run.
Return to the ground game
After the questionable play-calling last week, which included a lot of passing and not enough C-Rod, Kentucky returned to the ground game today. And they were pretty successful for the most part.
Of course, they didn’t score a ton, but they were playing the SEC’s best defense, one of the top defenses in the country, and one of the best running defenses in the country. And Rodriguez was really able to do what he wanted.
The play-calling has to get a little more creative and the passing game has to open up, but the ground game is the bread and butter. Run it until they stop you.
Chris Rodriguez is the man
Rodriguez got the majority of the touches today, but for some reason AJ Rose still started? I digress.
C-Rod is the man. Mini Benny pounds the ball and carries defenders. He’s really fun to watch and he works so hard. It’s amazing it took this long for him to really be “the man” of this offense.
Regardless, he’s the best player on this offense and he has to get the ball at least 20-25 times per game. He wears down the defense and runs the clock. That’s Stoops’ favorite thing to do.
Kavosiey Smoke made his long-awaited return
Smoke has been out for the last few games with a rib contusion, but he finally returned today. He was supposedly available last week, but he didn’t touch the field despite the offense’s ineptitude and Rose’s inability to do much of anything.
Today, he didn’t play a lot, but it was nice to see him back. He didn’t have any carries, but he did make a nice catch on a short slant route. By the way, that might be a good way to utilize him and get him involved while keeping Rodriguez in the game.
He could be a Le’Veon Bell/Christian McCaffrey type of player that plays a lot like a slot or underneath check-down receiver. That would also hopefully help sustain him since he clearly has an issue staying on the field when he’s running the ball between the tackles.
The Cats kept it close, but offensive woes proved costly again
It sucks to lose and we’re past the point in the Stoops era for moral victories, but Kentucky played tough today.
Georgia came out today with a point to prove after getting blown out by the Alabama Crimson Tide and then having a bye week to reflect on it. But despite that, the Cats stood strong and kept the game close.
They forced turnovers when they had to. The defense played great. The offense just couldn’t get anything going, which we’ve become accustomed to at this point.
It was frustrating to watch at times, but Kentucky played hard and stood their ground against one of the best teams in the country.
This isn’t where we all expected to be going into the bye week, but it is what it is. This team will never take the next step with the offensive ineptitude and poor play-calling. They have a lot of talent—maybe the most any Kentucky team has ever had—but the results won’t show it.
The good news is the next game is against Vandy, which should be an easy way to get back in the win column.