The Kentucky Wildcats are now officially in danger of missing out on a bowl game for the first time in five years as they drop to 0-2 on the season. They were favored to beat the Ole Miss Rebels by close to a touchdown but they came up short 42-41.
There is minimal room for error left on the schedule as the tougher teams on the schedule are still lurking. While the Cats’ offense looked much better, the defense continued to be a giant disappointment and needs fixing.
Terry Wilson was much better from the previous week and he highlights the Good section. Wilson was 14/18 with 151 yards passing. While those numbers don’t jump out at you, he did exactly what he was asked to do: manage the game and don’t turn the ball over.
He added 129 yards on the ground with three rushing touchdowns. He was part of a Kentucky rushing attack that racked up 408 rushing yards. The offensive line was dominant and, along with Wilson, two other Cats rushed for over 100 yards. Christopher Rodriguez rushed for 133 yards and A.J. Rose had 119 yards.
This offense looked like the Kentucky offense of old which is the recipe for winning with this particular program. While I know Eddie Gran deep down wants to pass, the strength of this team lies in the rushing attack and I’m glad he realized that.
I have two bad: the place kicking game and the coaching blunders.
Kentucky should have won this game or at least it should have gone into another overtime. Matt Ruffolo plunged into infamy as he missed a 49 yard field goal that would have made the difference in the game.
The Cats were in the middle of blowing a 28-14 second half lead. The Rebels were back in it at 28-21 when Ruffolo missed the field goal that would have put the Cats back up by double digits. Turns out that would have won the game.
The he missed the extra point in overtime that would have once again placed the Cats in overtime.
As for the coaching blunders, Kentucky’s defense was once again caught with only 10 men on the field. I had thought we had seen the last of that yet here we are rehashing the same mistakes.
And watching Mark Stoops run around like a crazy person and grab officials wasn’t much fun. He looked desperate and he very well may have been. I understand that it is tough watching what one perceives to be bad calls, but as a coach, he needs to be better.
Kentucky’s secondary is a disaster of epic proportions. What was thought to be one of the best units on the entire team, the Kentucky secondary couldn’t stop anyone on Saturday night. Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns.
He burned them over and over again in the second half with Kelvin Joseph often at the receiving end of the burn. Jonathan Mingo and Elijah Moore ran all over the secondary with impunity.
For the second week in a row the defense didn’t force a turnover. Maybe the reality of the situation is that last season Kentucky didn’t face many high powered offenses and that masked the woes of the secondary.
The defensive front seven did their job by stopping the rush attach for the most part and they did put pressure on Corral throughout the game. But the defensive backs failed to do their job in the second half just like Auburn from the previous week.
It’s clear that opposing coaches are adjusting the Kentucky’s secondary as a weakness and they’re exposing it in the second half,