One big difference on the sidelines this week was offensive coordinator, Rich Scangarello, decided to coach from up in the coaches’ box instead of on the sideline for the first time this season.
After the loss to Tennessee, Scangarello decided that moving to the box would allow him to see the entire field and more accurately diagnose any issues during the game.
“Honestly, it’s much easier to call a game from up there,” Scangarello said. “Just to help distribute information to all the coaches so things get fixed faster. I’d known it for a little bit.”
He continued, “You make compromises when you do either, but to me, I would rather let Will (Levis) be down there by himself and try and orchestrate things up top so we can get adjustments done faster and see when things really happen what was really behind the mistake, so we have the right answer.”
At the start of the game, the move looked to have been positive as Kentucky went 71-yards in 8-plays to take the early 7-0 lead.
Unfortunately, the offense didn’t find a ton of success after that as Will Levis was sacked 6 times and the offense had a lot of penalties that derailed drives.
“Some of it is self-inflicted,” Scangarello said. “Some of it is them making plays.”
The problem with coaching from the box in college is the difficulty in communication compared to the NFL where the quarterbacks can hear coaches in their helmets.
“It’s so much easier,” Scangarello said. “It’s a lot harder in college. It’s just one of those things you don’t realize. I can see it with my own eyes as a play-caller and help get the right information to the right people. That’s one part of it.”
He continued, “Plus, it’s nice taking the emotion out of it. When you’re on the sideline, the crowd and all of it, that can affect things, too. You get caught up as a play-caller in that emotion. Up there, you kind of remove that and get your thoughts clear and plan things out. Hopefully, execute.”
To help with the communication issues of not being on the sideline, the Cats turned to former Kentucky tight end C.J Conrad.
After the game, Levis said that with Scangarello in the box, it was Conrad who was the main person relaying plays on the field.
Will Levis said that with Rich Scangarello up in the box today, it was actually C.J Conrad who was the main person relaying plays down on the field.— Hunter Shelton (@HunterShelton_) November 5, 2022
How fitting he starts that job today in Columbia.
It is pretty fitting that Conrad started this job Saturday and was a main part of another thriller on the road against Missouri since he caught the game winning touchdown in Columbia back in 2018.