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After Action Review: Missouri


PIC BY HISTORY.ARMY.MIL

An After Action Review is an Army method utilized to analyze an intended action. Let’s apply a version of this process to the Kentucky vs. Missouri football game to determine what caused the final outcome as well as addressing the Cats’ need to sustain and improve:

WHAT WERE INTENDED RESULTS

Win the football game.

WHAT WERE ACTUAL RESULTS

Won the football game 40-34.

WHAT CAUSED OUR RESULTS 

Opportunistic Special Teams

— LB Kash Daniel executed a fake punt for a first down.

— CB Lonnie Johnson blocked a Missouri field goal.

— Kicker Austin MacGinnis was perfect on the night: 4/4 FGs, 4/4 PATs, and kicked 5 kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

— MacGinnis’ touchback kickoff with 1:48 remaining in the game was critical.

— Lynn Bowden recorded a 35-yard kickoff return.

Redshirt Freshman Offensive Linemen

— Center Drake Jackson surfaced in the lineup and didn’t relinquish snapping duties. He more than held his own against a good Missouri defensive line.

— Guard Luke Fortner’s block was key in Benny Snell’s 71-yard touchdown run and played at a high level. 

Fourteen Passing First Downs

— UK moved the chains through the air on 14 occasions compared to just 7 on the ground. This is the identity of the 2017 Wildcats.

— Steady quarterback play and the re-emergence of Blake Bone to go with a vastly improved receiving corps greatly factor.

— WR Garrett Johnson remains Stephen Johnson’s primary target on 3rd down.

Allowing Explosive Passing Touchdowns

— Missouri had touchdown passes that covered 58, 75, and 50 yards. QB Drew Lock threw for 172 yards in his other 19 completions.

— Long, touchdown passes have developed into a trend which is concerning with several highly ranked quarterbacks and receivers in the back half of the schedule.

Defensive Back Tackling on the Game’s Final Drive

— Efficient tackling and kept pass catchers in bounds which continued the game/play clock.

— CB Lonnie Johnson-3 tackles.

— CB Derrick Baity-2 tackles.

— S Mike Edwards-1 tackle.

WHAT WILL WE SUSTAIN–IMPROVE?

SUSTAIN

Kicker Austin MacGinnis

— The senior kicker was clutch on Saturday to include a 53-yarder. He also became the program’s leading scorer. MacGinnis is an All-Timer.

Total Offensive Yards and Balance

— The Cats totaled 486-yards off 76 plays.

— Eddie Gran called 39 running plays (51.3%) and 37 passes (48.6%). 

Offensive Explosive Plays/Receivers

— Benny Snell 71-yard touchdown run.

— Garrett Johnson 64-yard reception.

— Lynn Bowden 22-yard run after catch.

— Tavin Richardson 27-yard receptions

— Blake Bone 14-yard touchdown catch.

— UK receivers have improved on a weekly basis. Coach Lamar Thomas is to be credited with player development. The 2017 group is collectively better than it was a year ago.

Quarterback Stephen Johnson

— Passing: 22/36 (61%), 298, 2 TDs, 1 INT. Rushing: 11 carries, 44-yards.

— Season results: Johnson has accounted for 1382-total yards (65.9%) of total offense and 11 out of UK’s 18 touchdowns (61.1%).

Benny’s 100 and 2

— Benny Snell surpassed the century mark for the eighth time in his career with 117 yards off 20 carries.

— His night included 2 touchdowns. One was a Red-Zone run play with Stephen Johnson under center. Snell appeared comfortable in that formation.

Linebackers Courtney Love and Josh Allen

— Love racked up 10 tackles and 1 fumble recovery. The senior leader is playing like a senior leader.

— Mizzou effectively schemed for Josh Allen. But the junior still managed 5 total tackles, 1 QB sack, 1 TFL, and a Forced Fumble.

IMPROVE

Pass Defense

— Surrendered 355-passing yards to include touchdowns of 50, 58, and 75 yards.

— Safety support was not timely or accurate in support of cornerbacks in 2/3 long scores.

— Cornerback injuries factored. Developing depth at that position critical.

— Credit Missouri for game planning UK’s pass rushers out of the equation.

Run Defense

— Kentucky entered the game 3rd in the nation allowing 74 rush yards per game. Mizzou had 33 carries for 213-yards.

— UK’s defensive line strength lies within its numbers (9-10 rotate in 3 positions). Tempo denied the Wildcat defensive line from its normal rotation.

Rushing Offense

— 39 carries, 188 yards, 2 touchdowns appear to be a positive. However, 71 came on a Benny Snell scoring run.

— Kentucky averaged 4.8 yards per carry.

— Play action passing is more productive when a run game is established. Offensive line continuity could help going forward.

— A third running back needs to surface. Going with just two (Snell and King) is a dangerous proposition.

Red-Zone Touchdowns

— Cats settled for field goals on three Red-Zone trips.

— 11/20 Red-Zone possessions have resulted in a touchdown through six games (55%).

Short Yardage Offense

— 8/17 on 3rd down (47%) but an excessive number of unsuccessful attempts were in short yardage situations. This especially applied in the Red-Zone.

— Kentucky is converting 39.53% on 3rd down for the season.

Delivering Knockout Punch

— Missouri was willing to surrender on two occasions when the Cats were up 13-0 and 20-7.

— Up 13-0: 50-yard touchdown pass from Drew Lock to J’Mon Moore.

— Leading 20-7: 58-yard touchdown pass from Drew Lock to Emanuel Hall with :40 remaining in 2nd quarter.

— Momentum shifted after both plays. The latter propelled the Tigers into the second half.

What does all this mean?

Kentucky is 5-1 and several teams are not. Saturday was a win and advance scenario as the Cats entered the game battered and fatigued from playing five close games. Mizzou traveled to Kroger Field fresh off a bye week, healed up, and seeking to right the ship. UK sustained the Tigers’ best punch and found a way to win. Bye week focus: Heal up, clean up, and develop a running game.

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

8 responses to “After Action Review: Missouri”

  1. Mathlete

    Added fact: thanks to the win over Mizzou, this is the first time (I could find) in UK Football history that we have ever held multiple active winning streaks of 3+ games against conference rivals. Seriously, we have *never* been this good relative to the rest of the SEC

  2. foamfinger

    It is going to be hard to get Johnson under center more consistently in two weeks. Drake has enough on his plate. Plus, the line isn’t used to having the QB be right there and a RB coming in with a full head of steam.

  3. TBW3011

    Maybe it’s time our “intended results” bar be raised. Obviously the primary objective is to win, but there’s no reason playing close to your best can’t be a part of that. Since we’re using military terms, if you sent in 50 soldiers to take out 1 guy and 45 were killed in the process of taking him out, that isn’t exactly a success. If that makes sense.

  4. secrick

    Freddie you probably don’t read these post but i would like for someone to touch on why so many Ky players got hurt in the game Sat night. Was it just a freak thing or are we not in good shape . I was at the game and seemed like a player got hurt on every play.

    1. Mathlete

      Probably too many snaps for the same guys over the last couple of weeks. They’ve been playing all out for 6 weeks of competition and camp before that. Between fatigue and sheer probability, the injury bug is bound to bite eventually

    2. az1006

      I think part of it was what Mathlete said…General fatigue, both from the previous games and from Missouri’s temp during the game, but I also think some of it was strategic in nature. I would almost guarantee the coaching staff told guys to fall down at times to slow Mizzou down. I noticed several instances where a guy would go down with an apparent “injury,” only to return one or two plays later. It’s smart to do that when you rely on subs and rotations as much as our defense does. Just my opinion, but I would bet there was some strategy involved there.

  5. dublj110

    I think one of the things that need to be added to this list:
    Get the ball to #1 MORE… Bowden is magic in the bottle. Having him in the game seem to change the MZ defense scheme. I was reluctant early this year, but he is the real deal. Side to side threat that makes Defense Coord sweat. I think a few of those injuries were to slow the game down and give our defense time to get a breath. NASCAR package kills and MZ ran it perfectly.

  6. az1006

    It wasn’t a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination, but wasn’t really that surprising either. I was nervous about this game more than any other, and Freddie’s concerns about Mizzou’s personnel and production not matching with results was a big reason. Not to mention the fact we were banged up coming in (even moreso afterward), and they were coming off a bye week playing their first road game of the season. Getting a breather and a change of scenery can often be a catalyst for a team that has struggled.

    That being said, we made a lot of fixable errors, took Mizzou’s absolute best shot, and were resilient enough to walk away with a win. We’ve seen that type of game go the opposite direction countless times. And regardless of the lack of style points we’ve played with thus far, we’ve done enough to get the job done 5 out of 6 times (a BS holding call from 6), and you really can’t complain about that.