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Cats Throw a Clunker, Fall to Fitzgerald and Miss. State 45-7

Jim Brown | USA Today


Kentucky looked like they never returned from the Bye Week.  The Cats traveled to Starkville and played their worst game of the 2017 season.  Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.

Nick Fitzgerald could not be stopped on the ground.  He ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries.  To make matters worse, it was arguably his best game through the air this year.  Normally a 54 percent passer, Fitzgerald completed 18-of-26 passes (69 percent) for 155 yards and another touchdown.

It wasn’t always that bad.  Kentucky trailed 10-7 with 3:14 left in the first half.  They had a chance to score and stay in the game, but Stephen Johnson missed Greg Hart on a third and one pass.

Fans are still angry Kentucky didn’t run the ball on third down, probably because of what happened next.  Fitzgerald ran right on fourth and one and was stuffed…until he cut it back for a 40-yard touchdown that gave the Bulldogs a ten-point halftime lead and put a dagger into Kentucky.

Stephen Johnson had one of his worst days as Kentucky’s starter.  Inaccurate on deep balls and crossing routes, he only completed 13-of-28 passes and threw two interceptions.  One pick was on a screen pass, the other was returned for a touchdown.

Today’s game in Starkville sucked.  That’s the only way you can describe this loss.  However, it’s important to remember it’s just one loss.  The Cats were 13-point underdogs on the road.  They weren’t expected to win.  With four winnable games remaining on the schedule, Kentucky still has an opportunity to win eight regular season games for the first time since 1984.

Today’s game was bad, one that’s best forgotten, but there’s still plenty of football to be played in the 2017 season.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

38 responses to “Cats Throw a Clunker, Fall to Fitzgerald and Miss. State 45-7”

  1. KYcats11

    Good game Miss St. We got outplayed and outcoached. There is always next week.

    1. Reuben Cuban

      KYcats11 – you are a kind and loving person, based on your comments (intended or sarcastic).

      I admire your inability to call a spade a spade.

      We need more mindsets like that in certain arenas.

      Kindergarten, perhaps; but not SEC football.

      Or, Lexington.

    2. KYcats11

      Not being sarcastic, just being real. I don’t know why (and I admit I do to) we as a fan base expect us to suddenly be an 10-2/ 9-3 team. Consistent 7-5/8-4 seasons will be enough to satisfy me for a few years.

    3. AGSlater

      6-6 if they are lucky like I said 2 weeks ago.

  2. Reuben Cuban

    Kentucky looked like crap.

    Really disappointed in the play calling.

    And, the D was no where to be seen.

    Fitzgerald owns them.

    1. UKPROF

      Surprised Reuben? You shouldn’t be. Get yourself strapped in, unfortunately, you are looking at the crystal ball forecast for the rest of the season. Did you read AGSlater just above this post? 6 and 6, IF they get lucky. Many hate to agree, but many do, and they called it VERY early into the season.

  3. A_Blue_Wildcat

    “But we’re 5-1, doesn’t matter that we struggled against terrible teams cause a wins a win right?” Yeah this is what happens when you play one of the easiest first half of a schedule in the last 10 years and you get a big head only to get embarrassed when you finally play a half-way decent team. All of our wins other than SC was a close game against awful teams, and even the SC game was only won because their kicker couldn’t have played any worse. Guarantee that we lose to Tennessee next week and it won’t even be close.

    1. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      I had a bad feeling this was the case. Matt pointed out that we played poorly against the Peay last year and then the very next week we beat UL. I was hoping it was just that we were not motivated against EKU, but I wonder. Oh well.

    2. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      I don’t necessarily agree about UT though. They’re awful.

    3. A_Blue_Wildcat

      He had a point about AP and UofL last year but people forget that UofL wasn’t that great last year and if it wasn’t for Lamar Jackson practically giving us the game with turnovers then we have no shot of winning that game. As bad as UT is this year, they just played Bama as close as we played Miss St, plus when have we ever had a reason to have confidence against UT.

    4. AGSlater

      Gettlefinger please stop. Ut will destroy uk.

    5. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      AG, please stop trolling. We all know you’re a Card fan.

  4. joe_finebomb

    I refuse to believe Mississippi State is that much better than us. Idk what the deal is but I mean cmon. This loss sucks badly. The first part of the schedule was kind of soft. The rest of the schedule isn’t. With the performance today lucky to be bowl eligible. And what the hell on waving the white flag and putting Barker in to basically hand it to Rose a 100 times just to end the game. I get that we weren’t going to come back, but why not freaking try.

    1. BigBlue201

      No, that was the actual game plan regardless of the scoreboard. Just different players. Eddie Gran was going to let of the gas no matter what and say, “Woah now. We’ve got 7 points already, so we better ease up a bit and not overdo it.” His play calling is blatantly obvious and there’s no O-Line to save his reputation this year. You fix line of scrimmage and your playmakers might be able to do something.

      This was just a pathetic showing by the team. Coaching staff should be embarrassed to show their faces around Lexington.

    2. channell

      Look at the patsies we played earlier and struggled to win. Our team cannot get motivated for a game. They still have a losers mentality and it may never change.

  5. shepdog3720


  6. Catlogic15

    It wasn’t a “clunker”. It was the same UK football we’ve seen since forever remember 6-0 a couple years ago then 0-6 to finish and no bowl? Yeah, here we are again. Tennessee will destroy us as always. Never changes.

  7. channell

    Ok, be honest. Who thought Uk could hang with State. It’s a good thing we had a bye week to prepare or it might have been a blowout. LOL. Ky is Ky. Yes we luck up some times and win a game we shouldn’t, but not often. I believe we will be bowl eligible again, but look out if we loose to Tennessee. Those Vols will be motivated and prepared for Ky. Cats will struggle to a close win I hope.

    1. UKPROF

      ” I believe we will be bowl eligible again…” I hate to ask channell, but just who do you think UK is going to beat to get a 6th win? Careful, don’t make me laugh!

  8. JTGinter

    UK had padded their schedule to make people think they are better than they actually are.

  9. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

    All this makes it even more nauseating that we didn’t end that disgusting UF streak. We would have been 6-0 and already bowl eligible.

  10. bigcrazy18

    Until UK has an SEC caliber QB, UK will not break into the top third of the SEC. Johnson is a good junior college QB but hes a C or C- SEC quarterback. Stoops has recruited better players and UK has better depth but the QB position is still lacking. Stats dont matter, but stats against good teams does and Johnson has bad stats and play against the better teams in the SEC and outside, thats a fact.

    GT, GA, UT, FL, MSU, etc.

    In college, more than the NFL, a good QB can easily elevate a generally average team.


    Once again, this is exactly why I can’t stand Stoops. He must give this team warm milk and sing them lullabies at half time…

    1. UKPROF

      HaHaHaHaHa now that’s funny right there….it’s probably true, but it’s still funny.

  12. Rise

    I said we will win 6 games at beginning of season and I still stand by that. You can’t beat FBS schools by a touchdown and except to compete in the SEC. South Carolina was our surprise win of the season. I say the only other win we get all season is Ole Miss.

    1. UKPROF

      Ole Miss uh, really? What ja smokin’ Rise? Don’t bogart that doobie dude, pass it around.

  13. timewilltell

    It’s called University of Kentucky football and it is not good!

  14. bigcrazy18

    We can beat Vandy and maybe Ole Miss, anything else will be unicorns and rainbows

  15. timewilltell

    The biggest win for The UK football program is being a member of the SEC which results in $$$$$.

  16. BigBlue4EverUK

    Not surprised we lost, had to many close games … just didn’t think would be a beat down like this

  17. BluKudzu

    How did you not see this coming? We struggled against Sunbelt, MAC, OVC, and the worst of the SEC. This is a better team than what Joker had, but, Joker did not have these players.
    We have the fans and the facilities. We just do not have a team that can compete effectively in the SEC.
    The announcers on the post game shows called UK Frauds.
    Until we show otherwise, we are what they think we are, last or next to last in the SEC, struggling to be bowl eligible, again.
    I hate this for my Cats. Especially against MSU.
    How long is it OK to be outcoached and outplayed at ~6mil/yr?
    Think we deserve better, I know we can be better.
    I hope we get to 6-6. Games like this, make me question if we are on the right path. I hope we are, and we turn it around.
    This was MSU. We did not play Bama. This was Mississippi Freaking State.

    1. bigcrazy18

      Same MSU team that beat LSU by 20+

    2. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      And got rolled by GA.

    3. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

      And Auburn.

    4. My Dixie Wrecked

      I wouldn’t talk about the SEC being great. Without Alabama, the SEC is terrible. One of the worst conferences this year.

  18. StevieGotLoose

    2 weeks to prepare, and this is what we get? Don’t be surprised when this team loses out and we are sitting home for the holidays. They have been squeaking by all year. The defense is the worst I have seen. The O line can’t run block at all. These great recruiting classes we are getting may be great for the MAC, but not the SEC. I guess it is bball season.

  19. BigBlueBass

    Have we ever played good coming out of a bye week?

  20. Get Sh*t Right

    “clunker”, we got our asses beat. It was pathetic. We’ll be lucky to make a bowl game with this team.