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Five Things that will Frustrate Kentucky Fans vs. Murray State


Kentucky is going to beat Murray State.  That’s inevitable.  Sharpie.

However, it probably won’t be pretty for an entire 60 minutes.  Under Mark Stoops the Cats have defeated each FCS opponent by more than 20 points a game, but more often than not the game has featured uncomfortable moments.

Murray State has lost by 13 and 39 points this season, but they’ll play up against an in-state foe.  Even though Kentucky will eventually control the game and leave with a win, there are a few things that will frustrate some of the fanbase.

1. Injuries

Those are bad.

2. Underneath Passes

“Why are they playing eight yards off the receiver?” was a complaint by many fans when Eastern Michigan dinked and dunked the ball down the field against Kentucky.  The Cats primarily played zone (more specifically, a cover three) because EMU’s passing game was at its best utilizing the back-shoulder fade, a man coverage killer.

Murray State’s scheme is also pretty good at picking apart man defense.  Even though Ryan Lemond isn’t a fan of their wide receivers, quarterback Drew Anderson has experience scoring points in the MAC.  He plays in an Air Raid that uses mesh routes across the middle of the field to spring free open targets.

The logical way to defend Murray is to play zone and force Anderson (54.5 completion percentage through two games) to consistently complete passes underneath.  Kentucky’s secondary has struggled with zone assignments in the past.  This can be a good time to work out a few coverage kinks with uptempo passing opponents, Missouri and Texas A&M, looming in the near future.

3. Turnovers

“It’s about us” has been Kentucky’s mantra since game one.  The thought is that if UK plays its best game, the result will take care of itself.  If Kentucky played a clean football game against Florida, the game would not have been close.  This week is an opportunity to clean up the mistakes before Kentucky hosts an opponent that will make them pay for every mishap.

4. Points

Kentucky has not shut out an opponent since the Cats blanked Miami 42-0 at Paul Brown Stadium in September of 2009.  Kentucky’s defense is stout enough to pitch a shut out, but it probably won’t happen.  Murray State will not stop throwing the ball.  All it takes is one missed fourth quarter assignment from an inexperienced member of the secondary to put seven points on the board.

5. Terry Wilson in the Second Half

Every time I thought Eddie Gran was ready to take Stephen Johnson out of a blowout game, he did not.  Fans rightly have injury concerns, but Gran will want to see his young quarterback get some experience, even if it is against an FCS opponent.  I expect Wilson to start the first series of the second half, unless the Cats already have 50 points on the scoreboard.

Article written by Nick Roush

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

16 responses to “Five Things that will Frustrate Kentucky Fans vs. Murray State”

  1. DerBaron

    “Why don’t you say something rightous or hopeful for a change?” Oddball

    1. J. Did

      When you say righteous, I promote the following:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg9c67WO-m8

  2. JPGott2

    – Penalties: UK had over 100 yards against Florida.

    1. InigoMontoya

      This.

  3. micahmoyers

    Murray doesn’t play in the MAC lol

    1. Baize

      No, Murray does not play in the MAC. That’s not what the post said. It said their quarterback has experience in the MAC, which is true. He played at Buffalo last year.

  4. michaelb

    If Wilson turns it over 3 times need to play another qb sorry to say

    1. cats646

      I would still play him. His upside is tremendous

    2. Wade

      Wins won’t happen against good sec teams with 3 turnovers does not matter his upside. Can’t do that needs to clean that up. 2 maybe since you know he’s gonna give you 2. Got lucky the pic with fl. was in our red zone and not in theirs. Turnovers shift the balance but we have been lucky with how they have happened so far. Terry will get better and this is gonna be a fun yr . Terry has the job and he is still terry dactul to me no td or tt. Think Hoak would have 2 turnovers a game this yr to be honest and he can’t run and bail us out. So, No more qb convo terry is the guy!!!!

    3. BBNDan7

      Lol if Wilson struggles in his third D1 game ever bit just had a hell of a game against Florida let’s bench him. This is why Kentucky is made fun of in football

  5. JHannibalSmith

    We haven’t beaten each FCS opponent by 20 or more. In 2015 we needed OT to beat EKU, 34-27. And, last year we won 27-16. Both games were MUCH closer than they should’ve been & we didn’t dominate either one.

    1. Soylentbeans

      I think it’s meant to be an average of 20. Seeing as how we have beat the fcs teams by an average of 26.6 points in stoops tenure.

  6. Sentient Third Eye

    As we learned during the Mumme days, the way to beat an Air Raid team is through assignment discipline, because ad libbing will get you beat against the Air Raid even faster than against an option. If everyone sticks to the plan, it will stymie a scheme that basically is designed to create and exploit one-on-one speed mismatches in the flats and other short-passing areas. While assignment football ain’t sexy, it also shouldn’t be hard for a veteran team and we have team speed to cover this type of offense, but the main thing which could get us beat is guys not sticking like gorilla glue to their specific assignments.

  7. Cmart0907

    Kentucky has been playing zone forever. Stoops won’t change the defense no matter what. That’s why we get picked apart so much. Cover 3 is always a open seam somewhere in the defense. Some games you gotta play man to man. Ex- Florida. If we would’ve played man to man against that atrocious Qb they would’ve never scored that last touchdown. He picked us apart 6-7 yards at a time.

    1. Soylentbeans

      You gotta have talent, speed, athleticism, and the ability to tackle at every position to run a lot of man.

  8. J. Did

    ERASE the Racers.