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Kentucky Defense Stops Southern Miss Short of Another Upset


The Kentucky football team walked away from Hattiesburg with a 24-17 win thanks to the heroics of the UK defense.

The Cats forced four fumbles, recovered three and turned one into a touchdown.  Darius West popped the ball free from Kwadra Griggs and Denzil Ware took it 20 yards for a touchdown, the one that would prove to be the game-winner.

The defense was at its best in the trenches.  The questionable defensive line exceeded expectations to hold Ito Smith and the Southern Mis rushing attack to just 55 yards.  Adrian Middleton had 5 tackles, while Matt Elam and Calvin Taylor added four apiece.  On the edge, Ware and Josh Allen excelled, combining for 3 tackles for loss and 2 sacks.

The defense received little help from an offense that ran just 54 plays and possessed the ball for only 28 minutes.  Kentucky’s rushing attack that dominated SEC opponents a year ago was nowhere to be found.  The Wildcat was ineffective and the offensive line lost the battle in the trenches.  They finished with only 78 rushing yards.

Kentucky’s offense had one final chance to redeem themselves by salting the clock away for the final 5:02.  They never managed to make a big play, but two Southern Miss penalties gave the Cats enough room to breathe and enough clock to burn.

The difference-maker that allowed the defense to contain Southern Miss was Matt Panton.  The Kentucky punter was excellent.  Patton averaged 42 yards per punt, two punts were downed at the one and Southern Miss started six drives inside their own 20.  After his final punt, Southern Miss put the nail in their own coffin with three penalties on the return to back them up inside their own five.

Article written by Nick Roush

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

10 responses to “Kentucky Defense Stops Southern Miss Short of Another Upset”

  1. Bill Selfs Hair Piece

    The offense didn’t look great, but I will take a win on the road in the C-USA, especially on day 1.

  2. maximumscott

    Offense looked Rusty. Defense looked good minus our poor 2ndary. Westry was awful. Baity was ok. Overall,

    Oline-C
    WR/TE- B (Conrad)
    RB- C-
    D-Line- A
    LB- A
    2ndary- D
    Special teams- A

    1. damage_control

      I’ll take the W on the road but next time someone wants to tell me not to worry about Dorian Baker and Cole Mosier’s injuries I’ll thank you to please stfu. I understand trying to get the run game going but no idea why they just didn’t keep feeding Conrad the entire game. He had to average 10+ yds per reception and they never stopped it.

    2. maximumscott

      Mosier and Baker will hurt us more than we thought. I was pleasantly surprised with our Run defense against such a proven RB. 2ndar should have had 2 picks. SJ to CJ was money. I bet we see that more but we need some outside threats to open his game up. Overall, they finished and new how to win the game. This will be a huge benefit for when we travel to SCAR. Although if our 2ndary doesnt improve before SCAR we will get lit up. I think Offense is just Rusty with a OC that thinks we are still a run dominant team. Gran will rethink this and have a different approah for EKU. I do think with a less dominant run team do we see Barker bc he is a better passer or do we rely on SJ. He missed on a few middle intermediate throws on 3rd downs. Cant have that.

      Dude, our punter though!!!!! Damn thats gonna help us out.

  3. 2thepoint

    I will take any win, but if that is the play calling and execution we will see going forward there will be more losses than wins in my view.

  4. USMC5150

    First off I want to say I’m proud of the Defense because they played their hearts out. The offense was stagnant and predictable the whole game. I know people say a win is a win but It seemed like scared play calling. I understand there can be issues due to the offensive line being moved into different jobs but that’s on the coaches. I’m thankful for the effort Johnson made last year but today he looked like a deer in the headlights.

  5. TERIDACTAL1961

    Meh….more of the same. If I can call our offensive play right 75 percent of the time, so can the other teams defense. When you know what they are going to run, its easy to defend it. Wildcat up the middle, Wildcat up the middle. Do not understand the wildcat…..hike it to your QB and at least there is some doubt about what might be coming. Stoops never been creative on offense. Never any real desire to keep opposing defenses on their toes. We got away with one here. I know its first game, but looked like same old same old. Johnson was also very inaccurate today.

    1. USMC5150

      I agree more of the same and the play calling is very predictable. It also tells me the coaches have a lack of trust in the offense and the QB.

    2. LegggoooCats

      We sucked ass, plain and simple. People talking about 9-3 or 8-4… hahahaha YEAH RIGHT! I’m a lifelong Cats fan, but just speaking how I feel. Like others said… MORE OF THE SAME.

  6. FlySoup

    Nick, if I were you I’d stop trying to have my own option on things and just go with exactly what freddie says. He was exactly right on KSR this week saying the game would be within two scores and it would come down to turnovers. Dude is a pro.