Kentucky’s offense is slowly, but surely, getting back on track. The problem is that it isn’t showing up on the scoreboard. Moving the ball is not a problem; finishing drives is the problem.
“We just have to do the little things right and extend those drives. I feel like we played good as an offense,” quarterback Terry Wilson said after Tuesday’s practice.
Nobody’s improved more over the last two weeks than Wilson. Against Missouri and Georgia he threw for a combined 493 yards, 2 touchdowns and only 15 total incompletions for an average 151.85 quarterback rating.
“Everything feels natural. It feels how it should feel,” Wilson said. “I’ve been letting it rip out there, just trusting my instincts and letting it go. I’ve been really comfortable.”
He’s more comfortable, but he has not been perfect. Wilson and the rest of his teammates have made too many costly mistakes in important moments. Wilson took too many sacks, his offensive line jumped offsides inside the ten, C.J. Conrad put the ball on the turf in Georgia territory and Bunchy Stallings was ejected after a Benny Snell touchdown.
“We have to limit those mistakes. We gotta play hungry, but we can’t play too hungry where we’re making bad decisions after the play,” said Wilson.
After each game Eddie Gran tallies up the mistakes for the offensive meeting room. The number fell from 21 against Mizzou to nine last week. The goal is to drop it to five or better.
“It’s pretty nitpicky, but that’s what it has to be,” said Gran. “You’re striving for perfection. You’re not going to get there every time, but you have to strive for it, especially against good SEC teams on the road.”
If Kentucky can clean up the untimely mistakes, the offense can click at the perfect time.
Other Notes from Practice
— Benny is Gucci. Kentucky’s running back bruised his ankle and was forced to miss a few reps against Georgia. It has not held him back at all this week. “Didn’t even notice it,” Gran said. “He’s rocking and rolling.”
— It’s not all on the offensive line. Wilson was sacked four times last Saturday. Gran said only one was the offensive line’s responsibility. The rest fell on the shoulders of the running backs or Wilson. UK’s offensive coordinator is not worried about UK’s health in the trenches.
— Familiar Systems. Scouting Tennessee’s defense won’t be too different from scouting Georgia’s. Obviously, the personnel is completely different, but schematically they are similar. Jeremy Pruitt was Kirby Smart’s replacement as Alabama’s defensive coordinator. Their defenses don’t look too different, except Georgia’s is really, really good and Tennessee’s is not.