The offense slowed down too much for Eddie Gran’s liking in 2017. The Cats moved the ball, but struggled to consistently create explosive plays. Last Saturday that was not the case.
In the preseason the primary emphasis for Kentucky’s offensive coordinator was to make the offense more explosive. The goal was to get either a 12-yard run or a 17-yard pass once every eight plays. Against Florida UK’s offense exceeded that expectation.
Kentucky’s offense had an explosive play once out of every five snaps. They had 13 total explosive plays and averaged eight yards per play.
“We’ll take that every week. That would be really good.” Gran took no credit for the offense’s improvement. “Kids (were) making plays. It ain’t about play calling. Our kids played. They strained. They got after it and they made plays. It was awesome.”
There are a few things Gran would like to tinker with offensively. Benny Snell was a monster on Saturday night, finishing with 175 yards on 27 carries, but Gran wants to lighten his workload.
“It was hard to take him out at that time. As I look back, he had 52 reps,” said Gran. “I would’ve liked to have had A.J. (Rose) get ten more reps. That would’ve been perfect. So got somebody now who’s going to whack me on the head and tell me.”
Benny is One of the Best — Gran has coached some elite running backs through his 30-year coaching career. Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown, Rudi Johnson, Brandon Jacobs and Deuce McAllister are just a few of the marquee names. UK’s offensive coordinator won’t rank them, but he said “there’s no doubt” Snell is one of the best of the best.
Bunchy, Not the Only MVP — Bunchy Stallings was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week. He was happy to accept the award from the league, “I can’t lie, it’s been pretty cool,” but he wasn’t the only one to receive recognition from the coaches. Big George Asafo-Adjei had nine knockdowns and Logan Stenberg had 14 to earn MVP honors alongside Bunchy.
Receivers that Need Experience — With an FCS opponent on deck, it provides the perfect opportunity to get more young players valuable experience on the field. Wide receivers coach Michael Smith would like to see what Akeem Hayes, Allen Dailey, Ahmad Wagner and Clevan Thomas can do in a game, especially Thomas.
“Clevan Thomas hasn’t had a lot of reps and he’s worked his tail off to put him in a situation where he can go out and perform and contribute. He’s done a good job throughout camp performing. Hopefully we play well enough where we can get some guys opportunities. That’s no disrespect to anybody. There was times Saturday where I wanted to get him in and didn’t do a good job.”
Physicality Outside — The offensive line and tight ends have received a ton of credit for how Kentucky was able to run the ball effectively against Florida. Michael Smith believes his guys deserve some credit too.
“If a running back runs for that much, it’s not only the offensive line and tight ends,” he joked with Coach Stoops.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and I thought this past weekend was probably the best that a group of guys played as physical as they played…I thought from a physical standpoint, they were into it. Guys on the sideline were into it and they played their tails off.”
The Correct Pronunciation of Bouvier — We’ve been saying No. 33’s name wrong ever since he got to Kentucky.
Apparently, every single person on earth has been pronouncing David Bouvier's last name wrong. He confirms at one point in his life it was pronounced BO-Veer, however, he didn't correct people and the name stuck. Says he likes Boo-vee-ay better anyways. pic.twitter.com/29ctSzI6Xk
— Charlie Walter (@CharlieWalterTV) September 11, 2018
Terry Can’t Believe It — Terry “Touchdown” Wilson has not been on campus long enough to know how much beating Florida meant to the Big Blue Nation. He is happy to deliver the W.
Terry Touchdown: “I love the Big Blue Nation…We got that win for them.” pic.twitter.com/zC6GYYEgDX
— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) September 11, 2018