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The Leach Report: Alabama Post-Game


In the last six years, Kentucky has now faced four teams that were ranked number one in the country.  And to me, this Alabama squad is clearly the best of those four.  When the Cats upset #1 LSU in 2007, you had a senior quarterback throwing to three future NFL players.  And there were several guys on the defensive side who were just a year or two away from playing in the league.  Those are the kinds of players Mark Stoops and company are recruiting, so the talent disparity won’t be so great in future matchups against top-ranked teams.

Kentucky is beat up physically right now and probably mentally as well.  It has faced three of the four best defensive units in the nation in the past four games (Louisville, Florida, Alabama) so what they’ll see in the second half of the season will be a sense of relief for a struggling offense.  When the caliber of defense was at least slightly lower last week, the Cats showed promise behind Jalen Whitlow (hopefully he can get healthy soon.).

UK players need to keep the faith.  But it’s always easier to do that when one has a little success to buoy the confidence.  That’s been hard  to come by in this four-game stretch so this open date could not come at a better time for this team.    .

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GAME-CHANGING PLAY(S)

It was Christian Jones’ 21-yard punt return early in the second quarter.  Punting from its own 36, Kentucky could have put the Tide 76 yards from the end zone by hitting the net punt goal of 40 yards.  But the punt was short and then Jones made a smart play in running up to field it in a crowd, rather than letting it land and roll.  With the run back, the punt netted only seven yards of field position and Bama  treated it like a turnover, with a play-action bomb on first down.  That play went for a 42-yard gain (should have been picked off by Ashley Lowrey) and set up a  one-yard TD run to make it 10-0.

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KEY CAT STATS

–Big plays.  Alabama hit the UK defense for nine plays covering 20 yards or more, six of them in the second half.  Kentucky had one–the 30-yard TD pass to Javess Blue.

Third-down conversions.  UK was 2-for-12, with both successful plays coming late in the game.  Alabama was 10 of 14 and was able to get a fourth-down conversion after one of the misses.  Maxwell Smith went to the air on six of those 12 missed third-down plays and had only one completion–an 11-yard gain on third-and-21.  Whitlow passed on both of his third-down plays, with an incompletion and a sack which led to his injury.  This offense will continue to struggle until the Cats can get more consistent play at the QB spot.

7.8 and 7.6.  Those were the respective yards-per-carry average for Bama tailbacks T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake.  Some say the Tide had one of college football’s all-time best offensive lines last season and this one looked overpowering in this matchup–also keeping the QB’s sack-free.

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“WILDCAT PAW” HELMET STICKERS

Raymond Sanders.  He averaged 5.1 per carry on 14 rushes and had only one run for a loss.  Most impressive for Sanders were the yards he gained in this game after the first hit by a Bama defender.

Eric Dixon.  After missing that late tackle at South Carolina last week, Davis responded with a tremendous effort.  He was the second-leading tackler for UK with nine and he led in solo’s with seven.  And it was Dixon who forced Alabama’s second fumble.  Overall, it was just the passion with which he played the game that stood out.

 

–listen to Tom each weekday morning at 9:06am eastern on “The Leach Report” radio network;  and follow him on twitter @tomleachky and via “The Leach Report” page on Facebook

–check out tomleachky.com for more of Tom’s coverage of the Cats

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

13 responses to “The Leach Report: Alabama Post-Game”

  1. THREE KEY STATS

    1) UK now ranked 102 in NCAA Offense (that’s the AIR RAID we were all HYPED up for this summer????)

    2) UK has yet to sellout a game going on THREE YEARS AND COUNTING??? (WE S’POSED TO BE SEC!!!) We can’t fill the stadium when #1 ALAMABA comes to town???? sorry folks, that’s just PITIFUL!!!!!! UK is the laughing stock of SEC football and should turn in their SEC card immediately.

    3) Why was there so much HYPE on Patrick Towles???? These QBs we have STINK!!!!! WHY ISN’T PATRICK TOWLES GIVEN A CHANCE? Will they pull the redshirt off him once Concrete Feet Smith goes down?? (we know it’s coming)…

  2. goUKats

    Until receivers can catch he ball,don’t expect the quarterback to look good.There were several dropped passes against Bama that should have been caught.Receivers make the catch,better looking stats and better game.

  3. RUPPS_rhetoric

    Trolls are so adorable

  4. Old Henry Man

    What do you guys expect, IT WAS ALABAMA.
    The Cats are about 2 years away from competing with teams like that.

  5. David

    Speaking of Whitlow…anyone know his injury status??

  6. CATandMONKEY

    #1and #2: 69,873 …about 30 THOUSAND more than you will see at a Cardinal game.
    What kind of loser actually frequents their rival’s fan site?

  7. Skinny

    Key plays. On the punt you are talking about #17 of UK stood next to him while he caught the ball and then watched him run down the field. Another key play according to the UK staff was the dropped pass by #1, Instead of continuing the drive in the 2nd quarter and going in 17-0, or less had UK scored, we had to punt and Alabama took it in for the back breaking score of 24-0 at the half.

    It’s not entirely the QB fault. UK was 7 of 16 passing (that’s “1.75” catches a quarter) for a total of 76 yards receiving. Wide receiver stats are sickening. You can’t have receivers playing the entire game with 0 yards, why – because of drops and real poor route running.

  8. Really

    Regardless of what is said on this site, Max Smith is the better QB over Whitlow. Receivers muffed at least 4 or 5 passes that could have gone for 1st downs including one just before the half that allowed Bama to get the ball and score a TD with time left.

    Please, know the game first before your write about it. You said all hope was lost when Whitlow went out. That is saying there was hope with Jalen playing. That is not the case.

    Hopefully Maxwell will get the call next game.

  9. Ale8

    8.) You’re an idiot. No way Max is the better quarterback. His immobility and inability to throw a deep ball is a horrible combination. At least Jalen can make things happen if the pass play doesn’t develop.

  10. ProfDenny

    Helmet stickers on a college football helmet is so ‘first grade’ it is embarrassing. “Oh Boy, Johnny caught the football, let’s give him a sticker for his helmet so we can tell what a good boy he is.” HOGWASH! Let us never ‘stoop’ to that childish level. Stickers are for children and someone needs to tell Ohio State, Florida State, and a slew of others.

  11. BRyan

    ul does not have a top 20 defense….much less a top 4. They don’t even compare with S. Carolina, much less Bama or Florida.

    Surprised you didn’t get Petino’s comments on the game.

  12. goUKats

    Ale8,apparently you didn’t see the Miami ,Ohio game.If UK is going to have an “Air Raid”offense,Smith is their best shot,unless Towels or Phillips can take over.

    Also,some of you experts apparently have been watching games other than UK and are getting confused about who can and who cannot throw the ball as well as catching and dropping passes that are usually on target.

    Whitlow is more the second coming of Newton,Morgan not Cam.

  13. BlowingSmoke

    “I just feel so much better this year even with losing to WKU and UL while stomping a lowly MAC team. It sure beats last season when we lost to WKU and UL while stomping a lowly MAC team.