I just returned to the Ville from the game and all I can say is that it was a truly miserable day in Commonwealth Stadium. The weather was awful, the mist was continuous and even poor Brittany Langdon was robbed in the Homecoming contest. Oh yeah, the performance on the field was pretty miserable as well. The Cats were mediocre to horrible in nearly ever facet of the game. The defense began the festivities by starting out the contest by getting dominated on two straight deblitating 80 yard drives for touchdowns. The special teams then brought the thunder at the beginning of the second half with two straight turnovers on rather routine plays. And then the offense finished off the glorious performance with a second half of fumbles, blown passes and penalties. Add to that some offensive play calling that brought to mind the Bill Curry era (how in the world are we calling constant draws and swing passes when we are playing our 5th string running back?), some line play on both sides of the ball that was as bad as we have seen in three years and it was a day to forget in Lexington.
On the one hand, there are reasons to understand today’s performance. It has been an emotional roller coaster the past few weeks and the Cats are banged up with a number of injuries (although I give no creedence to being “mentally drained”….what does that even mean?). We saw today that those who have suggested that the Cats dont miss Keenan Burton are WAYYYY off. Not having Burton caused more coverage on Lyons and Johnson and it was clear that Ford simply didnt have the athleticism that was usual at his position. But even with those injuries, there simply is no excuse for what we saw today. The Cats are a good football team…..good football teams playing at home against inferior competition dont turn the ball over 6 times in a game and expect to win. The effort was subpar across the board and the Cats did what they simply could not afford to do…..lose at home to Mississippi State.
There is a bye week and then three more games…..but those games all of a sudden look much tougher. At this time yesterday, I was playing out all the scenarios that could put the Cats in the SEC Championship game, the Sugar Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl. Now, if the Cats dont regroup, we may be back for some Music City Bowl Magic once again.