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Comparing Kentucky’s Defense to the Nation

I’m almost certain at this point that you’re sick and tired of hearing about Kentucky’s defensive performance against Louisville on Sunday afternoon.  But, to make sure there’s absolutely no molecule of life remaining in that dead horse, we’ll beat that subject just a bit further.  The good folks over at have scanned through data of the 117 FBS teams that played this weekend and have listed their findings on just about every stat imaginable.  Since Kentucky’s youthful defense struggled this weekend, I thought it’d be interesting to investigate some key defensive stats, to determine areas of weakness and strength.  The below chart contains some of the glaring weaknesses and unknown strengths of Kentucky’s defense, it also contains their FBS rank and compares them to the FBS average in those respective categories.


First, it should be noted that after only one game a true representation of a team will likely not show, but I’m going to use these numbers anyway so deal with it.  Second, the most glaring weaknesses come in the passing game as Kentucky is near the bottom in almost every important defensive statistic, most notably completion percentage.  The scariest thing about that inflated percentage is how wide open most of Louisville’s wide receivers were.  This may be surprising (it’s not), but when receivers are wide open they typically gain tons of yards, which is why our passing yards per attempt number is so inflated.  As for Interception Percentage, it’s hard to make any real judgment when Louisville only threw 26 total passes, that number will increase as the season moves forward, but after seeing film of Sunday’s game it’s cause for concern given just how far away our secondary was away from their receivers.


The rush defense was better than its passing counterpart, but it too was far from serviceable.  Louisville was able to gash Kentucky’s Defensive Line and Linebackers for 4.76 yards per carry, which was good for 82nd nationally.  Even more alarming is the fact that the Wildcat defense surrendered 7 carries which went for 10 yards or more.  That must be corrected quickly for there to be any chance of competitiveness on the field.  The one silver-lining in the defensive effort was the fact that we were able to force three fumbles.  In terms of per game averages, that’s good for third nationally, even when computed into an average (6.5%) it’s still very good compared to the national average.


Overall, there’s very few things one could look at defensively that could give confidence about anything moving forward.  Perhaps we can take comfort in knowing that a youthful defense will get better as they mature, but maturation will have to come against teams much better than Louisville, so it begs a very important question.  If the defense doesn’t improve just how many games can Kentucky end up winning this season?


Article written by Jonathan Schuette

21 Comments for Comparing Kentucky’s Defense to the Nation

  1. tdogg40330
    8:07 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    if no improvement, they’ll win 2 games. But they are gonna
    improve, they’ll be ok and fun to watch before long.

  2. bob
    8:13 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    How did the offense do nationally?

  3. kfund
    8:28 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink


  4. angrycatfan
    8:31 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    ok since when has losing been fun to watch?! its been beyond pathetic to hear fellow cats fans say “oh ya we suck but if were fun to watch its ok, sign joker an extension thru 2020” #fakebarneyvoice ever since this joke has taken over this program its been one giant dook from year to year. joker has pissed away every bit of momentum an success papa brooks had going towards this program. most fans forget we were ranked as high as #7 in the country at one point under brooks. college gameday came to lexington, andre woodson was a mid season heisman candidate and most importantly we were competitive in almost every game we played in brooks last 4 years. do you guys think its just a coincidence as soon as joker took over we’ve been on a downward slide? no, its because of the over rated coaching staff he’s assembled, its because of the lack of talent 80% of his recruits possess and most of all its because he is not now nor will ever be the right guy for this job. oh well, as long as there’s fans out there who think a royal @$$ spanking week end and out is fun to watch then i guess its all ok

  5. John4uk
    8:33 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    How can UK football improve a lackluster defense without quality defensive players,a quality defensive coordinator,and a quality defensive coaching staff?

    I hate to be negative,but i just don’t see this team making those defensive steps necessary.I hope i’m wrong.

  6. kfund
    8:42 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    To put this in perspective, which schools in basketball last season had the same relative rankings? 116/120 in football versus the same percentage rank in basketball? Looks like somewhere about N. Colorado or Colgate.

  7. Mark
    10:21 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    It’s one game. Yes, it was a big game, but it was just one game.

  8. CatFan24
    10:42 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    Much better than Louusville? Depending on what Florida does, Louisville could be the 4th best offensive team on our schedule.

    11:15 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    Who can we beat outside of Kent St, WKU, and Samford? Heck we are only a 7 point favorite at HOME to Kent St. WKU is much better this year. Vandy is not patsy anymore and kicked our arse last year and in recruiting in the offseason. I only want to be competitive. I dont have to win 8 games a season to be happy, but we arent on the radar and going the other way. If the university doesnt make a stand to improve facilities then they have packed it in = 15,000 less season ticket holders this season. Stand Up or Get Out!

  10. carnifex
    11:40 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    @mark #7

    Bull s^*&^. 1 game my sore…eyes. Have you even watched 1 game Mushmouth has coached? This dumpster fire has gotten worse and worse for 2 seasons. And it will take 5 more for you retards to realize mushmouth SUCKS!!!! And we’re not talking just normal suckage, we are talking UK Football suckage of historic proportions. Do you even comprehend how bad that is? No you don’t becauses you’re a sunshine pumper. Your a democrat who keeps spending money we don’t have. You sir are not intelligent. Man I hate to say that but it’s the truth.

    The last time we were this bad we were on probation! And you think he can right this ship? Mushmouth, who was brought in to stay at the awesome level of winning 2-3 conference games a year can’t even do that! Mushmouth juggled the lineup, why? Why would you need to juggle the lineup after the first game if you are such a good coach? Is UL juggling their lineup? Last time I looked UL was laughing their ass off as we missed another</i) tackle for them to score a walkin touchdown.

    Mushmouth has had since last year to figure out who his starting QB would be. All spring, and fall practice it took him to figure out that Morgan Newton, while still injured, wasn't the best QB on the team. This is a QB that sacks himself, throws 5 yards over the head of his recievers on 3 yard swing passes, and can't read a defense or check out of a play without someone holding his hand. I can guarantee every person who watched UK football last year knew Newton wasn't a QB. Except Mushmouth.

    What part of the defense is Mushmouth not responsible for? The line? "The stregth of this defense"? The players he recruited? the players his coaches recruited? And more damning, the players he and his cadre can’t recruit.

    The none existant LBer’s? OH! But we lost Danny and Winston to the NFL! Wow! You meant to say that in 4 years they never recruited another LBer! Here’s a hint to you and Mushmouth, when a senior plays his final game, he can’t play anymore, and you need to replace him.

    And walkons, and converted QB’s are not serious replacements. THat just shows the level of desperation of Mushmouth and his staff. Converted RB’s, QB’s, BBQ’s…do they ever recruit to fill a need or do they just sign every goddamn reject from Ga. and Tenn.?

    But hey! are recruiting is just going swimmingly. If you enjoy swimming in meat trunks in a pool full of sharks. Because that’s what the SEC is. It’s the top of the foodchain baby, and we got a Mushmouth coaching us. Mushmouth maybe a nice guy( I don’t know, I don’t think nice guys cheat on their wives), but nice guys finish last. And apparently UK does too.


    For everyone of you sanctimonious BS artists out there who are saying you wouldn’t support Petrino because he cheated on his wife…I got 2 words for you. Mary Jo. Hypocrits.

  11. Jon Lock
    11:56 pm September 4, 2012 Permalink

    How did you/ come up with 3 forced fumbles for us, when we didn’t force a single turnover the entire game?

  12. Jonathan Schuette
    12:21 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    11. Fumbles forced and fumbles recovered are two different things. Forced 3, recovered 0. I’m in the camp that it’s much more difficult to force a fumble than it is to recover one, once it’s on the turf it’s a crapshoot who recovers. Right place at the right time is generally what fumbles recovered means.

  13. payattention
    1:01 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I’m as negative as anybody, but nice misread on the stats. Completing 84.6% of passes is hardly 116th in FBS. Looks like they ranked it backwards if the average is 58.1%.

  14. payattention
    1:02 am September 5, 2012 Permalink


  15. Dano
    8:04 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    The defense was manhandled by their O-line, lined up in the wrong spot, missed gap assignments and completely sucked in the secondary.

    Rewind to coach speak from the spring and summer: Bigger, stronger faster. Defense now understands their assignments because they are experienced in the system.

    In the SEC we run the table in reverse. 0-fer

    Worst coaching staff in college football.

  16. Attitude adjustment needed
    8:51 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Another stupid story Jonathan. You are a complete douche! A couple of weeks ago, you didn’t like the comments several of my friends made so you banned them from commenting. You are great advertisement for this site. Know who you ban and what their contacts are in the football world you douche. You lost a lot of both viewers and supporters of this site. Your aren’t Cawood Ledford!

  17. robuk
    9:27 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    If the defense stays the same we win ZERO games….If “cap gun” Minter changes the 3-4 to allow a possibility of QB pressure we win 2-3 games!

  18. robuk
    9:33 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    This defense is in-defensable!

  19. concernedcat33
    10:40 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I just want someone to tell me, on average, how long Teddy Bridgewater had to throw the football? My guess is at least a 5.5 second average. You can blame the secondary, but the kid had all day to throw the ball. If you apply pressure after three seconds he completes far fewer passes and the game is a lot closer. The game was lost on the defensive line long before it was lost in the secondary.

  20. dodger1
    11:01 am September 5, 2012 Permalink

    defense will play against weaker team so it will show some improvement. but team still could lose. just can hear coaches now about the turnaround in the defense. wait until the sec.

  21. JortJr.
    1:54 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Still a joke and hard to believe:

    “He was recruited to play for the University of Kentucky Wildcats, but the NCAA declared him permanently ineligible as a collegiate athlete because he received approximately $33,000 from Fenerbahçe Ãœlker in excess benefits. The NCAA ruled that this amount was above and beyond what was considered acceptableOn January 7, 2011, the NCAA rejected Kentucky’s appeal, upholding that Kanter was permanently ineligible” (

    What about Pro Baseball rejects returning to college and allowed to play? Do not get me started on Olympic “paid” college programs.