Look no further than Rick Minter’s comments after the game for a summary of how his defensive unit played for 60 minutes against Louisville.
“It really couldn’t have gone worse for us today,” he told reporters after the game.
Minter called Louisville’s opening 99-yard drive demoralizing.
“It’s the worst thing that can happen to you,” he said.
Maybe we should’ve seen it coming, too. All the talk out of Kentucky’s final preseason scrimmage was about the offense’s 98-yard touchdown drive against the first team defense. It gave fans hope that the offense would be better in 2012. We heard about how well Max Smith led the drive; how the running backs carried the load for most of those 98-yards behind big holes from the offensive line; and it was a steady, consistent effort, not just one big play that got them in the end zone.
But we didn’t really focus on the fact that the defense gave up a 98-yard drive for a score. That should’ve been a red flag for the defense, rather than a chest bump and a newfound optimism for the offense. Little did we know, that 98-yard drive was a sign of what’s to come, foreshadowing how UK would open its season against Louisville.
Let’s face it: The game was over as soon as Teddy Bridgewater hit Damian Copeland for 23 yards on third down from their own 2-yard line to spark that opening drive. Louisville never looked back from there.
It really couldn’t have gone worse yesterday.