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Close, but no cigar.

A week after laying an egg against Arkansas, Kentucky rebounded with a very good effort against the thirteenth-ranked Georgia Bulldogs. It just wasn’t enough to pull out a victory, as Kentucky fell to Georgia 29-24.

A failed fourth quarter onside kick will stick out most for the Wildcats. After cutting Georgia’s lead down to five with 4:25 to go in the game, Kentucky tried to retain possession, but the effort was unsuccessful. Georgia’s next possession resulted in a turnover on downs, but left Kentucky with only 15 seconds to go 84 yards. With no timeouts remaining, a 13-yard completion ran out the clock for Kentucky and ended its hope for a last-second victory.

For Georgia, this win was exactly what it needed to get back on track. After a 35-7 loss to South Carolina just two weeks ago, the Bulldogs had to keep pace in the East division in order to keep their dreams of an SEC Championship appearance alive. Kentucky coaches expected Georgia to rely on its powerful running game to lead them to victory but it was passing game that was most effective for the Bulldogs. Quarterback Aaron Murray was called on early and often, and he did not disappoint. Murray had a career day, completing 30 of 38 passes for 427 yards and four touchdowns. He connected with eight Georgia receivers, but none more frequently than senior flanker, Tavarres King. King caught nine passes for a season-high 188 yards and two touchdowns.

Despite giving up so many passing yards, Kentucky’s defense was pretty stout against the run. Usually a strength for the Bulldogs, the Wildcats only allowed 77 yards of net rushing throughout the game. For a Kentucky defense that gives up about 190 rushing yards a game, its definitely a step in the right direction limiting a power-running team like Georgia to that type of yardage.

On the flip side  Kentucky’s offense had a very successful day rushing the football. The Wildcats compiled 206 yards of rushing offense on 43 attempts, including two touchdowns. From the first drive of the game, Kentucky put an emphasis on running the football. It lead to a 84-yard touchdown drive that was capped off by a 4-yard touchdown pass from Morgan Newton to Aaron Boyd. That touchdown snapped a streak of twenty games without a opening quarter touchdown. For a team that wanted to establish a run game to take pressure of off young quarterback, Jalen Whitlow, Kentucky did just that.

Whitlow took the bulk of the snaps at quarterback but Newton did take snaps as sort of a “red zone quarterback.” In the second half, Newton was forced into full-time action when Whitlow came down with a migraine that kept him out for a bulk of the final two quarters. Still not completely recovered from off-season shoulder surgery, Newton steadied the offense in relief of Whitlow and was solely responsible for two of Kentucky’s touchdowns.

Even though this loss puts the Wildcats out of bowl game contention, they have a lot of things to build on going forward. Whitlow showed a better command of the offense, Kentucky finally established its running game, and, most importantly, the Wildcats showed they could keep pace with one of the nation’s best teams. Kentucky travels to face Missouri next week, a team, like Kentucky, that has yet to win its first SEC contest of the year. The Wildcats will have to put up another valiant effort like tonight’s if they want to walk away with their first conference win.

Article written by Rashawn Franklin

48 Comments for Close, but no cigar.

  1. mocha
    11:57 pm October 20, 2012 Permalink

    that onside was about the dumbest thing i have ever seen. yeah i would have been happy if we recovered and joker is a genius but the risk was too big, especially with 3-4 minutes left and 2 timeouts. pin them deep for pete sake.

  2. UK Homer
    12:14 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    Blame this on a poor secondary and tough roughing the punter call. UGA got lucky on the onside kick as Mansour just couldn’t get down on it fast enough once it went 10 yards. You don’t get into that position without the poor secondary getting lit up on a few drives. If we showed up like this all year, then we’d still likely only be 2-6. Our schedule has been rough. These last four games are all winnable.

  3. J A Brooks
    12:25 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    Matt: “Morgan Newton wasn’t awful tonight…”

    Morgan Newton stats for tonight. 1-6 with 4 passing yards

  4. ThinkPositive
    12:31 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    @3 dont forget he threw a touchdown as well.

  5. Sean
    12:37 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    A loss is a loss. Fire Joker. Now.

  6. SoCal Will
    12:39 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    BTW, Congratulations to the true believers who took the Cats +27! If your faith was deep enough enjoy your new BMW….

  7. bluebonic
    12:41 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    The kicker was so patient waiting on the ball to go 10 yards but man, he blew falling on it. It was like he was waiting on 1 of our guys to do it for him. And Georgia they didnt run well but they didnt have to with the way the QByoung played, and when they had to run the ball with 4.30 left to end the game, they executed perfectly. I did enjoy stopping gurly but almost doesnt cut it.

  8. junior
    12:42 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    Not sold on this “victory”. I think UGA was looking ahead to the party next week. Remember, we were pasted a week ago and likely will be next week again. Go Cats?

  9. MacGruber
    12:47 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    We lead the nation in moral victory’s

  10. poopmouth
    12:49 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

  11. Brownbagin
    12:51 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    U know ol Mary ho has the brown bag over her head getting some joker in the rear

  12. Bowl man
    12:53 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    This moral victory means we go bowling folks! Who do we play in the What if or Almost bowl? Honestly this was a tough one. It really did seem the kids gave it there all and dang we got close. Oh well..

  13. West Ky. football fan
    1:48 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    With another moral victory, UK improves to 7-1 in Moralville. Watch out, folks. Barnhart likely will give his little buddy Joker a raise and a contract extension.

  14. rawromgmoo
    2:19 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    Talked to a friend who knows Whitlow, she asked him how he was feeling with the migraines. Whitlow said it was a false report and that Joker pulled him out to yell at him and made the migraines story up.

  15. Wildcatsteeler
    3:51 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    Two coaching errors knocked us out of this game. The end-around sweep call that was a 7 yard loss and put us out of field goal range. Then the special teams coach not telling them to just block and accept the great field position. Both coaching errors plain and simple.

  16. Wildcatsteeler
    3:53 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    Oh yea, I forgot the onside kick with 4 mins left and 2 timeouts.

  17. BPsycho
    4:00 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    #14 Riiiiight.

  18. Dont care
    4:14 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    If matt actually said that newton wasnt bad tonight, he should recuse himself from all things kentucky sports related. He is good for news, thats it. If anyone here actually listened to him try and break down a football or basketball game they would know he is borderline retarded.

  19. Rob Chapman
    5:16 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    Hindsight is 20/20, so I sure would like to hear Joker’s reasoning for challenging the spot with 7 seconds left in the first half. Georgia was out of time outs and would have had to spike and run out the FG unit. Instead they got a free time out, 10 extra seconds and a big momentum swing going into the half.

  20. Big Whoop
    6:13 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    It is sad, but this was the best game we’ve played all year. We actually scored a TD in the first qtr. If Joker isn’t shown the door, then Minter and the DB coach need to go.

    Newton’s best game in two years? Probably. He’s still not a good QB.

    The kids played hard, but it is clear they still aren’t very well coached.

  21. Dano
    6:46 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    Yep…we “held them to 77 yds rushing” while they threw 30-38 for 407 yds. I think they chose to hold themselves. Whitlow moves them team, then Fig comes in for the red zone. Let Whitlow run the team. Period.

  22. Sad point
    7:41 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    It’s not if we loss that’s important to ukaa and the fans.

    It’s how we loss……. That determines if a uk coach is fired or not!

    Chew on that cause it is the truth

  23. bigbluelou
    7:43 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    After watching this game, I now understand why my Georgia friends want Mark Richt fired. If his team actually played anyone good, they would have been blown out.

  24. TheTruth
    8:15 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    I think we played as well as this team is capable of playing. From where I was sitting that running into the kickee call was bogus….he was shoved into the kicker. And that first down spot that kept a drive going was horrible and even more horrible that it was upheld on review. And I know no one calls this but their last scoring drive was set up by consecutive blatant pick plays that were not called right in front of the side judge…the type we got called for two weeks back.
    Yes the play calling wasnt great. The analysis of the kicker “waiting” for the onside kick was a joke. He was “waiting”for for it to go 10 yards. Try that play yourself. You stand over a ball and then try to dive on it while someone else goes full speed at it and see who gets the ball.
    yep this team isnt great but they played well enough to win.

  25. barn
    8:16 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    we beat the spread! a great moral victory. keep this up and we could go to the Spread Beaters Bowl. i wasn’t at the game, did we tear down the goal posts? i think this game insures joker’s return next year. gbb

  26. carnifex
    8:39 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    #1) The onside kick was the correct call. Our defense is at best horrid, our clock management the same. Get the ball back with time to do something. Mansour did his part. The reason the kick wasn’t recovered was because the guy beside Mansour didn’t block the UGA player who knocked Mansour off the ball. Blame him, not the kicker.

    #2) Winnable in that we will be there at the stadium playing the game. Otherwise, not so much. This was a trap game for UGA, they played vanilla.

    #3) For denominations of Morgan Newton, he wasn’t horrible. For Newton, that was a stellar game!

    #4) Even a blind pig will find an acorn in a forest of oaks.

    #5) Yes. Yes. Won’t happen. Barney would rather his “good friend” be booed, harassed, and just generally distained by our fan base, than admit he was wrong.

    #6) See. Something good did come out of this cluster foxtrot.

    #7) See #’s 1 and 4.

    #8) See #’s 2 and 4.

    #9) Actually, that would be PennState. OH! I got that backwards. PSU=moral failure. You’re good.

    #10) Obvious troll is obvious.

    #11) Now that’s something like I would say…stop that.

    #12) Wrong! They had to cancel the Morality Bowl because the atheist were upset about it. It has since morphed into the Non-denominational Non-judgmental Jesus is Just Some Guy on a Stick Everyone’s a Winner Tupperware Bowl Bowl. Tickets are not available for this bowl because they were deemed to be offensive, to someone, somewhere, somehow.(sponsored by Tupperware*tm)

    #myself) enuff already

  27. Joe
    8:42 am October 21, 2012 Permalink A record of 1-7 (0-5) doesn’t keep your job.

    We will be the laughing stock of the SEC after we lose to Missouri on Saturday.

  28. BullDogBall
    8:45 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    I saw a good effort by UKs young team last night. Too bad the stadium was only half full.

  29. Joe
    8:47 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    @28, half full? The paper said 53,000 was there. Hmmmm??

  30. SexnNursinHomes
    8:52 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    28- no need trying to make us feel good. As you can see by the past 60 yrs of UK football history, that obviously someone in the UK admin really doesn’t give a shit about our football program. Which will be evidenced by UK rehiring Bill Curry when Joker is gone.

  31. Witty wally
    8:54 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    Tired of hearing from Joker in press conferences how great #9 on offense and #16 on defense are! #9 dropped a 50 yard pass, huge play, and fumbled a punt that we luckily recovered. He has done nothing on punt returns. #16 got burned play after play after play. Quit praising the mediocre players on your team coach. Both these guys cost us dearly!

  32. Sonny Dykes
    9:01 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    Sonny Dykes and LA Tech put up 70 points in a win last night, including 56 in the first half!!

  33. 2020
    9:06 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    Our boys played great IN SPITE OF our poor coaching staff. Fortunately we have enough players from Georgia that they somehow elevate their game each year vs. UGA. Great job, fellas. Next I hope we have better coaches for you because you’re capable of so much more.

  34. Saban, Miles, Spurrier and Muschamp
    9:14 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    We’ll eat your high school brand of football for lunch, Sonny Boy.

  35. ukcat58
    9:23 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    I am happy for the kids, they played hard. Coaching continues to plague the cats, DUH – Hopefully Barnhart won’t think that another year for the Joke is the answer. Good football and good BB can happen, look at UL this year – Charlie Strong made the difference! We must change the coaching culture in FB – Look at Vandy and Franklin – they are believing they can win-
    FIRE JOKER!!!!!!

  36. uk32
    9:37 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    Splitting hairs here, I know. But, why did the clock tick down from 4 seconds to 1 second? Shouldn’t Joker have demanded that time be put back on the clock so we could get one last play off???

  37. Bill Self
    9:46 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    You guys didn’t lose that game, you just ran out of time.

  38. CatGrad7072
    10:44 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    As long as the loses are close and the crowds are good for the rest of the season, Joker will be back. Mitch cares only about ticket sales, not wins.

    Why haven’t we had that sort of effort in other games? Oh, that’s right UGA plays FL next week; if you think they worked on UK this past week, you are nuts.

  39. BlueCat
    11:02 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    Georgia layed their egg last night, but still won. We will be lucky to beat anyone not named Samford the rest of this year.

  40. UKid
    11:50 am October 21, 2012 Permalink

    I was with my buddies that go to UGA in a bar in downtown Athens (where UGA isocated). And trust me, this game had them sweating

  41. mike
    12:44 pm October 21, 2012 Permalink

    What was attendance?

  42. mike
    12:48 pm October 21, 2012 Permalink

    they didn’t beat us, we just ran out of time!

  43. 2020
    1:13 pm October 21, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve never seen a QB NOT grip the ball on the seams, as Newton is in that photo.

  44. 2020
    1:14 pm October 21, 2012 Permalink


  45. go for it!
    2:13 pm October 21, 2012 Permalink

    I will give credit to Joker and the staff for the team playing an inspired game and not quitting after last week’s debacle. However, I was shaking my head when we punted twice in the first half with a half a yard to go. Our offensive line was dominating play and we had a 6’5″ 250 lb quarterback on hand. We were a 1-6 team with nothing to lose but Joker was playing not to lose which nearly always leads to a loss. If we were down 21-0 he would have gone for it.

  46. bigblue1
    7:50 pm October 21, 2012 Permalink

    I was at the game last night and the Cats played well. But i was so pissed when we ran into the punter that i knew that was the play of the game. i left then and told my friends that the Bulldgs would score a td and they did. Heard it as i was headed to my car. Pissed thewhole way back to Covington.

  47. bluegrassjimmy
    9:02 pm October 21, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t want to hear anymore about Morgan Newton! Joker ran off the best quarterback Masakolski!
    Stop the BS and HIRE Bobby Petrino NOW!! Before another SEC team gets him!! Put it in his contract that if he leaves before his contract is fufilled he returns ALL HIS SALARY!

  48. catdaddyd
    11:17 pm October 21, 2012 Permalink

    #43 Agree, was thinking same thing.