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There is a pulse in Kentucky’s offense

(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Enough already. We know the defense stunk. Huge holes in the box, lack of pressure from the 3-4 blitz and wide-open receivers in the secondary made the Louisville offense look NFL caliber on Sunday, without even trying. It’s one game and there is plenty of time for Rick Minter to shake things up and get the squad better prepared for the SEC gauntlet.

How about that Kentucky offense? The unit which ranked nearly dead-last nationally in many major offensive categories last season showed a lot of promise. Max Smith stood composed in the pocket, the offensive line was strong up front and gave CoShik Williams running room, and the receiving corps was a highlight of an offensive attack that looks poised to hang some points. Take away the mental mistakes — like two fumbles in the red zone and a missed field goal that left a potential 17 points on the field — and that’s really something to be proud of.

The 5.3 yards per play average against Louisville is a 1.2 yard improvement over last season’s average.  Even more importantly, the offense kept the chains moving, picking up 24 first downs; something that was a struggle last season, when the team averaged just 14 per game. A lot of credit for the success of the offense has to go to the no-huddle hurry up. Plenty of times the Cats caught Louisville on their heels and reeled off a solid gain before the defense could react to the formation.

As for the play calling, Joker Phillips stayed true to his word: passing more and running less. Despite having a solid platoon of tailbacks, Joker wants to throw the ball more this season. His offense did just that, with plenty of success against Louisville. Smith was able to find 11 different receivers on Sunday, connecting with nine of them multiple times. This game plan of spreading it out in the air opened up the ground for Williams, even in his limited use, to rush for over six-yards per carry individually.

If it still isn’t clear: Kentucky’s game against Louisville on Sunday would have been the best offensive game against a Division I opponent on last season’s entire schedule. And the team did it this year in the first game of the season against a ranked rival.

Of course the averages will wax and wane through the SEC schedule. But make no mistake; the offense is much improved from the product that was on the field in 2011. Now if we can just get a complete product on both sides of the ball we might have something.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

27 Comments for There is a pulse in Kentucky’s offense

  1. Rodney
    2:07 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    those stats are irrelevent with the tennessee game being all running not by choice.

  2. Head Bussa
    2:15 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I love (not really) how Stuart refers to Louisville as “a ranked rival.” How did it come to this? For those that want to ask why Joker should have been gone, there is your answer right there. Louisville is “a ranked rival” and UK is a joke. Rich Brooks had once gained a leg up on Louisville, but Joker has not even put up a fight and Charlie Strong has just bullied his way to the throne as Kentucky’s best team. Now they’re ranked top 25? What are we? Bottom 25?

  3. asdf
    2:15 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    So does that mean Louisville’s defense is almost as bad as ours?

  4. Rockfield, KY
    2:18 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I wonder how a Rich Brooks coached team would have done against this Charlie Strong coached UL team. Think it would have been any better with Mike Archer or Steve Brown calling the defense?

  5. mike d
    2:19 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Spin it any way you want this is a 3-9 team with an outside chance of beating Mississippi State for 4-8.

    2:22 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Matt Jones spins Bull Shit like a Man Meat Pizza in his mouth!! ROTFFLMFAO!!!
    Sunshine and Lollipops force fed to Rubes in Barns!!

  7. Mitch B.
    2:27 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    See people… Joker has shown improvement from last season!!! He just needs time to get HIS type of player in the system. In another 4 or 5 years he will show all of you exactly what a Joker coached team looks like.

    Joker / UK football 2017

  8. Head Bussa
    2:27 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    4 — Yes, you can’t play poorer defense than what we saw the other afternoon. A Rich Brooks team would certainly have faired better.

  9. RICK
    2:37 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    You need criminals on your team to be good. Just ask the N.D play by play guy, he knows. We need a good offinsive cordinator that can take a couple good players on a weekend housebaot trip or a house of some kind trip .

    2:47 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    We need David Cutcliff. I do think he will be the next coach.

  11. TheDefenseIsBadSays
    2:52 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    when the answer is to play more true freshmen that is going to be a problem!

  12. Mark Liptak
    2:53 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Those stats on offense forecast a great future. Instead of losing 48-10 when they get into the SEC, they’ll lose 52-28.

    Mark Liptak

  13. Just Sayin'
    3:17 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    so a 12 game span vs 1 game. this is a terrible sample-size comparison. that’s like saying, “hey, look, we racked up 400 yds against a d2 opponent. the offense is soo much better.” give me a break. let’s wait until at least half-way through the season until we start formulating opinions about the offense “being improved” especially with a more comparible sample size. guess matt is worried no one will listen to his pre-pre-game show. that’s right, pre-pre-game show. his show comes on 4 hrs before kickoff.

  14. Smyrna_Cat
    3:20 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    You guys are grasping at straws.

  15. Linda Taylor
    3:23 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    6-That was disgusting. You are always getting on here spewing garbage. If anything happens to Teddy Bridgewater you won’t have an offense. We moved the ball at will on your vaunted defense. The rest of your schedule is ridiculously easy, but just wait until you have to meet a really good team in a bowl game, you will be humiliated. Plus, the whole time you have to be worried that your recruiting coordinator is cheating like he did at Miami and every win could be taken away and you could lose scholarships and get probation and bowl bans. That coach you love so much now won’t care because he will have moved on to greener pastures and you will be left with the damage.

  16. Huh?
    3:27 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Is that really Max holds a football? Doesn’t one typically hold the ball with their fingers along the laces? Look at the pic above, it looks like only his thumb is on the seam with the laces. Seems odd..

  17. Rockfield, KY
    3:31 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    9. Allan Pinkett may be on to something with the “criminals” comment. Just look at how good UT looked their first game.

  18. jaws2
    4:06 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Doesn’t matter what Smith does. We have no defense and will lose 9 games.

    5:01 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I know we hate Louisville, but they are a great team. We will win enough games to go to a bowl this year, trust me. We just had one bad game. Go Cats!!!

  20. Hard Hittin' CAT
    5:08 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    Max, the WRs, RBs, and offensive line looked good/better. Can’t wait to see them do work on Kent St.

    Go CATS!!

  21. C'MON #19!
    5:22 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    ROFL.. L-ville’s a great team. ROFL…

  22. Rae
    5:41 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    19. What six games are we going to win?

    We can make any team look brilliant.

  23. STEVE!
    5:58 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    You can use statistics to support any argument. The important statistic from Sunday was that we only scored 14 points against a Big East team.

  24. Beavis
    6:10 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    # 19,,,,,come on,,,we made Bridgewater look like Super Man. They are a good team but if you watched LSU,,Bama,,USC and Fla State they are not in the same league with those guys. Our D was so bad there are a couple of high school teams in this state that would score at will against UK’s D.

    8:55 pm September 5, 2012 Permalink

    I like to be force fed trouser trout. I am a big p*ssy and I have a big man crush on Matt Jones. I am really flirting with him on here.

  26. Steve Back
    10:23 am September 6, 2012 Permalink

    Linda Taylor Says:
    September 5th, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Well Linda, I keep setting my DVR to record “Americas Biggest LOSER” but all I ever get is Yew Kay Football games!!
    32-14 LET IT BURN BABY!!

  27. Steve Back
    12:07 pm September 6, 2012 Permalink

    #15 Have you ever witnessed children taunting other children until someone begins to retaliate? Then, they run and hide behind their mother’s skirts.Well, THAT skeerd child is Matt Jones!!

    32-14 and it would have been a LOT worse if Charlie had not have benched Teddy Bridgewater in the 3rd quarter in an attempt to show mercy on JokerThorpe!!