Saturday is going to be another rough game for our team, in all likelihood. Kentucky will go up against and bigger, faster, and stronger Florida team who just put the hurt on a solid Tennessee Volunteer squad. Let’s take a look at one area that we’re hoping to see improvement from: UK’s receiving crew and their ability to put points on the board…
What to expect:
Right now, UK lists La’Rod King and Brian Adams atop the WR depth chart. However, the first two weeks also gave us a glimpse at the rest of the corps. Matt Roark started at the beginning of the season. He ran his routes well and was able to get open…it’s that whole ‘catching the ball’ that really threw out offense off. He will definitely get to see snaps this weekend and let’s hope he still can get open. Last week, we saw E.J. Fields have a very good game against Louisville. He will start the game as a sub, but E.J. will get a chance to show off his skills against Florida DBs this week. As far as our tight ends catching passes, the coaches don’t seem too interested in using them like Jacob Tamme while he was a Cat. Aumiller is the started, but both Robinson and Mellilo will see action. Mellilo actually had a few targets last week, especially late in the no huddle offense.
On the other side of the ball, Florida is going to be throwing a very talented secondary at UK. At one corner will be Marcus Robinson, a 4-star top-50 freshman. What he lacks in experience, he will certainly make up for in talent. All of our receivers will have a height advantage on Marcus, but he’s going to be a tough one to get free from. On the other corner will be Moses Jenkins. While not as highly touted as Robinson coming out of high school, Jenkins (3-star) is a senior and knows what to expect. With the safeties, Matt Elam (5-star soph) will be paired with another true freshman, Saunders. Right now, Saunders looks like the easier Gator to get by in the secondary, and that’s still going to be a task.
With the Florida’s talent versus our unproven receiving corps, it could be a long day for the passing game.
What to hope for:
While UK may be outmatched speedwise, we can at least hope for a passing philosophy that keeps the ball away from the defenders. I know we all want to see Joker air the ball out and break out the exciting playbook, but smart and sure passes are the way to go Saturday, otherwise we may be watching a few guys take interceptions back for 6-points as happened last year. That doesn’t mean bubble screen (YOU LISTENING, JOKER?), it just means that Newton needs to really focus on his accuracy and making the high percentage throw. Another simple hope is that our WRs reel in the catchable balls and do not fumble afterwards. Our receiving corps did not come into the season with much experience, but this is the fourth game of the year – it’s time to shake the jitters and start catching passes.
Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing something like this happen (check out the absolutely insane overreaction by the announcer):