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10 Takeaways: Hey, that looked a lot like last week!

(Photo: Brad McClenny/USA Today)

Kentucky’s loss at Florida looked very similar to Kentucky’s loss at Alabama, in that the Cats started out with some fight only to lose in embarrassing fashion in the end. A lot went wrong, a little went right, and these are 10 of the takeaways (mostly negative, unfortunately) from the 34-10 defeat in Gainesville.

1. Special teams made costly mistakes again.

Special teams continue to be a problem for UK as this game, like the last game and many before it, had its share of blunders; in fact, Florida’s first two touchdowns were made possible by special teams errors.

First it was the fake punt after Kentucky’s defense made a great stand on Florida’s first possession of the game. The Cats held the Gators to what appeared to be a three-and-out, until the punt team gave up a first down on a fake and then Florida’s offense scored a touchdown on the very next play.

Late in the half, All-American Max Duffy’s misplaced punt gave up a 50-yard return for a touchdown. And if you want to nitpick, Josh Ali’s fair catches on the 5-yard-line are a little exhausting.

Still, Mark Stoops has no regrets about not keeping a special teams coach on staff.

2. Penalties are still a big problem.

Kentucky can’t expect to win many games with eight penalties for 74 yards, especially games in Gainesville or games in which the Cats are a 24-point underdog, and definitely not both. Florida’s fourth touchdown of the day was a gift, carefully wrapped up with tissue paper and a 15-yard indisputable facemask followed by a 15-yard facemask followed by an indisputable pass interference in the end zone. 45 yards in three plays, none of which were the worst penalty of the day.

3. Bossman Fat’s penalty was inexcusable. 

Under no circumstances should someone even consider two-arm shoving a quarterback after the whistle, but that’s exactly what Kelvin Joseph did following a huge turnover caused by the Kentucky defense. Jordan Wright made the play to force a Florida fumble in Florida’s own territory and Jamin Davis was there to scoop it up. However, instead of taking over in striking distance, Joseph’s selfish and reckless behavior after the play moved the offense’s starting spot back with a penalty.

Discipline is one of the criticisms of Mark Stoops football.

4. The offense is terrible.

We can debate how the blame is dispersed but there’s no arguing that this offense is anything but bad. Kentucky matched Florida in total offense in the first half with 175 yards apiece, but Kentucky managed only 41 yards of offense and two first downs on six possessions after the break.

Punting out of the red zone on the first possession of the game said a lot of the red zone offense we’ve been dealing with too.

5. Kentucky scored one touchdown in games against Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

For this exercise we will throw out the Vanderbilt win (not to discredit that win but stick with me here) and point out UK scored only one touchdown in the other three games since Halloween. UK scored one singular field goal against Georgia, one singular field goal against Alabama, then a field goal and the Keaton Upshaw touchdown today in Gainesville. That’s one touchdown in 16 quarters of football for the offense in games that provide a chance to prove you’re for real. Kentucky’s offense is not for real, sadly.

6. Keaton Upshaw looked good. More tight end looks, perhaps?

We’ll throw in a positive here and give a little love to the tight end position. Like last week, Upshaw looked good early in the game with three catches and the lone touchdown. In the second half? He was targeted zero times.

Mike Edwards, Quinton Bohanna agree: “Feed Keaton Upshaw”

Also like the Alabama game…

7. Kentucky missed Chris Rodriguez again.

AJ Rose and Kavoisey Smoke combined for over 100 yards on the ground, but the short yardage situations were still lacking. Chris Rodriguez picks up those short third downs. The other guys aren’t as bruising in how they run over defenders for positive yardage, and it was missed. Kentucky was 2-for-13 on third down.

8. Terry Wilson doesn’t have it.

Longtime Terry Wilson supporter here, tipping my cap to Wilson for what he gave the program as I acknowledge his time is ending on a sour note. Wilson missed several throws against the Gators and the most catchable ball he threw unfortunately went straight into the hands of a Florida linebacker, again, identical to last week’s interception at Alabama. Wilson found a play he liked but failed to see his opponent made the necessary adjustments the second time around. The result was a bad turnover and a roar of groans around the Bluegrass.

It will be interesting to see if Stoops hands it over to the future for the final game of the regular season. Define the “future” however you’d like. I have my guess.

Kentucky is Playing Losing Offensive Football

9. Eddie Gran’s seat is blazing hot.

It’s more of the same from the play calling and that’s not a compliment, so Mark Stoops will have some thinking to do this offseason. Gran’s offense is handcuffed by poor receiver play (zero catches from that group outside of Josh Ali today) and the QB play is average at best, but the lack of adjustments and risk-taking are on the coaching staff. He’s shown creativity early in games at both Alabama and Florida, only to revert back to the usual nothingness. Now, barring a million yards against South Carolina, Kentucky’s offense will end 2020 ranked toward the bottom nationally with the best offensive line in the country.

10. Beat South Carolina and you still won four SEC games in one fall.

I’ll leave you with a positive spin on things, although I’ll admit it’s a reach after another embarrassing offensive performance in a loss that secures a losing season.

If Kentucky can beat South Carolina in the finale, there can still be happiness found in beating Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt in one season. Those are four teams Kentucky plays every single year, and to get the upper hand on all four is a big step forward. Kentucky is down, yes, but four enemies are worse off, and in normal circumstances Kentucky could have three more non-conference wins and a potential blowout of Louisville on the schedule. It’s not excusing how things have gone, just trying to shine some light on things as we close the book on a disappointing Saturday.


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

37 Comments for 10 Takeaways: Hey, that looked a lot like last week!

  1. panicpat
    6:11 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    Solid write up drew. Could hear the disappointment coming through your keyboard.

  2. CatfaninCinci
    6:12 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    Hey Roush!!!! READ NUMBER EIGHT!!!!!!!!!!

    • dkcr96
      7:34 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

      Roush is the biggest homer and dumbest writer KSR has. He probably can’t read number eight.

  3. Hi Im Reality
    6:17 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    Can’t wait for the offseason so we can start talking about this team playing for the SEC Championship again!

  4. ukcamel
    6:20 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    Terry Wilson has disappointed on the field, but it isn’t a mark on his character. As said, he just doesn’t have it, for whatever reason. He has given his all but never quite turned into the quarterback he showed signs of becoming in 2018.

    I think it would be wrong to take his last home start away from him, and wouldn’t make a bit of difference for next year. At least let him start the game, if you want to hand it over to Allen or Gatewood after the first drive or in the second half or whatever, that’s fine.

  5. dhard
    6:21 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    Number 11. The offense is getting more predictable. Defenses are putting 8 or 9 guys in box and we still try to run it into the middle on first and second down and then surprise them with a pass on 3 and 8. Next series, repeat and think it will be different.

  6. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    6:21 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    “Nick Saban on Alabama’s identity shift: ‘Good defense doesn’t beat good offense anymore’”

  7. Led Weappelin
    6:32 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    Agree with all 10 points Drew. It just shocks me that Stoops doesn’t think we need a special teams coach. And that Eddie just repeats his same miscalls over and over again.

  8. tree_gardener
    6:35 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    preach drew

  9. Dr. Tom
    6:46 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    Drew, number 11: Mark Stoops seat should be blazing hot!! Barnhart should cut his losses and get out that sheet of paper with names in his desk drawer and start calling some folks. I believe the UK football program has reached an all-time low!!

    • The Original WTF Guy
      9:13 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

      I *am* a Dr. and my name *is* Tom and I am embarrassed by the inanity of this comment. You believe we are lower than the end of Joker’s time here? Or going winless in the early 80’s? Two years ago we won 10 games. Get a grip.

    • ukkatzfan
      12:42 am November 29, 2020 Permalink

      Perfect responder for the Dr. wtf ???

    • Jester
      6:37 pm November 29, 2020 Permalink

      “Dr. Tom” I agree 100% that Stoops should feel some heat for the team’s performance given his unreasonably high salary, even if it doesn’t mean some kind of threat to his employment but just a good ass-chewing; however, there is no possible way that you can think this year is an all-time low unless you are some kid born in the mid to late 80s or later. Even if you were born then or later, there is still the absolutely inexcusable amount of time that moron Barnhart gave Joker Phillips fresh in our memory. The Joke would have us at 0 wins this year.

  10. Delray Cat
    6:48 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    This is not just an Eddie Gran problem, even though he sucks. It really is a Poops problem. He is just not a very good coach….average at best. What does he even do? He doesn’t call plays. He may provide a little defensive guidance, but not much. Big dog and other do the recruiting. All he seems to do is eat…a lot. Guy has world class facilities, trainers, nutrition specialists and expects his guys to be in tip-top shape…yet the fat ass looks pregnant. I hope some other middling team takes him away. UK needs new blood to take the next step, otherwise this program is sliding downhill quick.

    • dcforuk
      11:13 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

      You take the good, you take the bad, you take em both and there you have…..the facts of UK football. Stoops is an administrator and defensive-minded HC. He is a coach suited for turning around recruiting, upgrading facilities and canceling the fan culture mindset of “we suck and are no good.” Mullen and other coaches did not have to put the same energy into some of those things. Same with Cal at UK. It’s different. An adjustment is needed. Let’s use Cal’s infamous 2014 phrase…….Mitch and Mark (the M&M bros) need to “make a tweak.” See my proposed “tweak” below.

    • dcforuk
      11:21 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

      Yo Delray – Remember that Scene from Scent of a Woman.

      “And Harry, Jimmy, Delray wherever you are out there, forget you, too.”

      A tweak is necessary. Don’t go nuts. Who knows, for all we know, you could look pregnant, too. After all, pressing teams don’t like to be pressed right?

  11. kyle heavy
    6:48 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    Thank you, Drew. I wish you wrote more on the site.

  12. csnailnrun
    6:52 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    We learned Kentucky needs a new coaching staff and Alabama doesn’t need Saban. It’s time we recruit him away as they did Bear.

    • Bluehender
      8:22 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

      We did learn that for sure. What do you think it would take to lure him away from Alabama?

    • The Original WTF Guy
      9:18 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

      “What do you think it would take to lure him away from Alabama?”

      You are kidding, right? If not, you are the poster child for many UK football fans who simply have no sense of perspective. I’ve long believed there was no fanbase in the country more delusional than So Car fans, but I have begun to question that.

    • Bluehender
      11:26 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

      Of course I’m kidding numbnuts…

    • Bluehender
      11:47 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

      Maybe we could raise the Bear from the dead…

  13. FatDaddyCat
    6:54 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    Not an all time low, in my opinion. That honor goes to Joker Phillips last 2 seasons on the job. But, man were we sold a worthless bill of goods before this season. All of the Marrow huffing and puffing, all the “We are going to be a better passing team”, our defense returns almost all starters and will be stout talk was just that. TALK. It’s cheap as hell, but guess it will get you raises and extensions as long as we keep buying it.

  14. dcforuk
    10:51 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

    I propose a solution. Don’t laugh. It just may work. CMS is tying Gran’s hands. It is not fair to Eddie. Agree to part ways. It is not about good or bad or right or wrong. It is about fit. It is no longer a fit. CMS has done amazing things for this program. Forget you if you think doing what he has done here has been easy. But, time for a new fit. He needs an OC he can cut loose and trust. He has not allowed Eddie to cut loose. Hire Brother Bob as his OC. There would be a little pride on both sides to swallow. Do it! It is a fit. Brothers reunited. B. Stoops back in power five but not HC pressure.

    • dcforuk
      11:00 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

      Again, let’s be very clear. This is NOT a cut on Eddie at all. Everything is simply about fit. Many NFL coaches lose their jobs at the end of the season and land a new HC job within days. How is that? Because it is often much more about fit than ability. This is a shout out to Mitch. Help your HC out by agreeing a new fit at OC is best for Mitch, Mark and Eddie. It is not fair to Eddie. Go get Bob Stoops as OC! Mark has proved his toughness. Now it’s time to demonstrate flexible wisdom and fairness to Eddie.

    • Bluehender
      11:29 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

      How about get Bob Stoops for head coach and make Mark Stoops defensive coordinator?

    • wildcatdon
      11:10 am November 29, 2020 Permalink

      We can only hope.

    • dcforuk
      11:05 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

      Do the best thing. Do the right thing. Help each other. Help the current players. Help the current recruits. Help the fan base. Hit reset and adjust at the end of the season. If you don’t, you will sound like the boy who cried wolf. You need not just a big name but a big OC name CMS can trust given everything he has gone through to turn around this program. Invite Bob. Come Bob. It would be a fit. It would be fun. Swallow pride all. Easier said than done.

    • dcforuk
      11:32 pm November 28, 2020 Permalink

      No. Ain’t gonna happen hender. Not a fit and you know it. Let’s save our limited oxygen on reasonable and not knee jerk solutions

    • Bluehender
      8:29 am November 29, 2020 Permalink

      Knee jerk solution? Lol..I’m just playing along..

    • Jester
      6:44 pm November 29, 2020 Permalink

      Buddy he has had three OC’s since he got here. You think the problem was all with the other three guys and not Stoops?

      Look at it this way–if you leave your house one morning and run into some dude that cusses you, you can say “wow that guy was an asshole.” If you go throughout your day and you think everyone you meet is an asshole, then guess who the real asshole is? If Stoops is on his third OC thinking “damn, these guys have a real problem” then just maybe the problem isn’t the coordinator; maybe it’s a head coach that is too much of a control freak or something.

      Not saying that’s the case, but do we really believe three different Offensive Coordinators have been the problem and none of the issue was with Stoops?

    • dcforuk
      10:37 pm November 29, 2020 Permalink

      Our strengths, including mine and including yours, carried to extremes are weaknesses. I don’t think that is a subjective statement. It is a pretty objective reality. Yes, Coach Stoops has had to be a little bit of a control freak to turn this program around from a recruiting perspective, facilities perspective and, bigger than all that, a belief perspective. That requires a pretty fighting mindset and if you wanna call it control so be it. I want somebody on my side with broad shoulders who is willing to fight and from my perspective he has demonstrated that. Now as I have shared in significant detail in this blog post comment section, it’s time to make some adjustments and I think that he will and I think that he deserves opportunities to do so

    9:00 am November 29, 2020 Permalink

    “…Like Last Week…”….? Don’t you mean 95% of the games during the Stoops Era? Zero adjustments made at halftime. Zilch… Typical… Still people poo-poo anyone that criticizes the turd and his offensive coordinator play calling.

  16. Kentucky3203
    9:47 am November 29, 2020 Permalink

    Stoops is just waiting on the Iowa job to open up. As soon as the Hawkeyes come calling, Stoops is out of Lexington.

  17. timer2
    11:37 am November 29, 2020 Permalink

    If we beat South Carolina we’ll wind up third in the SEC East. That’s where we were predicted to finish and it is better than any UK coach has done since Fran Curci.

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      12:41 pm November 29, 2020 Permalink

      If ifs and buts were wankers and nuts there wouldn’t be any women.

  18. NostraDanis
    12:51 pm November 29, 2020 Permalink

    Excellent write-up, Drew. It must be your stellar English background shining through!

    An additional concern: We’ve been leaning on the offensive line for what little success the offense has produced for a few years. Many of those guys are gone next year, and the architect of The Big Blue Wall is throwing pancake blocks for the Angels offensive line. So, who is going to produce those type of results going forward?