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All Dogs, All Night

dak-prescott

Didn’t like the matchup all week.

Dak Prescott and all those receivers. Pass rushers with nineteen sacks from ten different players. Cowbells and a veteran team with bowl eligibility on the line and an upcoming bye week. Not one factor indicated that UK would go to Starkville and win.

Then Saturday night happened.

After a brief 10-7 lead, Mr. Prescott (yes, after that performance his name is Mr. Prescott) took over as he passed and ran his way through the Kentucky defense. A defense that disappointingly put up very little resistance. Example: on two drives to end the first half, Mississippi State converted a first down on nearly every snap as it seemed to be going against air.

We could recap the game, but those stories are already all over the interwebs. Not going to bore you with drive charts, blitz packages, wheel routes or philosophies. Instead, here are some observations from the Starkville butt whoopin’:

— In preseason discussion, three players were listed as irreplaceable: Melvin Lewis, Jon Toth, and Josh Forrest. Lewis’ absence was noticeable and highlighted during every low-lighted instant replay. Matt Elam is still a work in progress. Going forward, creativity will need to trump personnel at Melvin’s vacated Nose-guard spot.

— First downs plays killed UK’s offense. During one prolonged game segment, two first down penalties were followed by three first down dropped passes. Penalties and drops indicate a lack of focus. Unacceptable in week seven. Starting the majority of drives at second and 10 were welcoming “Vacancy” signs for MSU’s exotic and perilous blitz packages.

— Lack of pass rush was at an embarrassingly low level. While at times struggling to line up and get eleven players on the field, UK’s post-snap defensive execution didn’t go much better. We talked all week about Prescott and surrounding skill. Level of difficulty greatly decreases when the quarterback’s vision wasn’t even impeded.

— To close the first half, Miss State scored 14 points in less than one minute.  What could have been a 14-13 game turned into a 28-13 precursor to a route within a matter of seconds.

— The Cats continue to struggle to pitch and catch. Inconsistencies abound in this fundamental action. This applies to both pitching and catching as well as all things leading up to the final product.

— Offensive line struggled to protect the quarterback. That included both Patrick Towles and Drew Barker. Other than the Pick 6, which was called back due to roughing the passer, Towles played good enough for his team to be competitive. Drew Barker came in and showed grit.  He did have his welcome to the SEC moment: a hit and his first interception. Again, contrary to popular belief, UK is a team with several obvious deficiencies. Quarterbacking, either Towles or Barker, are not the most pressing.

— Mississippi State blitzed, but then figured out it didn’t have to do so. The Bulldog front seven dominated the line of scrimmage.

— State’s offensive line had been a question mark going into Saturday. Safe to say, it also dominated the line of scrimmage. Dak Prescott was hit once, perhaps twice in the pocket. For the night, Mr. Prescott accounted for 468 total yards. Respect.

— Now you understand my anger following Thursday’s loss to Auburn. Similar opportunities are lessening as the schedule toughens. The Tigers also exposed weaknesses in UK’s pass rush/coverage. On Saturday night, Mississippi State placed a magnifying glass on its ineptitude.

— Safeties AJ Stamps and Marcus McWilson were situationally replaced by redshirt freshmen Darius West and Mike Edwards. Derrick Baity took over for Cody Quinn at corner. In the fourth quarter, Kentucky played with four freshmen defensive backs and two freshmen outside linebackers. Not an excuse, but noteworthy.

— Ramsey Meyer’s personal foul was senseless and started a backwards march after the Cats had the football with first and goal on the three-yard line. Drive result was a field goal. Didn’t factor in the game’s final score, but just can’t happen. For the night, UK displayed a lack of composure.

— Still can’t fathom how Dak Prescott and his receiving corps were virtually playing seven-on-seven with an unlimited pass rush buzzer. (During seven-on-seven, a buzzer is set to ring at 3.5 seconds.) A large part of the equation was discussed earlier in the Wildcat pass rush, or lack thereof.

— After watching Tennessee give Alabama all it wanted before the comedy of errors in Starkville, the Volunteers will be coming to Commonwealth Stadium hungry and angry. Before UK-Miss St game, didn’t think it was a big deal. But UT offers many of the same problems that MSU served up like a breakfast buffet.

— True freshmen Drew Barker, Sihiem King and CJ Conrad showed flashes of promise, but more importantly: fight. King finished with three carries for 31 yards as Conrad grabbed six passes for 56 yards. Drew’s numbers: 7-for-9 for 42 yards and one interception. He also had three rushes for 20 yards. Even though its final drive didn’t result in points, I appreciated the youngster’s competitiveness.

— Boom Williams ran behind his pads. Game got too ugly too quickly for him to factor late, but 18 rushes for 95 yards were a good outing against a physical defense.

— Austin MacGinnis booted all but one kickoff into the end zone.  Refreshing and in a normal game, would have factored. Sadly, or impressively, there’s nothing normal about Dak Prescott. Respect, again.

— The most troubling aspect; Mississippi State was obviously the more physical and tough football team. Kentucky did not only get beaten on the scoreboard, it got beaten up period. Not atypical for the Dogs, but expected more battle from the Cats.

Notable Statistics

— First and foremost, final score: Miss State 42, Kentucky 16. Could and should have been a whole heck of a lot worse.

— Total Plays/Offense: MSU 72 plays for 586 yards. UK 85 plays for 423.

— Rushing Yards: Miss State-204, UK-163.

— First Downs: UK-30, MSU-30

Oh heck, that’s enough. You get the message. UK travelled to Starkville, but only one team showed up.

What does all this mean?

Some serious soul searching lies ahead for Mark Stoops and his football team. For all things Kentucky Football, Saturday night was an all systems failure. Mississippi State out-played, coached, schemed, and toughed the Wildcats. No simpler way to describe it.

All three phases require massive and rapid improvement. After it’s all said and done, the Cats will still be bowl eligible. But the Starkville experience felt like an unexpected step backwards.

What’s next?  We’ll see next Saturday when Rocky Top invades our Homeland.

Until then…..

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

60 Comments for All Dogs, All Night



  1. Linebeard
    1:44 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Prescott had as much time as he needed in the pocket. Did we make any adjustments to put some pressure on him. Why didn’t we blitz more, add more guys in the box, or just anything different. What we were doing obviously wasn’t working, what were the adjustments?



    • Cats paw
      3:51 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Since we are always going to be over the hump “next year”—– is there anyway we could retroactively pay this coach his comparatively nation title salary?



    • reedk4
      8:13 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Cats paw – exactly.



  2. leon singleton
    1:45 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Kentucky defense is not well coached. Offense trys to many field goals.



    • catdaddyd
      6:43 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Is anyone still upset that we were an 11.5 point underdog?



  3. jim
    1:52 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Not being a troll, but I’m just not as confident that we will be bowl eligible. The only game left that I can look at and say yes that’s a win is Charlotte. Vandy’s head coach took over their defense and now they don’t look to bad, that game should worry people.



    • English
      2:01 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Too
      To
      Two…..



    • Troll
      2:16 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      It’s the UK education.



  4. Elsie Mattingly
    2:03 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Back to the Fat Freddie Motormouth routine I see.
    First line = “I told you so” and then line after line
    of unbridled ego.

    What a complete waste of bandwidth, in so many ways.



    • Captain Obvious
      2:54 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      The hypocrisy of your comment is palpable.



    • CATandMONKEY
      4:26 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Elsie goes by many names on the board. Freddie must have taken your “girlfriend ” back in grade school.
      Freddie is the only KSR staffer that knows football. How are ANY of his comments unbridled ego?
      I think that word does not mean what you think it does…cough, ahem…Elsie.



    • Kat 308
      4:32 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      shut up elsie



  5. Delk for 3
    2:12 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Our defense is not great and it won’t be until we get more depth up front. That stated, our offense is moving the ball, but not scoring enough points. They continue to make mistakes on the opponents’ side of the field. Once we get inside the red zone, we are a joke of an offense. You may let Patrick off the hook for the teams’ problems, but I think he is a major reason for our failures inside the red zone. He doesn’t have great touch and he truly struggles to throw when moved out of the pocket. The team has gotta figure something out there in the red zone and to me, that’s the No.1 priority. If they want to win these games, they’ll have to be able to score and keep the other teams’ offense off the field. FGs won’t cut it.
    And another thing, I know Stoops is a conservative coach and goes by the book nearly all the time when it comes to 4th down situations. Every once in a while, we really need a 4th down conversion and he needs to do a better job of measuring risk/reward.



    • CATandMONKEY
      4:31 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Up until the Auburn game, we scored every single time we made it to the red zone. Granted, too many field goals. Not enough touchdowns.

      Totally agree that we need to get out of conservative mode. You cant play smash mouth, SEC-style football when you don’t go three-deep with SEC talent, size and experience. Creativity and imagination would go a long way were they added to this coaching staff.



  6. bowl ineligible
    2:15 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    After watching that complete system failure, you say after its all said and done the Cats will still be bowl eligible? That is an absurd statement. We have 2 chances to get to 6 wins…Charlotte and Vandy. That game at Vandy will be so awful ugly by 2 inept teams that it will be a complete tossup. Your (over)confidence is silly.



    • Delk for 3
      2:18 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      If you don’t think we can beat Louisville, I don’t know what you’ve been watching. They aren’t any better than us in any way. I’m not saying it’s a lock, but it’s a 50-50 game for sure.



    • bowl ineligible
      2:59 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Easy answer. I have watched UK struggle to beat UL Lafayette (ranked #103 in the nation), EKU (an FCS school) barely and by outrageous luck after getting dominated, a SC team (ranked #50) playing so bad it’s HOF coach quit in midseason, and a Mizzou team (ranked #57) that is so bad it lost to Vandy too. We were beaten at home by a bad Auburn team, and we’re just demoralized by MSU. Only the FL game out of all 7 games showed any hope and that is gone as we are trending DOWN.

      UofL lost to Auburn too, an awesome Clemson team, FL State, and a Houston team that is 7-0 and ranked above both UK and UofL.

      UofL is ranked #35 and we are #48 (rankings from MSN sports). UofL will rightly be a 7-10 point favorite by the time that game rolls around. Have you watched Lamar Jackson? Like Prescott last night, he will destroy us.

      UofL is not great. UK is once again worse. Just wait and see what objective unbiased people predict for the UK v. UofL game.



    • Delk for 3
      3:25 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      You are wrong. Louisville will not be a 7-10 point favorite on the road. Yes, I have seen Lamar Jackson. He’s impressive at times, but also a freshman and with no real quality receivers or running backs around him. His offensive line is also garbage as well. Also, comparing a freshman Lamar Jackson to first team All-SEC QB Dak Prescott is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read in a long time on here. You asked me whether I’ve seen Lamar Jackson. Yes. I live in Louisville and have watched Louisville every game. I ask you, did you watch their game vs. BC yesterday? If you think Louisville is so clearly better than UK after watching that game, then I don’t know what to tell you. Both teams have lost to good teams. Again, it is a 50-50 game. I still fully expect the game to be no worse than a Pick ‘Em spread in regards to UK.



    • bowl ineligible
      6:00 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      No you are wrong. Lol, I don’t know what your definition of “compare” is. I did not compare Jackson to Prescott. I simply said Jackson will destroy us like Prescott did. Of course Prescott is 3 years ahead of Jackson in experience. Ask yourself this….when is the last time UK stopped a mobile QB that has a decent arm? Hint…not this year. Jeez you say it’s a 50/50 game yet in the post right below this you say you are “very confident” we will beat UofL. Are you a politician? Very confident is not 50/50.



  7. Delk for 3
    2:16 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    I personally still believe this group is going bowling. I’m very confident in beating Charlotte, Vandy, and Louisville. I think we match up well with each of those teams.



    • BluKudzu
      7:19 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      @Delk for Three:
      I admire your stamina in preaching hope for UK versus U of L, I really do. I hope you are right with your prediction. The way I see it right now, U of L O line is not playing great. That is our only chance is to beat them, is to take advantage there. Our D line is awful. Our d is awful. We have no chance against scrambling QB working from the spread, or with a hurry up offense. U of L has a good defense, and it is getting better. I need to say nothing about our offense. It is what it is. Louisville special teams is way better than ours.
      I hope you are right and things change, but I see us getting worse each week.



  8. Delk for 3
    2:20 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Freddie………….I think it would have been appropriate for you to mention that absence of Jason Hatcher. That fact hasn’t been recognized nearly enough by people wondering why the defense struggled so much. Certainly needed him to help the pass rush.



    • bluehappypappy
      2:56 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Hatcher would’ve helped some but our D-backs didn’t know where to be in position most of the snaps and the D-line just don’t fight off their blocks, they looked like an O-line in pass protection all night.



    • Delk for 3
      3:09 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      No doubt, but this fact has just been ignored by the media.



    • A Dose of Reality
      3:33 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      This is the worst D-line in school history. And Elam is the worst D-lineman I have ever seen play for a high major college football team.



  9. Andy
    2:24 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    DJ Eliot is on the hot seat and it will get hotter if we allow 500 plus yards again.



    • bluehappypappy
      2:49 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Stoops is basically the D coordinator. He took over the backs late last year and the headset last night for the whole 2nd half.



    • tippytoe
      6:21 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      I look for Stoops to take over the defense much like Vandy’s hc did this year. Defense is continually misaligned and not prepared week to week. No pass rush and you make no adjustments at all? Also, if you are playing an offense that has only one weapon, how do you let him beat you?



  10. bluehappypappy
    2:37 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Up until the EKU game I was so proud of our defense. I really felt like our D was going to keep us in every game and then this MSU game. I’ve watched football for early 40 years and I’ve never seen a defense regress so much. We’re gonna be lucky to get to a bowl this year and Charlotte has reasons to believe now. On the bright side though talent and depth are coming and future’s still bright imho!!



  11. wildcat502
    2:38 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    I hate losing, but I can deal with it, as long as the team is placed in a position to win and they (coaches included) give their all. This season has been an embarrassment as far as preparation is concerned. Last night was worse than any game so far, so my question is simple. Are we going to sit through another let down simular to last season?? The defense wasnt set on several plays, last night. On some plays, the entire unit was still getting to their positions when the ball was being snapped. Last week, we had 8 players on the field for a play. Thats not on the players. I saw several players looking to the sidelines when the ball was being snapped.
    Stoops iced our own kicker, after the field goal was good, by calling a timeout, just as the ball was being snapped. Then missed the second attempt. Stoops couldn`t decide whether to go for it or not. Make a decision and live with it, but dont penalize the players for it. We haven`t tried a trick play this season, to try to fire the team back up.
    Player development. I`m not picking on Towles, but he gives the defense an advantage by starring at the receiver prior to throwing the ball. I understand he didnt have a lot of time last night, but our line has to block better or keep a fullback in there to help out and go with 3 receivers instead of 4 or 5 all the time. Adjust, adjust, adjust.
    One more point, then I`ll shut up. How many times have we seen Stoops yelling at players to get in position, after a timeout??? Several. I like Stoops and I think we`ll be a lot better, once the young players get older, but I just want to see a well prepared team. We`ll win 7 this season.

    We will beat Vandy, Charlotte and Louisville (They arent as good as people think. Worse offensive line we`ll face this season). We`ll see how Georgia plays without Chubb.



    • bluehappypappy
      2:46 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      I agree with every point you made, except for the last paragraph. If our defense continues to play like it did against MSU we’re not making a bowl.



  12. pithuahua
    2:51 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Disheveled, lost, inept, and woeful are a few words to describe the play of Cody Quinn. When will Stoops stop playing him? I think it was Maggard that said” Quinn has finally quieted his critics” I believe that statement to be false.



  13. Bottom Line
    3:07 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    All you needed to write was we suck at football. End O story.



  14. roundball fool
    3:16 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Nice work, per usual Mr. Maggard.



  15. Tej
    3:24 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    The defense was just not competitive last night and it has not been very good for most of the season. It has made stops at times but 3rd down conversions by opponents are the rule not the exception. I wonder if the play has shaken the confidence of Coach Stoops in his defensive coordinator. It sure seemed that there was considerable confusion even in who was to be on the field against Auburn and MSU. Not to be expected in the 7th game.



  16. Mean randy
    3:29 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Still suck in football. Always have always will.



  17. A Dose of Reality
    3:30 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Matt Elam is the worst college football player I’ve ever seen.
    He wouldn’t start at Union College.

    I remember one play where he did his little squat lineup 9always about 2-3 feet behind every other D-linemen, then he always just stands straight up…at that point on this one play the center or guard simply plowed him over and drove him down on his back. He looked like a flailing beached whale.

    Again, I have never witnessed such a bad player on a UK team….I think Stoops only plays him because of the 4-star rating. And speaking of that…who in the world were they watching. I saw Matt play in HS and he was the exact same player…fat, lazy, and slow as molasses. I guess he could simply overpower the high school kids in KY. But smart move coming to UK, he would never have seen live action at Alabama in 5 years. I mean seriously…if he is the best we can do as a backup nose tackle….the Cats are screwed. He needs to lose about 100 pounds to have any chance at becoming a decent football player.



    • Leuther
      4:59 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Agree that Elam is probably the most overrated football player at UK in recent history. He simply needs to lose about 100 pounds and get his fat a$$ in shape…



    • Tommycatsfan
      7:01 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Elam is not an SEC caliber DT. I do think he be an offensive lineman. He looked like a clown out there last night.



  18. inside info2
    3:45 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    What was Stoops so mad at the refs about when he called the timeout right before the field goal attempt?



  19. year3forStoops
    4:39 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    **correction – not bowl eligible. Not even close, brah.

    What you meant to say is, mathematically there is a small possibility of being eligible to participate in a bowl game.



  20. sugarman
    5:06 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    being a UK football fan is like Charlie Brown kicking the football with Lucy holding. She always removes the ball after convincing Charlie she will not



  21. Tommycatsfan
    5:08 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Freddie: DO NOT write the truth. The posters on here will call you s UL fan or tell you to shut the F**k up because you aren’t rah rah about this team or losing sleep over what uniform they are wearing!
    Soul searching. Yep….



  22. Stuck in Rocky Snot TN
    5:26 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Kentucky need’s to recruit BLACKS QUARTERBACKS
    PLAIN&SIMPLE!!



    • catdaddyd
      6:38 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      I think Pookie Jones still has some eligibility . Could go and get Jalen Whitlock back from Div III.



  23. kyjohn
    5:40 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Three years,a lot of money spent,and UK football looks like a mid level football team.



    • reedk4
      6:43 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      exactly.



  24. Bull
    5:57 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    A very wise man ounce told me that the difference between a pat on the back and a kick in the tail was only about 16 inches. You people that can’t wait to put UK down are the same ones that will act like your true blue when they win. What’s funny about that is you don’t think people recognize your that way. Charles Barkley said ( the internet is where idiots go to feel important ). Great programs were not built in 3 yrs. GO CATS



    • jim
      6:06 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      You think we want to put them down. What’s funny is the Homers such as yourself that can’t see its the same song and dance. The ones complaining has lived through this year after year, being told oh we are not your dad’s UK team. This is exactly my dad’s uk team. Show me how it’s improved.



    • Delk for 3
      8:11 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Many people go through life without ever understanding that principle, Bull. I learned it from my dad when I was coaching HS basketball. He once told me a similar statement after my team let a postseason district game get out of control and end up losing by double digits after having a halftime lead. I never forgot that principle. It is often just a few key plays here or there that can change a game. Does Kentucky have the same roster as Miss. St.? Absolutely not. Does it have the same “star power” of Miss St.? Absolutely not. Let’s see where we are in a couple more years of Stoops recruiting. I am proud of the hard work the guys are putting in and believe in them.



    • Bluetothebone
      10:41 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Dan Mullen is in his 7th year as MSU hc…they just became eligible for their SIXTH straight bowl game…it doesn’t take an eternity…Butch Jones is also doing a pretty dam good job at ut



  25. Bluetothebone
    6:33 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    In year three I think I’ve seen enough…Mullen is in his seventh season at State and they are heading to their SIXTH bowl game appearance and I firmly believe that UT will kill us next week in the same fashion State did last night…my take is that I do not think Stoops can get this done…we are watching chaos on the sidelines with coaches arguing and bitching at each other and their seems to be no chief in charge…I think we have very bad coordinators on both sides of the ball…but I think stoops biggest problem is that he is a defensive guy and has NO clue what he wants done on the offensive side of the ball, hence our continued anemic production there…
    He needs to realize this is not your grandfather’s college fb…you had betier be able to score 30+ ppg if you plan on keeping up…16-20 a game is a receipe for disaster



    • reedk4
      6:43 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      You are correct.



    • Shelby
      7:23 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Dumb, dumb, dumb
      Stoops took over a bad high school team; how quick you forget tgat we are TWO plays away from wins over top 10 florida as well as preseason top 5 Auburn — we have approximately 1/5th the talent of those teams. Those guys along with MSU, UT, and UGA are playing juniors and 5th year seniors–we start ONE senior on offense.
      Do BBN a favor and don’t call yourself a football fan; if you think what Stoops is doing now, in year 3, after the absolute disaster he took over, i’d be surprised if you can spell the word “football”.



    • reedk4
      8:17 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

      Shelby – how quickly you forget that we are a play or two away from losing to EKU as well as USC, Mizzou and everyone else!!! 3 years is long enough. These are HIS players now. No excuses. Same old crappy, boring football.



  26. Tony
    6:53 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    “Not one factor indicated that UK would go to Starkville and win.”

    Did Matt know that at any point this week?



  27. Kindergarten Cop
    9:35 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    Freddie – Are you worried that Stoops will think that there is no way for him to beat the top teams in the SEC and will tuck tail and head for Miami?



  28. Bull
    10:30 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    FYI Mr. Jim, I’ve been going to UK football games since Stoll Field. I’ve seen many of Kentuckys most heartbreaking losses in person. So there’s nothing you can tell me about the disappointment that is felt from being a lifelong UK football fan. I just don’t choose to bad mouth the players and coaches when things go bad, I just don’t see how that will help. I’ve known several players personally through the yrs. & I’m absolute sure they hate losing more than we fans do. Most of them are young and need all the support they can get. GO CATS.



  29. Bull
    10:45 pm October 25, 2015 Permalink

    And yes I am a Homer, to the bone. I love Kentucky football, they are my favorite college team, period! As for this years team? I’ve seen us a WHOLE lot worse. Haha



  30. Dwayne
    10:08 am October 26, 2015 Permalink

    Patrick played good enough for his team to be competitive??? He threw 2 Int’s that resulted in 2 TD’s for Miss St. and was belled out on a pick 6 because of a late hit. 8 Td’s and 9 Int’s is not going to cut it in the SEC! Some of the things his defenders say are puzzling to say the least!