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Benny Snell on Kentucky’s loss: “We’ve got to stop hurting ourselves”

Kentucky did not play their best football tonight. And as if missed tackles and costly sacks weren’t bad enough, Kentucky continued to draw the yellow flags at some of the most inopportune times. Although the Cats had just four penalties for 45 yards (compared to Georgia’s six penalties for 64 yards), the timing of the flags as well as the nature of the calls themselves (silly things like false starts and unsportsmanlike conduct) were enough to limit Kentucky’s momentum.

A combination of little mistakes stacked up against Kentucky, and it was enough to leave Benny Snell more than a little unsatisfied. Snell, who became the first player in UK history with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons tonight, couldn’t hold back from commenting on the lack of discipline.

“We’re about to go to the red zone and score and then we jump offsides. Or we have stupid penalties and have players being kicked out of the game.We hurt ourselves – we’re so strong and then we hurt ourselves,” Snell said after the loss. “If we just come out with the edge, if we come out punching and our technique is sound all-around, nobody will be able to stop us. That’s what I’ve got to keep preaching to the team; that’s what I’ve got to keep getting across in practice. So that’s what we’re going to do.”

The mistakes did seem to happen at incredibly inconvenient times – just as the momentum started to swing in Kentucky’s direction, when the Cats were close to the end zone or even after UK had already made a costly mistake.

First, Terry Wilson’s pass to CJ Conrad was fumbled and Georgia took over possession. Then, as if to rub salt in the wound, Logan Stenberg was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play, pushing Georgia to their 48-yard line. Luckily, that drive ended in a Bulldog fumble to be recovered by Josh Allen, but the Cats weren’t always so lucky.

At third-and-four from the Georgia 6-yard line, Kentucky’s Luke Fortner was called for a false start, sending the Cats back to the 11-yard line. Those five yards were enough to make a difference – Wilson was sacked on the next play and the Cats were not able to recover. Chance Poore was able to successfully kick a 34-yarder, but the Wildcats had to settle for three points instead of six.

After halftime, Georgia came out with a few long drives. Desperate to stop the Bulldogs, Darius West went after star running back D’Andre Swift, but the Wildcat was called for tackling with the crown of his helmet and was therefore tossed for targeting – plus the Bulldogs got to advance 15 more yards. That call also means West will not be allowed to play in the first half against Tennessee next week.

Then, the Cats finally got something going on offense. Benny Snell plowed through Georgia’s defense for a 9-yard touchdown, making the score 28-10. But after the play, Bunchy Stallings was ejected for initiating contact with a referee. It’s a situation that’s all too familiar for Kentucky – you know what I’m referring to here. Was this call just as questionable?

“I really don’t think it’s wise for me to comment on that,” Stoops said of Stallings’ ejection. “But you know, I’ll put it this way: I know Bunchy’s heart and I don’t think he was trying to be disrespectful… but if he put his hand and tried to grab [the referee] for whatever reason, you can’t do that.”

Luckily, Stallings will not have to sit out next game.

Tonight’s loss was a frustrating game for a variety of reasons, but Snell says the little mistakes could make for solid learning opportunities.

“We played against a great team; that’s a good Georgia team, of course. But we’ve got to stop hurting ourselves. I feel like the game is always in our hands, but then we hurt ourselves. Then after we’re already hurt, the other team is already scoring and now we’ve got to make up for it. We’re good at making up for our errors… but we’ve just got to come out with that edge.”

Mike Edwards, who led the team with 11 tackles, said the lapses in judgement can only be fixed by the players’ mentalities. But Snell sees it as a more complicated issue.

“There’s a lot we’ve got to learn across the board, but it starts out with the O-line, me and Terry, then the defense,” Snell said. “We can’t have guys getting kicked out of the games; when we’re close to the red zone, we can’t have guys jumping off-sides. It’s hurting us. If we’re able to put all of that against the other team… nobody can stop us.”


Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)

25 Comments for Benny Snell on Kentucky’s loss: “We’ve got to stop hurting ourselves”

  1. Alleykat16
    9:16 pm November 3, 2018 Permalink

    Lol lack of player discipline, this has been a problem for a few years. But I’m very proud of this team. Just keep on competing and this program is going to get better

  2. N-UR-i
    9:29 pm November 3, 2018 Permalink

    We need to find our running game again

  3. Wade
    9:33 pm November 3, 2018 Permalink

    It was our toughest game in 60+ years. It’s ok but you have to play disciplined and we didn’t. Just keep fighting. We are still a top 15 team and can still have a monumental season and draft! 1 thing I will say is Benny’s attitude needs to change. He hasn’t been that effective the past few games and is kinda pouting when things aren’t going good. Since the game he got taken out of the heisman race and when he couldn’t complete like 3 4th &1.That’s just me! We need to run but rose Lynn baker sweeps, need to get to the outside more with speed and pound Benny still. He blocks good but can’t focus around him anymore like we do! I’d like to see some 5 wr with cj working the middle more and see what terry has!

    • JASUN74
      3:13 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Man I agree with you about Benny. I love his game and we have been lucky to have him here, he Has been whining half the game out there, throwing a big fit a couple times a game and honestly I’m my opinion he has tried to get thrown out at least once his self. having augments with the coaches and back talking and walking away when thy try to talk to him the last three or four games. He needs to talk to someone before he hurts his brand. Once he started getting the big head and talking about his self in the third person like he was a king is when this started. He can have a place on Sunday if can find his way back to a little humility but I’m sure with as many people sucking how butt it would be hard. He can do it though, but he’s sure not ready for the NFL and I think he needs another year no doubt, but I bet you couldn’t tell him that. Lol.

  4. BillytheUkkid
    9:35 pm November 3, 2018 Permalink

    The moment was too big, the opponent too good. Team discipline is on the coaches. My hope is that they can build from this year and keep progressing so that next time Uk football has a moment like this they can take care of business and act like they’ve been here before. Then maybe next time we will have a different outcome.

  5. BigolBlue
    10:00 pm November 3, 2018 Permalink

    Difference in 2/3 star guys vs 4/5 star guys. Recruiting matters. Yes we have had exceptions, but overall recruiting is not good enough to compete with the cream of the crop.

    • Gocats30
      10:16 pm November 3, 2018 Permalink

      Meh. Agree somewhat but we have the athletes. Stars dont matter as much as what u do with them once they are on campus. Bigger problem is our offensive gameplan. Not gonna beat the #6 team scoring 17 points trying to run over a defense that knows we are running.

    • BigolBlue
      10:25 pm November 3, 2018 Permalink

      Meh. Wonder why the same teams are good every year. Look at the top team recruiting rankings.

    • Gocats30
      11:41 pm November 3, 2018 Permalink

      Of course. Only meant we have the athletes to be able to compete with the right management on offense.

    • kjd
      12:00 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Georgia was clearly the better football. Period. We were outplayed in about every facet of the game.

    • Gocats30
      12:20 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Yup rough day for the defense. Doesnt help our two middle linebackers are clubbed up making it harder to get off of blocks.

    • shelby
      9:35 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      U need elite talent to compete with elite talent.

    • JASUN74
      3:39 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Every one is right but I would give anything to play them again this year. No clubs on our linebackers this time. Lol. This was the perfect year with them having the most high end recruits but us having our experience in a few important positions. Man we should have won that game. I honestly do think we are the better team even though a lot of our players didn’t show it. Georgia is looking like a powerhouse on paper , and Kirby knows how to develop so that a bad combination. Lol. I love Ky win or lose but winning sure on the hell feels good.

  6. CombatMedic_98
    10:07 pm November 3, 2018 Permalink

    Well that’s a fact. Need the TOP dogs to beat the big dogs

  7. jaws2
    10:40 pm November 3, 2018 Permalink

    Gran gives us NO chance to complete with any better than average team. He could screw up Alabama’s offense.

    • JASUN74
      3:58 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      I hate, hate, hate being negativity about our team, but I’ll agree he sure hasn’t had a lot of success. Lol. That kinda made me laugh texting that. It really is hard after a Saturday game and about 80% of us feeling better than usual with some help from a good adult beverage. We talk hate and are mean and I know it’s not life and death but we really do love our cats. With how awesome our defense has been it really is ashame that the offense hasn’t matched. We have suffered long enough and we deserve a championship caliber football team as much as anyone else in the country. Maybe more with the heart ache and impossible losses we have had for a long long time. Maybe we’re on our way, I personally am excited as I’ve ever been. But we Ky fans sure know success to with basketball and thats why a lot of you have to calm us down about being disappointed in anything less than great. I’ll be happy with whatever we do as long as we play every game and give everything we got but I won’t truly be satisfied until we’re playing that last Football game of the season with the whole country watching and us having a parade in Lexington Ky. Woo hoo. Beat Tennessee’s color of them ugly ass uniforms. Haha

  8. dcforuk
    11:09 pm November 3, 2018 Permalink

    Benny is saying what a competitor says and is saying what a person of responsibility says. He is a great competitor. He owns his stuff and is looking at the team mistakes in the same way. Mistakes will happen in every game. Mistakes against lesser competition are often not that noticeable nor impactful. Mistakes against Championship-caliber teams can become very noticeable and very negatively impactful.

    • CombatMedic_98
      12:04 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Man they’ve been making these mistakes the last 5 games are your smoking crack in DC…where u been the last 5 weeks! We’ve scored less points in 5 weeks than most teams score in one game…mistakes is GONE…outright piss poor play calling is preventable…their hands are tied though with this type of QB though!

    • kjd
      12:33 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Benny didn’t mention his mistake by not calling for the snap for an easy five yds when Georgia d-lineman was taking his time getting off the field.

  9. dUKesUKs
    8:31 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

    I agree with you jaws2!!!! That dude sUKs!!! If our Cats truly want to continue their upswing then Coach Stoops needs to hire a winner at OC!!! Gran is not the dude who will take us to the next level. Just the humble opinion of a 53 year old who is a lifelong Kentucky fan. But, what do I know?!

  10. And what really hurt also on the targeting call is that Jones already had the guy stopped, and I think it would have been fourth down.

    • JASUN74
      4:11 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Yes. He knew exactly what he was doing. I love his game and when he plays hard it’s hard to get a yard anywhere close to him. For some reason he was done and should of just ask out of the game instead of hurting the team. I mean Jones’s had him on a knee almost. It was his choice to target and it was one that will be shown for years to teach what not to do. I sure was disappointed in him for the first time in his career. Bad day maybe. We all have had one or two.

  11. shelby
    9:37 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

    A lot of ppl like to trash gran; but at least 3 times wilson had the opportunity to pull the ball from benny and run for a mile around the end: that’s not on gran, that’s on terry. I will say this, if stephen johnson were our starter, we win last night.

    • Ez21
      11:27 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      The part about pulling the ball was true but Johnson would’ve had about the same result. People like to act like he was a great player when in reality all he had was heart. They don’t remember that he couldn’t throw it well either. Only way we would’ve won that game is w Brady and then I still doubt it bc of Grans conservativeness. U can’t beat good teams playing scared and he wouldn’t unleash Wilson and let him throw it til it was too late.

    • RAGE
      1:36 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Lol that’s funny!!!! Wouldn’t have mattered