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Breaking down Kentucky football’s team stats through Week 2

Oct 3, 2020; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Terry Wilson (3) throws a pass in the first half against Mississippi at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Just two weeks into the season, it’s easy to point out Kentucky football’s biggest strengths and weaknesses, at least up to this point. While the Wildcats have quite a bit going for them on several fronts – rushing offense, passing efficiency, and punting, just to name a few – they’ve certainly had their fair share of struggles  – pass defense, pass rushing, and kicking – as well.

To match numbers to the simple eye test, KSR has gathered all of the best and worst statistics in the three major categories: offense, defense and special teams.

Some may seem obvious, while others will leave you scratching your head (or pulling your hair out).

Let’s take a look:

The Positives (Offense)

As expected, Kentucky’s rushing stats are among the best of the best, while some of Terry Wilson’s passing numbers may be a bit of a surprise.

  • No. 1 in the nation in 3rd down conversions with 18 on 30 total attempts, good for 60 percent.
  • No. 2 in the nation in time of possession, averaging 36 minutes per game on offense.
  • No, 5 overall in rushing yards per game with 276.5, good for first in the SEC by a significant margin. Tennessee is the next closest at No. 24 in the nation with 182.5 yards per game. No. 7 in yards per carry at 5.76. No. 17 in rushing touchdowns with seven.
  • No. 12 in completion percentage at 67.9 percent, good for No. 4 in the SEC.
  • No. 18 in total offense, averaging 471.5 yards per contest, good for fifth in the SEC
  • No. 20 in fewest penalties with 12 on the year, including No. 25 in total penalty yards at 121 overall.
  • Tied for No. 31 with four sacks allowed in two games for an average of 2 sacks per contest, tied for fourth in the SEC.
  • Tied for No. 34 in tackles for loss allowed with 5.50 per game (11 total).

The Negatives (Offense)

As for the bad, total fumbles and red zone efficiency are two key issues for the Kentucky offense.

  • No. 47 in team passing efficiency (128.68)
  • Tied for No. 51 in the nation in total first downs with 47 overall, including 25 rushing first downs, 20 passing first downs, and two first downs from penalties.
  • Tied for No. 51 in scoring offense at 27.0 points per game. Only six teams have scored fewer points in the SEC.
  • No. 58 in the country in passing offense with 195.0 yards per game, with only Vanderbilt throwing for fewer total yards (131.5). UK is also No. 62 overall in yards per completion with 10.26.
  • Tied for No. 58 in the nation in fumbles lost with three in two games.
  • No. 68 in red zone offense with a 62.5 percent conversion rate, with only Vanderbilt being worse (tied for last at 50 percent).
  • Tied for last in the nation on 4th down conversions with zero on two attempts. One of 11 teams without a conversion on 4th.

The Positives (Defense)

UK has been able to stop the opposition from converting on fourth down completely, while rushing defense and total defense numbers are solid.

  • Tied for No. 1 in college football with a 0.0 percent conversion rate on 4th down defense.
  • Tied for No. 19 in college football with 42 first down given up to the opposition, including 24 through the air, 11 on the ground, and seven on penalties.
  • No. 27 in the nation in rushing defense, allowing 115.0 yards per contest. That’s good for No. 9 in the SEC.
  • Total defense, Kentucky is only No. 32 in the nation, allowing an average of 391.5 yards per contest. That stands ahead Arkansas (391.5), Texas A&M (399.5), Auburn (413.0), Missouri (418.0), Vanderbilt (435.0), LSU (449.0), Florida (471.0), and Ole Miss (600.5).
  • UK is tied with Louisville in red zone defense at No. 29 in the nation, allowing an 80 percent conversion rate on ten total attempts, with all eight scores being for touchdowns.

The Negatives (Defense)

The bad is really bad for the UK defense, specifically in passing yards allowed, scoring defense, and turnover differential.

  • Tied for No. 48 in the nation in tackles for loss per game at 5.0 in two outings (ten overall).
  • Tied for No. 50 with 1.5 sacks per contest (three overall).
  • Tied for 50th with LSU in 3rd down defense, allowing opponents to convert on 45.5 percent of attempts.
  • No. 51 in total passing yards allowed with 553 total and 276.5 per game, including seven touchdowns and 13.83 yards per completion. Only 15 schools have a worse YPC mark: Clemson (13.89), Virginia (13.98), Duke (14.11), Navy (14.27), Texas A&M (14.63), Tulane (14.73), NC State (14.79), Texas Tech (14.86), UCF (14.94), South Alabama (15.26), LSU (15.66), App State (16.37), Oklahoma (17.00), Air Force (18.88), and ULM (19.87).
  • No. 61 in scoring defense, giving up 35.50 points per game. Only Missouri (36.50) and Ole Miss (46.00) have worse averages in the SEC.
  • Dead last in the country – No. 74 overall – in turnover differential at -4, tied with Georgia Tech, East Carolina and Mississippi State. One of three teams in the nation without a turnover. With zero turnovers on the year, UK is also tied for last in interceptions, fumbles recovered, and defensive touchdowns, obviously.
  • Dead last in defensive passing efficiency, and by a significant margin (195.63).

The Positives (Special Teams)

Surprise! Kentucky has the best punting unit in college football thanks to Max Duffy.

  • No. 1 in net punting at 48.86 net yards per punt (seven punts, 362 total yards)
  • Tied for No. 6 in punt return defense at 0.00 yards per return
  • No. 19 in punt return average at 11.50 yards per return
  • No. 33 in kickoff returns, averaging 21.25 yards per return

The Negatives (Special Teams)

As for the kicking situation, that’s another story.

  • Tied for No. 53 in made extra point attempts with six (6/7 on the year)
  • No. 72 in the nation in kickoff return defense, allowing 34 yards per return.
  • Tied for last in the nation with zero made field goals and 0.0 percent conversion rate

Through all the good and bad, though, the only stat that truly matters is the fact that Kentucky sits at 0-2 on the season, desperate for a victory.

Let’s fix that when Mike Leach and the Mississippi State Bulldogs head to Lexington on Saturday.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

15 Comments for Breaking down Kentucky football’s team stats through Week 2

  1. Ryan Lemonds Toupee
    7:49 pm October 5, 2020 Permalink

    How bad is Chance Poore if a Ruffalo beat him out??

  2. CombatMedic_98
    9:18 pm October 5, 2020 Permalink

    Hmmmm…So throwing TD passes into the end zone actually matters…! Wow when will we see Gatewood or Allen…this guys can’t make a passing decision to SAVE HIS LIFE…! I mean when is the coaching staff gonna wake up and understand you have to be able to throw CONSISTENTLY DOWN FIELD…He’s NOT Lynn Bowden and NOT a true QB…pitiful! Cant win Championships when you can’t THROW past 25 yards or under pressure.

    • cats646
      9:42 pm October 5, 2020 Permalink

      I know right! He was only rated the second highest qb performance in the nation this week. Ridiculous. Lol, give me a break.

    • CombatMedic_98
      10:44 am October 6, 2020 Permalink

      TW biggest FAN ALERT…yep his stats did great and we got beat by a THROWING down the field QB in case you missed the final score…annnnnd last weeks final score!

    • GoCats1012
      12:19 pm October 6, 2020 Permalink

      Why on God’s green earth would you want another QB in there after that game? They’ll have their time, this game was ALL on the defense

  3. blueblood80
    9:53 pm October 5, 2020 Permalink

    Cornerbacks and Free Safetys hyped ALL SUMMER by this site and the press. No monsoon games this year to hide their weaknesses. They seem undersized (none taller than 6 “1”). All DB’s returned. What an embarrassment! This season is lost – play Joey Gatewood since doing so this year does not cost a year of eligibility…..

    • Miller45
      10:20 pm October 5, 2020 Permalink

      Echols and Joseph have been absolutely taken to the wood shed both games. Can’t even initiate a bump and run coverage that middle schools all over the country execute, can’t come up to make a play on the ball, can’t tackle, can’t get off blocks, its nauseating to watch

    • michaelb
      11:39 pm October 5, 2020 Permalink

      Yes miller , lot of individuality in the secondary , play great then talk

  4. michaelb
    11:33 pm October 5, 2020 Permalink

    CROD should be a 3 down back & the other guys should just spell him out . That’s the best strategy with our personnel at rb . It’s still rb by committee just a more effective way. A guy like Chris needs volume to be most effective – he’s the bruiser type

  5. drbigblue
    11:36 pm October 5, 2020 Permalink

    May win 3 games, maybe none. Unless, we see Gatewood or Allen in as QB. Our run game offense works great against weaker teams. But good teams with good passing QB’s and passing offense supported by a balanced running game, we haven’t a chance…

    • GoCats1012
      12:22 pm October 6, 2020 Permalink

      Just tell me how another QB would have made a difference in this game? Won 10 2 years ago with the same recipe. Don’t say “but Benny” cause we never rushed for 400 in an SEC game that year. This game had nothing to do with the offense. Offense played a heck of a game

  6. michaelb
    11:43 pm October 5, 2020 Permalink

    They should make aj rose block for Rodriguez the whole next game for that show boat mistake

  7. CombatMedic_98
    10:49 am October 6, 2020 Permalink

    …and he doesn’t have that Natural split-second decision making like a true & naturally talented QB has, hence his wild throws and interceptions. Not everyone has that natural/fundamental intrinsic ability to read/decipher that threat before delivering the ball down field. He is a great ATHLETE any far…PERIOD. Not a QB though. That’s gonna hinder us against the run-stop teams and always has with Wilson. He just simply cannot make split-second on the fly passes and naturally wants to run that IS his strength.

    • GoCats1012
      12:26 pm October 6, 2020 Permalink

      You don’t get it. Teams can’t load up on the run with him at QB. He is an accurate passer, makes pretty good decisions and has gotten better. Should have only had 2 incompletions this week. His legs help keep the defense honest. Last week had a couple errors but this week didn’t really have those. Protected the ball, and was extremely efficient and a difference maker. What else do you want?