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Breaking down Kentucky football’s team stats through Week 5

Jay Biggerstaff | USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Following back-to-back victories over Mississippi State and Tennessee, Kentucky football’s momentum came to a screeching halt with a 20-10 road loss at Missouri. While the defense continued to show fight, the offense failed to make the trip to Columbia, finishing with an abysmal 145 total yards, including just 47 yards through the air.

How do the Wildcats stack up with the rest of the college football world from a numbers standpoint? KSR has gathered all of the best and worst statistics in the three major categories: offense, defense and special teams.

Let’s take a look:

The Positives (Offense)

After slowly crawling up the board on several fronts following the win at Tennessee, the offense took a tumble in most statistical categories. The only improvements came on the offensive line with tackles for loss and sacks allowed.

  • Tied for No. 21 in tackles for loss allowed with 4.80 per game (Last week: Tied for No. 34 with 5.50 allowed per game)
  • No. 31 in fewest penalties with 17, including No. 36 in total penalty yards at 166 (Last week: No. 12 with 16, No. 19 in total penalty yards at 156)
  • Tied for No. 32 in the nation in 3rd down conversions with 30 on 65 total attempts, good for 46.2 percent (Last week: No. 13, 50 percent)
  • Tied for No. 34 in the nation with nine sacks allowed and 1.80 per game, tied for fifth in the SEC (Last week: Tied for No. 35 with eight sacks allowed, No. 5 in the SEC.
  • No. 34 in rushing yards per game with 184.4, good for No. 2 in the SEC (Last week: No. 17, 206.0 rushing yards per game)
  • Tied for No. 61 in time of possession, averaging 29 minutes per game (Last week: Tied for No. 16, 32 minutes per game)
  • No. 63 in completion percentage at 59.4 percent, No. 12 in the SEC (Last week: No. 25 at 63.4 percent, No. 6 in the SEC)

The Negatives (Offense)

After a horrendous showing at Missouri, the Kentucky offense is officially one of the worst in the SEC, specifically in the passing game.

  • No. 61 in the nation in total first downs with 83 overall, including 45 rushing first downs, 32 passing first downs, and six first downs from penalties (Last week: No. 54 with 75 first downs)
  • Tied for No. 64 in red zone offense with a 80.0 percent conversion rate (Last week: Tied for No. 50 with a 80.0 percent conversion rate)
  • Tied for No. 69 in scoring offense at 24.4 points per game. Only five teams have scored fewer points in the SEC (Last week: Tied for No. 48 at 28.0 points per game)
  • No. 72 in passing efficiency at 118.89 (Last week: No. 53, 123.42)
  • No. 85 in the nation with 307.8 total yards per game, No. 13 in the SEC (Last week: No. 62, 347.5 yards per contest, No. 11 in the SEC)
  • No. 96 in the nation in fumbles lost with six in five games (Last week: Tied for No. 67 with five lost in four games)
  • No. 91 in the country in passing offense with 123.4 yards per game, good for dead last in the SEC. Also No. 84 overall in yards per completion with 9.79 (Last week: No. 69 in the country with 142.5 yards per game and No. 71 overall in yards per completion with 9.66)
  • Tied for last in 4th down conversions with zero on four attempts, one of ten teams without a conversion (Last week: Tied for last with zero on four attempts)

The Positives (Defense)

They didn’t win, but the UK defense continues to be a bright spot overall, with the unit still finishing in the top 25 of five different major categories.

  • Tied for No. 1 in the nation with three defensive touchdowns (Last week: tied for No. 1 in the nation with three)
  • Tied for No. 2 in interceptions with nine, good for No. 2 in the SEC (Last week: No. 2 in the nation with nine, No. 2 in the SEC)
  • No. 8 in passing yards allowed per completion at 9.43 (Last week: No. 4 overall, 9.40 passing yards allowed per completion)
  • No. 11 in red zone defense, allowing a 65.0 percent conversion rate on 20 total attempts, with 13 scores being for touchdowns. (Last week: No. 3 in the nation, 60.0 percent allowed conversion rate)
  • Tied for No. 20 in scoring defense, giving up 20.00 points per game, good for No. 2 in the SEC (Last week: No. 15, 20.00 points allowed per game, good for No. 2 in the SEC)
  • Tied for No. 30 in turnover margin at + 3, tied for No. 3 in the SEC (Last week: Tied for No. 9 at +4, tied for No. 3 in the SEC)
  • No. 30 in total defense, allowing an average of 357.2 yards per contest, good for No. 4 in the SEC (Last week: No. 19 in the nation, allowing an average of 341.3 YPG. No. 3 in the SEC)
  • No. 31 in defensive passing efficiency at 121.95 (Last week: No. 16 at 121.09)
  • Tied for No. 35 in 3rd down defense, allowing opponents to convert on 36.6 percent of attempts (Last week: Tied for No. 18, 31.4 percent allowed)
  • No. 37 in  the nation in rushing defense, allowing 129.0 yards per game. That’s good for No. 6 in the SEC (Last week: No. 18 in the nation, allowing 106.3 yards per contest. No. 4 in the SEC)
  • No. 44 in total passing yards allowed at 228.2 per game with 1141 total, including seven touchdowns (Last week: No. 34, 235.0 passing yards allowed per game)

The Negatives (Defense)

Kentucky’s downfall on defense has become obvious at this point, as the pass rush has not been effective enough midway through the season. They also dropped significantly on 4th down defense and total first downs allowed.

  • Tied for No. 52 in the nation on 4th down defense with a 57.1 percent conversion rate (Last week: Tied for No. 21, 44.4 percent conversion rate)
  • Tied for No. 62 in the nation with 104 first downs given up to the opposition, including 58 through the air, 37 on the ground, and nine on penalties (Last week: Tied for No. 29 with 78 first downs given up)
  • Tied for No. 71 with one fumble recovered (Last week: tied for No. 60 with one fumble recovered)
  • Tied for No. 75 with 1.60 sacks per contest (Last week: Tied for No. 51 with 1.75 sacks per game)
  • Tied for No. 77 in the nation in tackles for loss at 5.2 per game in four outings (Last week: Tied for No. 59, 5.0 TFL per game)

The Positives (Special Teams)

Max Duffy remains among the best of the best in college football, but his net average still dropped ever-so-slightly to push Kentucky out of the top ten in net punting.

  • No. 11 in net punting at 44.25 yards per punt (Last week: No. 6 in the nation, 44.33 net yards per punt)
  • Tied for No. 34 in field goal conversions with 80 percent, 4/5 overall (Last week: Tied for No. 27 in the nation with three makes, 75 percent conversion rate)
  • No. 36 in kickoff returns, averaging 21.25 yards per return (Last week: No. 34, 21.25 yards per return)
  • Tied for No. 44 in punt return average at 8.00 yards per return (Last week: No. 23, 11.50 yards per return)
  • Tied for No. 46 in made extra point attempts with 14, 14/15 on the year (Last week: Tied for No. 41 with 13, 13/14 on the year)

The Negatives (Special Teams)

The list of negatives for special teams remains quite short, with both downfalls coming on return defense.

  • Tied for No. 64 in punt return defense at 8.60 yards per return (Last week: Tied for No. 36, 8.00 yards per return)
  • No. 91 in kickoff return defense, allowing 26.29 yards per return (Last week: No. 67 in the nation, allowing 26.29 yards per return)

While the entire team has its flaws, it’s time to go back to the drawing board for the Kentucky offense.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR