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Breaking down the numbers of a mind-boggling loss for Kentucky football

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Statistically, I don’t even know if Kentucky football’s 42-41 loss is possible. It couldn’t be, right?

On offense, the Wildcats absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage, gashing the Ole Miss defense for a whopping 559 total yards, including 408 on the ground.

Individually, three different Kentucky players rushed for over 115 yards, with Chris Rodriguez leading the way with 133 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, followed by Terry Wilson with 129 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries, and AJ Rose with 117 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Kavosiey Smoke was the lone rotation back to miss that 100-yard mark, and he missed the entire second half with a rib injury. He still added nearly 30 yards on 5.8 yards per carry.

Six touchdowns and 408 yards on the ground as a team. Six. 408.

Wilson even had a solid day through the air, passing for 151 yards on 14-18 overall, good for a quarterback rating of 148.2. Three of his incompletions were drops by redshirt freshman DeMarcus Harris, with one being a true misfire. Take out his incompletions to Harris, and Wilson was 14-14 on the day.

Looking at team numbers, the Wildcats finished with a full 100 yards more than the Rebels – 559 to 459 – the second consecutive week they’ve finished with more yards than the opposition. Finished with the same number of first downs (26), better efficiency on third down (55% to 50%), more yards per play (7.6 to 6.9), and dominated the time of possession (36:05 to 23:55).

So where did things go wrong? Defense and kicking. As impressive as the offensive numbers are, they’re equally poor on the other side of the football and on the kicking front.

Through the air, Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral managed 320 total yards and four touchdowns on 24-29 passing, good for a QB rating of 221.

Wide receiver Elijah Moore caught ten balls for 92 yards and a touchdown, followed by 128 yards and two scores on eight catches for Jonathan Mingo and 83 yards and a touchdown on three catches for Kenny Yeboah.

Mind you, this comes just a week after Kentucky gave up 233 yards and three touchdowns through the air to Bo Nix and the Auburn Tigers.

The common theme? A putrid UK secondary with serious questions to answer moving forward.

Taking a closer look, Ole Miss gained 8.8 yards per play in the second half and overtime against the UK defense, scoring touchdowns on four of six drives. The only time the Wildcats got off the field without giving up points after halftime came on the overturned touchdown at the goal line that led to a fourth-down stop and Ole Miss’ final drive of regulation.

As for the kicking, UK missed one field goal and one PAT on the day, adding to the frustrations that began in 2018.

In his time at Kentucky, Austin MacGinnis missed only 13 kicks, finishing with a 79.7% conversion rates on kicks. Since his departure, here is the year-by-year breakdown of UK’s kicking numbers:

  • 2018 stats: 43-43 PATs, 9/15 field goals
  • 2019: 42-46 PATs, 9/13 FGs
  • 2020: 7/8 PATs, 0/1 FGs

Offensively, the Wildcats performed very well. Very little to complain about when you put up 41 points, manage 559 yards of total offense, and dominate the time of possession.

Defensively and on special teams, though, woof. Concerns are very, very real on those front, specifically for the former.

Hey, at least UK doesn’t have Mike Leach and the Mississippi State Bulldogs, who put up 632 total yards against a top-ten LSU team to open the season, coming to town next week, right?


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

14 Comments for Breaking down the numbers of a mind-boggling loss for Kentucky football

  1. dhard
    8:49 pm October 3, 2020 Permalink

    And our d coordinator changed nothing. Rush 3, drop 8, play soft zone and hope the offense screws up instead of sending people and manning up on receivers and causing havoc. Our coaches coach not to lose.

  2. jukeydpt12
    8:49 pm October 3, 2020 Permalink

    Terry has no football IQ and there is no way your QB can be that way. He takes a sack on 4 th down and throws it away on a 2 pt conversion last week. If we lose next week let’s play the young QB’s that will be here next year. Time to move on if we are 0-3

    • Jack Pilgrim
      8:52 pm October 3, 2020 Permalink

      Blaming Terry Wilson for a loss when the defense gave up 42 points is laughable.

    • jukeydpt12
      9:15 pm October 3, 2020 Permalink

      Never said it was terry fault Jackie boy. I am just saying if we go 0-3 move with the young guy. Show me in my post where I blamed him. But do correct me if I am wrong about terry’s Football IQ.

    • jukeydpt12
      9:43 pm October 3, 2020 Permalink

      Thought so

    • Jack Pilgrim
      9:52 pm October 3, 2020 Permalink

      You singled out an offensive player’s mistakes in a game dominated by defensive errors. Wilson went 14-15 on the day without drops, rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns. Going out of your way to single him out without addressing anyone or anything else is – as I previously stated – laughable.

    • Blue Bill
      10:05 pm October 3, 2020 Permalink

      What a moron. Put up over 40 points and one or two incompletions/no turnovers. I’m frustrated with the loss but this ones not on TT.

    • UKFanSC
      2:34 pm October 4, 2020 Permalink

      We had a lot of problems yesterday, but Terry Wilson was not one of them

  3. danielscott52
    8:55 pm October 3, 2020 Permalink

    This is why our fan base sucks . Stoops would be smart to take a job somewhere else .

    • Jester
      9:58 pm October 3, 2020 Permalink

      Name one school that would take him right now, and pay him what he’s getting paid here.

  4. kjd
    8:58 pm October 3, 2020 Permalink

    Lost another game we should have won. 2 for 2.
    Kelvin Joseph is not very good right now, may be all season.
    Terry throws (lobs) to open receivers allows the D to close on the receiver preventing yards after the catch. TW is not a good, consistent passer, cannot knock off good SEC teams.

  5. Ryan Lemonds Toupee
    9:30 pm October 3, 2020 Permalink

    Pass defense was terrible. Hype train that was Bossman has left the building

  6. RogerW
    1:25 am October 4, 2020 Permalink

    Jack Pulgrim, your thoughts on anything related to football are more laughable that the most stupid post by a fan. Your remarks last year remove you from ever being considered a decent source.

  7. RogerW
    1:27 am October 4, 2020 Permalink

    JACK PILGRAM. you are laughable. Stop insulting fans. Oh, I forgot follow your laughable leaders commands.