1. Terry Wilson No Baffling Decisions
Notice I didn’t say “no turnovers”. When you are the guy who touches the ball each and every play, I can accept a turnover here and there. What we absolutely can have none of again is fumbling the ball with nobody touching you, throwing the ball away on a 2-point conversion, sliding short of the 1st down marker by a yard, and not recognizing offside. I think most are willing to shake those off as rust but my leash stops at Game 1. Terry showed flashes of being really effective but those baffling plays really mounted up against Auburn. Do that against Ole Miss and you can easily get upset.
2. Better Tackling
Different Kentucky teams over the last 30 years have had different flaws. Some couldn’t throw, some couldn’t protect the QB, some couldn’t stop the run, some couldn’t stop the pass. But one thing that always seems to be the case is we don’t tackle. I think that has actually improved during the Stoops era but against Auburn it was a glaring problem. Missed tackles in the 1st half were brutal. Again, willing to shake it off as Week 1 rust but that can’t happen on Saturday.
3. Better Adjustment to Game Situation
When the game is going Kentucky’s way, Eddie Gran is a boss. Early play calling and plays when ahead are sharp. When the game flips though and UK trails or has lost momentum, I always come off feeling like there was no plan to adjust. It seems sometimes that Kentucky has one way to win and when that isn’t working the game is lost. Once UK started falling behind against Auburn, a game plan of massive bubble screens seemed odd. On defense, adjustments seemed a little limited too although not sure Williams was going to be stopped with anything beyond a triple team. It would just be nice to see adversity faced with adjustments, especially on the offensive end.
4. A 2nd Wide Out Playmaker
Maybe it’s Akeem Hayes but I’d like to see a little more. Josh Ali seems to be a guy who will be there all season long. And I didn’t see anybody even close to resembling a dominant force out there so it will be a group effort for sure. But who will be that 2nd guy. When’s the last time UK actually had a good 1-2 punch at wideout? Randall Cobb-Chris Matthews?
5. A Win
It’s Kentucky football. We really shouldn’t have many “MUST WINS” in our history. But I truly think this season might be a bust already with a loss Saturday. All of the hype given out by this team and eaten up by us was not on full display against Auburn. We are certainly a fine enough club. Good players on both sides of the ball. But there was just that something missing. A spark. A difference maker. Something that is hard to point out. But also Auburn is good. Ole Miss is not really. They rode a 1st game momentum against Florida and still lost by 2 touchdowns at home. That isn’t the case in Lexington. UK should win this game by 10+ points. But I really don’t care about that. They just have to win. It is a MUST WIN.