The first 3 games of this season for Kentucky have really been quite amazing. The dismal performance against WKU left fans already wondering what might follow this season. Then a complete 180 against Miami (OH) flipped the fan emotions once again towards potential with this team. Then a Louisville game that saw flashes of real hope, but in the end showed the Cats are still a ways away to compete with a Top 25 team. Depth on the lines, dropped passes, inconsistent QB play all led to the Cats dropping the game to Louisville. But, after 3 weeks of varying results, I think we can come to 1 conclusion:
The Cats are who we thought they were going to be.
Clearly, the talent level has increased overall on the team. The young wide receivers have shown flashes of brilliance, some of the young defensive players have been spectacular. The team is giving a significantly higher level of effort. Mark Stoops and Neal Brown appear to be much better at game planning, but more importantly, at IN-GAME ADJUSTMENTS. We’ve seen the passing game expand some from last year. And the defensive line (sans WKU) has been the strong unit on the team.
But, we’ve also seen the negative side of this team. Those same talented wideouts have shown the ability to drop a few passes, often stalling drives. The running game has been solid, but not consistent. And quarterback play has been wildly inconsistent with both Smith and Whitlow showing good drives and bad drives. But that inconsistent play has led to UK rarely able to sustain long drives. On the defensive end, Kentucky has been able to stop the run at times. But injury and fatigue seem to plague the Cats as both Western and UL were able to run the ball well against UK in the 2nd half. And the defensive secondary has been barely noticeable on the field, yet to record an interception. While they haven’t been torched as many thought they would, they have been playing very conservative to avoid the big play, often leaving the shorter passes open.
But again, none of these things surprise me. Nothing has happened this season where I thought “boy, I didn’t see that coming.” But what about you? What things have surprised you, disappointed you, or been exactly what you expected through 3 games this season?