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Bulldogs bully Wildcats to win the SEC East

It was a beautiful day in the Bluegrass State with the table set for an historic day for the Kentucky football program. Optimism was the high, the Cat Walk was incredible, and CBS was in town for the matchup between two top 1o teams. On paper, it looked like the Wildcats could go blow-for-blow against Kirby Smart’s ballclub. The game wasn’t played on paper.

In their best performance of the season, Georgia was the more physical team at the point of attack and their ability to run the ball down Kentucky’s throat was the difference in the game. The UGA offensive line did whatever they wanted on Saturday afternoon. On the flip side, the UGA front seven totally eliminated the UK ground attack. In the end, Georgia got explosive plays and Kentucky did not.

Kentucky entered the contest as the less talented team on Saturday and that showed with the Bulldogs bringing forth their best effort to clinch consecutive division titles. There’s still a lot to play for but this one could sting for quite awhile.

Offense

Kentucky collected 310 yards (84 rushing, 226 passing) on 64 plays. The Cats put up just 4.8 yards per play and for the fifth time in seven SEC games were held below five yards per play. That’s not going to get the job done. For the second week in a row, the ground game was a major disappointment.

If you take out the performance against Vanderbilt, Kentucky has averaged under 2.7 yards per carry in their last three SEC games. In those contests, Benny Snell has only rushed for a combined 2oo yards and the Wildcats are getting nothing from anyone else. The quarterback run game has been totally eliminated and one of the most powerful ground attacks in September has suddenly been locked up by every good defense they’ve seen. Even with another disappointing performance, Kentucky was still able to move the football.

After putting up 8.6 yards per attempt and completing 71% of this throws in the road win over Mizzou, Terry Wilson followed it up with another strong performance. Against one of the best pass defenses in the country, the sophomore put up 7.8 yards per attempt and completed 79% of his throws on Saturday. Those were both season highs allowed by the Bulldogs this season. Kentucky’s quarterback has made huge strides in the last two weeks and it’s possible that the passing game could become this team’s strength in the last three games of the season.

At receiver, Lynn Bowden had another excellent game recording 52 yards on a team-high six receptions. Out of nowhere, Isaiah Epps stepped up and make two huge catches on the outside. A.J. Rose proved to be a very reliable pass catcher when Kentucky got into their two minute offense. 

After receiving some playing time in the fourth quarter last week, Ahmad Wagner received some more snaps against Georgia on Saturday. He has yet to record a reception but has already drawn three defensive pass interference calls. He is an obvious mismatch for outside corners and should be a bigger part of the offense moving forward.

Kentucky is still having issues with finishing drives with points. In the first quarter, Kentucky is inside the Georgia 40 and a nice gain on first down ends in a C.J. Conrad fumble. 

On the very next possession after UK recovers a fumble, a false start on left guard Luke Fortner turns a third and medium in the red zone into a third and long. Kentucky has to settle for three. Add in personal foul calls on your two starting guards Logan Stenberg and Bunchy Stallings that give UGA excellent field position. There are errors that are costing the team and ruining positive steps forward for the offense.

Kentucky still has a lot to work on but they’ve made some real positives steps on this side of the football since the ugly victory over Vanderbilt. The UK passing game has come alive and they did some really impressive things against one of the best passing defenses in the country. The ground game needs to figure some stuff out but this unit is positioned to finish the season very strong.

Defense

After not allowing a first down in the victory over Mizzou, the Kentucky defense pick a bad day to have their worst performance of the season. Georgia rolled up a season high 331 rushing yards on their way to 34 points and 6.3 yards per play. Before yesterday, no one had rushed for more than 164 yards against this defense.

The Wildcats were able come away with two turnovers on fumble recoveries due to bad shotgun snaps but other than that they found it very difficult to get off the field. The Bulldogs were 58% on third down and scored on all five of their red zone possessions. Georgia only punted once all afternoon. Jake Fromm was not asked to do much from the pocket with the running backs and offensive line controlling this football game.

Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift combined to go for 271 yards on 34 carries. Both averaged over six yards per touch and really got whatever they wanted against Kentucky’s defense. Swift was especially dangerous. 

He killed Kentucky with draw runs on passing downs and then exploded for a 83-yard touchdown run in the middle of the third quarter to make it a four-possession game. The sophomore had been dealing with injury issues all season and then finally started to look healthy against LSU and Florida. Now with fresh legs, the former five-star back will be a big weapon for a Georgia team looking to win another SEC title.

Missed tackles were an issue for Kentucky and the Wildcats struggled to get off blocks. One of Georgia’s best and most used plays all game happened to be a cutback run where the back outrun the backside corner to the sidelines. The Wildcats struggled to defend it and UGA usually went to it whenever they found themselves in a bind.

Outside of the two fumble recoveries, Josh Allen was very quiet. Darius West was ejected early in the third quarter for targeting. Mike Edwards led the team in tackles but also missed a few. Kentucky’s stars on this side of the football didn’t have their greatest days and at the end of the day just couldn’t stop the run. If you can’t do that it’s going to be a long day when playing this Georgia offense.

Special Teams

Let’s start with the good. Chance Poore drilled his second field goal of the season and was perfect on extra points. Grant McKinniss had a touchback rate of 50% and the kick coverage team limited returns.

Now to the bad.

Georgia’s first score of the day was nearly given to them after a nice drive by the Kentucky offense. Max Duffy’s first punt landed inside the 15 but the punt team out ran the kick and one of the best returners in the country made them pay.

Mecole Hardman is a speed demon who is an absolute nightmare to deal with when he gets to play in space. The junior set the Bulldogs right outside of the red zone on their first possession and immediately put Kentucky into a hole. This cannot happen.

In their two SEC losses, Kentucky’s punt team gave up huge returns that resulted in immediate red zone possessions for the opposing offense. Kentucky is blowing field position opportunities and is putting their defense in very bad spots. This cannot happen moving forward.

Outlook

There is no way to get around it and everyone who is involved or a supporter of this program should be ticked off. Kentucky was 60 minutes away from winning a division title for the first time in program history and they really didn’t even give themselves a chance to win the game on Saturday.

The Wildcats could not fall behind early. They did. The Wildcats had to establish the run. They didn’t. They Wildcats had to slow down the UGA rushing attack. They didn’t. The Wildcats had to consistently finish drives. They didn’t.

Everything Kentucky needed to do to win that game they fell short in and that turned a top 10 matchup into a a blowout. But it is also time to recognize just the juggernaut they were going up against.

Georgia has beaten every SEC East team by at least 14 points over the last two seasons and in every game but one the Bulldogs have put up 34 or more points. Take out the games against Mizzou and no one has scored more than 17 against them. In just three short years, Kirby Smart has built a powerhouse in Athens who now absolutely obliterates divisional foes. Maybe we should’ve seen a double-digit loss coming.

This one will sting for awhile, but it is important to remember that this team can still do some really special things this season. Kentucky will be a favorite in their final three games and recording double-digit wins would be a remarkable achievement for this program. The Wildcats could get Joshua Paschal back any week now and Terry Wilson has made large strides in the last two games. Kentucky will be facing average at best defenses the rest of the way paired with offenses that don’t scare anyone. The motto for this season has been “Get Up” and now is the perfect for this team to remain together and finish the season strong.

On to Tennessee.

Article written by Adam Luckett

Twitter: @AdamLuckettKSR

29 Comments for Bulldogs bully Wildcats to win the SEC East



  1. gokatswin
    6:07 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    If the Cats would play that end of game, last 4 minutes, offense the whole game. We could smash some teams. Benny would probably gain 200 yards because it would open up the run game.



    • JASUN74
      8:55 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      They would if the other team would play a, give you anything but a touchdown prevent !! Lol. Im with u though.



    • mashburnfan1
      9:02 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      You do know that UGA was in prevent and giving us short stuff, plays into our hands as that is all Gran will call.



  2. 4everUKblue
    6:16 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    How many stories are you guys going to write about the loss to Georgia? I think KSR has beat that dead horse enough!



    • BigolBlue
      8:25 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Ahh poor baby just cant take anymore negativity. He thinks uk won. Atleast won the moral victory. Sensitive much? You truly are ksr obsessed. Get a lady already or a hobby.



    • henderblue
      9:05 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      77-16…I loved that BigolBluedumbass. Didn’t you??



    • mashburnfan1
      9:16 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Only story I want to see is Eddie Gran fired as OC. This offense has so much potential but Gran refuses to give them proper opportunities. 3rd and 6 lets run, 3rd and 12 lets throw an 8 yard routwe {now in his defense an 8 yard throw down field is a bomb pass for him}. I’m just done with him and hope Stoops sees it as well.



    • 4everUKblue
      9:20 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      You butt hurt Bigoldumbass? Or you tired from sucking slater?



    • 4everUKblue
      9:28 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      You truly are a bigoldumbass. Maybe when you drop out of high school you can get a job and move our of your mom’s basement.



  3. Chacosrule
    6:19 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    This is old news. Your article is a day late.



  4. hoboat33
    6:34 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    What world are you living in?
    ” On paper, it looked like the Wildcats could go blow-for-blow against Kirby Smart’s ballclub” Really? What paper are you reading. Try starting with the rosters and go from there.
    “There is no way to get around it and everyone who is involved or a supporter of this program should be ticked off.” That’s right, a game no one thought we’d win before the season started we ended up losing. Boy, am I pissed. In case you didn’t notice, UK is having a great season. Losing to the #3 team in the country is not going to raise my blood pressure.
    “Kentucky was 60 minutes away from winning a division title” And what gets me is that Kentucky was only 840 minutes from a National Championship in September.
    “This one will sting for awhile”. Yes for about 5 minutes.
    Sheesh



    • JASUN74
      8:11 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      I agree with everything you said. The SPECIAL season is over and we made a hell of a run, we can still have a great season and win out, and work hard to beat their ass next year. A SPECIAL SEASON is a SEC Championship if we want to be taken seriously as a great program we have to think big and believe it. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE TO ACHIEVE!!! It’s coming and I’m going with them every step. To me it’s so much more special that we literally started from the bottom!!! Go cats



  5. davis2319
    6:38 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    Yeah let’s move on from Georgia. We got whooped straight up. No more post. There weren’t multiple posts when we lost to Wisconsin in the final four, this should be no different.



  6. cats fan 858
    8:07 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    Face it basketball has started they lost their chance to keep the casual fan they just didn’t loose they where embarrassed I can almost guarantee they will drop at least 1 more game an definitely loose the bowl game mark stoops was on track to be fired but lucked into snell being a good back we where a horrible air raid offense then switched to a run only team now he has run snell into the ground after Benny is gone we will return to utter mediocre an stoops will be fired within 3 years



    • ClutchCargo
      8:35 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Terrible fans like this one are the ones that make me feel better when we get knocked out of the tournament, because I know their day has been ruined.



    • JASUN74
      8:51 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      WOW!! KY Football is going to be the greatest story in American sports history and this basketball only fan can’t get behind us??? I love Ky Basketball also but come on brother we have to support this Ky family and come together. It will certainly be harder if they’re many like you thinking like that. I know your upset with the game yesterday and it was disappointing for us, but our kids have started something here and they are getting better by the day. They believe and I believe and from now on I want you to try to stay positive and don’t give up without giving us a few years. I hate to admit this but all week I was honestly knowing we had a chance and just knew we would win., when we lost I actually couldn’t stop myself. I was mad, I cried a little, and felt sorry for the ones who played harder than maybe other but GEORGIA has been a big time program for a long long time. If you really think about all the differences between our two programs we shouldn’t even be doing anything close.!! In my opinion were the third best team in the SEC as of today. Not program but today 2018 team. That is unbelievable if you think about that. I think we’re the NEW COOL TEAM that coming for the crown and I’m telling you we’re going to do it. I had a heart attack and triple bypass in August and I just knew I was dying and was mad as hell that I wasn’t going to see it happen, but man I’m back. Getting better everyday and almost back to work and I’m amazed at how hard these young men are doing. Kinda think of them as your sons or nephews or something, cause if they’re fighting this hard for us then they are family. I know you want us to be great and you’re a little pissed off like a bunch of us but it’s already started and they ain’t no stopping this BIG BLUE TRAIN FULL OF CATS!!! Damn I’ve sit here and pumped myself up and ready to run through a wall. Anyway, I’ve read a bunch of stuff here and know your a fan and speak your mind and you should. Sometimes people can’t take people being honest can they? Lol. Anyway we’re close man but a few changes will maybe happen hear and there and we may find the next Tom Brady, new guys always come. But you get ready because the Ky Wildcats will be the 2020 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!! Go cat. Also I hope we beat Duke by thirty.



    • mashburnfan1
      9:09 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Terrible fans are the ones that money grabbed yesterday and sold their tix. Also fans not buying early as all of 210 and 211 looked to be red. Sure an alumni group or something bought them early since they are usually empty every game. And all the other red one the lower level UGA side was sad. Wish UK could pull their season tix from them, and UK fans are to blame for not having this place sold out early. All you band wagon losers go ahead and leave now, sure the cat walk will be easy to get to late and walk up front in 2 weeks. To us 35,000 or so that support this team EVERY week, thank you true BBN members. To all of you that showed up after the success to try to act like a true fan, GET LOST. Please lets have 50-60 thousand true fans every week.



    • JASUN74
      9:17 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Clutch, I’ve never thought of it that way but , yeah anything we could do to keep It from hurting ourself so bad. Lol. Aren’t we just the greatest fans in the history of fans. Hell i remember in the high chair so dad and my uncles could drink some ICE COLD BEER as he would call it and watch the games. Lol. Mom would try to get him to pop and say now Jackie that is pop. Lol. He be feeling pretty good and say “ not when I’m watching the cats , its ICE COLD BEER”. And die a laughing like he had won something. Lol. So funny that I remember that like it was yesterday. I couldn’t have been three years and 43 now.



    • cats646
      10:53 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      HELL YEA JASUN!!!!!!! Preach that truth!! Man you’ve got ME ready to run through a wall now. We are still a great team. 3rd in the SEC?! 6 years and 1 day ago we had 15 people in the stands to watch us get destroyed 40-0 to VANDY!!!!!!! Look at what we’ve done in just 6 YEARS!!!! I’m so proud of this team! I wish I could thank each and every one of them. Now let’s go and BEAT TENNESSEE at there place!!!! When’s the last time we even thought that was a possibility???? All of you “fans” saying this seasons over can stfu!! Cause iiiiIIIIITS FOOTBALL TIME, IN THE BLUEGRASS!!!!!!!!!!!
      GO BIG BLUE!!
      Beat them vols boys!!



    • CATandMONKEY
      12:25 am November 5, 2018 Permalink

      858 now in contention to win “Dumbest post of the year.”



  7. dcforuk
    8:42 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    Would 10-2 be a special season? If not “special” then how would you describe it? What adjective would you use? What about a 9-3 season? What is the overall goal? To win as many games as possible? I work with some Negative Nancys who sometimes want to dictate the outcome as well as the process of getting there (e.g. what the process looks like). I know my posts bother a lot of you but I could care less. I really do think there is minimal to no willingness to acknowledge the tremendous progress (vs perfection) of this season. I hope the players don’t read our bantering. I honestly think they could care less because they are very comfortable in their belief in each other, coaches and players alike.



    • mashburnfan1
      9:11 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      9-3 is still a special season, most predicted us at 7-5 at best. If we focus and beat UT next week 10-2 is likely and is a special season. New years in Florida or Dec 29 in Atlanta are probable. Already ordered my tix for those games if we get one of them. Team could be much better if Gran was not the OC.



    • JASUN74
      9:44 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      I’m 100% with you buddy and your right to. I think this year has been absolutely amazing and being the year I saw thought they could win 9 games but on a few of the posts asking for guesses I would always say eight. I think special is coming next year or 20/20 but if this year holds and keeps going like we know they can, I’m my opinion this years team has become a team that exceeded everyone’s expectations except maybe the team and coaches. I got mad as hell when they would try to call us stupid or dumb for thinking we were going to be this good, and try to say they would win 5 or 6 at the most. Remember those morons. Lol. I’m just joking but only a little bit. Haha. Anyway dcforuk. I almost always agree with what you say and very much enjoy your post, can’t remember disagreeing with anything really. But man I’m so excited and have been putting myself out there a little bit lately with bold predictions and I don’t think you’re going to be able to keep us down any longer. We are a powerhouse waiting to break lose if you ask me once the big thing it is that clicks for them to start really knowing they are great. It’s right here and so close to exploding. It could be that one super star recruit or some one already here that hasn’t jumped but I’m truly excited. I know I sound like a cliche big time but I believe. Love your positivity and I have it to. Even if we lose a game or two this year and / or next year I think 2020 is going to be something different.



  8. dcforuk
    9:21 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    This will sound a little corny but I used to videotape my golf swing pre-marriage days during amateur aspirations. My flaws really stuck out because the only time I saw a video of golf swings was on the PGA Tour which were close to perfect at least at impact. I think our players work ethic and dedication and heart match some of the top five schools but our talent is a little short. Some flaws stick out more than others but there have not been a ton of calls that I have had problems with (did not like A&M call or QB sneak at Mizzou. I think most people have problems with just the general conservative nature of the calls and I think stoops is driving that and I really like stoops so puts me between a rock and a hard place.



    • JASUN74
      10:10 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Yes. I really think Kirby is a good to great developer of players, so what sucks and makes it hard for everyone else is the head start with his players already being so much better to begin with as soon as they get on campus. In comparison I honestly think Coach Stoops is a great to one of the best in the game developing defensive players and a good to great with the rest. He gets more out of a kid than almost anyone I’ve seen in a long time. I swear this is the perfect day and age for us having him here and the guys we’ve had so far that’s done almost miracles. Lol. Anyway with this success and social media I just have a feeling that there is going to be a change and huge upgrade with some of the big time recruits and with every aspect of the program. If we can get a few 15 – 20 ranked classes it’s over. Lol. Really once the kids start feeling this around the country and it’s happening now and knowing how much better going to KY will make them. Also once we Become a top five team we will keep it. Becoming a Championship Contender from now on.



  9. dcforuk
    10:56 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    I hope you are right. We are losing a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball especially DBs.



  10. Middy
    12:35 am November 5, 2018 Permalink

    People with your attitude are just the worst.



  11. Cmart0907
    6:05 am November 5, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t think any one of us expected to win this game. It’s how we played and how we loss that makes the loss much worse. A lot of small critical errors. We play zone defense and a guy blows for 83 yards untouched. That’s insane. Our QB is inexperienced, our WR core is. And the one with the most experience (Baker) can’t catch a ball. This offense was doomed from the beginning. Especially with Benny struggling. These coaches know Terry will struggle. So they just load the box and stuff us for minimal gain. But Eddie isn’t helping at all. I don’t think i ever seen on play action call. Just to keep the defense honest. Zone read , straight up the middle , 4 yard pass to the short side of the field and no blockers in front. Wash , Rinse , Repeat. Lynn can do more than catch a ball. UTILIZE WHAT YOU HAVE!!!!