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Embracing The Process: What Went Right

 

As much as it sucks to lose, especially to Louisville, no one can really say that it was unexpected. There was a reason UofL was a 2 touchdown favorite heading into the game and after the Kentucky defense kept the ‘Cats in the game throughout the 1st half, UofL’s high-powered offense made their halftime adjustments and wore down the ‘Cats D in the 2nd half. UK’s offense may have sputtered after their 675 yard performance in Week 2, but not everything about the game was bad news. Mark Stoops wants the players to improve and “embrace the process” of getting better, so let’s do the same and point out some things the boys in blue got right today. 

 

THE NEWBIES KEEP GETTING BETTER

One positive that Kentucky fans can still hang their hat on throughout what looks to be a tough season is that help is on the way, and some has already arrived. Mark Stoops’ first class has the Kentucky head ball coach has certainly lived up to its expectation as UK’s highest ranked class ever through the first 3 games, and slowly but surely the youngins are all climbing up the depth chart. Freshman RB JoJo Kemp had another explosive game on the ground, rushing only 5 times but accumulating 80 yards, including a 47-yard rush late in the game to set up a Kentucky scoring drive. Despite limited carries Kemp has been arguably the most exciting and productive RB in UK’s stable over the last 2 weeks. WR/RB Ryan Timmons also had another solid game, catching 3 balls for a team-leading 72 yards although he wasn’t as involved in the offense as much as he probably could’ve been. Freshman DE Jason Hatcher was a disruptive presence against his hometown team as Mark Stoops and D.J. Eliot rotated him in early and often at DE and also as an OLB in their big 3-4 sets, and he proved his worth coming up with some key tackles in the 1st half to stunt Louisville drives. WR Javess Blue also caught 6 balls for 58 yards, although he did have a few key drops as well and Freshman Alex Montgomery caught a TD pass in the 4th quarter for his only stats of the game. In total, the newcomers accounted for 279 of UK’s 376 total yards, good for 74% of the offensive production. 

 

THE DEFENSE IS FINDING THEIR GROOVE

Although the stats show that UofL amassed almost 500 yards today, the defense was one of the bright spots in the game for the Wildcats. In the first half, Kentucky looked the part of an SEC defense for the first time in a while, shutting the door on UofL’s running game and disrupting the pocket around Teddy Bridgewater, who looked as flustered as I have ever seen him in the first half. With the exception of the Devante Parker TD at the end of the half, Kentucky’s defensive backs played outstanding coverage on UofL’s great receiving corps. and gave the D-Line time to pressure the QB which led to some throwaways and a few near-interceptions. Za’Darius Smith continued to be a bright spot as he became the first Wildcat since Jeremy Jarmon in 2007 to record a sack in 3 consecutive games. All in all, the group as a whole was 100% better than what we saw in Nashville 2 weeks ago and seemed to execute the gameplan Coach Stoops and Eliot rolled out for them very well, even if the offense wasn’t exactly helping them out by giving them some time off the field. UK doesn’t yet have the depth at all positions to sustain that effort for 60 minutes against an elite team but based on what I saw today, I will not question the coaching staffs ability to vastly improve that side of the ball during their time in Lexington. 

 

Despite the dropped passes and turnovers throughout the game, Kentucky made some strides forward today. It’s been said before that this will not be a quick fix for the program but we as fans must “embrace the process” as much as the coaching staff and players do and continue to support to team as they try to climb out of the cellar of the SEC. Looking back on it now, you can see the improvement from Game 1 to Game 3, and that’s just about all you can ask for.

 

 

Article written by Will Totten

Born in Indiana and raised in Louisville, I am the unlikeliest UK fan.

7 Comments for Embracing The Process: What Went Right



  1. Blue Jesus
    6:18 pm September 14, 2013 Permalink

    Tennessee’s getting it handed to ’em that’s for sure.



  2. WRB
    6:40 pm September 14, 2013 Permalink

    I haven’t read any comments or posts yet because I was at a funeral. All I want to know is why all of the trolls (I know they have shown up in droves) are giving UK hell because they won. Must be because they contributed so much to the Las Vegas economy. And by the way I also know they will be shooting their big mouths off about playing for the national championship. That is a pipe dream in their little crown royal brains.



  3. HB
    6:56 pm September 14, 2013 Permalink

    Definitely seeing some improvement. The defense looked very good, especially in the 1st half. New guys look fantastic on offense – very excited to watch them this year. Stoops is really building up for the future. If we clean up some of these turnovers, we can be a decent team even this year.



  4. UKBlue
    7:13 pm September 14, 2013 Permalink

    I was at the game today. The defense was solid, they just got wore out. But, when you’re offense can’t stay on the field, that’s gonna happen. Max Smith, is a decent QB, buy our receivers are terrible. Too many dropped passes. If Whitlow could chill out a hit, he could be explosive. Just my 2 cents.



  5. Jay
    7:28 pm September 14, 2013 Permalink

    As the old saying goes, “It’s about the Johnny and Joes (and perhaps the Z’s and Buds as well)” Our X’s and O’s will be fine under our new coaching staff. No disrespect to the current players, but the talent coming into our program will change everything. Hated losing to the dirty birds, but I think things will only get better as the recruiting improves. When the offense can compliment the defense it will be fun to watch.



  6. niaps
    8:02 pm September 14, 2013 Permalink

    Wonder how many criminals Strong will get out of backwater schools to play for him next year. They lose their teddy they gonna need some playmakers to win next year. Barker will be our QB and the new UK will be on the rise.



  7. JeffK
    2:00 pm September 15, 2013 Permalink

    The Cats have already made a lot of progress on both sides of the ball.. I’m really looking forward to next years recruiting class, like Jay said, “No disrespect to the current players”. They all tried their best yesterday and that’s what matters to the BBN. UL’s recruiting class next year is terrible… <<<TERRIBLE.. REALLY TERRIBLE!!!! I'll be looking forward to watching some of the new freshmen get on the field and also pushing the upper classmen for starting roles. I'm more than happy with what I've seen so far by the cats this season. Looking forward to the future of UK FOOTBALL!!! LMAO: Vols got drilled..