Can Kentucky Score?
The concept of “scoring more points than the other team” is not difficult to grasp. However, three SEC teams proved on Thursday night that it’s easier said than done. Tennessee, South Carolina and Vanderbilt averaged 12 points through regulation.
Without a defense to lean on, it will be tough to win if the Cats aren’t putting up more than 30 points a game.
How Potent is Gran’s Rushing Attack?
The interior of the offensive line is elite. The Jojo Kemp/Boom Williams duo is one of the best in the SEC, each with more than 1,300 career rushing yards. Gran coached Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams into top five draft picks.
All of it adds up to great success, but to what degree? Southern Miss has excellent safeties that should limit big plays, but you never know with Boom. UK could rush for more than 300, or possess the ball for long drives, nickel and dime in the air, only to get around 200 on the ground. Time will tell if Gran’s approach supersedes his pass-heavy predecessors.
Is Drew Barker the Answer?
The answers to the first two questions all come back to this one — can Barker get it done? If he’s accurate, the offense will be effective. If he focuses on getting the ball to playmakers, rather than playing hero ball, he should be able to end every possession with a kick.
The first Thursday showed the world how stupid all of us “experts” are when it comes to preseason prognostications. However, one statement should be true no matter what: “Kentucky will be as good as Drew Barker is.”
Was Shannon Dawson that bad?
The first-year playcaller was the scapegoat for last year’s team after too many close losses. He was an easy target, but I have a feeling his offense this year will anger many fans in the stands.
When he made the statement that he’s usually a pretty good coach when he was a good quarterback, will be put to the test tonight. He has an accurate, intelligent pocket passer who can handle the heavy burden Dawson’s system places on the quarterback.
With all that being said, he will still probably throw a fade on first and goal from the 1.
Is the Front Seven that Bad?
A.k.a. can Kentucky stop the run? There probably isn’t a bigger worry amongst fans. If they can slow down Ito Smith, it will instill confidence in the inexperienced unit. If Courtney Love comes out flat and doesn’t come close to touching expectations right away, we could be in for a long season.