Kentucky’s abysmal offensive performance at Missouri had Eddie Gran fired up after Tuesday’s practice.
“It starts with me, as always. We’ve been here before. We’ve had this conversation and you wanna have a perfect game every game. I wasn’t very good. I didn’t have them ready to go,” he said.
“The responsibility lies on my head as always when it comes down to it. Our guys are going to play better. They know. What we did, we came in, we got our mistakes corrected and today we had a lot of juice, a lot of energy and I was really excited about how they came out and approached this practice.”
The offensive coordinator’s explanation for the egg laid in CoMo reflected the sentiment shared by Mark Stoops on Monday. The team just didn’t have enough “juice” to go out there and compete at a high level.
“It’s about getting guys ready to play. This is an NFL schedule. This is what it is. It’s ten games. You’ve gotta buckle your chinstrap. You gotta grind as a coach. You gotta frickin’ make the adjustments quick. You have to have a mindset. We had a mindset a week ago in that second half (at Tennessee). It was really close in the first half and we started to see something.
“We just didn’t have the juice and the big men lead the way. It starts up there. It was everybody, okay? It’s not just one thing, but I can promise you as I talk to the o-line, they know and they want it on their shoulders, they do. They want it. We’ve gotta be better there. We’ve gotta be better at a lot of places but we get better there, we’re going to be just fine. I’m excited about the challenge and so are they.”
After mentioning the offensive line, Gran was quick to point out that Kentucky’s passing game could not do the basics. The Wildcats completed just 4-of-13 passes, accounting for 47 of the 145 total offensive yards. It is SEC football and it is a NFL-like schedule, but you can’t turn pitch and catch into rocket science.
“When you don’t get ahead of the chains, when you throw a ball and get an incompletion, you throw another ball and get an incompletion — we started the game off with three passes, one bad read, you fall behind (the chains) and that’s not our cup of tea. For it to be and if we have to, we’ve got to throw and catch and protect better.”
He added, “If you can’t throw and catch and you don’t have our meat and potatoes, it’s not good. It’ll be a long day.”
The offensive line did not open holes on early downs. The quarterback and pass-catchers could not connect. It was an all systems failure. This week the Wildcats cannot afford to get better, especially on early downs, or it’ll be another ugly Saturday in the BBN.
“We’re not making first downs. We’ve gotta start faster and we’ve gotta be better all around, everybody in the unit, coaching, everything.”