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Gran vs. Grantham: What Three Previous Meetings tell us about Saturday’s Matchup

Grantham via SI

Familiar foes will meet once agains Saturday night at Kroger Field.

Since Eddie Gran became Kentucky’s offensive coordinator in 2016, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has been on the schedule every single season. For the first time, the college football journeyman will be on the same sideline for consecutive seasons.

“They do a good job on defense. He’s one of the best in the country,” Gran said of his counterpart. “We faced him before Mississippi State, Louisville, last year. They do a fantastic job and it’ll be a challenge for us.”

In the three previous meetings, Gran is 2-1. The two victories could be described as historic. In 2016, the 27-point underdogs upset Lamar Jackson and Louisville 41-38 at Cardinal Stadium. Last season the Cats snapped a 31-year losing streak by upsetting the Florida Gators 27-16 in The Swamp. Grantham’s sole victory over Gran was a 45-7 disaster in Starkville.

“They’ve got wrinkles every year, but they do what they do and we do what we do,” said Gran. “We have wrinkles and he has wrinkles, but at the end of the day they’ve done the same thing over the years.”

Eddie Gran vs. Todd Grantham


Total Yards

Passing Yards

Rushing Yards

3rd Down




2016 vs. Louisville








2017 vs. Miss. State








2018 vs. Florida








The numbers provide a formula on how to beat Grantham’s aggressive defense. If Kentucky can protect the quarterback and convert on third down, Florida’s defense is vulnerable to big plays. To make third downs more manageable, UK must be successful on early downs.

That’s the whole ticket to this game is first down efficiency,” Gran said after Tuesday’s practice. We have to be great on first down. If we’re second and ten, we’re in bad shape. We’ve got to recover and if we get to third and medium, then we have a chance. If we go second and ten to third and ten, that’s exactly where they wanna be. It’s when they’re the best. We can’t get in those situations. We’ve gotta minimize them. We’re going to get in some of those. It’s gonna happen. It happened last year. It happened the year before, just can’t have too many.”

That will be even more essential this Saturday. Kentucky is breaking in a new quarterback against a Florida pass rush that through two games already has 15 sacks (tops in the nation) and 26 tackles for loss (2nd in the nation). Kentucky’s offensive line has already received accolades for its ability to protect the passer, allowing just three sacks so far. John Schlarman’s unit will be put to the test Saturday night at Kroger Field. If they pass with flying colors, the Cats have a much better chance at leaving the field victorious.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

4 Comments for Gran vs. Grantham: What Three Previous Meetings tell us about Saturday’s Matchup

  1. maximumscott
    12:50 pm September 11, 2019 Permalink

    The bigger formula is establishing the run game.

  2. RackEmWillie
    1:10 pm September 11, 2019 Permalink

    I’m not saying Florida is bad on defense, but I don’t think they exactly faced the toughest O-line challenges so far. Not saying the UK is an NFL caliber line, but they’re worlds better than the previous two that Florida has faced.

    • maximumscott
      1:25 pm September 11, 2019 Permalink

      There is a reason PFF has graded our Oline the way it has. Its legit. If we had Auburn, LSU, Clemson on our chest with the same PFF recognition then the talk would be different.

  3. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    3:28 pm September 11, 2019 Permalink

    Don’t forget they only got 5 against TN Martin. Miami just had a meltdown.