Last year the Kentucky football team spent the Bye Week changing the offense into a run-first team to fit the personnel. This year the 5-1 Cats do not need to make dramatic changes, but they’re still using the week to evaluate the first half of the season.
“This is the only time during the season that you can really sit back and look at the whole season.” Mark Stoops said they self-scout to, “see what we’re doing good, what we’re doing bad. Continue to improve in the areas that we can and we’re doing well. Areas that we’re not doing well, how can we fix it?”
On the defensive side of the ball Stoops said, “There’s obviously some big plays that we got to eliminate.” Fortunately, they do not require a complete overhaul of the defense. “There’s issues that we can get fixed, let’s put it that way.”
Offensively, Kentucky must improve in short yardage situations and in the red zone. The Cats are taking care of the ball, but they aren’t finishing drives as well as Eddie Gran demands.
“Touchdowns in the red zone. We’re 90 percent right now scoring, but we’re 55 percent touchdown and we need to be at 65 to 67. That should’ve been done easy already. We have really, really messed up some things and we’ve gotta get that fixed. If we can do that, then it wouldn’t have come down to the last play (against Missouri). We could’ve put it away with a touchdown and we have to. Those are the things that are fixable.”
On third and short yardage situations, Benny Snell takes all the blame for failing to convert.
“It’s usually either me or the offensive line being on two different pages. One of us will make the error,” Snell said. “We definitely need to improve on that, but I will take full responsibility for that because no matter how it needs to be blocked, if it’s one-on-one I should be winning every time to get that yard. That’s one thing that I am going to improve on.”
After practice on Wednesday and Thursday, Stoops is giving the team three days to get off their feet, but Snell can’t stay away from the field on Saturdays.
“I’m probably going to still feel like I played a game. I’m going to work myself out more.”
The Cats are using the Bye Week to make the second half of the season even better than the first.
“We definitely know that we’re a lot better than people think,” Stephen Johnson said. “I expect us to reach our goal, which is to win the rest of our games. Obviously we’re going to take it one game at a time, but we definitely got a high ceiling for this team.
“We know that we’ve got a lot of stuff to fix — offensively, defensively, special teams — but if we fix the small things, we’ll be doing a lot better than we are now.”
See everything Johnson and Gran had to say today after the jump.