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Kentucky is not Pressing Panic Button after Second Straight Loss

After a disappointing 24-7  loss to Tennessee in Knoxville, Mark Stoops will not scrap the scheme and start from scratch.  Kentucky’s head coach is not panicking.  After all, they are still 7-3.

“I don’t think that’d be very wise,” Stoops said at his weekly press conference. “We did a lot of good things to win seven games.  We plan on trying to get the eighth and ninth.  I appreciate all the good things that they did to put us in that position.  That would be called panic mode.”

Most of the panic in the BBN revolves around Kentucky’s dismal offense.  The Cats have not scored more than 17 points in a game since September.  That’s just one of the many stats that highlights Kentucky’s poor production.

Even though the unit has struggled to score points, Stoops doesn’t think they are so far off that drastic changes must be made.  From afar, the problems appear to be complicated.  Stoops sees the problem plainly: every time the offense is prepared to finish a long drive with a score, they make a critical mistake.

In the Georgia game, a third and short near the goal line turned into third and long after a pre-snap penalty.  On the first drive against Tennessee, Benny Snell missed a hole on a second down that made it third and short, then a lineman missed a block.  One drive later, Kentucky advanced the ball all the way down to the 26 before a snap flew over Terry Wilson’s head.  One play later a receiver dropped a pass.

“Those are things that we can’t overcome. That’s where we have to put it all together and play clean,” Stoops said.

“We have to make long drives.  In our victories throughout the season, we’ve had 12-13 play drives because we’re not overly explosive, but you have to be very good and you have to be very precise and you can’t have a missed assignment here, a missed assignment there.”

The numbers reinforce that statement.  In two relatively high-scoring wins against South Carolina and Mississippi State, Kentucky produced just over 300 yards of offense.  In the five games since, UK has not surpassed 20 points, yet the offensive production is on par with MSU and SCAR.


Total Yards

Total Points

Miss. State



South Carolina



Texas A&M















At Tennessee Kentucky gained four or more yards on 17 of their 27 runs.  That’s good enough to score points if you have an explosive offense, but the Cats simply don’t have enough playmakers.

“We need to be very precise.  The complete game changers, we don’t have a lot of them on offense.  We’ve gotta make sure that we execute and we’re very efficient in what we do,” said Stoops.

Finding the right recipe for offensive success follows mistake-free football.  This team cannot play perfect.  That’s asking too much.  However, they have been good enough in previous games to play through their own shortcomings.

“You got to be good enough to overcome them when you don’t play well.  Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t.”

On Saturday, Kentucky did not have it in them to beat Tennessee.  The Cats appeared to be emotionally drained from the roller coaster season of highs and lows.  Instead of attacking the Vols with a ferocious physicality, Tennessee was the aggressor.

“We haven’t been very good when we’ve been the hunted. We’re a much better football team when we’re the hunter. We’ve gotta understand what level you’ve gotta play with all the time.”

Kentucky must flip the switch and re-inject energy back into the team for Senior Day.  If not, it might be time to take a second look at the panic button.


Article written by Nick Roush

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

37 Comments for Kentucky is not Pressing Panic Button after Second Straight Loss

  1. BleedingBlue1996
    4:14 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    Clearly, they don’t need to press the PANIC button. They actually need to press the OFFENSE button. Heck, if I know what play that UK is going to run 90% of the time, don’t you think the other team does as well??? Also, why does Gran refuse to get CJ Conrad the ball???

    • JohnnyCheeseSticks
      4:24 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

      Because Gran is stubborn, and is willing to do everything except what everyone else knows. Such a prideful, scumbag of a coordinator. It’s amazing his kids are potty trained.

  2. ibescootch
    4:17 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    I would argue that Snell, Bowden, Conrad, and even Terry are game changers. I get that we aren’t a big play offense, but if statistics tell you that more often than not, you’re not completely those small yardage plays enough to score points, then why don’t you plan on at least one chunk yardage attempt per set? I’m no expert, but I just don’t understand how one of those 4 guys can’t be targeted for a big play. Benny really isn’t a huge play guy out of the backfield, but could be good for 20 on short pass plays. And Bowden and Conrad can catch balls beyond 20, as well as Bouvier for that matter. Who knows. I just don’t know why if our margin of error is so small, we’re sticking with something that clearly isn’t consistently working.

    • JASUN74
      4:47 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink


    • mashburnfan1
      5:55 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

      I agree….we have some playmakers, we don’t give them the opportunity to make many plays. Hard to score on a 50 yard pass when our throws go on a wr screen or 2 yard out on 3rd and 7. CJ has made a couple huge catches down the field, trouble is he was only given those couple chances.

  3. jaws2
    4:19 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    I call BS on this. It’s NEVER going to sink in to that thick, stubborn skull of his that throwing the ball SIDEWAYS is NOT an explosive play!!! Neither is running Benny over and over inside the tackles, with 6 DF linemen, when EVERYONE in the stadium knows it!!!
    Until that changes the offensive results will be the same. No doubt.

    • ScoggDog
      4:33 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

      Agreed. Of course … his defenders are going to tell us that nothing needs to change, either. After all – they’re 7-3 !!! You can’t argue with 7-3, right ?

      When they drop this next one to Middle Tennessee State … I wonder if it’ll be OK to demand change then ? Of course … they’ll be 7-4. Who in their right mind wouldn’t have taken 7-4 at the beginning of the season, right ? Go away hater !!!

      Kentucky Football, man. Now I know what a heroin addict really feels like … without the regular high.

  4. Catlogic15
    4:32 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    If I coached a team that only scored 7 touchdowns over 5 games and had 1 yard the second quarter, I’d be panicking my ass off.

    • ibescootch
      4:48 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

      Totally agree. I get that we’ve had SOME success with our offense and certain plays, but at what point will they scrape away the win/loss component and look at the actual output? With no context whatsoever, if any coach looked at our offensive output, wouldn’t every coach in the country see a problem, and think we’d need to change some very core components?

    • mashburnfan1
      5:59 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

      Yep…I agree we have moved the ball some but knowing the team does not have the discipline to finish drives should tell you to attack more. Like I said a million times, the rules heavily favor the offense and we take zero advantage. 3rd and 9 so we QB draw or run it or throw a 3 yard route. Throw it past the sticks, may get a hold, may get a PI and hell maybe the players make a play and catch it. We will never know.

  5. CoachCat
    4:34 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    Yeah. Panic button should have been pressed at Missouri

    • ScoggDog
      4:41 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

      Yeah … maybe.

      Something changed after halftime against South Carolina. They went from a conservative but credible offense to a train-wreck over that halftime. I don’t know exactly what adjustment South Carolina made … but I know it looks like every team since copied it.

      And I know this … saying “The Coaching Strategy is the Correct One” … after 5 1/2 games … 22 quarters … of anemic offense … is abject stubborn lunacy.

      If Eddie Gran is the author of this … then Stoops should fire him. And if Stoops is restricting Gran that much … Eddie Gran should resign to save his own reputation.

  6. cats646
    4:39 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    No need to panic, just fix the fu%#ing problem.

  7. N-UR-i
    4:48 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    Fire Eddie Gran

  8. JASUN74
    4:58 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    Well then why should the fans of this program expect anything is going to be any different?? Thats the difference in 7-3 and 9-1 and that’s as close to a fact as can be. If you say this team can’t be perfect, then that means we need to take some chances and believe in some of our players to make some big plays. If the defense has to play two more series a game then so be it. But We may just look up and see 27-40 points on the board for the big blue. Got to score if we ever want to be a Championship caliber team and that’s exactly why I’ve spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of my life watching this team in blue. Because we have everything we need to be a great football team and when we get an exciting offensive game, those big time recruits will be begging to come to Lexington. Press that button!!

  9. Bobbum Man
    5:06 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    How about at the Georgia game when it was 3rd and 6 and we run it up the middle? Might as well be a turnover, just as bad as a “critical mistake” from the offense. Quit with the bs “it’s our fault” stuff after every loss and actually make some changes… how about ur OC admitting that the Tennessee game he expected to be able to run on them and had no kind of backup plan or alternate plays in case that didn’t work

    • JASUN74
      10:21 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

      Bobbum , man you nailed it. How in the history of hell can you not have a backup plan if your original plan isn’t working???? And you are right that EVERY SINGLE COACH IN AMERICA AND CANADA AND MEXICO. , lol , would make some kind of Change if it’s not working. No halftime adjustments ever and the third and nine deal!!!! Never seen anything like it in my life. Lol.

  10. gasman01
    5:19 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    What’s disturbing to me is the bickering among teammates. Hopefully a win Saturday will ease that situation.

  11. UKFootballYall
    5:23 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    It’s pretty clear what we have, a below average coaching staff. They are obviously confused, over their heads and don’t know what to do otherwise they would have made some changes already. Gee, isn’t it time for Stoops to get another bonus and contract extension? Ughh!.

    • CoachCat
      5:33 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

      Absolutely. Mediocre Coaching at best

    • JASUN74
      10:27 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

      I honestly think we have a great coaching staff that needs to not be scared to make a few changes and if they would’ve after the A&M game , I believe we would be 8-2 right now. One game is everything in college Football.

  12. michaelb
    5:33 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    He’s obviously covering up for the stubborn o coordinator’s power passes and predictable runs and ineffective screen passes & gutless quarterback play. Nothing he just said was the truth & not even the reality of what’s going on. Sure the penalties don’t help but the lack of 10 yard plays is what’s missing .

  13. Irish son
    5:34 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    Wow! Talk about “ coach speak!” Tell them what they want to hear coach

  14. dhard
    5:41 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    If he is not panicked, he should be. My goodness, to say the play calling is bad is a disservice to bad.

  15. Gus Chiggins
    6:06 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    Stoops has become nose blind

  16. plunk89
    6:33 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    I seem to recall that Gran’s offense at Cincy was pretty wide open. Why so conservative at UK? Could be the head coaches philosophy. I am all for taking more shots downfield, but how about a quarterback sneak on 3rd or 4th and inches after 4 or five failures to convert on very short yardage from the pistol or wildcat. We seem to be the embodiment of insanity on very short yardage plays: we keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

    • Irish son
      6:49 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

      Honestly, I think Gran is hamstrung by Stoops. Stoops wants to play plow football and win with defense and special teams. My son got his Ph.D. at U.C. and is a huge fan and season ticket holder. I used to go to games with him. And at UC Gran threw the ball all over the field. Always had 4 or 5 hundred yards total offense

    • Secret Squirrel
      7:38 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

      You have to have a quarterback to have a passing game.

    7:27 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    The panic button on offense should of been pushed a month ago

  18. BluKudzu
    7:28 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    Since they dare us to throw it by stacking the box, let’s fool them by running it up the middle.
    If this team can’t put up 400 TDs against the next two teams, you really have to question where we are heading in the future.
    Our defense is playing injured and banged up, our offense had to score 30+/game to win.
    Bottom line: if UK refuses to change the offense, heck with the panic button, better press “it’s over” button.

  19. BluKudzu
    7:29 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    Total yards not TDs.

  20. Le Docteur
    7:56 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    Yeah. Kevin Bacon’s character in Animal House didn’t push the panic button either.

  21. BigolBlue
    9:04 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    We stink. Worst offense in college

  22. jimmer
    10:23 pm November 12, 2018 Permalink

    Pu-lease. Push said panic button. I guess Charlotte has more explosive play makers than UK on offense. They scored more points against UT. Dumb logic.

  23. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    2:28 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

    Stoops just proved it’s not Gran it’s him. He doesn’t want the panic button pushed because he knows people may start paying attention to how he allows games to be called. He doesn’t allow Gran to get innovative especially in the redzone that’s why you see the point total’s you do and it all started when Gran second guessed himself at at TAM. Time to fire the recruiter(because that’s all Stoops is) and promote an interim HC. Our defense wasn’t good till House and people our correct in saying how good Gran was at UC. I wanted to blame him to but Stoops just called himself out.

  24. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    2:29 pm November 13, 2018 Permalink

    Sorry only got worse after TAM