Kentucky’s offense has not been great in 2020. When the Wildcats struggle to move the ball, fair or not, the first person fans fault is offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.
The chorus from the disgruntled crowd was especially loud after Saturday’s loss at Alabama where the Wildcats scored only three points on three early first half scoring opportunities in Crimson Tide territory. After leaving points off the scoreboard, Kentucky’s offense never came close again, moving the sticks for only one first down in the second half.
After the game running back A.J. Rose was asked what they could have done differently to score in the red zone.
“We could’ve called some better plays,” Rose said. “He called what he thought was needed and we had to go out there and execute it, and we failed at that.”
There’s no ill-will between Rose and his position coach. In fact, Gran agrees.
“A.J. was reiterating what I said (in the locker room),” UK’s offensive coordinator said Tuesday night. “I went to every position group after the game and said, ‘I gotta be better. I’m gonna do better. I’m gonna be a better play-caller. You guys keep continuing to grind.'”
Gran might be his own worst critic, and that’s saying something. Insistent he does not read what’s said about him online, the chatter still finds a way back to him.
“First of all, I don’t read anything. I know it must be bad because I get texts from some friends from all over the country. But at the end of the day I just keep chopping wood. I trust in God. I trust he’s got a great plan and that’s where all my strength comes from. It’s hard. I battle,” he said.
“I’m gonna do my best for the University of Kentucky each and every day. Our job is to go out there and get better this week. That’s what we’re going to try to do. The kids have been awesome. Our players have been phenomenal. I try to keep a great attitude and that’s all you can do. This is a tough, tough business. If you’ve got the faint of heart, you’re not going to last. It’s part of the job, part of the position that I have. People make decisions. I’m going to do what I’ve gotta do to make this football team better each and every week.”
This week’s task will not be easy. Todd Grantham’s blitz-heavy defense Florida defense ranks first in the SEC in tackles for loss and sacks, but there is an opportunity to move the ball down the field on the Gators, who rank ninth and seventh in total defense and rush defense in the SEC, respectively. Even if the Wildcats find ways to punch it into the end zone this Saturday time after time, drive after drive, there will always be Eddie Gran critics in the BBN.