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Kentucky vs. Georgia After Action Review

An After Action Review, or AAR for short, is a military process used to analyze what happened, why it happened, and how it can be done better.

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Georgia beat Kentucky 14-3 in a slugfest that featured two stingy defenses. Both offenses leaned heavily on the run game. Chris Rodriguez rushed for over 100 yards against the Dawg defense that was allowing just 65 per game. UK’s lack of a downfield passing game was again its Achilles heel. Let’s take a look.

OFFENSE

Re-establish and stick to the run. Yes, and no. Kentucky’s intent was to run the football but it averaged just 3.5 yards per carry. Chris Rodriguez averaged 5.4 yards per rush and totaled 108 yards off 20 attempts. In all, UK running backs had 23 carries for 115 yards. QB Joey Gatewood rushed 16 times for 23 net yards. With very little help from the passing game, UK’s main course of action for positive yardage came on the shoulders of Christopher Rodriguez.

Win the turnover margin. Kentucky accomplished this goal after picking off two Stetson Bennett IV’s passes. Joey Gatewood lost a fumble. That’s a +1 ratio.

Exceed the season average in the passing game (124 yards). No. The Cats’ inability to vertically stretch the field is becoming more and more evident after Joey Gatewood passed for 91 yards against the Dawgs. More telling is that UK averaged 6.1 yards per completion, which is a reflection of the Wildcats’ inability to throw the football downfield. Furthermore, Kentucky averaged 3.6 yards per passing attempt and its longest completion went for 11.  There are many factors that influence this development. Georgia defensive backs were not threatened by the Wildcat pass catchers and sat on routes. UGA’s pass rush was also relentless. Kentucky is averaging 81 pass yards per game over the course of its last four games.

Move the chains. Yes, and no. UK was 7/16 on 3rd down (43.7%) but converted 66.6% on 4th. Of its fifteen first downs, eleven was a result of a running play, three through the air, and one by penalty. Kentucky did manage 64 offensive plays which is significantly more than last week’s output vs. Missouri.

DEFENSE

Stop the chains. No. UGA converted 55.5% on 3rd down and 50% on 4th. Georgia ran 57 offensive plays for 346 total yards. UK was allowing 20 points and 357 total yards per game coming into Saturday. 14 points and 346 yards vs. this Georgia team has to be considered a success.

Hands Up! Yes. Phil Hoskins deflected a Bennett IV pass and completed the play with an interception.

Eyes on numbers 10 and 1. Yes. #1 George Pickens did not play in the game. #10 Kearis Jackson had 3 receptions for 25 yards.

Hold the Dawgs to 150 rush yards. No. Georgia made it quite clear that it was going to lean on the ground game when the Dawgs scored on its first drive without attempting a pass. RB Zamir White rushed for 136 yards. UGA ran for 215 and averaged 5 yards per carry.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Don’t kick to Kenny McIntosh. Yes. McIntosh did not play in the game. Chance Poore booted both of his kickoffs into the end zone.

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?

The Kentucky defense played more than good enough to win the game. The #5 Georgia Bulldogs traveled to Kroger Field with the intent to run the football. It did so, accumulating 215 yards on the ground and averaging 5 yards per carry. Linebacker Jamin Davis continued to excel vs. his home state team. Davis finished the game with 13 tackles and a blocked field goal. Kelvin Joseph picked off another pass, giving him three on the season. That’s good enough to be tied for first in the nation. Brad White’s unit battled for sixty minutes. It bent, but did not break and is now allowing less than 20 points per game.

The Cats produced three points and 229 total yards off 64 plays. Chris Rodriguez established himself as UK’s go-to runner after a 20-carry, 108-yard performance. But, that passing game…

Joey Gatewood finished the contest 15/25 (60%) and 91 yards. The first-time starter averaged 3.6 yards per attempt and 6.1 per completion. Somehow, someway, Kentucky has to find a downfield, vertical passing game. A portion of the short throws from Gatewood were check downs due to the fact that UK’s pass catchers were not beating or separating from defenders in the vertical game. Georgia sat on Kentucky routes with little threat of getting beat deep. The Cats have an open date to find a solution to its offensive struggles through the air.

Offensive effort and want-to is there; however, the SEC is unforgiving. Opposing defenses are going to continue to load the box in order to stop the run. That’s Football 101 stuff. Questions about the UK passing game will remain through the bye week. Is it scheme, execution, or personnel? The answer to that question needs to be answered and resolved.

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

3 Comments for Kentucky vs. Georgia After Action Review



  1. blueballs80
    12:44 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    The offensive woes are from scheme and coaching. Stoops offensive is out dated. Trying to get ahead and control the clock is not that effective. It hurts when you are behind and then trying to play like an uptempo team.

    Gran still doesn’t know how to use tight ends in all his years at OC. Ole Miss gets their tight end frequently involved in the passing game.

    Frankly it’s time for a change at OC. IF Stoops sticks to his offensive philosophy, he might as well fire himself.



  2. TBW3011
    4:47 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    1. Scheme

    2. Personell

    It’s scheme by a lot and it’s the HC’s fault. This program will reach a new level once he keeps his nose out of the offense.



  3. blueballs80
    10:48 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Freddie, what are your thoughts on the play calling and Eddie Gran?