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Kentucky vs. Missouri After Action Review

Missouri racked up 92 offensive plays against Kentucky on Saturday. The Wildcats produced just 36 plays that gained 145-total yards in a 20-10 loss in Columbia.  Now 2-3, the schedule takes a hard turn with the Georgia Bulldogs on deck. Let’s take a deep dive into how the Cats were handled in Columbia:

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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  • Effectively throw the football. No. Kentucky quarterbacks completed 4 of 13 passes for 47-yards and 1 touchdown. The Cat’s ineffectiveness through the air resulted in a 31% completion percentage against a defense that was allowing 307-pass yards per game. WR’s registered 3 catches for 44-yards and a score; all by Josh Ali. RB AJ Rose had the other reception for 3-yards. The Cats finished with a 3.6-yards per attempt. The entire process of the passing game was insufficient and inaccurate.
  • Rush for 200-yards.UK did not accomplish this objective after rushing for 98-yards off just 23 carries. Chris Rodrigues ran for 48-yards and averaged 5.3 yards-per-carry. He had just 9 attempts. AJ Rose recorded a chunk play of 29-yards and finished with 5 rushes for 43-yards. Kavosiey Smoke was said to be back from an injury but did not appear in the game. Kentucky averaged nearly a yard more per attempt than Missouri but had 39 fewer rushing opportunities.
  • No turnovers. No. WR Josh Ali fumbled after catching a pass late in the fourth quarter.
  • Win the Red Zone. For an AAR first, the answer is DNA or “Does Not Apply.” Kentucky was 0/0 in the Red Zone.


  • Don’t bite on flashy lures. Yes. Overall, Kentucky was not fooled by Missouri’s pre-snap, deceptive tactics. Safety Yusuf Corker played his best game of the 2020 season by leading the Cats with 18 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 1 QB sack.
  • Limit Mizzou to 120-rush yards. The Cats failed to succeed in this category by allowing 220-yards on the ground. The Tigers were precise, timely, aggravating, and impactful with its rushing attack. RB Larry Roundtree accounted for 126-yards off 37 carries and two scores. Matter of fact, Roundtree had one more carry (37) than UK had offensive plays (36). Tyler Badie accumulated 52-yards and QB Connor Bazelak had 40. Missouri flipped the script on the Cats by possessing the football for an eye-popping 43:10. It also ran 92 offensive plays, 62 came on the ground. Furthermore, 50% or 13 of its 26 first downs came in the run game. That’s the number Mark Stoops refers to when he says, “aggravating yards.”
  • Don’t get beat deep. UK accomplished this objective. Mizzou WR’s did not score a touchdown. Missouri won the game by living in the S.L.O.P. (Sustained, Long, Offensive, Possessions). By doing so, the Tigers owned Time of Possession and were 4/5 in the Red Zone.
  • Influence the quarterback. Yes, and No. Kentucky had QB sack opportunities on cornerback blitzes but failed to get Connor Bazelak on the ground. The Cats did manage to produce one QB sack, but Bazelak remained upright and extended drives on 3rd and 4th down. I was bullish on the redshirt freshman all week leading up to the game. He finished 21/30 for 201-yards. Bazelak also aggravated the Cats with10 rushes for 40-yards.


  • Kick the football out of the end zone. Yes. Chance Poore’s kickoffs were deep and effective.
  • No critical errors. Yes. Matt Ruffolo nailed a 50-yard field goal.


Kentucky’s offense ran 36 plays that resulted in 145 total yards, 10-points, and eight 1st downs. The Cats rushed for 98 and passed for 47. It controlled the clock for just 16:50 was 2/9 on 3rd down. Missouri’s offense ran 92 plays that produced 421 total yards, 20-points, and twenty-six 1st downs. The Tigers rushed for 220 and passed for 201. It controlled the clock for 43:10. Ballgame.

While I agree that the Cat’s loss was an all system’s failure, the defense gave up 20-points which was its average going into Saturday. Brad White’s unit allowed too many drive extending conversions on 3rd and 4th down (10/20 on 3rd down, 4/5 on 4th). It wasn’t helped by its offensive counterparts who had far too many three and outs, controlled too little clock, and too few 3rd down conversions (22%). Simply stated, a defense can’t be on the field for 92 plays when its offense consistently goes three and out and expect to win. Saturday’s performance was disappointing and frustrating.

What does all this really mean? The Missouri defense stifled the Cats for the better part of sixty minutes. The hard truth is that the Tiger defense is an average at best SEC unit. Up next is the Georgia Bulldogs who fields a D that is nasty, fast, physical, and is considered one of the best in the nation. Things don’t or won’t get easier.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I think the Wildcat defense played good enough to win the game. 20-points off 92 plays is somewhat impressive. It limited Missouri to 3.5-yards per carry and 6.7-yards per pass attempt. They were put in an impossible situation by the UK offense, but battled for 60 minutes. It wasn’t perfect and struggled to get off the field on 3rd and 4th down. However, it was good enough but got no help from the offense. In the new SEC that’s turned offensive, the Cats cannot afford to have another 36-play, 145-total yard performance. Missouri was perceived to be a win when the 10-game schedule was released. That didn’t happen. Wins get a whole heck of a lot more difficult in the back end of the schedule.

Now, on to the important part from Saturday. I realize that you may be frustrated after reading this post. Trust me, it wasn’t fun to write. But, offensive line coach John Schlarman did not make the trip to Columbia. Say a prayer, send positive thoughts/vibes, or however you do it for John.

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

11 Comments for Kentucky vs. Missouri After Action Review

  1. big cat
    1:15 pm October 25, 2020 Permalink

    Thanks, Freddie for the AAR….and being retired military myself, all I can say is this was indeed a total mission failure. THE commander of that football team should be reprimanded. My son is D1 athlete at an instate KY university. They have a saying there that simply says this: “This is big boy athletics. It’s time to put on the big boy pants.” From the performance we saw yesterday it appears that this UK team needs to change their diapers.

    • mashman 93
      1:34 pm October 25, 2020 Permalink

      Thank you for your service sir all veterans SHOULD have a special place in every Americans heart. I also agree with your comments regarding our football team. GO CATS!!!!

  2. Duuuuuude
    1:37 pm October 25, 2020 Permalink

    We supposedly have the best offensive line in the country. We have a stud running back named Rodriguez. We are back to having receivers who can’t catch. I have no idea why we did not just run it down their throats. Let Rodriguez wear down their defense and control the clock. That is who we are.

    • Hi Im Reality
      2:22 pm October 25, 2020 Permalink

      The only people to say we have the best O-Line in the country, are the folks right here at KSR. Don’t tell me you believe what they say. You cannot stack a college football team with 3-star recruits and expect the best of anything. Mediocrity is what you can expect and a mediocre team is what we got.

    • Pensacola_Cat_Fan
      3:57 pm October 25, 2020 Permalink

      I will be checking the scores the rest of the season and watching a recording of the games if we win. Not putting myself through another game like the one we witnessed Saturday. It’s just not worth ruining my weekends.

  3. Southky
    1:42 pm October 25, 2020 Permalink

    I myself am through wasting my time watching this abomination as long as Rose is getting snaps ahead of Rodriguez and Wilson is playing quarterback.

  4. CombatMedic_98
    2:07 pm October 25, 2020 Permalink

    Hopefully the Command Team will review these AAR’s and IMPLEMENT IMMEDIATE changes.

  5. Cat in Nashville
    2:07 pm October 25, 2020 Permalink

    Mr. Maggard. Excellent analysis and to the point as always. This Offense has been MISERABLE all year. The hype/praise/expectations for our O line and QB have been a 180 degree experience. Our Defense woke up with Miss St and I’ve been SOOO happy with them. I had thought Gatewood would be the spark we needed, and maybe that was just hoping for the best. But as much as I like Terry, he cannot be our QB1. He makes too many mistakes. Gatewood needs to have solid reps and be given a chance to learn and improve with Wilson being there for secondary efforts. Heck, put them both in. And to say the CR needs to be RB1 and not Rose is obvious to EVERYONE. That being said, I love my cats and will always support them. This has been constructive criticism.


  6. TBW3011
    3:40 pm October 25, 2020 Permalink

    3-7. 4-6 at best

  7. UKinIN
    4:29 pm October 25, 2020 Permalink

    The two Pick Six against UT were the rat poison Freddie warned about. UK was ready to replace Wilson when those two scores kept him in the game. The offense has struggle all season. The numbers against Ole Miss were an outliner for UK. My expectation is that nothing changes versus Georgia but we seem a different offense, personnel and scheme, after the bye week.

  8. blueballs80
    7:28 pm October 25, 2020 Permalink

    We are a team that is better than 47 yards passing. Eddie Gran has to take full accountability.