Bill Connelly’s S&P+ Analytics System had Missouri pinned as the most improved offense nationally in 2016, with a jump from No. 127 to No. 42 according to the rankings system. They increased their scoring by 17 points in just one season of change under Barry Odom. Kentucky joined in on the fun as well, running wild behind Benny and Boom in the last half of the season.
The Tigers weren’t the only SEC team to improve exponentially on offense. Kentucky was the fourth-most improved offense in the country, going from 104th in S&P+ in 2015 to 53rd in 2016.
The Wildcats re-tooled their offense after struggles early in the season. They became more of a run-centric team with running backs Stanley “Boom” Williams and Benny Snell Jr.
That changed helped Kentucky average 34.7 points per game over its final 7 games, including a 41-38 upset of Louisville in the regular-season finale. Overall, the Wildcats increased their scoring output from 24.7 points per game in 2015 to 30.0 points per game in 2016. They averaged 6.26 yards per play last season after getting 5.47 yards per play in 2015.
Kentucky’s similar rise in offensive rankings was no surprise with the improved performances of the offensive line and the backfield play. The losses of Badet, Boom and Toth will hurt, but the majority of the offense will be returning next season. Even after a huge increase in offensive stats this past season, more improvement is to be expected with a veteran Stephen Johnson running the show for next year.