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RECAP: Kentucky loses to Georgia 14-3 as offensive woes continue

Photo via SEC

Photo via SEC

As expected, Kentucky lost to No. 5 Georgia this afternoon, moving to 2-4 on the season. Despite a heavy dose of Chris Rodriguez and the defense holding the Bulldogs to only 14 points, the offense once again gave us plenty to gripe about. Thank goodness for a bye week.

Let’s start with the things that were okay and progress to the things that weren’t.

It was great to see Chris Oats in attendance

I’m getting this one out of the way early because it brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. Chris Oats, who was primed to be a star this season but suffered a serious medical emergency early this summer, was in attendance today and featured on the video boards in the first half. Josh Paschal wore the No. 22 in his honor, while Drake Jackson wore the No. 65 to honor offensive line coach John Schlarman, who missed his second straight game as he continues to battle stage four cancer. As frustrating as today was, both of these things are great reminders of the adversity this team has faced and that there are more important things in life than football.

Photo by UK Athletics

Perspective aside, let’s talk about the football.

Chris Rodriguez got the ball more

The common cry in the Big Blue Nation coming into this game was, “Get Chris Rodriguez the ball.” Against Missouri, Rodriguez only had nine carries for 48 yards. Today, he doubled that, carrying the ball 20 times for 108 yards against the nation’s No. 4 rush defense. That is good, and if he has to share the starting running back position on the next depth chart with AJ Rose, Eddie Gran’s glasses must be perpetually fogged up.

Joey Gatewood was…okay? 

No one should have come into this game expecting Joey Gatewood to light it up. Not only was it his first start against one of the nation’s best defenses — Kentucky’s receivers have yet to inspire any confidence in the passing game this season. In his first start, Gatewood finished 15-25 for 91 yards passing and 23 yards rushing on 16 attempts. He was sacked four times, and fumbled it once, halting a promising Kentucky drive early in the second half.

The coaches claim that Gatewood has a stronger arm than Terry Wilson, but he never really got to show it. Kentucky threw it 25 times but only had two completions for ten or more yards — an 11-yard catch from Allen Dailey and a 10-yard catch by Keaton Upshaw — and three passing first downs. For the fourth time this season, Kentucky finished with less than 300 yards of total offense; not surprisingly, the Cats have lost each of those games.

Today proved that quarterback isn’t Kentucky’s problem on offense; it runs deeper than that.

Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The defense made the necessary adjustments; the offense did not

Early on, it looked like this Kentucky-Georgia game was going to follow the script of so many others. The Cats couldn’t stop the Bulldogs’ rushing attack, Georgia marching down the field easily for a touchdown on its first possession; however, as the game went on, the defense stood tall and created opportunities on which the offense just couldn’t capitalize.

For instance, after Matt Ruffolo kicked a 34-yard field goal to give Kentucky its only points of the day, Georgia marched right back down the field and into the red zone. Big Phi Hoskins picked off Stetson Bennett to prevent the touchdown and give the Cats a shot at scoring before half.

…that didn’t happen. Kentucky went three-and-out on offense, leaving Georgia with enough time to take it back down the field and move into scoring position again. This time, Jamin Davis played hero, blocking a 53-yard field goal attempt to leave it 7-3 at half.

In the second half, the defense continued to do its part, outside of allowing a 22-yard touchdown run by Zamir White on Georgia’s first possession. Bossman Fat even came through with a pick, intercepting Bennett to give the offense another shot to narrow the gap.

…that didn’t happen. The offense was able to get the ball to midfield, but that was it. Kentucky forced a punt on Georgia’s next possession, giving the offense the ball with nine minutes left.

This is where it really gets frustrating.

Why so slow at the end?

If you just happened to turn on the game in the fourth quarter to see that Kentucky had the ball with nine minutes left down 10 to the No. 5 team in the country, you’d feel somewhat optimistic, right? With a decent offense and clock management, that’s plenty of time to make something happen. That’s why the next drive was so frustrating. Even though they needed to score, get a stop, and score again, the Cats took their sweet time, inching down the field via short runs and dink-and-dunk passes. In the span of almost five minutes, Kentucky moved a whopping 33 yards before punting it back to Georgia. From there, it was pretty much over — although those last four minutes certainly seemed to stretch to eternity.

Expecting the offense to completely turn itself around in one week is a tall task, especially against an elite defense; however, is it too much to ask for some sort of creativity, or at least a sense of urgency when the game is still in reach? For as much praise as Eddie Gran got last year for switching the offense to work around Lynn Bowden, this season makes it clear how important Lynn Bowden was to that equation. We’re halfway through the season and Kentucky still doesn’t seem to have an identity on offense. Making Chris Rodriguez the starting running back is a good start, but the rest needs a lot of work.

Again, thank goodness for the bye week.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

42 Comments for RECAP: Kentucky loses to Georgia 14-3 as offensive woes continue

  1. CatfaninCinci
    4:37 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    It is abundantly clear to anyone not a Wilson-Homer that Gatewood has a stronger arm.

  2. blueballs80
    4:37 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    Drink lots of bourbon BBN. Mark Stoops old school offense will not win us games. Same stuff we will see next season.

  3. goteam94
    4:41 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    Fire Eddie Gran

  4. runningunnin.454
    4:45 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    Ha ha, the SECN crew said it every way they could, without actually saying it; we have the worst game coach in the country. Once upon a time, I too believed it was Eddie Gran; but, now I think he doesn’t have a free hand.
    It’s a shame; our players give it their all, play their hearts out, but they don’t get the chance to even try to win.
    BC TRIED to beat Clemson; Michigan State TRIED to beat Michigan, and did. We don’t try to beat anyone; we go for moral victories; so, how do we feel about that victory?

    • mashman 93
      5:16 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

      We played careful!!!!! Not fun to watch and I would rather lose by 40 knowing we tried every way in the world to win the game. GO CATS!!!!

    • Miller45
      6:17 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

      100 percent. This is exactly what we were talking about 3 years ago when anyone criticizing Gran/the offense in general was told by some of these clowns to quit complaining because we won 10 games

  5. UKFanSC
    4:47 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    Our offense is becoming more offensive by the week.

    • wyatts1
      8:45 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

      So many arm chair coaches in the comment section lol. I have no idea why coach stoops don’t read the comments and implement what is being said here….
      Oh wait, nvm, HES THE COACH, and has forgotten more football then most here has ever played on madden. Right now we’re lacking in some key offensive positions. Coach stoops has tried recruiting better talent then what he ended up with but hes still trying. Look at the development under coach stoops and his assistants on the defense even though we lost a lottery puck de in the draft last year. Were top 5 (if not 3) national in defense. One of the best offensive lines in the country, and plethora or able bodied running backs thats been developed into savages. Eddie gran has did his best but the talent needed for the passing game just isn’t there this year folks. Just like past years the top recruits wanna go to the alabamas and Ohio states for the same reason top elite basketball recruits wanna come to UK instead of 99% of the other colleges. I feel like we’re 2 or 3 elite recruits from being a program that could actually compete with the top tier of the sec teams. We just need some luck on the recruiting aspect of things offensively and maybe a new offensive coordinator.
      Then we’re in the hunt my friends.#gobigblue !!

    • WKY Cat
      7:54 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

      Wyatts1 So if it’s all talent based answer this for me. Rodriguez carries us down the field. We get within the 10 yard line and he never touches the ball again. It’s not all about talent. It’s a lot about coaching.

    • Bluenblood
      8:58 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

      I think we’ve definitely lost that cool we recently had from recruits. We look more like comedy than cool. What great receiver or QB wants to go to a program that cant pass it??? Feel sorry for the kids and fans cause it hard to watch us. Thats what we signed up for!!!! Stoops elevated the program yes but he’s bumping up on his ceiling IMO. If I’m wrong the SHOW US MORE THAN THIS!!!!

    • TBW3011
      9:12 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

      You sure he doesn’t read it? Only took him 3-5 weeks longer than the comments section to know who the go to RB is.

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      5:19 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

      Wyatts is right about one thing…..Stoops has forgotten a $h!+ load of football. Maybe one day he’ll remember and we’ll go back to trying to win.

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      5:21 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

      Oh and wyatts Gran was a good offensive coordinator at Cincy and Brown at TTU, Stoops made both look like they had no clue what they’re doing.

  6. ClutchCargo
    4:58 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    Well, we beat the spread. Congratulations, I guess?

  7. Knowbody
    5:05 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    Somebody who has the game tape go back and check the segment that I think followed shortly after Gatewood fumbled. The broadcast showed Gatewood on the sideline standing near an open equipment storage cabinet. On one of the shelves in plain view just to Gatewood’s left was a bottle of Jim Beam.

    • Hi Im Reality
      6:30 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

      It’s hand sanitizer. It says James B. Beam Institute and has UK logo. Under that it says topical solution and hand sanitizer.

    • BlueWildcat_99
      1:25 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

      It’s an ethyl alcohol liquid hand sanitizer. Many distilleries began selling this due to the huge increase in demand because of Covid.

  8. Lip Man 1
    5:10 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    It’s UK football, it is what it is.

    Occasionally they’ll pull off an upset and beat an Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Florida but by and large those teams are simply out of Kentucky’s league, once you accept that games like today are easier to take.

    And if we are being brutally honest they only reason UK gets to six or seven wins a year is basically because they have Vandy on the slate every year along with two or three easy wins over teams from the Group of Five or the FCS.

    Just go with the flow until (virus permitting) basketball starts, then you can really start to go into deep evaluations.

  9. KaliforniaKat
    5:13 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    Go Vote!

    • runningunnin.454
      5:22 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

      WoW, you get to vote for the coaches in Kali…cool!

    • UKFanSC
      9:38 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

      Go vote Republican !!

  10. wildcats8
    5:23 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    This is the least talented offense I’ve seen since the Raymond sanders jalen witlow team in 2012.

  11. dhard
    6:40 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    Coached not to lose and guess what, we lost. Until stoops gets out of this ground and pound crap, nothing wil change.

    • dcforuk
      11:30 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

      I believe that is the style he wants. I believe that turning around the UK Football program is NOT for the faint hearted. The leader must be tough, confident and have thick skin. This is profiling a little but generally speaking, that requires a tough-minded coach which usually is defense and running. Strengths carried to extremes can be weaknesses. Under pressure every human being resorts to their comfort zone which are strengths. Going too far that way can be a weakness. It is a tough balance and flows down to Eddie from Stoops. I like Stoops’ mentality. That mentality has helped say “screw the past” (Pardon me, “forget the past”) let’s change the culture. You cannot have that mentality and be too worried about what others think of your style. But, at some point adjustments will have to be made. It’s a tough thing. I am thankful for Stoops and what he has done with recruiting, facilities, toughness, bowl wins etc. He deserves a hat tip. I don’t trust people who don’t seek first to understand. I hope he has some trustworthy advisors who also can help understand how to help the program CONTINUE to take the next proverbial step. Hang in there Coach. Many of us are thankful for what you have done so far. If we can social distance “together” we can figure this out together!

  12. drbigblue
    10:39 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    Gatewood did as good as he could. The offensive line couldn’t protect him from Georgia’s pass rush. Plus, Grans play calling takes me back to the Joker Phillips days! ??

  13. sgd
    11:13 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    We have absolutely no speed at receiver. Gatewood and Rose are slow and don’t see the field when they run. Landon Young is too slow to pass block, constantly getting beat.

    • dcforuk
      11:20 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

      Rose is not slow but I agree that his vision is not quite as precise as Benny’s was and now C-Rod’s is.

    • kjd
      7:59 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

      AJ is slow to the hole, speed shows in the open field.

    • TBW3011
      9:16 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

      Gatewood isn’t slow. He’s 6’5 240 and an excellent athlete. Plus he can get tough yards. Terry is faster, but he doesn’t make anyone miss.

  14. dcforuk
    11:39 pm October 31, 2020 Permalink

    With Stephen Johnson, we had Jeff Badet and Juice Johnson as legit deep ball threats. We are sorely missing those options. Is it speed, route running, butterfingers, getting the ball to them or e all of the above?

  15. itsfootballtimeinthebluegrass
    1:02 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Fire Eddie Gran

  16. bramstoker
    7:43 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Quite a respectable showing against a top 5 team. If the faux coaches on thus feed had their way and we played risky then it would have been 34-3.

    • TBW3011
      9:17 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

      Yeah. I’m sure throw ONE pass on the opening drive…oh maybe on 3rd and 5 at midfield would’ve caused the wheels to fall off. Good point

  17. kjd
    7:58 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Coached to keep it close thus no urgency. Gatewood is clearly the better passer showing he could hit receivers in stride on the short stuff. TW doesn’t. Long ball? IMO, that’s on the receivers.

  18. dave1964
    8:02 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Where is our O Line that was so much talked about not to be found.

  19. Pensacola_Cat_Fan
    8:51 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Wyatt, you idiot. Stoops has been the coach for 8 years, and you’re still talking about what was left for him? Don’t you think he’s had enough time to get the right players in his system by now or does he need another 8 years?

  20. Ipeeblue
    9:44 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Our whole team are ‘Little Bitches’!!

  21. 4burgoo
    9:59 am November 1, 2020 Permalink

    Coach Stoops is a great guy and good recruiter but, from day 1 through today he is certainly not a great coach on the field or preparing to take the field. At this point there is no next step for our team. He is too set in his ways and unwilling to adapt in order to get us to the next step. I think we have a large enough sample size (8 years) to know that’s always going to be the case. Sometimes you have to move on and it’s best for all involved.

    • dcforuk
      2:54 pm November 1, 2020 Permalink

      Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it all and some you don’t want ala moving from Curry to Mumme to violations etc. Stoops ain’t perfect but but neither is Frank Martin at S.C. Basketball. Who else will you get?