Some of you may understand the saying, “slop the hogs”. This rural phrase refers to feeding domesticated boars. Hey; I love pork chops, bacon, and ham sandwiches as much as anyone but in this case I’m referencing the Kentucky football offensive game plan. Stay with me on this:
Sustained Long Offensive Possessions
Time of Possession (ToP)
— ToP in UK’s four wins: New Mexico State 34:12, South Carolina 32:40, Vanderbilt 32:44, and Mississippi State 32:53.
— ToP in UK’s three losses: Southern Miss 19:28, Florida 22:34, and Alabama 30:12.
— The Cat’s offensive identity lies within its power running game. A byproduct of such philosophy is exceeding opponent’s time of possession. For Kentucky to win in Columbia, Missouri its final ToP must exceed 34 minutes.
— Missouri leads the SEC by averaging 505 total yards per game.
— The Tigers run 80 offensive plays and 34.9 points per game.
— Mizzou opponent time of possession average: 35:59.
The most efficient manner to counter a high flying and scoring offense is to keep it on the sidelines. How can Eddie Gran accomplish this?
Completion percentage over 60%
— Stephen Johnson is completing 56.1% of his passes. He will need to add to this number in order to lead his team to a win over Missouri. This especially applies to passes thrown on 3rd down. 3rd down completions extend offensive drives.
— Johnson has missed sure completions or passes with a high likelihood of completion. This calamity can be attributed to mechanical flaws during delivery and can/must be improved.
— Missouri allows 220 passing yards per game. Opponents completion percentage: 53%.
Rush for over 275 yards
— In four wins Kentucky rushed for: New Mexico State 381 yards, South Carolina 216, Vanderbilt 258, and Mississippi State 262. Average: 279.2 yards per game.
— In three losses: Southern Miss 96, Florida 94, and Alabama 72. Average: 87.3 yards per game.
No offensive turnovers
— Stephen Johnson has 7 fumbles in 5 games. Boom Williams and Stephen Johnson’s fumbles that led to scoops and scores flipped momentum in favor of opponents.
— A clean turnover game leads to an increase in time of possession.
— Turnovers in four wins: New Mexico State 4, South Carolina 1, Vanderbilt 2, Mississippi State 2. Average: 2.25 per game.
— Turnovers in three losses: Southern Miss 3, Florida 4, Alabama 2. Average: 3.
Two, 100 yard rushers
— Benny Snell is averaging 67 yards per game; Boom Williams 91.3.
— Mizzou surrendered over 300 rush yards to Middle Tennessee State last Saturday. RB I’Tavius Mathers: 28 carries, 215 yards, 3 TD’s.
— The Tigers will be without the services of its leading tackler, defensive captain and middle linebacker Michael Sherer. Also, starting DT Terry Beckner Jr will not play due to a knee injury.
Convert 52% or higher on 3rd down
— Missouri opponents are converting 42% on 3rd down.
— Kentucky is converting 35% on 3rd down.
— Requires an increase of 17% of its 3rd down conversions. Of all the categories that will increase the S.L.O.P. factor, increasing 3rd down conversion percentage will be UK’s biggest challenge.
— Conversion percentage in four wins: New Mexico State 50%, South Carolina 30%, Vanderbilt 26%, Mississippi State 40%. Average: 36.5%.
— Conversion percentage in three losses: Southern Miss 33%, Florida 33%, Alabama 35%. Average: 33.6%
No pre-snap penalties
— False starts, illegal procedure, and formation penalties are drive killers.
Defensive Winning Factors
Courtney Love finishes the game with 8 or more total tackles.
— Missouri offense’s extraordinarily widened splits will put pressure on inside linebackers Courtney Love and Jordan Jones to succeed in one-on-one situations.
— Jones has totaled 67 total tackles (9.5 per game); 47 solo. Courtney Love has accumulated 39 total tackles (5.8 per game); 17 solo.
Limit Missouri to less than 200 rush yards.
— Tigers averaging 200 rush yards per game; 285 passing. It hurts opposing defenses with a dangerous 1-2 RB punch much like Kentucky.
— RB Damarea Crockett: 83 carries, 546 yards, 7 TD’s, 78 ypg.
— RB Ish Witter 102 carries, 469 yards, 3 TD’s, 65.7 ypg.
— OC Josh Heupel will spread out the Wildcat defense with formations and run straight at the interior of the line-of-scrimmage.
— Can’t miss open field tackles as there will be a plethora of opportunities.
— Limit pass catcher’s yards after catch.
Lessen Mizzou’s 3rd down conversion percentage from 41% to 35.
— How can a defense lessen an opponent’s 3rd down conversion percentage? Limit 1st down yards.
— This may read crazy, but for UK to win it has to force the game into the hands of the SEC’s 2nd leading passer QB Drew Lock.
Lots of moving parts. Remember S.L.O.P., 3rd down, and Love.