The time has finally arrived. In just a matter of hours, UK football will compete for a title many fans thought the program may never own. Regardless of today’s final outcome, Kentucky v. Georgia for the SEC East is a game fans will not soon forget. Do the Cats have a chance? Absolutely. Will it be easy? Absolutely not.
The SEC Network crew weighed in on the Cats’ chances when Tim Tebow, Marcus Spears and Laura Rutledge spoke to the media yesterday. They came out one-by-one and did not hear their coworkers’ answers, yet all three experts had similar advice for the Cats: stick to the game plan.
“I think Kentucky is a really good team when they follow their plan to win,” Tebow said. “I think they drop dramatically when they get outside of their comfort zone of what they do well. They run the ball, they play physical, they stop the run, and then when they get ahead, they get after the passer. That’s what Kentucky does really well.”
But, in order for that game plan to work, quarterback Terry Wilson has to bring his A-game and use his legs, according to the former-Gator quarterback.
“I think he has to find a way to have three or four dynamic plays with his legs. I would get him going early – I would have QB draws; I would have keepers; I would have something to get his confidence up,” Tebow said. “Hopefully for Kentucky fans, that’s high after the last pass he made against Missouri because you’re going to need Benny and the offensive line and the defense, but you’re also going to need a bit of a passing game and you’re going to need, at some point in the game, to take pressure off the running game.”
Getting Wilson involved from the moment the game kicks off is also a vital part of Rutledge’s game plan for the Wildcats. And, for the record, she’s #TeamTerry.
“For their offense to do well, a lot of it does rely on Terry Wilson. I believe he should be the quarterback for the entire game and stick with him,” Rutledge said. “Obviously I’m not a football coach, but I think you have to give him that chance and maybe get some stuff going early – some easy screen passes, some things to get him comfortable, to get him in a rhythm and to really make the defense think about Terry Wilson more than they do about Benny Snell.”
But, for Marcus Spears, it’s even more simple than that.
“Don’t be superman – that’s the plan. The plan is, we’re 7-1 because we play the way we play,” Spears said. “Good teams dictate the terms of the game, which Kentucky does a tremendous job at. They get people to play the type of style of football that they want to play. That should be the plan tomorrow, and it shouldn’t change from anything they’ve done. Even in the loss to Texas A&M, A&M wanted to run the scoreboard up – that’s what Jimbo Fisher wants to do. But they couldn’t do it because you realize it’s a very good defense.”
Kentucky’s success all season has been built around big-time plays by consistent guys like Benny Snell and Josh Allen. But two players can’t win the game by themselves, at least not this game. The Cats will also need another round of strong contributions by difference-makers like Lynn Bowden, Kash Daniel and Mike Edwards, not to mention a solid performance by Terry Wilson. Can the Cats pull off one of the biggest victories in Kentucky football history? Only if they stick to the blueprint.