While it may be easy to pin a lot of Kentucky’s offensive woes vs. Auburn on Terry Wilson, the wide receivers deserve some of the blame as well. In his press conference today, Mark Stoops said he wants to see more from his receiving corps as the Cats head into their home opener vs. Ole Miss.
“Not good enough,” Stoops said of the pass catchers. “Overall, not good enough. There were some good plays and I feel like there’s guys there that will step up, but I don’t want to put that all on them as well because we’re about to go into a team meeting here and watch this film and everybody in the organization can get better and that group can as well. I’m not going to put it all on them, that’s for sure because they did some good things and I thought Josh [Ali] stood out and had, I want to say nine catches, which was good, and Akeem [Hayes] stepped up and had some good catches and there are some signs in there.”
Sophomore wideout Bryce Oliver was held out of Saturday’s game, but is still listed at the depth chart as the starter at the X-spot. Stoops didn’t give a reason why Oliver didn’t play vs. Auburn, but said he is “day-to-day.”
“We missed Bryce. Bryce has had a really strong fall camp and he’s a big strong guy that can go a little bit so we missed having Bryce, and he’ll be day-to-day this week.”
When asked about Terry Wilson’s pick six at the end of the first half that was negated due to a targeting penalty, Stoops said he wishes he could have that play call back to run it up the middle, but pointed out that a wide receiver missed an assignment that put a defensive back in the right place at the right time.
“That was my call and again, in hindsight I would do that differently. I felt like with the option with Terry on that play, could have the ability to run it, could have the option to throw it to the back on the flat and there was a mess up by one of our wide receivers on that play that put that other DB in that area because the back was open. The design of the play was there, the back was open, Terry was throwing it to an open receiver and there was a body there that shouldn’t have been based on a missed assignment by a wide receiver, so I felt like worst-case scenario, we get three and we felt like we were doing some very good things in that half and I wanted to go up with a lead, so I felt like three points was the worst. If we run it there and get stuffed, you have to get off the field and get your field goal unit in there with no timeouts to kick the field goal, which is doable with 26 seconds. In hindsight, that’s probably what I would have done, to be honest with you.”