Whether you agree with his play calling during the Auburn vs. Kentucky game or not, you have to kind of hand it to Kentucky Offensive Coordinator Shannon Dawson – he has big well… you know.
Not only did he have the grit to take the heat from the failed running play call late in the fourth quarter when Kentucky, who was down 30-27 to Auburn and needed an obvious field goal, he had the confidence to try something different to begin with. He trusted his team could shake up Auburn with a different play that went against conventional wisdom. It failed, obviously, but it shows a guy who isn’t afraid to make the call in the first place.
Dawson told the media after the game that he would always take credit for the bad calls, proving that Dawson doesn’t shy away or make excuses. However, while the grumblings of frustrated UK Football fans still try and find someone to blame (two weeks ago it was Patrick Towles, then Boom Williams, now it’s Dawson’s turn) columnist John Clay points out in his column for The Herald Leader this weekend the what-if-scenario of Dawson’s play call succeeding.
“There is such a thing as the element of surprise,” Clay writes. “The stats suggested Auburn was vulnerable against the run… If the play works, if Williams pop into the secondary, he likely puts kicker Austin MacGinnis in position for the game-tying field goal.”
Clay calls for UK fans to give the guy a break, and notes that Dawson is still learning how to be an effective offensive coordinator who makes the play calls. We have been patient with Coach Mark Stoops, who essentially, is still learning the ropes in his first job as head coach – so why not Dawson?
Clay makes a good point that the small success UK football is gaining is really just the beginning. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will a top-notch football program at Kentucky. He essentially asks UK fans to take a big gulp of water with a chill pill.
“One day in the future, that play call – or a similar one – is going to work and we’ll have something else, something better to talk about,” Clay writes.