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The Cats become bowl eligible… but no one is satisfied

It was a nasty win for the Kentucky football team last night but, in the words of Coach Mark Stoops, “you can’t apologize for a win.”

For the third consecutive season, the Cats are bowl eligible. Kentucky secured their sixth win in the shortest amount of time so far (6-1) thanks to stellar performance after stellar performance from the defense. UK is currently ranked No. 14, but today’s updated polls could have the Cats even higher. Plus, Ohio State and Oregon (both ranked ahead of the Cats) both lost last night. And yet, Kentucky’s players and coaching staff are far from satisfied.

We need to pick it up on the passing game,” Benny Snell said after the win. “We’ve got to be sound as an offense, too. No penalties, things like that.”

Halftime adjustments were easy-to-spot, according to the star running back.

“At halftime when we look at the game, it’s like: defense, you’re getting stops and you’re dominating on your end. Offense, you’re getting penalties or being bad at handling the ball so guys are fumbling,” Snell said. “We eliminate those things, and we’re the best football team, hands-down. It’s like we know we’re the better team, but I don’t know why we still stick with [Vanderbilt] and are playing to their level. We could be so much better; we’re going to get better.”

Lynn Bowden had a solid night for the Cats – he was the only player who caught the ball and is credited with all 18 yards of passing offense on three catches.

“I just get open and do my job,” Bowden said. “Terry [Wilson] trusts me; I trust him. We’ve got a bond, we’ve got a relationship and we get it going.”

So what will it take to get the rest of the offense on the same page?

“We just have to get back in the lab and develop a relationship throughout the whole room: quarterback, receivers, running backs and tight ends,” Bowden said following the game. “I feel like we kind of played down to, well, not our fullest extent… we can get better in certain areas that we didn’t tonight.”

And just like that, it seems Kentucky becoming bowl eligible – something that, not too long ago, used to be a season’s singular goal – doesn’t even feel like that big of a deal. There are still improvements that need to be made.

“Certainly there are things we need to do better. We always do that. Win or lose, we’re going to go back to work, look at ourselves, look at things we can do better, starting with me,” Coach Stoops said after the game. “Again, you can’t apologize for being 6-1.”

Beside making the Cats bowl eligible before the end of October, that same 6-1 record could soon earn Kentucky a place in the top-10 polls, especially if UK pulls out another W next weekend. But they’re not there yet.

“We’re a top-1o team,” Snell said with some of his famous Benny Snell confidence. “But it takes time, and you’ve got to work for it. We’re ready to work for it.”


@MaggieDavisKSR

Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)

44 Comments for The Cats become bowl eligible… but no one is satisfied



  1. G_Money
    1:23 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    Looking forward to seeing him bench Wilson when he’s playing like crap. Cal does it, Saban does it – any of the great coaches do it because it makes sense.



    • CATandMONKEY
      1:29 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      Makes sense to bench a guy that ran for 100.
      This tal sense.
      The passing game was basically non-existent but Terry needs to be on the field- somewhere.

      Hell, bring in Hoak and run a 3-way Wildcat with Snell and Wilson.
      Don’t know what is going on with the passing but Wilson has shown ability. Need consistency



    • CATandMONKEY
      1:30 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      Have no idea what that second line is. Apologies.



  2. UKFootballYall
    1:38 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    I’ll easily trade Terry’s 91 yards rushing and 18 yards passing for a QB that can pass for 200+ instead. That, along with what Benny can do on the ground, is what we will need to win these next few games.



    • BBNDan7
      1:50 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      A win is a win so what does it matter? We lose to Florida without Terry.



    • CoachCat
      2:11 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      We win at A&M with a passing QB. What’s your point Dan?



    • 4everUKblue
      3:20 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      Hook could not escape the weakest pass rush so what’s your point ccat?



    • CoachCat
      3:48 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      And how do you know that?



    • mashburnfan1
      10:00 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      CoachCat…we win at A&M if Gran gives the ball to Benny 30 times instead of 13



  3. Papaw
    1:44 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    Gunnar needs to be on the field. A big chunk of Wilsons yardage resulted in a fumble and led to Vandys only touchdown.



  4. Papaw
    1:45 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    Snell needs a passing game or teams will just continue to put 8 or 9 in the box every down



  5. playmorezeppelin
    1:48 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    You can apologize for having a flat offense.



  6. TreyTingle
    1:49 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    All the people that keep defending Wilson because of his legs. Could you imagine what Snell could if there is only 7 guys in the box. Gran has ruined any chance Benny had as being a Heisman contender.



    • CoachCat
      2:09 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      Wilson has handcuffed the play calls by not being able to throw the ball



    • 4everUKblue
      3:22 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      How do you know the play calls are because of TW’s passing and not Gran’s incompetence?



    • CoachCat
      3:48 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      Easily. Because HE CANT THROW THE FOOTBALL DOWN FIELD



    • mashburnfan1
      10:06 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      CoachCat….how do we know, Gran still thinks he is in Conf USA with all this 1 yard routes, backward passes and wr screens. He seldom calls for down field passes. And the Oline can’t seem to pass block.



    • devildog587pi
      9:41 am October 22, 2018 Permalink

      that is gospel



  7. BigolBlue
    2:05 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    All the rules in place for offense to thrive especially passing game and our passing game reels off 18 yards. Terry is actually regressing as the year goes on. I think its more “what we could do” with a defense like this and the best RB to ever play for UK. All will be squandered with the worst throwing QB I can remember along with poor play calling.



    • UKinIN
      2:27 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      Wilson does seem to be getting worse.



  8. whatwasthat
    2:21 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    How anyone can defend the play of terry turnover is beyond belief, yes we are 6-1, and that is one the back of one of UK’s best defenses in decades and on one Benny Snell. RPO is a joke you don’t need a running QB when you have Snell. With the joke of a QB we have it’s more like RO. Dude can’t run, see tamu game, dude cost UK a chance to win that game with his pathetic play. Stats don’t lie, he may be worse than Newton and that’s saying a lot.



  9. KYjellyRoll
    2:21 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    He rushed for over 150 yards, not a whole lot more he could do for his heisman case



  10. UKinIN
    2:26 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    UK did not play like a Top 10 team last night. Harp on the passing game if you want but UK could have played much cleaner and won by more than a TD. It was a bad look and totally expected from a Stoops’ team coming out of a bye week.



  11. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    2:33 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    From a risk management perspective why Gunnar’s not in is simply because his best comparison at this point is good ole Maxwell Smith who while he left something to be desired down field looked great in the short game. What was his big flaw, well he couldn’t escape pressure and the second he felt it after that point a breeze made his throws hurried and inaccurate. The one play in the first half at CMU that he felt pressure he threw what should have been a pick six(got lucky). Then in the second half the d came after him and all his throws were either low or high so Wilson got put back in. The SEC d’s bring heat without blitzing and our oline is hit and miss in pass pro which leaves a lot of guys to pick off that errant pass. This is why I say if you’re going to call for Wilson to be pulled saying Hoak makes no sense. If the turnovers are even possible of being close to equal or when it comes to yardage the few passes he does hit won’t negate what Terry rushes for when you subtract the sack yards from it you have a problem. And the lack of 3rd down conversations because Benny doesn’t have his typical short yardage which makes it tough or if they pass then guys have time to bust through and on a 3rd and long it usually results in a vey bad play and Wilson gets to stay in if only because he has experience and technically hasn’t cost them a game(coaches took the blame on TA&M). You do have Clark though which I still wonder what is the hold up because he is supposed to be a true hybrid in the fact he has pro style qualities with dual threat escapabilty.



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      2:44 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      And I said technically hasn’t cost them a game. I’m not defending Terry , I’m just pointing out that there’s issues with both qbs and this blatant Hoak hype bus is missing a few engine parts. At this time the coaches have probably watched Allen destroy poor Hoak and seen his jitters haven’t gotten any better so Wilson is in simply because his a known quantity. To put it in perspective I want to see better qb play and would prefer a passer over a runner but at this time I understand why we don’t. What I don’t understand is why we don’t use the guy who’s both simply because of his lack of play experience.



    • philbo
      3:12 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      A balanced and adult analysis. You don’t see that much anymore.
      Well done.



    • mashburnfan1
      10:12 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      Agree with ya, Hoak is not the answer. I think Clark will be a very good QB for UK in due time.



  12. whatwasthat
    2:42 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    It was the defense that gave UK the chance against tamu and Gran and terry turnover promptly shit the bed. Against Vandy it was again the defense and Snell who saved the fans from a total embarrassment. Make no apologies, I’m a Hoak guy, but pick one Hoak or Clark and give one the first team snaps and move terry turnover somewhere because he certainly is not a QB much less a SEC QB.



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      2:45 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      And I said technically hasn’t cost them a game. I’m not defending Terry , I’m just pointing out that there’s issues with both qbs and this blatant Hoak hype bus is missing a few engine parts. At this time the coaches have probably watched Allen destroy poor Hoak and seen his jitters haven’t gotten any better so Wilson is in simply because his a known quantity. To put it in perspective I want to see better qb play and would prefer a passer over a runner but at this time I understand why we don’t. What I don’t understand is why we don’t use the guy who’s both simply because of his lack of play experience.



  13. DelrayCat
    2:44 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    The coaches sticking with Wilson has a lot to do with the fact that the backups are simply not very good either.



  14. DelrayCat
    2:48 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    This offense reminds me of the 2011 season when wide receiver Matt Roark played QB against Tennessee to end that streak.



  15. whatwasthat
    3:20 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    Seriously you are saying that one pass that Hoak threw should have been picked off, well if we are going to use that analogy how many throws of TT should have been picked off, You can’t compare Hoak playing with second and third string personnel to the stats one TT has with the starters. Go back and look at the film every big completion TT has had is not because of a great throw, it’s because of great adjustments and catches by the receivers, whether it was Bowden, Baker or Conrad. Hell TT hit the defender in the back and Conrad went over top and caught the ball. Hoak as a 17 year old freshman showed more pocket presence and scrambling abilities than TT, but wait is it because Hoak is white, don’t tell me that’s the reason. I’ve been to every spring game and Hoak has outplayed everyone except for last one, where Clark looked the best, was that because of personnel, maybe. But I know one thing stats don’t lie TT is not a QB much less a SEC QB. How much worse can the passing game be with either Hoak or Clark?



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      4:05 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      Um he was in with the first stringers, only threw completions to one guy and you completely ignored his second half play(go back and watch the drive)… and those awsome spring games the last few years were against 3rd string defenses that couldn’t stop the backups at some non power 5 and fcs schools from scoring enough points to keep me from having a heart attack. And this years d even looked sloppy in the first half of the game. I’m white by the way, have been an advocate for Clark who’s white, gave an unbiased analysis of the situation that didn’t clap hands for either guy, and, simply tried to defend the coaches(who are also white). But that comment about color does make me wonder if you aren’t projecting. Defend it all you want but it’s out there now.



    • whatwasthat
      5:05 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      Man you need to go to espn and look at the stats, TT adj QBR against a terrible pass defense in Vandy was 13, 13 dude. I’m not sure what you mean by it’s out there, guess like all socialists you’re implying I’m a racist, whatever that’s on you. KSR built the hype for Terry Turnover, as if they know squat about football. Time to move on Hoak or Clark doesn’t matter ANYONE of those two is a better QB than TT.



    • whatwasthat
      5:23 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      Man you said Clark is white, don’t know if he is or not, but this TT couldn’t carry Stevie Smith’s jock, now that kid was a warrior even beat up, bad knee, bum throwing shoulder was a better passer than the bum we have and a much better runner and better QB overall. Saban made the change in the championship game. Black, white doesn’t matter but TT is a bum at QB, but KSR worshippers defending TT is hilarious while at same time ragging on Hoak is just sad.



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      6:30 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      You brought up race so it is on you. Never called Wilson better actually read the whole statement actually said that it was a no win situation. And now that you’ve called me a socialists (I’m an un-hypnotized conservative) proves that I’m just talking to some nut bag.



  16. 4everUKblue
    3:24 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    It’s sad that our bandwagon fans are never happy. Unhappy when we win and unhappy when we lose, as Booby said earlier. Just pathetic.



  17. Cmart0907
    3:26 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    Supposedly had the worst run defense and mustard out 14 points. Wow.



  18. CoachCat
    3:52 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    Bandwagon fans lol. I’ve got UK Football shirts older than you



  19. JPGott2
    3:57 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

    To those fans that are defending our QB situation need to get your head out of your bums. This is not acceptable in any fashion. I went to UK for my undergrad and have had season tickets for over a decade.

    The only difference between this season and any other season is our DEFENSE. This is the best defense UK has ever fielded. Our offense is the same it has always been. Benny is Benny and our O Line is good. People defending TT because of his legs need to understand that all teams are doing and will do is stackin the box w 8-9 to limit Snell. If UK had a remote passing game that made defenses put 6-7 in there, Snell would dominate even more. Especially against bad run defenses like Vandy’s.

    Against teams like Georgia, we will have another performance like Texas A&M. Our defense will be on the field most the game and the Cats will lose.



    • JPGott2
      4:01 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      On a good note, Chance Poor should kick next week. He can play 4 games without giving up his redshit. He can play in our 3 remaining SEC games and at Louisville.

      Miles Butler can kick in out Midsle Tennessee game. That should be an easy affair.



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      4:18 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      Won’t need him at Louisville, which saves him for possible SECC game or bowl matchup. And I’m not defending our situation, no one actually reads what you say they just see that you don’t say put Hoak in over Terry and miss everything else even if you do say pull Terry. Somehow not 100% agreeing with them makes you 100% wrong. All I’ve said is why THE COACHES DO IT and then agree it’s an issue but because I use sound reasoning to why they maybe making a decision THAT EVEN I DISAGREE WITH then I’m defending them and am wrong. PUT IN CLARK is still sacrilege because it’s not put in Haok.



    • JPGott2
      5:05 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      That is a fair perspective. Not disagreeing. I am just saying that something has to change or be done. This team is soo close to being able to actually win an East title when you look at 2 of 3 parts.

      Not doing anything and letting keeping the passing game inept reminds me of when Joker would not let Auburn score a TD so we could at least have a shot a tiring, and instead let Auburn kick a game winning 20 yard FG. The coaching decisions, especially Grans, along w Terry’s need to improve or changes need to occur.

      Thing is, this has been happening since the 2nd half of USCjr. So I am not seeing improvements.

      Go Cats!



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      6:33 pm October 21, 2018 Permalink

      We have to go for it on 4th and short when it’s obvious we don’t have a kicker to. Benny gets it 75% of the time.