That was a gut-punch. UK rolled up 559 yards of offense while collecting 7.6 yards per play and ran for an overpowering 408 yards with three players reaching triple-digits. However, Lane Kiffin’s offense did just a little bit more as they scored touchdowns on 5 of 6 red zone possessions leading the Rebels to their first SEC road win since beating Arkansas nearly two years ago.
Not going to lie, this one is going to sting for awhile as Kentucky drops to 0-2 on the year and 1-7 under Mark Stoops when playing SEC West schools not named Mississippi State. Going to try our best to explain what happened, but I don’t think you’re going to be surprised by the plays shown bel0w.
1.) The Deuces
When Kentucky went up 28-14 to begin the third quarter, I really didn’t think I was going to have to include this play that will go down as a blooper shown on every platform this week. After Ole Miss went 75 yards in eight plays to begin the game, A.J. Rose got the Kentucky party started with a counter run to the left side.
Man, that wasn’t a great idea. You know what happens next. Kentucky gets stuffed on first down and then Rose is stoned on second down and makes a bad decision in trying to reach for the endzone. The result is a fumble and UK isn’t able to finish off the biggest play of the day with points.
Looking back after that final Ole Miss extra point went through the uprights, it made it hard not to think about that play.
2.) Missed Score
After going up two touchdowns to start the second half, Ole Miss responded with a very quick touchdown drive in just four plays to pull within one possession again. UK’s offense got the ball back quickly after owning it in touchdown drives to end the first half and begin the second half. Then they had things grooving again.
After a 31-yard run to start the possession by Terry Wilson, Chris Rodriguez Jr. rumbled for 24 yards over the next two plays to setup the offense just outside of the red zone. All signs pointed to another score and UK remaining in control of the game. However, a busted zone read setup a third-and-long forcing the Wildcats to go to the air.
After a great release at the line of scrimmage to beat press coverage, DeMarcus Harris is wide open and Wilson underthrows him. However, Harris makes an adjustment on the ball and is in position to reel in his first career touchdown catch that could’ve been a game-changing play in the football game. A drop occurs, Matt Ruffolo misses the field goal and Ole Miss ties the game five plays later.
Wilson ended up being 13 of 13 during the game when he wasn’t throwing to Harris as just one of his five targets ended up being a completion. Tough night for the young player and this is one specific play both he and his quarterback will want back.
3.) Botched Overtime
In just three short plays, Kentucky punched the ball into the endzone on their first overtime possession. However, Matt Ruffolo missed the extra point and that meant the defense took the field knowing they would need a stop or the football game would likely be over.
After picking up a first down on two runs to setup up a first-and-10 at the UK 15, the defense did what they couldn’t afford to do.
Ole Miss draws up a play-action shot leaving Kelvin Joseph in one-on-one coverage with Dontario Drummond with a throw that was going to be very hard to catch. Joseph walls the receiver off, but is just a little too aggressive and the flag comes out.
Ole Miss gets a first down at the two and scores just a couple plays later. What should have been two plays that went UK’s way in overtime went the exact opposite direction due to a pushed extra point and over-aggressive coverage on an uncatchable ball.
Once again, for the second week in a row, just a look at the box score could tell you Kentucky won the football game. The Wildcats put up more yards per play, had a higher success rate, held the football for over 35 minutes, created more havoc and had one more chunk play. However, they were beat in situational football again.
Ole Miss made their extra points and scored touchdowns on all but one of their possessions that entered UK territory. The Rebels maximized their chances to score while UK didn’t. There were a couple plays at the end of the day, but they were the plays that turned a win into a loss.