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Two Gross Kentucky Football Stats (and One Great Redeemer)

Some numbers will raise your eyebrows for all of the wrong reasons. While doing a little digging Tuesday evening, I uncovered two things about the Kentucky football team I wish I could unsee.

After Tuesday’s practice, offensive coordinator Eddie Gran was asked if A.J. Rose’s recent fumble woes were a real concern. Also the running backs coach, Gran responded affirmatively.

“It’s concerning, there’s no question. There’s an urgency and he knows that,” Gran said. “He had not (had a fumbling problem) up until a couple last year. It’s gotta be zero. It’s just a matter of — you look at some plays and he’s high and tight. He’s got that arm locked. This one, when you’re in traffic you gotta get the other hand on there and you gotta lock the wrist. There’s a big-time sense of urgency and yeah, he can get it fixed.”

How concerning is it? We recalled the fumbles in consecutive games against the Mississippi schools, each inside the 25 yard-line, with one against Ole Miss just inches away from a touchdown. You might remember that he fumbled away a similar scoring opportunity against Vanderbilt in November of 2019. The anecdotal evidence is bad. The hard statistics are even worse.

The redshirt senior has six fumbles in the last seven games. Over that span Rose has fumbled it on average once out of every 9.5 carries. That’s just gross, plain and simple.

It’s still not the ugliest individual stat I uncovered for all of the wrong reasons. I was happy to see Jordan Wright get into the end zone against Mississippi State with a pick six. Harking back to the final play of the Belk Bowl, a scoop and score by Wright, it inspired this comment from Saturday night.

Kentucky’s starting outside linebacker now has two career touchdowns. It’s something almost none of his teammates in the wide receivers’ room can say. That’s right, Jordan Wright has more career touchdowns than everyone in UK’s wide receiver room not named Josh Ali.

Career Touchdowns

  • WR Josh Ali: 4
  • OLB Jordan Wright: 2
  • TE Keaton Upshaw: 2
  • TE Justin Rigg: 1
  • WR Bryce Oliver: 1
  • WR Allen Dailey: 1
  • WR Akeem Hayes: 1
  • WR Clevan Thomas: 1

It’s not great. Kentucky’s pass-catchers have to be better. There’s no way around it.

Despite some offensive struggles, they cannot take away the good that happened Saturday night. Mark Stoops improved to 1-7 ATS as a home favorite in the SEC. Yes, it was the first time a Stoops team covered the spread as a favorite at Kroger Field against an SEC opponent.

With the 24-2 victory over Mississippi State, Kentucky defeated an SEC opponent by more than three scores for just the fifth time in the last ten seasons. That kind of win doesn’t happen often. Enjoy it.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

5 Comments for Two Gross Kentucky Football Stats (and One Great Redeemer)

  1. UKCatAttack
    5:52 pm October 14, 2020 Permalink

    AJ Rose… unacceptable to fumble the ball that often.

    The WRs…I don’t necessarily blame them for the lack of TD catches. To be fair we hardly ever threw the ball last year and this year we only throw the ball slightly more. We need a QB that can hit guys between the numbers. We haven’t had that for a long time.

    • bigbowdennation
      6:08 am October 15, 2020 Permalink

      It’s tough though man, because when terry does hit them in the numbers the last two weeks there were drops. Those drops cause terry to lose confidence also and second guess his throws. I’m not saying I think terry’s a great quarterback, I’m also looking forward to seeing more of gatewood, but I think Terry is better than he’s looked out there recently. Any quarterback would struggle with our receiving core where no one can get open, and when they do they drop the pass or someone else misses a block.

    • UKiyaoyas
      9:56 am October 15, 2020 Permalink

      You can turn it around. If they get the ball more then those drops dry up and a few and far between.

  2. oldfanallin
    8:08 pm October 14, 2020 Permalink

    Instead of waiting for separation, we need a qb that throws them open.

  3. panicpat
    10:21 am October 15, 2020 Permalink

    6 fumbles in 7 games is ridiculous. Rodriguez needs to play much much more.