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UK’s Offense Addresses Areas of Concern

Days removed from Kentucky’s second straight SEC loss, the offense is confident they can put the pieces together to finish possessions with points. The offensive players and coaches addressed a few areas of concern following the Mississippi State loss.

Make Bowden Efficient Again

Lynn Bowden was targeted 16 times on Saturday. It resulted in just seven completions. That’s incredibly inefficient. A few of the passes may have been force-fed, but some of them are on Lynn. A few drops were crucial. All are mind-boggling.

“We’re all shocked when that happens. It goes back down to discipline and focus. That’s all it is. He also made three great plays,” Eddie Gran said. “We’ve gotta put it all together, everybody. That’s it. You’ve got to throw and catch. You gotta block people. We got a couple people open, then it’s an o-lineman, then it’s a running back, then it’s a receiver, then it’s a quarterback. It’s our job as coaches to get that corrected and we have got to be more consistent, especially when we go on the road.”

Like the offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach Michael Smith shoulders some of the blame for playing Lynn too much. Bowden played more than 70 snaps in each of the last two games. Smith will be more cognizant early in the game to ensure Bowden is fresh for the finish.

“A tired Lynn is not better than a fresh Clevan,” said Smith. “At the end of the day we gotta do what we have to do to win football games. I think he understands that and we’re going to do a better job of that.”

Putting the ball on the ground is obviously a problem. Like managing his snaps, Smith tries to balance the criticism with a good short-term memory.

“I don’t want him pressing, but I believe in guys being their own worst critic. If you can take that criticism, understand it and use it as fuel for motivation, so be it,” said Smith. “But I also have to tell him, like anything else, after the play is over, move on to the next one because we need you. We can’t one loss turn into two and we did. We can’t let one drop turn into two drops and we did Saturday.”

Unsportsmanlike Penalties

Finding the right balance has been a big problem in the play-calling. It’s been a problem in the substitution patterns and in the trash-talking department. Playing with an edge does the team no good if players are committing 15-yard penalties.

A line was drawn in the sand this week. “It’s been addressed by a number of people,” Gran said sternly.

Chris Rodriguez Fights for PT

After Kavosiey Smoke’s fast start, A.J. Rose was the breakout star in the running back room vs. Miss. State. Gran doesn’t believe one player was ever doing anything more spectacular than normal. “Sometimes it’s the deal of the cards.”

One player who needs to see a hand is Chris Rodriguez. The redshirt freshman played vs. Miss. State, but did not receive a carry. He earned a few in practice today.

“Chris Rodriguez today, he had three runs that were phenomenal,” said Gran. “I gotta work him in, it’s just hard. It’s hard to get three guys in there. I want to get him in there because the kid is really talented and he’s done some really good things. He looks fresh. He looks fast.”

No More Tip-Toeing

Even though Gran didn’t see it, Rose blames himself for not living up to his own personal expectations early in the season. He finally got into a groove on Saturday, rushing for 105 yards on only nine carries.

“The offensive line was doing a great job opening up holes, so I had to just see it and hit it,” Rose said. “I said it before, but the first couple games I feel like I was tip-toeing through things. I wasn’t running how I usually run, so I had to get back to my ways. I feel like I’m getting back to my ways. It’s only up from here.”


Article written by Nick Roush

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

14 Comments for UK’s Offense Addresses Areas of Concern

  1. zoupman
    9:47 pm September 24, 2019 Permalink

    Smith sure making excuses for Bowden.

  2. maximumscott
    10:32 pm September 24, 2019 Permalink

    Has rose ever been anything more than avg?

  3. VMI1957
    10:46 pm September 24, 2019 Permalink

    Nothing to see here….UK’s offense sucks plain and simple.

    • 4everUKblue
      11:32 pm September 24, 2019 Permalink

      You seem to be an expert on sucking.

    • straight facts
      10:17 am September 25, 2019 Permalink

      Just a simple response to VMI1957. Kentucky is coming off a 10 win season so we don’t suck. I think that you just want to start an argument with REAL Kentucky fans. Yes we’re struggling but do NOT suck.

  4. DelrayCat
    11:36 pm September 24, 2019 Permalink

    Running from shotgun every single play does not play to the strengths of our O-line. It leaves few options for running the ball effectively. And I hate that “check with me” crap…where the team lines up and everyone looks over to the sideline. Stupid and tips off to the defense every time. Plus it allows teams to anticipate the snap almost every time with the play clock run almost to zero each snap.

    • Collie
      2:50 am September 25, 2019 Permalink

      I agree. Running shotgun seems to be the only set we ever play, like most every other team. Therefore if we ever line up under center the film shows very few different plays. Shotgun may give many looks, but it gets the ball in hands yards behind the line, whether good or bad play begins yards or so back. You can run or pass from either line up, but it’s quite obvious plan under center. I also agree the stop, look, wait a minute situations no doubt help give away the ball snap. Gran may have had success in previous stops, but he may just not be a SEC level offensive coordinator. Sorry, hate/disagree if you want. And we still don’t have a SEC caliber quarterback. And I’m sure that statement won’t go over well….

    • Southky
      9:11 am September 25, 2019 Permalink

      Collie I have to agree with you. I don’t think Eddie Gran has figured out that CUSA isn’t quite the SEC. The defenses are much bigger and faster. Gimmicks like the Wildcat won’t work after everyone sees you run the same stuff over and over.

  5. bbn606
    7:32 am September 25, 2019 Permalink

    We run the worse bubble screens ever. Coaches, get some tape of Randall Cobb and see how to do it.

    • Irish son
      7:40 am September 25, 2019 Permalink

      Thats because our offensive line is so slow, they can’t get out to block, and our wide receivers are the worst stalk blockers ever. Watch Alabama run it and how they block

  6. BluKudzu
    11:12 am September 25, 2019 Permalink

    I will agree our offense is struggling horribly right now. New QB, turnovers, missed assignments, dropped passes and stupid as eff penalties, along with some WTF coaching all are a part of the poor play this season.

    What really is concerning is our defense. Holy Gs. They can’t stop anybody.

    With the way the defense is playing, we have to score almost every possession to get a win against the weakest SEC schedule we have had in a very long time.

    This team is not very good at this point of the season. They really have a lot of work to do to be a competitive threat in the lower tier of the SEC

  7. kjd
    4:06 pm September 25, 2019 Permalink

    Rodriguez got playing time and carries week one, but fumbled twice. Don’t tell me it’s hard to play three backs. A coach has him in his doghouse. Fourth and one last week, and we sneak with our injured QB, and Rodriguez sitting on the bench. Gee, it’s hard to get him in. BS!
    Bowden fumbles and drops passes and he gets more looks. ????

  8. notFromhere
    11:01 pm September 25, 2019 Permalink

    I agree with AJ. He ran like I knew he could this last game.

    All of this is exactly what I thought was going on this last game. You could see the guys trying to do too much. From the INT to the last series, they couldnt get out of their own way.

    I know they have it in them, but they will have to beat the chickens, the artificially enhanced crowd noise, and the refs this week. Hope they can get that complete game and know it doesn’t come with deviating from the script right now. Take what the D gives you and do your job. The rest will come