Kicking was an issue in Kentucky’s crushing loss to Ole Miss in the home opener. There was Matt Ruffolo’s 49-yarder that doinked off the right upright in the second quarter, a miss you can live with from that range; but there was also the missed extra point in overtime that ultimately cost Kentucky the game in the end.
Naturally, the topic of kicking came up in Mark Stoops’ postgame press conference, to which Stoops said he will consider going back to last year’s starter, Chance Poore.
“We’ll continue to work both guys,” Stoops said. “We’ll continue to work Matt, we’ll work Chance. If we feel like Chance gives us a better opportunity, we’ll go with him.”
Poore was replaced by Ruffolo after a very shaky start in 2019, including a crucial miss from 35 yards in the final minute against Florida. Ruffolo stepped in for Poore and hit 4 of 5 field goals and 18 of 20 PATs, but now his job is in trouble following the big miss in the overtime loss.
UK star defensive end Josh Paschal defended Ruffolo after the game. Paschal told reporters, “Ruffolo, he missed the extra point but it’s a team sport. He missed the extra point but as a defense that backs him up, and unfortunately we didn’t.
“The game didn’t go our way and we didn’t execute like we should’ve, but we can’t blame it all on Ruffolo because at the end of the day, there’s a 100 different plays that you can blame somebody on.”
Well said from Paschal, still a tough spot for Stoops as kicking troubles linger.