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What will it take for fans to forget about last Saturday?

Kim Klement | USA Today

It’s been preached all week, we all know the result, and we all want to get past it.

But what will it take for fans to have a “Men In Black” moment where their memories of last weekend’s abysmal second half completely disappear?

If the Cats come away with a win, if they manage to head to the Swamp and take down the Gators for the first time in 30 years, does last week magically vanish?

State Street would be set on fire and the entire city of Lexington would be torn to the ground. Crazy celebrations aside, the slightest bit of confidence would be restored in the fan base to allow for the stands to be somewhat full next Saturday against New Mexico State, hopefully unleashing a domino effect of optimism for the immediate future.

Say Kentucky still takes the loss, but they’re competitive, remain strong and full of heart for all four quarters, and show a competent run defense against a legitimate SEC opponent. Is faith restored again, or does an 0-2 start to the season sink the ship?

On the complete flip side of things, what happens if the Wildcats get their heads caved in by a stout Florida defense and the UK defense manages to turn Gator RBs Jordan Scarlett and Mark Thompson into human wrecking balls? Would all hope for the remainder of the season be lost? Or is this result something fans expect to see come kickoff, easing the pain of what would be UK’s 30th consecutive loss to Florida?

 

Reports say team morale is ridiculously high right now, players are getting healthy again, Florida is home for a good chunk of Cats, and the entire team has a chip on their shoulder to make a statement following last week’s embarrassment.

When you dive into team specifics, UK’s offense led the SEC in multiple categories last week, despite nearly an entire second half of little to no production. Drew Barker led the SEC in passing yards with 323, Garrett “Juice” Johnson led in receiving yards with 143, and UK tied for the most 40+ yard plays with four. UK has a stacked receiving corps, and the talent gap with Florida’s star-studded secondary is rapidly closing in. Florida’s offensive line struggled against the UMass front seven last weekend, which certainly bodes well for Kentucky’s thin defensive line. There are more than a few positives to take account of, but there may be just as many negatives.

If you look at the yards per attempt on the ground last week against Southern Miss, the numbers are almost identical, SMU rushing for 3.9 yards per carry and UK with 3.8 yards per carry. The difference between the two? UK rushed the ball just 25 times for 96 yards compared to SMU’s 68 for 262 yards, which is unacceptable on both sides. A huge portion of the Golden Eagles’ carries came in the second half, where the Wildcats couldn’t do anything to stop the attack. Nearly every carry, it seemed, the Cats gave up four or five yards, chipping away at the play clock and inching their way to the goal line on almost every drive in the second half.

On offense, “Boom” Williams is an elite SEC back, and he needs to be used as such. Just 13 carries is inexcusable, especially when he was averaging 7.2 YPC on an offense that was struggling to do much of anything in the second half. Jojo Kemp has to step up and be the latter half of a two-headed monster, gaining seven yards on five carries doesn’t cut it. If Kemp can’t contribute, Mikel Horton and Siheim King must get reps today to match the rushing attack of the Florida Gators.

56 total yards in the second half is sad, but just two first downs and three turnovers is sickening. If UK even dreams of pulling off the upset today, they have to remain consistent through all four quarters.

Will a tight halftime score force Eddie Gran and Darin Hinshaw to come out guns a-blazing? I sure hope so. A vanilla second half offense and zero run defense equates to a loss, simple as that.

 

My pregame take:

Almost no one is giving the Cats a chance in this game. Media, analysts, fans, no one. Florida saw last week’s tape (or lack-thereof according to Jim McElwain), they hear the fans talking down on Kentucky, and they see 29 straight victories.

Kentucky wants to restore a fan base with little faith, get revenge on back to back heart-wrenching losses against the Gators, and prove themselves as a bowl team, especially after last week.

  • Drew Barker stays consistent, throws for 260 yards and three touchdowns.
  • UK’s stable of running backs average 4.5 yards per carry and put up 170 total yards.
  • The front seven manages to put pressure on Del Rio and force two turnovers.
  • Wildcat secondary gives up no huge home run balls.
  • The run defense gives up under 150 yards on the ground.
  • Special teams make no ridiculous errors, punts average 45 yards and they drill the necessary field goals.

Cats end the streak. 27-20.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

14 Comments for What will it take for fans to forget about last Saturday?



  1. Nerds
    12:41 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

    In my opinion…thinking before click “post” on idiotic posts like these. That should allow fans to forget about last Saturday.



  2. Patches
    12:57 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

    There is little hope for maybe the worst coached team in major college football. Wish I was wrong as I liked Stoops when he came here but it is obvious he is way in over his head. Lets fire him and hire another coach with no head coaching experience as that is really working here.



    • Billy Hill
      1:01 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

      Noted. You’re also an idiot with zero credibility. Delete your account.



    • Billy Hill
      1:05 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

      “….the worst coached team in major college football”

      “….he is way in over his head.”

      Seriously. Stop posting. Go play with your dog.



    • Patches
      1:40 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

      Let me guess your a bandwagon guy who supported Joker too. Your credibility is the one at zero. Please delete your ugly jazz pic too.



  3. TorpedoVegas
    1:04 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

    A stroke?



  4. Kat 308
    1:09 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

    If the cats win I will give up tobacco.
    Go Cats!



  5. Kernel Sanders
    1:12 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

    I know this is a homer website. I don’t know anything about Jack Pilgrim, but if he fits the profile of the typical KSR writer of the past few years, he is a 22-25 year old with little to no direct experience with this 29 year streak. So a homer writer on a homer fan website almost has to predict a UK win.

    Having said that, I still find it comical.

    My pregrame take as a long suffering UK fan:
    *Drew Barker plays OK…ok enough for us to know he’s not the problem
    *UK’s stable of backs did not fare well against an undersized, unheralded CUSA D line last week. Florida’s front 7 will kill our rushing game. (they ARE SEC)
    * UK’s front 7, out of necessity, turns into a front 14 because it’s going to be 94 degrees and we could not stop a Conference USA opponent at home. After a 21:00 vs. 9:00 time of possession disadvantage in the 1st half, Stoops and Eliot will be forced to play subs on the D line and LB positions…and we will see why they didn’t play vs. Southern Miss.
    *Wildcat secondary will do fine…because FL will only pass the ball 9 times.
    * The run defense gives up 150 yards….in the 1st quarter.
    * Special teams ALWAYS make ridiculous errors vs. FL and a freshman punter that averaged what, 36 yards against USM, is not going to bump that average by 10 yards in the Swamp.

    Cats end the streak…no more undefeated second Saturday’s in September….
    FL 31 UK 10



    • Kyblue34
      2:09 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

      Yeah, I agree with you. I’m going FL 34 UK 17. I think we may get a late TD after FL calls off the dogs!



  6. sincitycat
    1:46 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

    And Ashley Judd will appear on my doorstep.



  7. 3 fan
    2:19 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

    Florida wins 45-17. Less than 15,000 in stands week 3.



  8. Yoda
    3:01 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

    Our Cats are rolled by 17, minimum. Mitch looks into the stadium stands in Game 3 and realizes this isn’t going to pay the bills. Stoops “steps down” at year’s end as we look to hire another inept, unproven coach.



    • Billy Hill
      3:22 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

      $12 million buyout. Stoops isn’t going anywhere.



    • Kernel Sanders
      3:42 pm September 10, 2016 Permalink

      Thanks for making me feel worse