SEC Standings (East)
5. South Carolina
Pardon me for gloating, but when opportunity knocks, I’m going to let him in. Florida, Georgia…Kentucky. Yep. The three big dogs are right where they usually are. It’s tough being Kentucky, everybody wants what you have.
Much like the circus that was last year’s contest, this season’s version was full of folly…only this time, Ole Miss played the ringmaster. The Rebels committed an astounding 5 turnovers to Kentucky’s 1. The talk around Oxford (and Lexington as well) today will surely be focused on how Ole Miss lost it, not how UK won it. However, Kentucky did everything they were supposed to do: 1 TO, sustained scoring drives, and capitalizing on their opponent’s mistakes. You can say all you want about the dreadfulness of Ole Miss, but something had to force those 5 TO’s, and that something was the vaunted Iron Curtain that is the UK defense.
A few Observations from The ‘Wealth:
I’m shocked by the abundance of empty seats. Still a solid and somewhat boisterous crowd, but with a game of such value and weather that was nothing short of flawless, I’m surprised it wasn’t close to capacity.
With slobberknockers like Patrick Willis and Wesley Woodyard on the field, the hit of the day came from a surprising source: Rafael Little. After the UK RB made good on a first half screen pass, Little was shoved into the UK sideline and went barreling into two young boys. I mean those poor little dudes went flying. Thankfully, both were ok, and will likely be the butt of many a schoolyard joke for weeks to come.
Ben McGrath plays hard, but still sucks. The UK LB missed one tackle after another, and constantly over/under pursued. Is Micah Johnson really not ready for SEC football? Surely he cannot do worse than McGrath, or even Braxton Kelly for that matter.
Myron Pryor has to stay healthy this season. Along with Woodyard, he’s our only SEC caliber defensive starter, and he showed it yesterday with his magnetism for the turnover.
Kentucky’s secondary is plain awful. In other news, the Pope is Catholic.
Dickey Lyons: all he knows is 6, baby! Lyons now stands alone atop the NCAA TD reception leaderboard. His two first half TD’s yesterday gave him a total of 6 for the season…6 TD’s, 9 receptions. Amazing.
Finally, Joker Phillips got the memo that UK has nothing to lose. His play-calling was exceptional, as he let Woodson and the vertical passing attack loose.
Although Ole Miss can point fingers at a myriad of things, two plays really doomed their chances of winning this game. The first: trailing 7-0 and facing a 1-15 at the Ole Miss 41, a Woodson pass deflected off the hand of Demoreo Ford and right into the numbers of an Ole Miss defender…who somehow managed to drop it. Whew. Two plays later and it’s “Gotta be Dick” for a 30-yard equalizer. The other key Ole Miss blunder came early in the 4th quarter: with Kentucky ahead 21-14, Woodson is sacked, taking UK out of field goal range. But wait a minute…Ole Miss is assessed with a personal foul on the hit, giving Kentucky a first down on the Rebels’ 28. Four plays later, and Tony Dixon puts the game out of reach at 28-14.
Positives: Woodson (3 TD’s 0 INT’s) continues to gain confidence before heading into the Swamp…Curtis Pulley scored after taking a screen for a nifty 22 yards, further proving that his athleticism cannot rot away along with Rich Brooks’ youthful enthusiasm on the sideline…Turnover margin: +4…WR play…Dixon/Little…FB John Conner’s blocking…The Offensive Line…Joker’s play-calling…barring bad news on Matt McCutchan’s ankle, no major injuies.
Negatives: the Kentucky secondary…Ben McGrath…place kicking: new starter Lones Sieber looks ok, but the blocked FG doesn’t help. If Kentucky is ever faced with an important FG late in a game, how much confidence will Brooks have in this unit?…empty seats…Commonwealth’s resident DJ…the guy who vomited inches from my feet…