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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Cats on 3rd and Short, Is It So Bad?

I don’t know who said it on the radio show Monday but one of the guys made the comment that UK was the “worst 3rd and short team in the country”.  It seems that we, as fans, have focused a lot on the 3rd and short situations because of the struggles in the Wildcat.  But do our tendencies to focus on the bad plays make us forget about the good ones?

Below are each and every instance this season where UK has faced either a 3rd and 1 or a 3rd and 2.  And then you will see the result of the play, with those in red meaning Kentucky didn’t convert a 1st down and those in green meaning they did:

SOUTHERN MISS
3rd quarter: 3rd and 1, Sihiem King 1-yard loss 
4th quarter: 3rd and 1, Benny Snell 1-yard gain

EASTERN KENTUCKY
1st quarter: 3rd and 1, Sihiem King 9-yard gain
4th quarter: 3rd and 1, Benny Snell 4-yard gain

SOUTH CAROLINA
1st quarter: 3rd and 1, S.Johnson 3-yard completion
3rd quarter: 3rd and 2, S.Johnson 4-yard completion

FLORIDA
1st quarter: 3rd and 1, Benny Snell 0-yard gain

EASTERN MICHIGAN 
1st quarter: 3rd and 1, Benny Snell 3-yard gain
2nd quarter: 3rd and 1, S.Johnson 5-yard completion
3rd quarter: 3rd and 2, Benny Snell 1-yard completion

MISSOURI
1st quarter: 3rd and 1, Benny Snell 3-yard gain
2nd quarter: 3rd and 2, S.Johnson incompletion
2nd quarter: 3rd and 1, Benny Snell 2-yard loss
2nd quarter: 3rd and 2, Benny Snell 72-yard TD
3rd quarter: 3rd and 1, S.Johnson 3-yard rush
3rd quarter: 3rd and 1, S.Johnson 1-yard rush
4th quarter: 3rd and 1, Benny Snell 0-yard rush

In total, Kentucky has converted 11 of 17 opportunities on 3rd and 2 or 3rd and 1.  That is just a 65% conversion rate.  It gets more interesting when breaking it down from running plays to pass plays:

RUN: 12 rushes for 93 yards (converted 8 of 12)
PASS: 3-5, 13 yards (converted 3 of 5)

Take away Snell’s touchdown against Missouri, UK has had 11 rushes for just 21 yards and converted 7 of 11 chances.

I don’t know.  I feel like with just 2 yards to go and a capable QB and 1.5 capable running backs, converting just 65% isn’t the best.  It should be more like 80-85%.  We’ll see if this ends up costing the Cats bigger than it has already at some point this season but you have to think that gaining the key yards will be crucial in the 4th quarter in some of the final 6 games.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

4 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Cats on 3rd and Short, Is It So Bad?



  1. Rod Crandler
    10:04 am October 11, 2017 Permalink

    Is it me or are we giving up a lot of first downs on third and long as well? I’ll still take 5-1 though.



  2. CatFaninNC
    10:12 am October 11, 2017 Permalink

    How many of the failed run conversions were from the Wildcat? Seems like all of them, but that’s probably just my being negative about the Wildcat this year. Last year it was money, we had a better O-Line, well at least more disciplined and experienced, this year, not so much.



  3. fairweather
    10:27 am October 11, 2017 Permalink

    I agree with both comments above. I wish we could improve the execution in the Wildcat rather than to scrap it. As it has been stated several times, you need to be able to run the ball in order to win. Last year everyone knew what we were going to do in the wildcat but still could not stop it. That is what wins football games. delighted to be 5-1.



  4. GoatHunter71
    11:16 am October 11, 2017 Permalink

    At least they aren’t throwing screens on 3rd and short anymore. Snell is big enough RB to get two yards or less. Get under center, hand it to Snell, if it doesnt work then its on the O-Line. That’s SEC football though, it all comes down to the Hog-Mollys up front.