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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Just How Close Has UK Been?

Darrell Bird |

Darrell Bird |

Darrell Bird |

Let’s face it, Kentucky has been going through a long process since Mark Stoops was hired.  Revamping the talent to the level that Stoops wants it has meant that UK has fielded some seriously young teams in 2013 and 2014.  And part of being a young team is those guys often haven’t learned yet what it takes to win the close games.  Despite UK’s 7-17 record in the Stoops tenure, the following games show you that UK is not that really far away.

Kentucky has been in SEVEN games in the last 2 years that they have entered the 4th quarter or at some point in the 4th quarter been within 1 touchdown of the opponent.  The seven games:

at Florida
Entering 4th Quarter: Trailed 20-17
FINAL: Florida 36, Kentucky 30 (3ot)

South Carolina
Entering 4th Quarter: Trailed 31-24
FINAL: Kentucky 45, South Carolina 38

Mississippi State
Entering 4th Quarter: Trailed 31-24
FINAL: Mississippi State 45, Kentucky 31

at Louisville
Entering 4th Quarter: Trailed 28-23
FINAL: Louisville 44, Kentucky 40

at South Carolina
In 4th Quarter: Trailed 27-21
FINAL: South Carolina 35, Kentucky 28

at Mississippi State
In 4th Quarter: Trailed 28-22
FINAL: Mississippi State 28, Kentucky 22

at Vanderbilt
Entering 4th Quarter: Trailed 9-6
FINAL: Vanderbilt 22, Kentucky 6

UK is just 1-6 in these close games.  Flip those games around and be 6-1 in those games and the Stoops tenure is 12-12.  But frankly, these guys just haven’t been ready to win those games.  You’ve seen key drops in the Florida game last year.  The onside kick debacle against Mississippi State.  A dropped interception against Louisville.  Inability to get the big play when needed.  It’s everything that a young team is supposed to do, and Kentucky has done it.

Well, 2015 isn’t that team anymore.  A bunch of guys in the lineup have a bunch of experience.  Those kinds of losses above will no longer be tolerable.  If we don’t see better results in the 4th quarter this year, we are looking at another bowl-less season.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

16 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Just How Close Has UK Been?

  1. UKBlue1!
    9:31 am July 28, 2015 Permalink

    Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Its time for results.

  2. CatsBy80
    9:36 am July 28, 2015 Permalink

    I can actually say that I appreciate your work. It’s nice to see on paper how close the cats are to turning it around. Hopefully this year we can get a couple of those close games to go our way. As UKBlue1 said, it is time to see some results. 6-6 or better.

    • Brian
      11:38 am July 28, 2015 Permalink

      That was obviously the point of the article; some people just don’t (want to) understand it. For a young team, with a new coaching staff, in the SEC, to be “in” several of these games is promising. Now we’ve got some experience.

      I do agree, though – let’s see some of these games go OUR way now.

  3. etr
    9:48 am July 28, 2015 Permalink


  4. Linda Shnitz
    9:48 am July 28, 2015 Permalink

    What if you flip South Carolina and Vandy last year and Stoop is 5-19

  5. Larry Clapp
    9:51 am July 28, 2015 Permalink

    You forgot the Western game. Stoops should have a winning record with a bowl win added

  6. etr
    9:52 am July 28, 2015 Permalink

    What if frogs had wings ?? What if big Blue goes undefeated this yr!?!?!?

  7. 8 god
    9:53 am July 28, 2015 Permalink

    Good post, BTI.

  8. jman3715
    10:06 am July 28, 2015 Permalink

    I wonder how many other SEC basketball teams talk the same way. How they almost had Kentucky beat. Bottom line is the better team finds a way to win just like we typically do in hoops.

    • Reality
      10:28 am July 28, 2015 Permalink


    • Reality
      11:44 am July 28, 2015 Permalink

      I wonder what Stoops record would be in the ACC?

  9. CatDragon
    10:16 am July 28, 2015 Permalink

    If you look, in 5 out of 7 games they either score enough points to tie or win, just the defense didn’t hold back the opponents offense. We don’t seem to have issues scoring in the fourth quarter (especially in 2014!), we just seem to have issues keeping a tight defense that can shut out an opponent. Hopefully that will change this year!

  10. LongTimeListener
    10:54 am July 28, 2015 Permalink

    OK Bryan the Interm, you brought it up…it is DEFENSE that wins football games, not offense. FACT: Last year UK’s defense gave up MORE than 35 points in 7 games and if they could have just held that number to 29 points, they would have won 4 more games…they would have had 9 wins last year if they could have stopped just 1 touchdown in 4 of those games! FACT: You can have virtually NO offense and still win a football game 3-0, but if you have no defense, you will never have a winning season and never play in a bowl game. A great defensive team, even with no offensive, will still win nearly EVERY game. FACT: A good offensive team, with no defense, simply cannot win. It’s fun to quarterbacks and receivers and running backs and offensive strength, but it’s your defense that will determine what kind of season you’ll have and if you’ll be a winner or a loser.

    • Ha!
      11:43 am July 28, 2015 Permalink

      Well, luckily, Stoops was in charge of the #2 defense in the country while at FSU. So, he knows what to look for in players.

    • TheNewOriginal
      11:47 am July 28, 2015 Permalink

      Need a little offense also to win. Reminds me of the Tubby/Hal Mumme commercial.

      Tubby “Defense wins championships”
      Mumme: “You can’t win if you don’t score.”

    • LongTimeListener
      3:57 pm July 28, 2015 Permalink

      …and if they don’t score you can’t lose!