It was really the nightmare scenario for the Cats offense against Texas A&M. This offense does not work if they are forced into passing situations. And you avoid those situations with a 5-7 yard average on 1st down and then quality production on 2nd down that leaves you 3rd and short situations. The Cats have done that all year, taking a ton of pressure off Terry Wilson and getting the ball in Benny’s hands more. UK had a chance to do that in overtime and botched it. But for the most part, this game is exactly how you beat the UK offense. I hope Wilson continues to get the starting nod but he is definitely limited when forced to pass. Moving forward, for this season to remain special, the errors in College Station can’t happen again.
Run: 10 rushes, 45 yards
Pass: 6-8, 29 yards, 1 sack allowed
Run: 114 rushes, 723 yards, 11 TD
Pass: 39-56, 398 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT (1 sack allowed) (1 fumble lost)
Recap: In a season where the UK offense had consistently gotten 6-7 yards per first down play, they struggled mightily on Saturday. Just 73 yards on 19 plays run. The passing attack was tiny passes all night as Terry Wilson’s confidence was clearly low. Cats offense can not get into “pass first” situations, or so it seems, or they become incredibly limited.
Run: 9 rushes, 31 yards
Pass: 4-6, 75 yards, 1 TD, 3 sacks allowed
Run: 80 rushes, 461 yards, 4 TD (2 fumbles lost)
Pass: 26-37, 291 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT (5 sacks allowed)
Recap: The Lynn Bowden touchdown, really the only offensive highlight, comes here. UK also had a couple other nice pass plays but the rushing attack was ineffective. As you will see below, it led to a bunch of 3rd and longs and that is where the Cats really struggle.
3rd Down and Long (6 yards or more)
Run: 3 rushes, 14 yards (converted 0 of 3)
Pass: 3-5, 4 yards, 1 sack allowed (converted 0 of 6)
Run: 11 rushes, 76 yards (converted 2 of 11)
Pass: 13-25, 161 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 3 sacks allowed (converted 4 of 28)
Recap: Of the 13 3rd downs the Cats faced, nine of them came in “long” situations. And they converted none of them. And frankly didn’t come close to converting any of them. Two of the three completions went for negative yardage and all three rushes were simply Wilson scrambles. So simply put, the passing attack was pathetic.
3rd Down and Short (5 yards or less)
Run: 2 rushes, 4 yards (converted 2 of 2)
Pass: 0-1, 1 sack allowed (converted 0 of 2)
Run: 24 rushes, 150 yards, 1 TD (converted 19 of 24)
Pass: 6-8, 28 yards, 2 sacks allowed (converted 4 of 10)
Recap: Pretty symbolic stats here. Two conversions on 3rd down, both on 3rd and 1, and they only get 2 yards on each play. And then of course the worst play call in recent memory, the overtime 3rd down play. It doesn’t need any more analysis here but I bet we’ll see the ball in Benny’s hands for the remainder of the season in 3rd and 1 or 2 situations.