Through 1 1/2 quarters on Saturday, I think many of us were seeing what concerned us about this offense. The big plays weren’t there and when the Cats got into 3rd and long and were forced to throw, they had very little success. But then the defense got the Cats some good field position and a deep pass to Dorian Baker and the Cats offense really didn’t look back. Mississippi State was demoralized for the remainder of the game, as the Cats lines just dominated from there. This offense has a clear identity and it will has room to grow as well. A breakdown of the offensive performance against the Bulldogs:
Run: 21 rushes, 134 yards, 3 TD
Pass: 5-6, 36 yards
Run: 82 rushes, 547 yards, 8 TD
Pass: 27-40, 320 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT (1 fumble lost)
Recap: An absolutely lethal running attack, especially in the 2nd half. Cats scored 3 of their 4 touchdowns in this scenario, including both in the 4th quarter. But let’s not ignore the efficiency with the passing game too. Terry Wilson kept the ball moving forward but just missed the big plays. Either way, Cats were in good shape most of the night on 2nd down because of their success on 1st.
Run: 14 rushes, 74 yards
Pass: 3-5, 35 yards, 1 INT
Run: 54 rushes, 359 yards, 4 TD (2 fumbles lost)
Pass: 18-26, 161 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT (2 sacks allowed)
Recap: While the rushing numbers are obviously the impressive, I think the biggest offensive play of the game was Terry’s long pass to Baker late in the 2nd quarter, setting up the first UK touchdown. It totally shifted momentum UK dominated from there. Nonetheless, continued dominance at the line leads to very impressive numbers.
3rd Down and Long (6 yards or more)
Run: 3 rushes, 18 yards (converted 0 of 3)
Pass: 0-2, 2 sacks allowed (converted 0 of 4)
Run: 7 rushes, 60 yards (converted 2 of 7)
Pass: 8-14, 126 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks allowed (converted 3 of 16)
Recap: Cats were miserable in these situations, which they have been all season long but WHO CARES, WE WON!!!!!
3rd Down and Short (5 yards or less)
Run: 3 rushes, 25 yards, 1 TD (converted 3 of 3)
Pass: 1 sack allowed (converted 0 of 1)
Run: 19 rushes, 133 yards, 1 TD (converted 16 of 19)
Pass: 5-6, 31 yards, 1 sack allowed (converted 4 of 7)
Recap: If UK is in 3rd and short, could you be more comfortable that Snell and Wilson are going to convert? For the season, 19 attempts with 16 conversions. That is incredibly important and a huge advantage for this offense.