Every Monday during the season I will put out UK’s performance on each down and distance scenario from the previous week, as well as keeping a season total. The idea is can we get a sense of where UK is strongest and what are the playcalling tendencies of Eddie Gran over the course of a season. Against Southern Miss, despite the terrible result, we actually saw some positives. The passing game showed flashes of big play potential. The rushing attack was effective at spots. Of course, all of that was 1st half performance and the 2nd half was a trainwreck. Nonetheless, take a look at the stats from Saturday and comment on what your thoughts were:
Pass: 9-11, 171 yards, 1 TD, 1 sack for -4 yards (1 fumble lost)
Run: 13 rushes for 92 yards (7.1 ypc), 1 TD
RECAP: You really can’t say much bad with what the Cats did on 1st down. They ran 25 plays and gained 259 yards. That means ON AVERAGE they were gaining over 10 yards per play on 1st down. They had big plays and did a nice job of running the ball. Even though they were only able to run a small number of plays in the 2nd half, UK still put up big numbers to start off their set of downs. These numbers will obviously decrease some over the season, but if they can replicate the completion percentage and big play opportunities, things will be good.
2nd Down and Long (6 yards or more)
Pass: 2-5, 125 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks for -16 yards (1 fumble lost)
Run: 5 rushes for 12 yards (2.4 ypc)
RECAP: On the positive end, both pass completions went for touchdowns. On the other side of the coin, the other 8 plays run on 2nd and long combined for a total of -4 yards and 2 turnovers. The extremes of result from these plays is not good. I wouldn’t take this trade-off because those turnovers absolutely shifted momentum for a game that UK was dominating.
2nd Down and Short (5 yards or less)
Run: 2 rushes for 11 yards (5.5 ypc)
RECAP: Only 3 plays to choose from because UK either hit huge plays on 1st down or negative plays. They did not get those boring 5-9 yard gains on 1st down that would get you into these situations. Now, for those 3 plays UK didn’t do a whole lot either. We’ll see more of this situation as the season progresses.
3rd Down and Long (6 yards or more)
Pass: 4-5, 27 yards, 1 TD, 1 sack for -11 yards (converted 2 of 6)
Run: No Plays
RECAP: Here’s the deal and UK fans are more than aware of this. Why in the world UK can not bring itself to throw the ball past the 1st down marker on 3rd down is unbelievable. So, against Southern Miss UK completed 4 passes on 3rd down and long but only 2 of those gained first downs. How exactly does that happen? Good teams don’t do that yet UK does it over and over no matter who the coordinator is.
3rd Down and Short (5 yards or less)
Pass: 0-2 (converted 0 of 2)
Run: 1 rush for 14 yards (converted 1 of 1)
RECAP: The only first down converted was on a Drew Barker scramble, so UK didn’t exactly dominate here. Somewhat interesting on 3rd and short that UK attempted 3 passing plays and no running plays but that might be situational too. UK did a very poor job last year gaining the short yards on the ground so maybe Eddie Gran was scared away from trying that. We’ll see if things get better throughout the season.