All year, normally on Mondays, I will breakdown the UK offense based on the down and distance. This can often give us the ins and outs of where the offense truly went right and wrong. I will breakdown running and passing plays on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd downs. And for 3rd down, I split it up between 3rd and short and 3rd and long plays. A look at Central Michigan:
Run: 22 rushes, 161 yards, 2 TD
Pass: 6-12, 75 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT (1 fumble lost)
Recap: The stats are pretty gaudy and the Cats did have some highlights, most notably the Rose touchdown run in the first quarter but it wasn’t perfect, especially in the first half. Inconsistency with the passing game and 2 turnovers stand out. The 2nd half was much more consistent as the Cats chewed up yards on the ground with ease. But overall, 236 yards on 34 plays is quite good.
Run: 16 rushes, 113 yards, 2 TD (1 fumble lost)
Pass: 4-5, 19 yards (1 sack allowed)
Recap: A very solid effort on 2nd down either gained the Cats 1st downs or gave them 3rd and short situations all game. Not much to write home about in the pass game but 80% completion was promising. Snell’s long touchdown included in this set but even taking that out, Cats averaged nearly 5 yards per carry on this down.
3rd Down and Long (6 yards or more)
Run: No Plays Run
Pass: 3-6, 24 yards, 1 INT (converted 1 of 6)
Recap: Has consistently been an issue under Mark Stoops and nothing changed on Saturday. Obviously in 3rd and long situations you need an effective passing game to continue drives. UK doesn’t have that yet, as evidenced by the 1 for 6 conversion. If you can hit 33-40% of these, you’d be doing great. 1 for 6 is not going to cut it though.
3rd Down and Short (5 yards or less)
Run: 4 rushes, 22 yards (converted 4 of 4)
Pass: 2-3, 12 yards (converted 2 of 3)
Recap: Cats were fantastic in these situations, converting the tough yards when they needed to. The strength of the running backs should make this a strong point of the offense all year. 6 out of 7 will certainly be a strong ask moving forward, but Cats must maintain 50% or higher to keep the offense on the field this season.