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TODAY ON KSR: Perspective, Optimism, and What Now?

As I was trying to find a theme for this morning’s post, I kept thinking of one word. Perspective. Usually, after “program-defining” games turn to losses, I typically find myself extremely disappointed, angry, frustrated, and dejected. But, for some reason, as I was walking out of Gate 9 at Kroger Field, I felt fine. It was six years ago to the day that Kentucky football had 30 people in the stands to watch our beloved Wildcats get blown out by Vanderbilt. Six years later, the Cats are in a prime-time slot, sold-out crowd, battling for the SEC East championship. Even though Kentucky lost on that stage, it’s just some perspective.

The word perspective then led me to another word. Optimism. Mark Stoops has built a program at Kentucky that is trending upwards, and even though Kentucky fell just short of the SEC East crown, I feel like Kentucky will be in a three heat race with Georgia and Florida for the foreseeable future.

For once, after a loss in November, I didn’t see the fanbase turn into the obnoxious, “there’s always basketball season” fanbase that I’ve been frustrated with so many times before. Sitting at 7-2 with three games against teams Kentucky should be heavily favored in, I feel a sense of togetherness in the fanbase that I haven’t seen in quite some time. It feels like the BBN is rallying around this beloved team and will stick with this team going forward in the Stoops era, and that’s something I’m proud to see as a football homer.

Now, after one of the best week’s to be a UK fan, what now?

Well, Kentucky is still in prime position to have their best season since 1977 and go to their best bowl in the cable TV era. With a remaining schedule of Tennessee, Middle Tennesee, and Louisville, there is no reason the Cats shouldn’t go 10-2 and squeak into a New Year’s Six bowls. One loss will not deteriorate a football or this fanbase. Kentucky is competing for the SEC east guys; it’s just one step at a time.

Kentucky football is good, Georgia is just legit.

Terry Wilson should have no critics

Terry Wilson has been subject to a lot of criticism in his first year as a division one starter. Whether you think the criticism he received earlier in the season is justified is neither here nor there. For my money, Terry Wilson was the MVP for the boys in blue yesterday afternoon.

Terry Wilson looked poised the whole game, making plays with his feet, finding receivers over the middle in coverage and no turnovers. I’m not sure what it was, but Terry looked more confident than ever on the biggest stage Kentucky football has seen in a long time, and he’s only getting better.

Terry Wilson finished the day with 226 yards and a touchdown on 23/29 passes. Just imagine if that ball to Lynn Bowden in the first half is just one foot closer. Terry Wilson is my MVP from Saturday and my quarterback going forward.

Bad Timing for Bad Defense

I’m not so sure if Saturday’s game was a display of bad defense for Kentucky or just a testament to how good Georgia’s running backs are, but one thing is undeniable: that was Kentucky’s worst defensive performance of the year. For a team that hadn’t allowed an opponent to score more than 20 twice this season, they let the Bulldogs run wild with 34 points. 20 points in the 2nd half alone.

With key missed tackles from guys who don’t usually miss tackles, two starting linebackers playing with clubs, and a broken play with two true freshmen filling in for those linebackers, it was just a recipe for disaster. Not to mention Deandre Swift is scary good.

Just as Mark Stoops said in the post game, it’s hard to beat a team that had over 300 yards on the ground. Kentuck’s defense has been nothing short of amazing all season, and they deserve a free pass especially with the number of games they’ve kept us in, they just picked the worst time possible to use that free pass.

Benny Snell makes history again

With his 73 yards yesterday, Benny Snell has once again run for 1,000 yards in one season. Benny Snell is the only running back in school history to have three 1,000 yard rushing seasons, and he is 403 yards away from breaking Sonny Collins record of rushing yards in a career at Kentucky. Not to mention, it took Sonny Collins four years to get his rushing total, and Benny Snell may just do it in three seasons.

Benny Snell also joins the elite group of Darren Mcfadden and Herschel Walker as the only players in SEC history with at least 1,000 rushing yards and ten touchdowns in their first three seasons.


Alabama vs. Georgia in the SEC

Of course, Georgia wrapped up the SEC East on top for a second straight season, but the Crimson Tide of Alabama also claimed their trip to Atlanta in their manhandling of the third-ranked LSU Tigers. On paper, this game should be amazing as it’s the rematch of last year’s thrilling National Championship game that was decided by a walk-off Tua touchdown in Overtime. But, Alabama is killing everybody, and Georgia has looked pretty vulnerable all season, so maybe it’s just a contest to see if Georgia doesn’t get blown out.

Tennesee game time announced

Kentucky will have back to back 3:30 ET games as it was announced the 7-2 Cats will go on to face the 4-5 Tennesee Volunteers in Knoxville. After the season Kentucky has had, and with Tennesee struggling for the better part of my life, I expect to see a lot of blue in Knoxville come Saturday. There are plenty of tickets still available.

Also, can we blow out Tennesee to shut up Clay Travis?


Bobby gone.

NFL Slate

The battle for the goat will take place as the Green Bay Packers take on the New England Patriots tonight on Sunday Night Football. Image result for nfl schedule week 9 2018

Article written by Brent Wainscott

Twitter: @BrentWainscott_

52 Comments for TODAY ON KSR: Perspective, Optimism, and What Now?

  1. Dowser
    10:26 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

    I live Benny, but last night showed why he may not be drafted (at least nit in the first 5 rounds). Speed. The Georgia backs have it. Very rarely can running backs make it in the NFL w/o it. GO CATS!

    • CatManDo
      10:55 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      This may be an unpopular take but I have been saying this for the last few weeks. I love having Benny and he will go down as probably our best RB ever but I don’t think his game translates to the next level. I certainly hope I am wrong.
      Also, wouldn’t mind to see Rose get a few more touches as a change of pace.

    • ClutchCargo
      12:06 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      I think you are right. It would take just the right situation with a team needing a power running back. Even then, he might be an undrafted free agent signing.

    • apocalypse
      4:40 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Eddie Gran is not as bad an OC as everyone would suggest, his offense is a product of the players we have on offense and the quarter back under center.

      Not knocking Terry Wilson at all, but limitations on his passing skills is the main reason we are a grind it out offense. Maybe he can improve over the summer, fix his mechanics and start to understand his progressions, improve his strength and cut down on turnovers, I’m not sure. But I do know that if you do not have a QB that is a threat to throw the ball down the field, 20 yards or more, than you really cant open up your offense.

      Mr. Gran has shown that while at UC he can lead a high powered offense, if he has the QB that can make those throws. If you have no confidence in your QB’s passing it’s very hard to call plays to open it up

  2. 4everUKblue
    10:28 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

    “For once, after a loss in November, I didn’t see the fanbase turn into the obnoxious, “there’s always basketball season” fanbase that I’ve been frustrated with so many times before.” REALLY??? Have you read the comments from last night? Maybe you didn’t see it at Kroger Field but you really should read the comments from during and after the game. Some of our so called fans love to put all the blame on Terry Wilson…no we don’t have Tua as our QB but neither does anyone else not named Alabama. I for one am proud of this team’s accomplishments and I’m proud of Terry Wilson, he has improved and I believe will continue to do so as will the rest of the team. GO CATS! BEAT UT!

    • makeitstop
      10:41 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      We’re all proud of them. But we’re worried we’ll get outscored, simple as that. You’re right about Tua… and luckily there aren’t a lot of great QB in the league this year but there are some pretty fair ones, and I’d trade for most of them right now.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:45 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      I think you mean most of us are proud of them, there are several on this site that have nothing good to say about this team.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:49 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      And good luck making the trade for any of the QB’s you have in mind. Even when we get good commitments a lot of them recommit when Bama or some other elite program comes calling and you can’t really blame them for wanting to play for Saban or other very successful coaches.

    • henderblue
      12:36 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      4ever I pretty much always agree with everything you say and I think most of the fans are proud of this team. Unfortunately the ones who are always the loudest are gonna be the negative ones. Sure we’re disappointed with the turnout of the game and our team has made great strides this year. Georgia is next level and we’re almost there. But controversy and bad news sells papers and gets people to tune in to the nightly news and moves the needle more than good news. Same way with wins and losses. The loudest are gonna be the ones who like to gripe after a loss. There’s a lot of people who are on the same page as you.

    • 4everUKblue
      12:58 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Well said henderblue

  3. makeitstop
    10:36 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

    Well thank god you’re not the coach, because if you’re convinced Terry Wilson is your QB of the future, you need to see more QBs. Poised? He took 4 bad sacks, came one lucky whiff from a pick six on the TD play and while “better” than the last 5 games, even making a good check down or two, that’s not a very bright future you paint. The numbers are ridiculous: u can complete as many 3 yard passes as you want when u need 10 or 15, a fact every retired QB announcer has made. The proof is this, other DC’s believe we can’t throw and stack the box to take the run away. Our OC won’t turn him loose bc he agrees. Did he show signs of improvement? Yes. Is he why we lost? No. Giving up 34 points is why we lost. But 5 offensive TDs in 5 games is the only measure u need: this offense isn’t going anywhere if we can’t put the ball downfield w confidence and right now we can’t. Next year we have a great recruit at QB. Maybe he can break the drought but Terry isn’t showing signs of making the leap to SEC play, hope and optimism of his fan base notwithstanding. Hope he proves me wrong but before u count those 10 wins, we’re going to have to take them from teams that would like to ruin our season.

    • Wade
      11:06 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Terry did ok for what gran allows him to do but he has jitters in the pocket and he’s not that great as a runner. Fields from ga seemed a lot quicker. Terry seems delicate. We just can’t score more than 17 and that’s not gonna cut it!

    • 4everUKblue
      11:07 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      We need Slater/combatmedic as our coach, he has all the answers.

    • ibescootch
      11:10 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      And good thing you’re not the AD, because we’d have had 6 new head coaches since Stoops didn’t bring us a national championship in the first year. Goodness man, chill out. We’re 7-2 and have extremely winnable games left, with a QB who’s playing even better and more consistent than he was when we actually won 7 games, against several teams we weren’t supposed to beat. He’s steadily gotten better all season, so I’m not worried about him being a liability at all. And going forward, why in the world would you think he couldn’t progress into a high level SEC QB?! His shortcomings are completely experience and decision-making related, which can be learned. He has all the ability in the world, which is much tougher to learn. Mark my words, he’s going to be a star.

    • dUKesUKs
      12:31 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Terry Touchdown (Turnover) is a great athlete but he IS NOT a good QB. Eddie Gran might very well be the SINGLE WORST OC WHO IS EMPLOYED BY A MAJOR UNIVERSITY!!!

    • dismore
      11:21 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Makeitstop….best REAL statement I’ve read in a long time. I 100% agree.

    • makeitstop
      11:50 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Scotch, u couldn’t be more wrong. I give the AD credit for finding his guy, and letting him build a program, getting him the facilities and not trying to take shortcuts of just finding a big name out of work guy. None of that has anything to do with Wilson’s progress as a player. U say he’s gotten steadily better… when? His last game (Mizzou) was his worst. Yesterday he made a couple of check downs to his 3rd receiver. Better… but It’s the 9th game. You think that’s steady progress? If he’s our best option we are in trouble and Gran better have some creative play calling to try and get 20 points per game and give the D a chance. Blind loyalty is nice but it’s a luxury head coaches can ill afford.

    • makeitstop
      11:52 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Sorry i read that wrong, it’s Scootch. But Scotch is good too.

    • runningunnin.454
      12:40 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Bourbon is better.

  4. davis2319
    10:56 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

    A chance to finish 11-2, in or right outside the top 10, top 4 record in the whole SEC, and a great bowl game perhaps one of the big 6. A lot left to play for. We do not need to quit on this team. They have provided us the best football memories in quite sometime. Let’s finish strong

  5. Larkin123
    10:58 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

    Man, Terry showed glimpses of being a nightmare for teams in future against the best secondary we played. Reminds me of Woodson did with Wilson maybe having a stronger arm and better wheels… Woodson looked like a deer in the headlights his first year.. Terry is starting to see the field. Its not translating to points as much, but i can see it… wow.. Not sure a power offense is his best fit, but the last three games we play will be in slow motion compared to that… He found third options. He at least threw the ball away more than past. Made better decisions. Not perfect but better.

  6. bwise
    10:59 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

    Is Eddie gran still employed?

  7. RAGE
    11:09 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

    I agree with you both on this…. When you see Elite teams play you can see Benny didn’t get an offer from Ohio State!!!! I mean I know this won’t be popular but Damien Harris is two times the football player and RB Snell is…. but that is why he is at BAMA…

    • RAGE
      11:12 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      This was meant to be a reply to Dowser and CatManDo earlier statements

    • runningunnin.454
      12:41 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      I could run through the holes Harris gets.

    • RAGE
      1:32 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      True but there was a reason he had 5stars by his name and not 3!!! If Snell was as good I think Saban could have travelled one more state up!!! There is a reason he stopped in Kentucky

    • RAGE
      1:34 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t mean it bad but Snell runs his mouth faster than his feet!!! Damien Harris just runs for TDS

    • cats646
      2:03 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Snell is 100% better than Damien Harris

  8. DelrayCat
    11:10 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

    It is not implausible to see a scenario as such:
    UK wins out, finishing 10-2 & 2 SEC losses.
    Georgia/Alabama win out.
    Georgia pulls a stunner and beats Bama in SEC title game.
    BCS takes both again in the final 4.
    LSU loses one more game (@Texas A&M in last game perhaps).
    Kentucky goes to Sugar Bowl as the only SEC team with only 2 losses left.

    • 4everUKblue
      11:15 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      If you watched Bama in Death Valley last night, losing to Georgia seems way less plausible to me.

    • DelrayCat
      11:25 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

      True…but even then if A&M beats LSU we logically should be given preference over them.
      Bowl pecking order for SEC is Sugar then Citrus then Outback.
      But Peach and Fiesta can choose SEC also (but not tied in).
      It seems VERY LIKELY we are in New Orleans, Orlando, Tampa, or Atlanta..if we finish strong.

    • 4everUKblue
      1:01 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      NOLA would be sweet, any excuse to make a trip there is a good excuse.

    • davis2319
      1:03 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      I like the idea. However, I don’t see Georgia beating Alabama. They made LSU look like small children. Oh yeah LSU beat UGA by 20 and made them look bad while doing it. Like 10 total rushing yards for LSU last night I think? And that’s Georgia’s bread and butter so that won’t work against Bama. So then they will try to pass but Alabama has a good secondary too so that won’t work either. I don’t see any scenario where they lose this season, period.

  9. StuckinLville
    11:27 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

    Did anyone even think we’d have a legit chance at a SEC East title to start the season? Most of us did not. I know we did not play well, but Georgia is legit and at least we didn’t get blown out. There is a lot to be proud of this season as long as they finish strong and us fans need to appreciate it. This is hopefully the start of building a legit football contender and we should be proud. Is it disappointing we didnt play better? Yes but that was new territory for our guys. One thing i do hope is for Benny to shut his mouth. He put a target on his back a long time ago and isnt backing it up anymore. Just go play football and win these last three games. Go Cats!

    • runningunnin.454
      12:43 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      With two LB’s with broken hands, and the ejections of two key players, I’m surprised we kept it as close as we did.

    • RAGE
      1:26 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Georgia helped keep it close with those two huge fumbles in the first half… Only way we could stop them is if they stopped their self

  10. makeitstop
    11:58 am November 4, 2018 Permalink

    Benny’s attitude defined this team and he’s our best offensive player, best back we’ve had since Sonny Collins and we had some damn good backs: Adams, Higgs, Logan, Pinson, Williams etc. but I do detect a little increased snarkiness in his comments that may not play well w his teammates. He’s got a million dollar personality and if he gets back on track it will be a bump in the road but I read those comments the same way. I’m prettt sure the coaches will fix it but it’s not how I want to go to Knoxville. This is where Stoops will earn his $250k bonus!

    • makeitstop
      12:00 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      U know the old saying “victory has 1000 fathers but defeat is an orphan.” Better pull this family together fast.

    • runningunnin.454
      12:51 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Nice historical quote; uttered by JFK after the Cuban invasion fiasco. Actually, it was a quote from WWII by Mussolini’s foreign minister.

  11. Rise
    12:17 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    Love Benny Snell but Swift made him look like Benny Snail. So fast and his cuts were amazing.

  12. Don Kean
    12:20 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    I have always heard it said that one of the recipes for failure in the SEC is to have to play a freshman quarterback. In Terry Wilson’s defense he is playing pretty much as a freshman*. Note the star. Yes he was redshirted one year while in the PAC 10, and yes he played a year in JUCO. But no one in their right mind can equate JUCO play with power five play. Thus, while he is not a freshman in the truest sense, this is still his first year playing at the power five level. The coaches have basically said it, and I believe Terry would admit it as well, that this year has involved a whole lot of learning on the fly. Honestly, he has shown some growth, and while at times it has been painful for all, I like his prospects going forward. He is an excellent athlete, and he has all the tools, ( just not the experience), YET, to be a very good quarterback. I thought he showed a lot of growth yesterday. He needs some more time to grow. I believe going forward that we will see less downs and more ups. GO BIG BLUE.

  13. dUKesUKs
    12:34 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    Terry Touchdown (Turnover) is a great athlete but he IS NO A GOOD QB! Eddie Gran is THE WORST OC EMPLOYED BY A MAJOR UNIVERSITY!!!

  14. dUKesUKs
    12:35 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    IS NOT

  15. Bluenblood
    12:47 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    A lot of print in the replies. Too much to read but for you UK junkies to me I just saw them running or cutting back to the weak side time after time after time and we couldn’t figure that out until the 4th Qtr when it was too late. Why we couldn’t adjust hurt us a LOT

  16. Matt10
    1:10 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    I was pretty bummed after the game but then I saw what happened to LSU at home and Penn State at Michigan! At least we made it respectable! Let’s get three more wins (with a guest OC! Lol!).

    Btw, did anyone else see Harbaugh challenge that caught pass at the end of the Penn State destruction? Is he the biggest d*ck in football or is it just me? Hat tip to James Franklin for not punching his lights out. Ha. Better man than me.

  17. UKfanman01
    1:40 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    Good job Cats!!! Good game against a team that nearly won a championship one year ago. Defensive players with broken hands that still showed up and played. When it’s all said and done it’s still a historic season for this extremely talented group of kids. Wilson is starting to really play.
    My only qualm is Eddie Gran. Bye sir. Your safe play calling has cost us at least 1 game this year. You had one really good drive where you called great plays. The rest of the game was the same predictable play calling

  18. cats646
    2:06 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    I’m still proud and love this team!!!!! Keep fighting boys!
    Kick Tennessees a$$!!!!!!!!

  19. michaelb
    2:18 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

    Benny might come back . Gran needs to follow Andy Reid on twitter . Buy his books or something

    • RAGE
      2:34 pm November 4, 2018 Permalink

      Lol that would def help!!! And while he is at go recruit us a Tyreek Hill type player to play for us also