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
The stage is set. pic.twitter.com/qcpFtXPdGb
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 4, 2018
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?
Final from Clemson, SC. pic.twitter.com/vD6E6GC5vx
— LouisvilleFootball (@UofLFootball) November 3, 2018
The battle for the goat will take place as the Green Bay Packers take on the New England Patriots tonight on Sunday Night Football.