Bye Weeks hold a special place in every player's heart. After playing a SEC schedule, weeks on weeks of practices and games, and countless hits, the bye week brings some well-deserved rest! After a 5-1 start to the year, this UK team earned their rest. A bye week is one of the most crucial weeks for a team's preparation. The coaching staff can add new threads to schemes, and work out kinks in game plans and playbooks. The difference between a phenomenal or mediocre second half of the 2017 season is a successful bye week. Here are the three keys.
Get This Team Healthy
Stephen Johnson, Benny Snell, Nick Haynes, Bunchy Stallings, Logan Stenberg, Naquez Pringle, Chris Westry, Derrick Baity, Adrian Middleton and countless other Wildcats are banged up. No matter how talented a team is, if they are only playing at 75% due to injuries, it will cost W's. Get the starts some well-earned rest and let the younger guys and backups take some snaps to improve their abilities for later in the season. UK will be playing a traditionally physical team in Mississippi State on October 21st, the first week after the bye week. In order to win this game, this UK ballclub has to be healthy.
Stoops Needs to be More Hands On
This defense won UK some close games. However the Missouri offense found holes [literally] in the UK pass defense. Mizzou QB, Lock, exposed the soft coverage of the UK corners and the mismatches in pass coverage to throw 355 yards and convert multiple times on third down with quick slants that attacked defenders' inside feet to get open. BBN saw what happened the last time Stoops started being more hands on with the secondary. The defense made a complete 180. Now this team dominates on Defense, however they were exposed in a way that has teams chomping at the bit to take their shot. Stoops needs to start at ground level and rebuild this secondary.
Gran found his Three-Headed Monster, Now Feed It
One of my predictions for the UK vs. Missouri game was that this offense would click and discover a three-headed monster in Johnson, Bowden and Snell... That monster came to life. This monster needs to be in the playbook more. It needs the freedom to run, hurdle, juke and throw without any hesitation. Many fans complain about the conservative play calling. There is a time for conservative play calling, but you cannot starve the monster. Opening up the playbook to allow Snell, Bowden and Johnson to play free will leave defenses scared to death. This monster can attack at all sides when permitted.
Just like this team, BBN needs to spend some time relaxing after back to back weeks of Hail Mary's and emotional roller coasters. Enjoy a week of relaxation! Go CATS!