I am going to do a weekly "Film Session" article where we look at the good and the bad from the Offense, Defense, and Special Teams in our most recent game. This week, we take a look at how we faired against Mississippi State.
Going in to the week, the BBN Chalk Talk guys noted a few things in our Thursday Walk Thru Podcast that the Cats had to get done in order to win this game:
Play with discipline. Cats had to play their game and do their jobs individually and as a team. Be mentally tougher than MSU (UK 5 penalties for 42yds, MSU 16 penalties for 139yds)
Own the Line of Scrimmage. This was going to be an old-fashioned battle in the trenches. Whoever had the most rushing yards would probably win (UK had 229, MSU had 56)
Throw the first haymaker. Keep throwing punches and don't let up (MSU scored first, but not until the 2nd quarter - UK scored 28 unanswered)
Benny running like a bat out of hell! Terry was going to draw some focus after the Murray St game so Benny had to carry the load (25 rushes, 165 yards, 4 TDs)
Kentucky is 4-0 for the first time since 2008.
UK is 2-0 in SEC play for the first time since 1977.
UK is 12-4 in its last 16 home games. It is the best stretch since 2006-08.
UK is 13-5 in its last 18 regular season games. That’s the best 18-game regular-season stretch since Nov. 20, 1976, to Oct. 21, 1978 (13-4-1).
UK is 21-5 in September over the last five seasons.
B-B-B-Benny and the CATS!!! This was one of the most impressive games I have ever seen and one of those reasons is because of the Big Hog Mollies. The man rushed for 165 yards! As a whole the ground game was 229 of the 300 total yards. That's a statement right there!
Snell is the first player in program history to have four touchdowns in a game twice in a career.
He also set the UK career touchdown record with 39 TDs. The previous mark was 37 by Randall Cobb.
It was the 15th 100-yard game of his career, second in school history. He has had at least 100 yards in each of the past five SEC home games.
Benny now has 2,964 career rushing yards, ranking fourth on the UK career rushing list. He needs 32 yards to tie Rafael Little for third place. He needs 872 yards to break the school record.
Although Terry didn't have an electric game, he managed it very well. The game plan was to ride Benny and the run game. Terry made some poor throws, but given the weather conditions, he did what he needed to do. He is, however, the first QB to win his first four career starts since Mike Hartline did it in 2008.
The new wrinkle to the Wildcat formation. I loved the little jump shift to have Terry and Benny switch places so Benny could take the snap. This kept MSU from stacking the box too much and not being ready for it.
INCREDIBLE CATCHES!! CJ Conrad had a catch over a defender on the 9 yard line by Moss-ing on him (he also drew a P.I. on the play that got declined). Dorian Baker caught one on the 2 yard line on the sideline and was able to keep BOTH feet in and put us in scoring position.
The fans. I know Kroger Field (formerly Commonwealth Stadium) has had louder moments, but this was the most consistently loud I have ever heard this place. You all made a HUGE difference and the players fed off of it!
The only bad thing I have to say on offense is that the Cats got away from the game plan a little in the 2nd quarter. Benny didn't touch the ball until about 3 minutes left in the half and then only one more time to score the tying TD. I know it was an opportunity to rest him, but that could have been bad trying to throw too much.
Mississippi State entered the game averaging 311.7 rushing yards per game (3rd in FBS) but the Kentucky defense limited the Bulldogs to just 56 rushing yards on 28 carries for a 2.0 yards per carry average. 56 rushing yards is the fewest vs. a ranked opponent since holding Louisville to 55 rushing yards in 2002.
The Bulldogs threw for 145 yards, which is the fewest passing yards in a game for MSU this season.
MSU entered the game averaging 587.7 yards of total offense per game (T-8th in FBS), but the Wildcats held them to just 201 yards of total offense on Saturday, including only 53 in the decisive second half.
UK has allowed zero points in the third quarter this season, first time to do that in the first four games since at least 1980.
UK allowed 11 first downs, fewest since Vanderbilt had eight in 2014.
NO DRIVE LONGER THAN 25 YDS for MSU other than the TD drive.
Josh Allen was an ANIMAL out there and although his stat line says he had 6 tackles, two TFLs, 1 sack, 1 PBU, and a QB hurry - this man did so much more than that. He was in the backfield all night and caused so much disruption for Fitzgerald and this offense. Allen made himself some money in this one, folks!
The Secondary. Darius West led the team in tackles and Mike Edwards was all over the field making tackles and giving support int he run game. Not to mention, the shut down man-to-man pass defense they displayed.
The Defensive Line. These guys only allowed 56 RUSHING YARDS!!! I can't explain enough at how pivotal this is to the confidence of this defense.
The Linebackers. Again, they were animals in chasing Fitzgerald and being all over the place. Incredible play by this unit.
Look at this drive sequence in the 3rd quarter
MSU picks up two 1st downs and is on the UK 25 yard line in scoring range.
Josh Allen sack for a loss of 4
Josh Allen caused a holding penalty - 10 yards
Calvin Taylor sack for a loss of 10
MSU false start - 5 yards
It is now 3rd & 39 on their own 46 yard line.
I can't remember a time that I wasn't nervous even when we were up by 14 points and I wasn't the least bit worried that this defense wasn't up for the challenge.
Max Godby's Unsung Hero Award
Coach Lile's Lineman of the Week Award
Matt Smith's Play of the Game
Benny's 36-yard TD one play after the INT. Broke Randall Cobb's TD record and the Cats went up 21-7 in the 4th Q
The Cats next game will be Saturday, Sept. 29 vs. the South Carolina Gamecocks at 7:30pm at Kroger Field. You can watch the game on the SEC Network.
Where to Find Us
Catch the BBNCT guys on Cameron Mills Radio show every Sunday during football season at 7:30pm. You can listen on 630 WLAP Lexington, on one it's affiliate channels, or on the iHeartRadio App under News Radio WLAP
Every Monday, BBN Chalk Talk will post our podcast with our thoughts on the game, updates on other sports, and we ALWAYS talk food. You can check it out on BlogTalk Radio at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bbnchalktalk
Lastly, every Thursday, we will post our Thursday Walk-Thru to give you a little "Appetizer" for what to expect in the upcoming game. You find that on our BlogTalk Radio link above, as well.