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:
Don't get cocky
Stay within yourself
Be a hunter
While all of these things stayed true int he first half, there was some exposure from our offense in particular that had this team getting away from these key things.
Kentucky s 5-0 for the first time since 2007 and the fifth time since World War II (also 1949, 1950, 1984).
UK is 3-0 in SEC play for the first time since the 1977 team went undefeated in league play and the fourth time in school history (also 1949 and 1950).
UK has its most SEC wins over three seasons (11) since 1977-79 (11).
UK is 7-3 in its last 10 SEC home games, tying its best 10-game home stretch in the history of Kroger Field/Commonwealth Stadium, going 7-3 from Nov. 9, 1974 to Nov. 19, 1977.
UK is 14-5 in its last 19 regular season games. That’s the best 19-game regular-season stretch since Nov. 13, 1976, to Oct. 21, 1978 (14-4-1).
UK is 13-4 in its last 17 home games. It is the best stretch since 2006-08. UK is 17-5 in August/September over the last five seasons.
The game's attendance of 63,081 is the third-largest since the renovation of Kroger Field in 2015.
UK has five consecutive wins by at least 11 points in the same season for the first time since 1977.
UK opened the season with five consecutive wins by at least 11 points for the first time since 1950.
UK has three SEC wins by at least 11 points in the same season for the first time since 2002.
UK has three consecutive SEC wins by at least 11 points for the first time since 1999.
UK has started SEC play 3-0 with each win by at least 11 points for the first time since 1977.
UK has won its first four home games by at least 14 points, first time since 1987.
The first half! These boys came out swinging and scored 24 points on four consecutive drives.
Benny put up big numbers (mostly in the first half) and is now sitting at 40 career TDs and has moved in to 3rd on the UK career rushing list with 3,063 rushing yards, passing Rafael Little (2,996). He also has 18 TDs in the last eight home games.
The Offensive Line. They played well for the majority of the game and gave Benny some holes to run through. The second half didn't look like they played all that great, but they did and I will get in to why it didn't work below in "The Bad" section.
Building on play options. Coach Gran had added a new wrinkle in every game to an existing play that has been successful. Against MSU, it was the jump shift to Wildcat that kept the Bulldogs off guard. This week it was the pass off of the fake pitch-option that has been working so well for this offense. Gran only used it once, but that one play resulted in a long gain to Bouvier. Just one more thing for future defenses to worry about.
The Running Back situation for next year. First off, AJ Rose looked really good in his 7 carries, but most impressive was the drive that was capped off with a hard-fought TD. Second, Siheim King was Redshirted which means he will have another year to add some weight to his frame and be a weapon for the 2018-19 season.
UK was 3 for 4 in the Redzone and did not allow any sacks on the game.
The Possession clock. UK had the ball for 34:44 compared to USC who had it for 25:16.
The locker room after the game.
When CJ Conrad was asked about the feeling of being 5-0, he said "It’s an amazing feeling. Especially because I feel like we haven’t played our best football yet. Defense is playing unbelievable, but offensively I feel like there is so much more out there for us."
Similarly, AJ Rose was asked how the offense can grow from this game. His response was, "We can grow a lot. It is still a lot of plays out there that people haven’t seen yet. We’re keeping a lot of stuff in the bag, Coach Gran has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. As the season goes, you will see a lot of plays being made.”
The fact that this team didn't go crazy and stay on Cloud 9, speaks volumes about the maturity and hunger they have to be great!
As mentioned above, my biggest frustration was that when USC made the halftime adjustment to make the Cats win through the air and decide to shut down the run game, Gran kept trying to run the ball. There are so many weapons on this offense, you need to make teams regret trying to control the game.
The penalties. There were ELEVEN penalties on both sides, but the offensive ones hurt a little more. Nine of the 11 penalties accepted were on the offense. Three of those nine were 15 yards. We saw what that kind of sloppy and undisciplined play did to Mississippi State last week. These guys can't fall in to that.
Third down conversions. The Cats only had 3 of 11 conversions which sits at 27%.
The defense won this game! They gave up one FG and a Touchdown that should have been intercepted. You hate that the INT was missed, but love the gamble he took to try and get that.
The Cats defense has allowed 20 points or fewer and 360 total yards or fewer in all 5 games this season.
Josh Allen. Even though he was quiet through most of the game, he still had a big impact and made that especially known in the 4th Quarter. Josh had eight tackles, four tackles for loss (-19), including three quarterback sacks (-17), caused one fumble and had a quarterback hurry.
He has 20.5 career quarterback sacks, moving past Dennis Johnson (19 sacks) for third place on the UK career list.
He is the first UK player with three sacks in an SEC game since Marlon McCree vs. South Carolina in 1998.
He is the first UK player with four tackles for loss in any game since Marlon McCree vs. Florida in 1998.
Deebo Samuel only had 2 receptions and Jake Bentley only had 148 yards passing (most of which came in the second half). Deebo was averaging 6 receptions/game and Bentley was averaging 260 yards/game.
Darius West played lights out with 9 tackles, 1 INT, and 1 PBU.
The defense had 4 sacks, held the USC offense to 5 for 15 on third down conversions (33%), and only allowed that offense in to the Redzone twice.
The locker room after the game.
When Derrick Baity was asked about it being true that there was no celebration in the locker room even though they were 5-0, he said, "We celebrated. But, I feel like it wasn’t as usual because we didn’t play up to our standard. Coming out, we didn’t move the ball on offense, and we were on the field on defense for like eight minutes, ten minutes or something. That’s just not our standard. It was a little frustrating for the team, but as a team we got a team win so that’s all that matters at the end of the day. I’m sure it will be acknowledged to as during the week.”
Great to see these guys aren't going to settle for a win. They want to get better and have standards that they know they've met or not regardless of the outcome on the scoreboard. Love that!
The big play potential that USC did not capitalize on. Two passes in the same series were under thrown that could have been TD plays for USC. One was dropped and the other was intercepted. There was also a run by USC RB AJ Turner where he tripped over the 27-yard line and could have broken for much longer. Dodged a few bullet there.
Not a lot of pressure on the QB. Bentley sat back there for almost the entire game without much pressure in his face.
The Kickoff Team. The pooch kicks and the coverage were great. Even the self-tackle by USC helped out! One thing that may have been missed was McKinnis starting his jog to kickoff and then stopping to reset. He was doing this because USC was masking which side Deebo was going to be on in KR. Great job keeping him from breaking anything big.
The 41 yard kickoff return by Lynn Bowden.
Max Duffy with all 4 of his punts inside the 20 yard line and two punts over 50 yards.
Max Godby's Unsung Hero Award
Coach Lile's Lineman of the Week Award
Matt Smith's Play of the Game
Mike Edwards' interception with 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Sealed the game and stopped a long 7-minute drive.
The Cats next game will be Saturday, Oct. 6 at Texas A&M at 7:00pm. You can watch the game on the ESPN.
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.