SERIES 1: Score 0-0; (ball on -23): Excellent protection but Will Grier has blinders on the short right side of the play and then takes off running for (+5). 2nd &5 – Inside zone and the right side got nice push, Jordan Cronkrite carries it to left side and only gets (+2) 3rd &3 – Short quick pass, excellent protection, Grier just wide on his throw and incomplete. 6 in the box there. Florida had numbers and a check down to a run call might have been good there.
DRIVE KILLER: Incomplete pass on 3rd and short.
SERIES 2: Score 0-0; (ball on +19): Inside zone and Taylor hits the LOS hard, finds a crease and gets 11 quick yards. 1st &8 – Lead stretch play with Goolsby sealing the left edge and Taylor goes over that left side for (+5). 2nd &3 – Stretch play left and Taylor cuts it up field too early gets (+2) but could have scored if he rode it out. 3rd &1 – Power I formation and just a nice play by defense. Every Gator in the middle had a helmet on someone, but the linebacker shot the gap and caught Taylor for no gain. 4th &1 – Camrin Knight playing on the edge of the line gives up his man and forces Grier to run right. Looking for someone to pass to, he instead fakes a pass to slow down the defenders and then bolts for the corner and a TD.
BIG PLAYS: Two nice first down runs by Taylor that got a first down and set up short yardage.
SERIES 3: Score 7-3; (ball on -5): Nice movement on a stretch zone play right. Taylor has patience and gets (+5) on the play. 2nd &5 – It was quite evident on a power play with two pulling linemen going right, Taylor thought the play was to the left and stepped right into the defender that was allowed to come free. He sidestepped him but lost (-9) on the play. (Personal foul calls when UK player hits Grier). 1st &10 – Really good protection and Grier should have finally slid left a little, instead he slides forward and pins himself in and eventually is sacked for (-4). 2nd &14 – Grier has Showers open on a quick hitter to the right but short hopped the throw incomplete. Nice protection there again. 3rd &14 – Still another nice pocket but Grier can’t find an open receiver. He tucks and runs for (+8).
DRIVE KILLER: Not finding an open receiver on 1st down and running into the defense instead of following the protection for a sack.
SERIES 4: Score 7-3; (ball on -16): Another good pocket. Grier stands in there and fires over the middle to Antonio Callaway on a skinny post. Callaway makes the one-handed grab for the long (+34) yard play. Nice bullet pass over the linebackers and leading Callaway who made an even better catch with one hand. 1st &10 – Drop back pass and right tackle Fredrick Johnson loses his man inside and forces Grier to scramble right. Grier then jukes a linebacker and cuts up field for (+6). That was all Grier there. 2nd &4 – Inside zone and if Cronkrite takes it between the center (Dillard) and right guard (Jordan) where it was designed, that play goes for good yardage. Instead he goes over left guard for (+3). 3rd &1 – Gators overload left side of formation and Kentucky fails to do anything about it. Quick toss outside and Cronkrite gets first down and (+4) yards. 1st &10 – On a drop back pass call; Grier doesn’t hesitate at all when a gap opens in the line and he runs for (+13). 1st &10 – Quick hitter to Brandon Powell on the left side and his defender way off allows him to get (+9). 2nd &1 – Screen right side to Demarcus Robinson and he is somewhat tied up with his own blocker and a single defender, but manages to wiggle for (+2). 1st &10 – (false start Martez Ivey). 1st &15 – Quick inside throw to McGee nets (+5). 2nd &10 – Nice play call with McGee faking falling down and then getting back up to head out opposite of everyone else. The defender held with no call from the referee or it may have been a touchdown instead, it goes incomplete. 3rd &10 – Grier just a little too far on the fade to Powell in the right corner, but made sure defender didn’t get to it.
RESULT: Missed field goal.
DRIVE KILLER: False start on first down got them behind in down and distance situation.
SERIES 5: Score 7-3; (ball on -43): Crazy alignment with tackles outside of tight ends and Cronkrite takes the hand off for what should be a stretch left, but Sharpe fails to block his man who gets up field too fast play side and stops Cronk for no gain. 2nd &10 – Drop back pass with really nice protection again. Grier drills it to Ahmad Fulwood who was covered well, but gets the catch for (+9). 3rd &1 – Power left and Riles pulls from right guard spot and cleans up the coming defender. Cronk gets (+2) on the play and a first down. 1st &10 – Kentucky has three man line and brings a linebacker that goes uncovered off the left side of offense. Grier makes him miss and then scrambles for (+7). 2nd +3 – Inside zone left and Riles gets reached by the DT up front who stops Cronk for no gain. 3rd &3 – (substitution penalty -5). 3rd &8 – Dillard whiffs on his block and Grier is pressured to throw. He slings it between Jake McGee and Antonio Callaway and McGee gets the grab for (+6). 4th &2 – Overload left again and again Kentucky fails to compensate and a quick toss to Taylor nets (+6). 1st &10 – Grier hits McGee on quick skinny post for (+19). 1st &10 – Tunnel screen to the right to Powell blocked well, nice call. Powell gets (+10). 1st &3 – Offense sets up quick and overloaded to the right. Another quick toss and they have Kentucky outflanked again. Taylor basically goes in untouched.
BIG PLAYS: Grier passes on 2nd &10 for 9 yards, on 3rd &8 for 6 yards, and 1st &10 for 19 yards. Also a nice scramble on first down for 7 yards. Two plays where formation wise, unloaded left or right, the Gators out-schemed Kentucky.
SERIES 6: Score 14-3; (ball on +28): Zone stretch right and Gators outmanned with a 7-man front for UK. Play goes for nothing. 2nd &10 – Quick slant that would have made nice yardage, but Powell drops it. 3rd &10 – Fred Johnson jumps false start. 3rd &15 – Drop back, a little bit of time, but not really enough three man rush and Grier is sacked.
DRIVE KILLER: Dropped ball on 1st down by Powell.
SERIES 7: Score 14-3; (ball on +44): Reverse to Callaway gets (+9). Heavy line pistol formation and Taylor finds a crease for (+4). 1st &10 – Grier scrambles after blitz almost gets him. He fumbles on contact but collects the ball for (+5). 2nd &5 – Taylor follows a pulling Thurman to the right then cuts back inside for (+6) on the play. 1st &10 – Drop back and Grier sees nothing but the middle opens up and he takes off for (+8). 2nd &2 – bubble screen left to Demarcus Robinson who gets (+6). 1st &6 – Grier underthrows a corner shot to McGee in the left corner and the ball is picked off.
DRIVE KILLER: Interception on last play.
SERIES 8: Score 14-6: (ball on -25): Quick throw to Showers for (+3) looks like he had the wheel route deep on the same side. 2nd &7 – Stretch zone right and not a lot of push from up front. Taylor gets (+1). 3rd &6 – Grier has enough time to set, but doesn’t see an open receiver and takes off for (+4).
DRIVE KILLER: 2nd down run with no push from the offensive line.
SERIES 9: Score 14-9; (ball on -24): Taylor gets everything he could on an inside zone and nets (+4). 2nd &6 – Grier hits Fulwood on a stop route for (+6). 1st &10 – Grier on the run on a bootleg and throws wide, he skips the pass which was probably a good thing because the defender broke on the ball. 2nd &10 – Zone stretch left and nothing there, Kelvin does manage to get (+2) on the play. 3rd &8 – UK brings linebacker from outside and should have sacked Grier, but he managed to get free and throw it downfield, close to a catch, but incomplete.
DRIVE KILLER: 1st down incomplete when Grier was rushed on his throw.
SERIES 10: Score 14-9; (ball on -29): Tight formation with split wides, but not very far. Grier with the naked bootleg and just keeps running and gets (+11). 1st &10 – unbalanced left with lightly split wides again. Taylor is patient on the stretch zone left and gets a solid (+5) on the play. 2nd &5 – UK lining way off receivers and a bubble screen to Robinson nets (+6). 1st &10 – Quick pass to Powell and he wasn’t looking. Ball hits him in the back and goes incomplete. 2nd &10 – Slow rolling inside zone run to the right and Goolsby overmatched on the far left of the line and his defender gets to Taylor at the line of scrimmage. 3rd &10 – Nice set up of screen play, but lead blockers Thurman and Dillard missed all defenders in sight and play goes for (=7) when it could have gone for more.
DRIVE KILLER: pass that hit Powell when he wasn’t looking on 1st down.
FINAL THOUGHTS: It is going to a hard thing but Grier is going to have to trust the offensive line a little more. There were a few plays he could have stood in there and kept looking down field and he took off. Overall he had a good game and carried the team a lot of times on offense. He certainly showed a ton of toughness.
As far as the trust goes, the line is going to have to start earning it as well. You can see many individual plays and see that they have the ability, but they have to get wildly more consistent. That will only come with more playing time and those guys need to stay healthy. I don’t think Riles and Thurman had their best games and that had a bit to do with a better quality of defender that we see at Kentucky these days. They will continue to take their lumps, but are still probably ahead of where I thought they would be at this point.
I thought Kelvin Taylor ran very well minus the nine yard loss where he ran the wrong play. He really had little to work with all night and seemed to stay true to the play for the most part instead of kicking it outside like he has been doing. I think Cronkrite was okay, but not his best game.
McGee played great. Smart player of course and he made some clutch catches. The other tight ends were silent outside of their line play.
They have to be able to get the ball to Robinson and Powell. They found ways to get it to Callaway, and those are the three best big play opportunities on offense. The biggest thing they have to be able to do is find some big plays in the running game that doesn’t involve the quarterback. That will come when the line is really starting to feel sure of themselves and the backs are starting to feel sure about the line.