The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: UGA Edition

In this edition of "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly," we break down the highs and lows from Kentucky's 63-31 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs, including a bounce-back game for the UK offense and continued issues for the Cats' tackling and special teams unit.

THE GOOD

Offense Bounced Back: Somewhat overshadowed in the avalanche of points that Georgia scored Saturday was the fact that Kentucky corrected some of the issues that made its loss at Missouri look so bad. Most of the time, if you score 30-plus points, you’re going to have a fighting chance to win the game. I thought UK’s offensive line responded from a really poor showing at Missouri and competed hard against the Bulldogs. They opened some nice holes for Stanley “Boom” Williams in the running game, and they generally gave Patrick Towles a chance to make a few plays down the field in the passing game. UK was 9-for-18 on third down andd 3-for-3 on fourth down, both winning figures. They’ll need to bottle that up for the final two games if they want to track down that elusive sixth win for bowl eligibility.


THE BAD

Bad Boys' Tackling: Or lack thereof, to be more precise. The most frustrating thing for the UK staff and fans alike is watching players in a position to make plays and repeatedly seeing the opponent shake the first defender(s) on his way to a big gain. In the old days, teams were just faster than the Cats, and would run away from would-be tacklers. That’s not the case anymore. This UK team has speed to compete in the SEC, but its tackling fundamentals – proper angles, wrapping up, swarming to the ball – are sorely lacking. You can tell it bothers Mark Stoops, too. He takes a lot of pride in his defense, and he’s not accustomed to it looking this suspect two years into the job. It may be time to scrap that whole "Bad Boys" video clip. Fortunately, there are no more home games where it will be shown.


THE UGLY

Not-So Special Teams III: Return of Horror: Kentucky got “Abney’d” on Saturday, allowing UGA’s Isaiah McKenzie to return both a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown, a la former UK standout Derek Abney. The first, a touchdown on the game’s opening kickoff, was a real letdown. UK entered the game with a severely bruised psyche after a terrible showing at Missouri, and the last thing the Cats could afford was a touchdown by the opponent 11 seconds into the game. An already subdued Senior Day crowd was hit with a cold bucket of “Here we go again.” That makes three times in seven SEC games this season that special teams have had a major negative impact on Cats’ hopes of winning.

By The Numbers:
0 – Stops by the UK defense on the day. Georgia scored on every possession it attempted to do so, going 7-for-7 on the drive chart for touchdowns. The only two possessions the Bulldogs did not score, they were running out the clock at the end of each half.

5 – Touchdown passes by Georgia, which entered the game with only 12 on the season.

7.8 – Average yards per rushing attempt by UGA, the highest mark against the Cats this season.

9.3 – Average yards per play for the Bulldogs, nearly a first down every time they snapped the ball.

63 – Georgia tied the Commonwealth Stadium record for points by a UK opponent in a regulation game, matching LSU's 1997 effort.


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