LEXINGTON, Ky. --- Kentucky coach Guy Morriss and his staff on Sunday began the painful process of reviewing game film from the Cats' 36-10 loss to Louisville.
And to no one's surprise, things looked no better on tape than it did in person Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium, particularly from an offensive standpoint.
Despite being held to 213 total yards and no offensive touchdowns by a Cardinal defense assumed by many to be suspect entering the game, Morriss says the team can regain its confidence.
"I think after these kids see the film and see that the biggest problems they made were technical mistakes --- things that we feel good about getting corrected --- nobody should get in a panic," Morriss said. "When they see this film, they're going to be angry with themselves and get back up. They're not ready to throw in the towel just yet."
The Cats' numerous problems Saturday began up front, Morriss said, where his normally reliable offensive line did not perform to expectations.
"From an offensive line standpoint, we just kind of broke down technically," he said. "One guy would take his turn in the barrell, so to speak. It seemed like one or two guys breaking down every play."
Morriss downplayed the notion that the unit's effectiveness was hindered by minor injuries which often forced three to four regulars to miss practice. Guard Josh Parrish, tackles Antonio Hall and Matt Brown and center Nolan DeVaughn rarely saw repetitions together during the weeks leading up to the first game.
"Every rep that they get during the week would obviously help them, but I gotta feel like they're pretty veteran guys," Morriss said. "We don't have that intricate of a run game. Most of the things that we did yesterday were just zone stepping and those type of things. Certainly fifth-year seniors and veteran ballplayers ought to be able to step with the right foot and get their hat in the right place, that kind of stuff.
"We just did a very poor job."
And they were not alone.
The running backs also drew criticism after gaining only 58 yards on 28 carries. This game was supposed to mark the reintroduction of a consistent rushing attack to UK football. Instead, the Cats flopped against a Louisville defense that was shredded for 404 yards in the previous week by New Mexico State.
"It was one of the bigger disappointments that we had," Morriss said.
Chad Scott, the Cats' top rushing threat, managed only 29 yards on 11 attempts.
"There was a little bit too much of that on the running backs' part, trying to bounce it east and west," Morriss said. "At times, it looked like they were trying to break the big run every time they touched the ball rather than being happy with five or six yards.
"We're going to get all that corrected. They've got to try to find whatever seam is there, get their shoulder pads down, and push the pile.
"From a mental standpoint, we just didn't execute our technique right, and that really sticks in my crawl because we have worked so hard."
Of all the problem areas, however, none was as glaring as the Cats' inability to throw the football successfully. Alternating quarterbacks Jared Lorenzen and Shane Boyd combined to complete only 15 of 37 attempts for 155 yards. Each also had two turnovers, an interception and fumble, to their credit.
Kentucky's wide receivers accounted for only seven of the team's 15 completions. Throwing out Dougie Allen's late 32-yard reception against a loose Cardinal coverage in the final two minutes of play, they managed only six catches for 48 yards.
Asked whether the receivers were having trouble getting open or the quarterbacks were not finding them, Morriss responded it was a little of both.
"Louisville did a pretty good job on our receivers," he said. "But there were a lot of times when we had an open receiver and we just didn't read the progression like we were supposed to or we didn't find one. That's something these quarterbacks have to get better at, and the receivers have to run better routes, be where they're supposed to be, and beat the bump-and-run and that type of stuff."
Despite the struggles against Louisville, Morriss plans to continue using both Lorenzen and Boyd at quarterback.