Taylor's Thoughts: Midterm grades

The season is halfway over. Three wins, three losses. A split the rest of the year will result in a bowl game for the football program at the University of Kentucky, which would give the team its first postseason berth since 1999.

The season is halfway over. Three wins, three losses.

A split the rest of the year will result in a bowl game for the football program at the University of Kentucky, which would give the team its first postseason berth since 1999.

Barring an upset loss to one of three beatable teams left on the schedule (Mississippi State, Louisiana-Monroe and Vanderbilt), look for Kentucky to be playing in perhaps the Liberty Bowl in Memphis when it comes time to hand out the bids once the season ends.

But to get there, the Cats need to continue on the current path and avoid a possible misstep along the way. A "signature" victory over LSU, Georgia or Tennessee would do wonders for Rich Brooks and help the veteran coach secure some more time as the team's coach.

So far, Kentucky has beaten the teams it should, but haven't been able to pull off a big upset, although the Cats did defeat Ole Miss and came close to knocking off South Carolina last weekend.

The following is a look back at the first six games in this writer's view, complete with a report card.



Offense

Andre Woodson. Enough said.

Woodson, who entered fall camp in a struggle to retain his starting job at quarterback, has been among the pleasant surprises for an offense that ranks among the Southeastern Conference leaders in passing and scoring offense. Woodson has avoided making negative plays and has taken charge as the team's leader on offense.

The offensive line has been productive, while the wide receivers, led by Keenan Burton, thingyy Lyons and tight end Jacob Tamme, have also been a surprise. The running game, led by Rafael Little has been a disappointment, but not a total letdown. One breakout game will be a plus.

Grade: B



Defense At one point in the season, the defensive unit was among the top teams in turnover margin, but still having trouble stopping teams who run the football. The secondary is up-and-coming, but still needs some experience in order to be truly effective in the Southeastern Conference.

The defensive line and the linebackers have talent, but injuries to key players at tackle have been a letdown.

Another consistent problem for the defense has been a lack of stopping the opposition in third-and-long situations.

Grade: D



Special teams

Again, the special teams unit has been very solid in punt and kickoff returns, among the best in the conference.

Special teams have been solid under Brooks and continue to be a strong suite this time around.

Grade: B



Coaching

Brooks was given more time by athletics director Mitch Barnhart last season and hasn't been a letdown through the team's first six games.

Offensive coordinator Joker Phillips has been productive and the staff has taken advantage of the fact that Kentucky is a throw first, run second outfit.

Grade: C

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