DEMAREE: Cats need turnovers at Georgia

Generally speaking, all anyone has to do to define a team's success or failure in a season is look at the turnover margin, plus or minus. If a team has a fairly substantial plus margin in the turnover ratio, it's safe to say they have a substantial winning record margin.

At the beginning of the season, many naysayers, pessimists, history buffs and yes, even "Big Blue faithful" who did not want to see the football team win, looked at the murderous schedule and the high turnover margin the team achieved last season, and said there's no way this team can duplicate what they did last season. (Oh, there are a handful out there that I'm familiar with who gave up their season tickets a couple years ago, and would like to feel justified in their decision.)

The Cats were among the tops in the nation in the plus turnover margin last season. History says that when a team is high in the turnover margin in a given season, then rarely will they duplicate that feat the following season. For mediocre teams this usually spells disaster or at the very least a losing season. After having been as high as +7 this season, Kentucky at this point in the season is a -2 in the turnover column.

The difference here, though, is UK is not a mediocre team and has been a good enough team to overcome that deficit.

Brooks was asked to speak to the minus turnover margin not being as good and whether that could have made a difference in the present record. He said – "Hasn't been as good! – It hasn't even been close! Two of the three games we lost, we turned it over ten times, four at South Carolina and two scores, six against Mississippi State. Yeah, I think we would have a chance if we were as magical as we were last season at protecting the ball and as fortunate as we were at taking it away, we might be looking at one or two more wins right now."

Speaking of magical and fortunate, is that what it comes down to? Brooks denied that theory by saying that they coach it but sometime the ball doesn't bounce your way. "And it's kind of one of those years where a lot of those fumbles that are on the ground go right back to our opponent rather than to us. We haven't been able to get quite as many picks although we are about the same and our fumbles are on the way down.

We asked defensive coordinator Steve Brown if possibly not having enough people around the ball is indicative of not being able to recover fumbles. He scoffed at the idea that his people weren't hustling to the ball carrier saying, "No, I think that we have not been lucky this year, when the ball is out it seems to bounce right back in their hands."

It's often said by football enthusiasts that in order for the underdog to win a big game, it will have to decisively win the turnover battle, however UK lost the turnover battle to LSU, the No.1 team in the nation, and came out victorious. On the other hand, Georgia could be playing, arguably, the best football in the conference right now and a turnaround in the turnover slide would be no doubt helpful for the Cats.

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