Poor clock managment hurts Cats

After a 15-yard screen pass to Derrick Locke, Kentucky let 15 seconds click off the play clock — and game clock — before having to waste its final timeout with 30 seconds left.

Kentucky got the ball at its own 43-yard line leading 17-7 with 1:52 left in the first half. The Cats got a first down at the 39 and took forever to snap the ball. Then after a 15-yard screen pass to Derrick Locke, Kentucky let 15 seconds click off the play clock — and game clock — before having to waste its final timeout with 30 seconds left.

Coach Rich Brooks threw his cap on the ground and glared at quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders, who signals the plays to quarterback Mike Hartline.

"We did waste time tyring to make some checks (at the line) and pick up blitzes," Brooks said.

The Cats got a first-down at the five-yard line on a 14-yard pass to Chris Matthews and this time quickly stopped the clock with an incompletion with 15 seconds left. After an illegal procedure penalty, Hartline threw a pass across the field to Matthews. He made the catch, struggled and went down.

However, the clock didn't start because apparently after the officials had asked for the clock to be reset after the penalty when an extra second had ticked off the clock, someone in the press box forgot to activate the remote switch that gave the game official the ability to start the clock.

After the officials huddled, the referee said "by rule" the half was over. Brooks again threw his hat and went after the official.

"We had a little clock problem with the clock not starting," Brooks said after the game. "We threw a pass we shouldn't have thrown. He was instructed to throw it into the end zone or in the stands. Chris should have batted the ball down (to stop the clock). But that's on me. I should have made sure that did not happen.

"We wanted at least three points. We did all the right things to that point. Mike did waste some time, but that can be corrected."


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