Kentucky-42 Akron-10

The final game of UK’s “preseason” portion of the schedule has come to an end and with the exception of Moncell Allan, everyone appears to be healthy. Kentucky (3-0, 0-0) will begin the SEC schedule next week at Florida and we will then start to see what, if any, are Kentucky’s chances of possibly winning the east and making it to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game. Now to last night’s game.

The Good:

  • Mike Hartline continued his solid play tonight converting on 21 of his 29 attempts for 250 yards and 2 scores. Hartline also extended his streak to  3 straight games without a turnover. That will be a key point in next weeks game at Florida, being able to hang on to the football.
  • Derrick Locke had a record breaking night on a couple of different levels. He becomes only the 6th Wildcat in history to rush for 2,000 yards and he did this on the same night where he set a personal best of 166 yards on the ground. Locke also found the endzone twice.
  • Defensively the Cats did tonight what they couldn’t seem to do last week against Western Kentucky and that’s to shut down the run. The Zips gained only 67 yards on 38 carries for 1.8 yards per carry. A much better performance from the defensive unit.

The Bad:

  • The first quarter was absolutely horrendous. The team came out like you hope you never see from a team no matter who the opponent was as they slept walked through the opening frame. They weren’t sharp at all and looked completely out of sync. They got their act together and dominated the 2nd and 3rd quarters of play like you would expect, but starting next Saturday at 7, there can’t be any slow starts like we saw against Akron.
  • As good as the defensive front 7 looked against the run, the secondary looked that bad against the pass. Luckily, Akron’s QB Patrick Nicely couldn’t connect with any of the 4 wide open receivers he saw streaking down the field or else Akron could have stayed in this ball for much longer than they actually did. A blown assignment against the Gators mean 6 points.

Joker Phillips became the first coach in the history of UK Football to start 3-0, getting to 4-0 will prove to be much tougher next week as it would involve getting out of the “swamp” with a W. The Cats are where we expected them to be as we are now 1/4 of the way through this season and the next for weeks will determine if they are SEC contenders. Go Big Blue!


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