(image courtesy of Lexington Herald-Leader)
Whew, that game had a lot of emotions attached to it. In the first half it seemed like the world was coming to an end and in the second the Cats were able to pull it out! The win puts Kentucky at 2-0 which I’ll definitely take over last year’s 0-2 start. While there are many things to take away from this game, I’ve narrowed it down to five. Let’s take a look.
1. Stephen Johnson is our QB and it’s not close
I believe Barker deserved to get some playing time today but when he did, it wasn’t pretty. Barker lead the offense for two drives which resulted in a grand total of -6 yards. Johnson ended the day going 15-22 for 224 yards and a TD. Johnson also got it done with his legs rushing six times for 48 yards and a very elusive TD as he made two tacklers miss. Can we now stop questioning SJ?
2. Lynn Bowden got to play, but then got ejected
Remember all those mysterious tweets by Lynn Bowden last week where he wasn’t happy about his playing time? He got in the game a lot in the first quarter and then…got ejected. On a scramble by Stephen Johnson, Bowden made a block on a reciever and he was tossed out for targeting. This tells me the coaching staff intends to get him more involved and will see an increase in touches for him week by week. As long as he can stay in the game, I expect to see a whole lot of Bowden in the coming weeks.
3. Pass defense had issues
Has the secondary regressed a bit? Some may think so but I personally believe they’ll get back on track soon however, I can’t ignore the pass defense had a lot of holes today. It didn’t matter which QB EKU had in, they were slinging the ball around and getting huge gains. Also tackling in the secondary was an issue as guys were braking off a lot which also had to do with the linebackers (not Jordan Jones though). If UK wants to have a shot at South Carolina, they have to clean it up a lot.
4. Special teams weren’t as good today
Last week we praised the special teams unit for their brilliant play but this week was different. If you remember, last week we pinned Southern Miss within the two twice and within the 20 eight times. This week we were only able to get EKU within the 20 once as the punts weren’t on the money this week. On kickoff returns, L.J. Scott got beyond the 50 twice which resulted in Austin Macginnis having to make two TD saving tackles. To top it off, Macginnis missed a 48 yard FG that could’ve tied the game going into halftime. Let’s hope we see the week one special teams next week and not week two’s.
5. Holy Blake Bone!
We had a Blake Bone sighting today! At the end of the first, Stephen Johnson and Bone connected on two passes for a combined 50 yards and then connected a third time for 43 yards! It would be very nice to see Bone come into his own and have a great senior season! It would also give Stephen Johnson another tall target to pass to in the red zone with Kayuane Ross. I really hope this wasn’t a fluke and Bone can redeem his football career.
While this week wasn’t pretty, I’ll take the 2-0 start. Lots of things that need to be fixed but there’s still potential for a special season! It will be interesting to see how Kentucky responds next week at South Carolina. Don’t forget to follow @ukfansallday on Twitter and Facebook! Go Cats!