The good news is that Maxwell Smith will be under center. The bad news is the schedule does not get any easier.
Avoid the slow start
I’m starting off with this until it actually happens. When you are the underdog it is so touch to come from behind. This becomes even more difficult when the opposition has the best running back in the country in Marcus Lattimore. Kentucky has not scored in the first quarter this year and has scored a first quarter offensive touchdown since November of 2010. I went into the details last week prior to Florida. I’m not doing it again.
Keep Maxwell Smith upright
Last week showed us just how important Maxwell Smith is to the UK offense. Without him, total ineptitude may be a bit generous. South Carolina features their rabbit defense that has four defensive ends on the front line. They are led by Jadeveon Clowney and all of them are big, quick and difficult to contain. If Smith is on his back, he is likely to re-injure his shoulder. Something that Kentucky obviously cannot cope with.
Contain Marcus Lattimore
You are not going to stop Lattimore, but you can’t let him get six or seven yards a pop. Keep him under 100 yards and don’t let him control the game. Do that and you begin your journey to have a chance.
Win the takeaway battle
To beat the No. 6 team in the land you need some things to go your way and the easiest way to do that is to win the turnover battle. UK simply cannot turn it over like they have the last two games. If Maxwell Smith throws four picks as he did against WKU, the Cats will not have a chance. On the other hand, they need to force some turnovers and get some easy scores.
Vandy stayed in the game versus South Carolina mainly due to forced turnovers. They forced both Lattimore to fumble and Conner Shaw to throw a pick. Kentucky must do the same.
At times, the body language was awful during Saturday’s loss at Florida. That has to stop. Much of it had to do with their inability to move the football, but still it is nowhere near acceptable. Kentucky must play a full 60 minutes. And that is whether they are in the game late or down three-plus scores. It just sucks to see guys quit.
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