How’s everyone doing today? I hope many of you have the day off for Labor Day. It’s definitely a sunglasses and advil kind of day if you are a Kentucky fan. The living room littered with the remnants of what was an exciting beginning to the football season. Your favorite drinks now sitting empty and dry in your StraitPinkie koozies. It’s much harder to clean up after defeat, than it is to revelle in a win. Kentucky had the sting of defeat from last years loss to the dirty birds in their own house. However, the ‘Cats still could not match Louisville’s intensity. What happened?
As painful as it is to say, you have to give credit where credit is due. Sophmore QB Teddy Bridgewater played a near flawless game. Despite not even having a passing touchdown, the ‘Cards QB only missed on two of his twenty-one pass attempts. He averaged eleven yards per pass attempt, and never threw an interception. At times, the game seemed very easy for “Teddy 5″. A simple pitch and catch, and they were off to the races. You would hear the announcers say that Bridgewater would have “all day” to sit back in his pocket and throw. Or you would hear Kentucky “finally” got a little pressure on him.
Louisville seemed untouchable on the ground game as well. The combined play of Senorise Perry and Jeremy Wright accumulated all of the Cardinal touchdowns. Louisville outrushed Kentucky 213-93 and held possession for over twelve minutes longer.
As for Kentucky, the game seemed to be a reminder of last year. This time, they were not in the comforts of home and everyone knew it would be a tall task to handle. Quarterback Max Smith played really well in his own right. Smith threw for 280 yards, two touchdowns and 0 interceptions in the loss. From that stat line, I think head coach Joker Phillips made the right call. Kentucky managed to throw more passing yards than Louisville, but barely. Louisville had such a run game going, why would there be a need to pass? The offense now has some weapons, the bigger problem was the defense.
Letting the Cardinal running backs on runs as long as 47-yards is never going to get you a win. Shouldn’t we know how to block and tackle by now? The defense seemed oblivious at times that Bridgewater was still in the pocket. Was there fear of the big play if they put pressure on him? Obviously, letting him stand back there and pick apart your defense was not working.
The ‘Cats were able to keep the penalty flag in the ref’s pocket, but they coughed up the football twice. Only rushing for 80 yards, and not forcing a Louisville turnover spelled doom for the boys in blue. I feel like I’ve heard the same excuses over and over again after every loss, especially to Louisville. “We shot ourselves in the foot.” “We are better than this.” Until it is proven on the football field against an opponent that is not named Western Kentucky or Kent State, who’s going to believe you?
As we look at the rest of the schedule, Kentucky hosts the Kent State Golden Flashes and then squares off against Western Kentucky. Those two games should be wins, and momentum builders. After those couple of games, it’s a trip to Gainesville to meet the Florida Gators. The Gators are coming off a very sub-par performance in their home opener against Bowling Green (OH). The ‘Cats can use the momentum and practice on these upcoming cupcakes to lead the charge into Gainesville. Can Joker end another streak?
The photo below is of a Kent State player running in the wrong direction. We can at least beat those guys, right?
Filed Under: Football
About the Author: Writer for StraitCats.com, lifelong UK fan, college sports enthusiast. Twitter: BrianLewis_SP