Some random thoughts after watching a very disappointing Kentucky game.
- Michael Smith is just a flat-out warrior. But unfortunately, when we rhetorically asked a few weeks ago where this team would be without Michael Smith, we found out the hard way on Saturday night. There’s only so much rubber on that tire, and we’ve used it.
- For the second consecutive week, the defense played good enough to win. The four turnovers they secured gave the offense good field position and numerous scoring opportunities.
- There’s a lot of satisfaction in seeing young players ‘grow up’ right before our eyes. Guys like Joe Adams, Zach Stadther, Jerry Franklin and Jerico Nelson come to mind. But as we all knew, there would be days when some of that youth and inexperience would cause Hog fans to grimace. Still…that didn’t make it any easier to watch the train wreck that was the last five minutes of that game.
- As Paul Petrino and others said after the game, it was “a team loss.” And that includes the coaching staff. Someone pointed out that we would be skewering the previous coaching regime here for a loss like that one. And they’re probably right.
- One of the obvious issues this coaching staff needs to improve is red zone efficiency. Or as Bobby Petrino calls it…the “critical zone.” Treating the diminutive Michael Smith like he’s a hulking Michael Bush in goal line situations is simply a mistake we’ve made too many times this year. It appeared the coaches had figured that out at Auburn after scoring two touchdowns in the critical zone using misdirection plays. But unfortunately, the one time a similar misdirection worked on Saturday, the Hogs took points off the board with a penalty. Which leads us to the ‘Ugly’…
- Four turnovers (two inside the Kentucky 5-yard line) and 102 yards in penalties will get you beat in most of the games you play. It’s hard to feel sorry for a team who loses a close game when they make that many mistakes.
- Finally, a big ole ‘Ugly’ thrown out to Kentucky fans. Now…I’m not talking about the ones who left after Ramon Broadway’s interception with five minutes to go in the game. I’m talking about the ‘fans’ who abandoned ‘their team’ before that…when they were only down by 10 points! Several Kentucky newspaper columnists chided the fans for leaving early and noted that the stadium was less than half full to see one of the best comebacks in school history.
Walking on Sunshine also contributed to this post.