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Give Lee Corso a game ball for comment that inspired Kentucky defense

By LARRY VAUGHT

Maybe Kentucky should give the game ball from Saturday’s 17-10 Southeastern Conference victory over South Carolina to ESPN analyst Lee Corso.

During ESPN College GameDay before the Tennessee-Florida game, Corso proclaimed that “Kentucky might have the worst defense in the history of college football.”

Of course, Kentucky did rank near the bottom of 10 national defensive categories doing into the game with South Carolina and had blown a 25-point lead to Southern Mississippi and allowed New Mexico State to score 42 points and gain 500 yards.

The Wildcats responded by limiting a mediocre South Carolina offense to 268 total yards and 3-for-13 on third-down conversions.

“Defense came down to 3rd downs again. That’s where game has been for us,” said Kentucky coach Mark Stoops.

Defensive lineman Matt Elam, who has been criticized by UK fans, immediately went to Twitter after the win and posted a playful, “Kentucky May Have The Worst Defense In The History Of Football.”

Another lineman, Denzil Ware, had called teammates earlier in the day to make sure they knew what Corso had said and that they better bring an all-out effort in a game UK had to win to have any realistic hope of maybe winning six games and going to a bowl.

Earlier Austin’s Rose, a duo of UK fans, indicated it still believed in Stoops by releasing a song, “I Still Believe in Stoops,” that included this lyric, “But I’m not giving up on Stoops, he can still win six games.”

Kentucky got 123 yards rushing and one touchdown from Boom Williams before freshman Benny Snell punished the Gamecocks in the fourth quarter and finished with 73 yards and the winning touchdown. Kentucky ended having the ball almost 33 minutes and amassed 351 yards.

Quarterback Stephen Johnson was 11 of 19 passing for 135 yards. “We have tremendous playmakers … I just have to put the ball in their hands and not try to be Superman,” Johnson said.

Stoops admitted it was probably his biggest win in four years at Kentucky — and was the first time in 24 games at UK when his team trailed at halftime that it had won. That’s a huge step forward for a team that had never seemed to make significant halftime adjustments.

“Really good team victory. Proud of those guys,” Stoops said.

He should have been. Many UK fans had lost hope in the team. This revives that faith. Forget what happens at No. 1 Alabama the next game. After that, UK gets home games with Vanderbilt and Mississippi State. Win them and UK suddenly goes from 0-2 to 4-3 and November games will matter a lot.

6 comments

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  1. Mike

    A great victory for the team and great victory for Stoops. It was nice to see some fight and passion from the team and nice to see a very improved defensive effort. I was a little disappointed in the lack of creativity from Gran and wondering why he didn’t get Snell involved in the offense earlier and have Conrad involved in the game plan. Gran must be saving for Alabama. Wouldn’t it be nice if Mt. Elam started playing and stopped tweeting. He and Eliot continue to showcase their value weekly..very weakly.

  2. Larry Pup

    Corso’s got a big mouth, always did have one. I have to give Coach Stoop’s some credit tonight, he had his team ready to play. Snell is a stud!!! Johnson did enough to get his team another win, a win they had to have.

  3. KingGhidora

    Ware played like a man possessed today. Now maybe we know why. Maybe Stoops should hire Corso to give pre-game talks about how bad UK is. It did wonders for the team against USC.

    The offense has found some serious weapons now. I don’t know how they went unnoticed in practice to be honest but I’m glad they are on the job now. They looked very good at times.

    I’m going to say it because I think it’s a problem but I still don’t like the play calling by UK. Someone isn’t on the job of knowing how to play against a defense. I was able to explain glaring examples of bad coaching to my wife in a few short plays. She immediately understood. I wish Stoops did. For example someone called for the swinging gate play to the right. UK had two receivers spread that direction to work the play. But USC had 3 defenders. Of course the play didn’t work. It can’t work in those conditions unless a glaring mistake is made by the defense. This is stuff any grade school coach should know. Yes I’m being critical on a day the team looked good but somehow this problem has to be addressed. You don’t run the ball through the 2 hole (between the guard and the center) when the best defensive lineman on the other team is lined up in that gap. Unless you have Anthony Munoz on the roster in disguise that play isn’t going to work. Stoops doesn’t seem to understand these things. My wife did. What’s that tell you? She likes football but she’s a novice. She’s a quick learner though and she instantly saw the bad thinking in those plays being called.

  4. GeneT

    Really nice win. Crowd was the best I have seen in awhile! Loud and having fun all over the stadium. Not a sell out, but too bad for the fans not there. One of the most fun games in awhile. We had to have this game and the team came through. I know S Carolina is not doing so well either right now, but they are still an SEC quality team. I will take any SEC win and enjoy the crowd like this anytime. Well we are headed to Alabama next week, and me and a couple buddies will be there. I just hope we play tough and smart. A win would be great, but just show up and play tough. GO CATS!!!!!!

  5. Norman Einstein

    We looked like an SEC team. A really nice thing to see.

  6. RJ

    Now that’s playing football. Great game. I hope we can keep Snell for a while.

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