By KEITH PEEL
A couple of points from the last UK game from my perspective.
From the glass half-full perspective, we saw that this team has ability ( offense and defense) and the problems are correctable with a good coaching staff. We saw three other SEC teams build first-half leads only to collapse and blow them in the second half ( Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt; only A&M could pull out a win on a gutsy call in OT). Two of those three are on our schedule. They both are considered football powers compared to UK and would be winnable if the first half UK team shows up.
From a glass half empty, another collapse when the other team starts punching back, special teams was abysmal, quarterback looked like a high school player when the heat was turned up (like U of L game last year), two targets to tight end (1 catch), conservative play calling in second half just like last year. Conservative defense once we got the lead, no perceivable adjustments at half ( just like last year). Offensive line looked like a C-USA line, not SEC.
Bottom line is its just one game but I believe it will be a career definer for Mark Stoops. The team will either rise from the ashes ( like Rich Brooks) or continue downward until Stoops is released in 2017-2018 season( like Bill Curry and Joker Phillips).
One last thought: When UK needed to run the ball and Drew Barker mentally collapsed. I wonder if they considered putting Stephen Johnson in to run the read option and give USM a different look that they couldn’t adjust to after halftime. It couldn’t have been worse than what we saw ( 13 yards in third quarter; one interception, two fumbles, no points ). Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.