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Tide does not totally roll over UK in 34-6 win

Mark Stoops couldn't do much more to help his team stop Alabama. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Mark Stoops couldn’t do much more to help his team stop Alabama. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky did what no one expected — it got a lead on No. 1 Alabama. Sure, it was only 3-0 in the first quarter, but it was a lead.

It was kind downhill after that Saturday night for the Wildcats as Alabama rolled to a 34-6 loss. The Tide had 488 total yards to just 161 for Kentucky.

Kentucky tried to run, but just couldn’t. Still, credit Kentucky for trying to do the things it could not and if not for a Stephen Johnson fumble that was returned for a touchdown, the Cats would still have been in the game at halftime. But that built the lead to 17-3. Of course, that was Alabama being Alabama. That is seven straight games where the Tide has scored a touchdown either on defense or special teams. That’s how you win games.

Maybe the one strategy that could be second guessed was not playing freshman running back Benny Snell more. He got just two touches the first half and after the game coach Mark Stoops said too many three-and-out on offense kept Snell out of the game. Maybe if Snell had played, there would not have been as many three-and-outs. Just saying …

Still, the defense made some plays and was a lot better than early in the season and the offense should not face a defense anywhere near as good the rest of the season.

“Cats battled but not enough on the road vs No 1. Keep working and battling,” former UK coach Rich Brooks posted on Twitter after the game.

“Happy with that outcome. Not great by any means but not embarrassed either. Could be a new Cats team. Will find out this week,” former UK quarterback Jared Lorenzen tweeted.

He’s right. Kentucky is 2-3 but next week hosts Vanderbilt and then has a bye week. Beat Vandy and the Cats are 3-3 with a week off before hosting Mississippi State. Win that game and suddenly the complexion of the whole season changes.

Kentucky apparently came out of the game with no significant injuries and really no bruised egos. For a game at Alabama, that’s about the best UK could have realistically hoped for.

9 comments

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  1. Juan4UK

    I know it ain’t popular, but Stoops can do this. And we are starting to see this team find itself. We need to get behind this team yall

  2. RJ

    I could have been uglier than it was. I’m proud of the defense battling they way they did even though they were outgunned. But, at the end of the day, nothing will expose your weaknesses like a well coached and talented football team as an opponent. At least I now know why Johnson was not a starter. If you are going to be a running QB, you had better learn how to protect the football. Not good, is about the kindest thing I can say.

    Just finished watching the Clemson and Louisville game. I like anyone who beats Louisville. But, Patrino sure knows how to coach.

  3. RJ

    It’s sad day when a 34 – 6 thumping is the best we could hope for. Is the bar set that low?

  4. Norman Einstein

    No complaints here. Played with them on a large number of snaps and played hard til the end. Just no room for error with a team like Bama. They are so deep… just keep sending fresh players at you. Keep your heads up guys.

    GO CATS!!!

  5. Grant

    Who is back up to s. Johnson? I kinda worried about the young man’s health late 3 Rd quarter and all of the fourth. If they lost him who would take the reigns. UK’s o line by the end of the game was horrendous, but when you’re down big they know you’re going to throw it. I thought it could have been worse , but rj , in my opinion you are right.The bar is set low.

  6. Andy

    I am just confused as to why we didn’t get Benny the ball earlier. He is too important not to be starting the game along with Boom.

  7. Mike

    This is not the first game that we have either wondered why Conrad was not more involved in the game plan or why Snell not playing earlier in the games. The announcers were a little complimentary of Gran last night, but he still hasn’t shown much from a creative standpoint. Why were we not getting Johnson out of the pocket more and throwing shorter passes. Not sure Gran has been showing being an upgrade over the past 2 OC’s. He just wants to keep pounding it up the middle, and we don’t have the ability to drive many teams off the ball. When will we be able to get both sides playing in sync? Most of the season has been the offense producing and last 2 games the defense has stepped up with their improvement. If we lose to Vandy these last two defensive turnarounds will be neutralized and the heat returns to Stoops and his failed DC.

  8. Grant

    Vandy gave the gators all they wanted. At UK , there are no gimme’s .

  9. TrueBlueJohn

    I know that as a fan-base, we are consumed with ifs and buts, but that was the best team that we will face all year. Of the seven games left on the schedule, there are five that are winnable, if they play as hard as they did Saturday. They have to win four out of those five, to be bowl eligible.. Not much margin for error, but it is doable.

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