By KEITH PEEL
There is no “I” in TEAM. I have heard that phrase repeated in sports all my life. Saturday’s huge win against Missouri on the road proved that again.
It was a complete team effort. The offensive line dominated the D-Line from Missouri. The running back tandem of Boom Williams and Benny Snell, Jr. was phenomenal with almost 400 yards rushing between the two.
Stephen Johnson managed the game well and made plays when he had to. His improvisation on the dump off screen to Boom Williams for the touchdown in the second half was a very heady play and most likely changed the outcome of the game. The defense stepped up against a fast paced offense and held them to 14 points.
But one group that I think deserves a lot of credit and seems to get consistently overlooked lately is the wide receiver group. I think they epitomize the “no I in team” philosophy. When guys like Dorian Baker, Jeff Badet, Blake Bone, Tavin Richardson, Garrett Johnson and Ryan Timmons agreed to come to the University of Kentucky it was to play in an “Air Raid” offense that was going to throw the ball 40 to 50 times per game.
Instead they are playing in an offense that is throwing the ball on average 25 times per game in their four SEC wins. That is about 33 percent of the offensive plays per game. And some of those passes are thrown to running backs. So instead of seeing the ball thrown to them about 8-10 times each per game they are getting to run decoy routes or block for the running backs 66 percent of the time. That is a difficult pill to swallow for highly touted wide receivers that came in expecting to play in a high powered, passing offense.
And so far they have come through with flying colors. No hanging heads, no lazy routes, no lazy blocking. Just make a play when the ball is thrown your way (like Jeff Badet has done recently) or make the block on the edge that springs Boom for a touchdown.
They deserve a lot of credit for this three-game winning streak and hopefully the broadcasters and fans will notice the work they put in game in and game out. We will need a more explosive passing game against Georgia, Tennessee and Louisville if we expect to compete and win those games and this group could be the difference between a 6-6 season and potentially 7-5 or 8-4 and a shot at a high finish in the SEC East division.