We went from a dream season for Kentucky fans and the team, to a tumble out of the Top 25. The
last few weeks have not been good for the Cats as they lose their third straight game of the season. This time a shoot out loss against Tennessee, 45 to 42. There were times where Kentucky could have taken the lead and pull away, but the game was a disaster on the defensive side of the ball. It seems as if the defense has a great game, the offense will be off and vice versa.
Let’s get the bad out of the way first. The defense was absolutely atrocious, especially the
secondary. Kentucky’s interior defense was very solid and did their part, but Hendon Hooker
shredded the secondary. His second time against Kentucky was a lot more successful. Hooker completed 15 of his 20 pass attempts, and racked up 316 passing yards with four touchdowns.
Tennessee started the game with their first two drives resulting in quick strike touchdowns. As I predicted in preview article Velus Jones Jr. and Javonta Payton had big games for Tennessee.
Kentucky Dominated the time of possession with over 46 minutes versus Tennessee’s 13 minutes and 52 seconds. With such a large discrepancy in time of possession between the two teams it would seem like Kentucky would have won the game by a lot. This is the third game in a row that the secondary has given up big play after big play. If Kentucky’s secondary is going to have issues against teams with good quarterbacks then they have to figure out how to either get more pressure on the QB or change their defensive play calling. The secondary has a ton of holes that must be addressed if the Cats want to finish out strong.
Even though the defense was rough, at least our offense was a major highlight of the
game. Will Levis had a monster bounce-back game after his mishaps against Mississippi State.
Levis completed 31 of his 49 passes for 372 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns. He added
47 rushing yards to his game and two rushing touchdowns. However, he did have a couple bad
throws, but only had one interception. His strong showing was backed by a good showing from
Wan’Dale Robinson who had 13 receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown. Izayah Cummings
had a coming out game as well. Cummings racked up a season high 75 yards on four receptions
and a touchdown. It’s good to see the offense doing great again. We can’t forget the big dog,
Chris Rodriguez Jr., who had a great game with no fumbles as well. He rushed for 109 yards in
22 attempts. The offense and defense must work in coordination the rest of the season if we want
to make it to a better bowl game for the season.
Sitting at 6-3 after a 6-0 start is not ideal for the fans right now, but all we can do it
continue with the tremendous support for our guys the rest of the season. Our next game will be
this Saturday against 2-7 Vanderbilt down in Nashville. This should be a good game for us to
bounce back into the win column and gain momentum for the end of the year. The team does not
need to overlook the weaker Vanderbilt squad because in the SEC, anything is bound to happen.
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Devin Hall is a columnist for MESPORTS digital. A University Louisville graduate who loves good music, good games and good times. He can be reached at DHall@maineventsports101.com. Follow him on Twitter @Mista_Hall25