Tonight was a very tough night for the BBN. Tonight, Kentucky had Tennessee beat and let the game slip away.
It’s crazy to think, but the Cats have beaten the Vols only two times in my lifetime.
Kentucky had so many opportunities to win the game and didn’t convert on any of them, failing to score a point in the second half. Tennessee scored twice on their first two possessions of the second half and won, 17-13.
Here’s where the game went wrong for Kentucky.
I thought it couldn’t happen tonight, but it did. AGAIN.
Two weeks ago it was Matt Ruffolo, now it’s Chance Poore.
After Kentucky took advantage of a blocked punt and scored, Poore missed the PAT. Making the score 13-0 instead of 14-0. Completely changing the play-calling at the end of the game.
Lynn Bowden’s INT
Kentucky was on Tennessee’s side of the field with a chance to make it at least a 16-3 game.
Instead, Bowden under throws Justing Rigg and Nigel Warriors intercepts the pass and takes it to the house, but stepped out of bounds at mid-field, so no touchdown.
No, Tennessee did not score, but Kentucky would’ve if Bowden had just made a good throw.
Kentucky’s secondary got destroyed in the second half. 50-50 balls and terrible coverage killed the Cats way too much tonight.
But, they’re freshman. They have been good, but they have their moments of terribleness.
Second Half Play-Calling
We’ve complained about play-calling in big games a ton in the Eddie Gran era, but tonight was really bad.
Kentucky needed to open up the playbook in the second half because Tennessee knew what was coming, but the coaches failed miserably.
They ran it up the middle too much. You don’t go deep on a 4th & 3, and you don’t run a QB option to the outside on 4th & 2 from the two yard-line needing a touchdown.
The blocking for Lynn Bowden and the running backs was exceptionally awful tonight.
If your offense relies heavily on running the ball, then you have to have your offensive-line and receivers block well.
No Points in the Second Half
I had no idea what to title this, so forgive me.
Tennessee scored with just over six minutes left in the third quarter. After that, they punted once and fumbled it once. Kentucky had the ball three times inside Tennessee’s 40 and failed to come away with points.
Now, part of that is not having a field goal kicker. But, Kentucky had three great opportunities and four chances to score from the six yard-line.
The play-calling in the second half got too predictable, which is one reason why I think Kentucky failed to move the ball. If you’re the coach, you have to see that and make adjustments, but whatever.
I love Lynn Bowden at QB and he’s kept the season alive. But, I don’t think a Sawyer Smith experiment would’ve hurt at all in the second half.
The Final Play
After all of that, Kentucky had four chances from the six yard-line to score and take the lead.
The final play:
Here’s Stoops’ comment on the play:
Should he have pitched it?
“I thought Lynn made a really good play, I’ll never argue with Lynn about taking it right there. He stretched it to the perimeter. We’ll look at it and probably feel like if he pitched it, it would have been a footrace to the pylon. It probably had a chance, but I’m not going to argue with that kid and how he had a chance to pull the ball down and try to drive it in there for that one yard. Credit them for a nice stop.”
Vanderbilt, UT Martin, and Louisville are left on the schedule. You have to win 2/3 to make a bowl game. Of course winning out would be nice, but that’s tough to see right now.
This loss really stings, especially since it’s to the Orange.
Goodnight and go Cats.