CRAWFORD | Repeat performance: Eight takeaways from UK's 27-3 lo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Repeat performance: Eight takeaways from UK's 27-3 loss to Georgia

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — University of Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has been insistent, even as his team has struggled after a 4-1 start, that we have not seen this movie before.

But after the Wildcats’ fourth straight loss, this one a 27-3 setback at a Georgia team that hadn’t scored an offensive touchdown in three games coming in, the plot looks eerily similar.

The Wildcats’ were not Rocky. Against an opponent that was in turmoil coming into the game and listing badly on offense, UK could not take advantage.

Its special teams were bad. Patrick Towles is struggling at quarterback. His wideouts aren’t helping him at all. The defense can’t stop the run.

I don’t have to list all this. You’ve seen this plotline as often as you’ve seen Caddyshack. But on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness. So you’ve got that going for you, which is nice.

A quick look at the good and the bad, and a little more:

1. GOT THE JOB DONE. Georgia running back Sony Michel is playing with a broken hand. On Saturday, he left in his wake a string of broken hearts. And tackles. Michel carried 24 times for 165 yards and a touchdown. With Georgia’s quarterback situation unsettled and the team searching for an offensive identity after the season-ending injury to Heisman candidate Nick Chubb, the play of Michel on Saturday was much-needed.

2. DIDN’T GET THE JOB DONE. Kentucky special teams. Kentucky quarterback. Kentucky wideouts. For the second time this season, Kentucky failed to complete 10 passes — and that’s using two quarterbacks, and throwing the ball plenty, 23 times. In Towles defense, his wideouts manage to drop catchable balls in key situations with disappointing regularity. And finally, even Kentucky’s defense struggled against a Georgia offense that has gotten next to nothing going in recent weeks. The Bulldogs ran for 300 yards — 5.8 yards per carry.

3. TURNING POINT. With 2:49 left in the first half, UK forced and recovered a Georgia fumble, taking over at the Bulldogs 20-yard line. Down 10-0, Kentucky had an excellent chance to pull within a field goal, taking momentum to halftime, after which it would get the ball to start the second half. Instead, on the first play, an outstanding call with Towles rolling out throwing to a wide-open C.J. Conrad, the ball was dropped. UK wound up settling for a field goal. The Wildcats gave the ball back at midfield on their opening drive of the second half, when Stoops decided to go for it on fourth and short. Georgia drove for a touchdown, and that was that.

4. SURPRISE, SURPRISE. Georgia’s first touchdown came on a fumble. Quarterback Terry Godwin was attempting to pull the ball back for a keeper on a read-option, but dropped it. The linebacker Godwin was reading, however, so completely went with the tailback that Godwin was able to pick the ball up and race untouched 28 yards for the touchdown. It was that kind of day.

5. WDRB STAR OF THE GAME. It would have to be Michel. Coming out of the game in blocking situations, he was able to nurse his off hand but still gain tough yards inside when needed. The running games were the difference.

6. STAT OF THE DAY. Kentucky rushed just 10 times for 18 yards in the second half. I don’t know which is worse — that they gained only 18 yards on the ground, or that they ran the ball only 10 times in the half. Though Boom Williams could be back next week, JoJo Kemp and Mikel Horton are the best offensive weapons this team has at this point. The running backs are going to have to be the focal point, period. UK’s 79 net yards rushing were their second-lowest total of the season (55 vs. Eastern Kentucky the lowest).

7. WHAT WE LEARNED. Changes are needed, and Stoops acknowledged this after the game. Expect some shakeups in position, perhaps even including at quarterback, where Drew Barker got some snaps late, and may be in for much more action this week.

8. NEXT UP. The Wildcats will head to Vanderbilt, which hung tough but lost on a late field goal to Florida on Saturday. The Commodores defense is legitimate, so they are a challenge in a must-win for Kentucky. Game time is Saturday at 4 p.m.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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