So what about the Cardinals? I didn’t get much into the U of L performance in my column today. Especially on a deadline situation, the ink goes to the victors.
Several wondered what I was drinking to say the game wasn’t as close as the score looked.
I mean it.
UK didn’t play like it, but the Wildcats looked a lot more than 6 points better than UK last night. Some U of L fans wrote in to say, “We gave them the game on a silver platter!” But let’s look at what U of L gave UK.
The turnovers on U of L’s first two touches of the ball were forced.
What U of L gave UK were dropped Mario Urrutia passes. But we’ve seen those for a while. They can’t be called an anomaly. Nor can the penalty that nullified a quarterback sneak touchdown. U of L has been making stupid penalties all season.
In short, until we see differently, those are things that have to be factored in at the moment for U of L.
U of L rushed for 34 yards in the second half. It scored 7 offensive points. It could not effectively stop the running game.
If UK hadn’t gotten too cute with its play-calling, it would have eaten up much of the rest of the first half to lead 22-14 or 26-14 at half. And with the score in the first drive of the second half, the game would’ve had a totally different complexion.
U of L fans can ignore that this outcome could have been much worse for the Cardinals, or that they were pretty fortunate to be so close despite all the problems, but that doesn’t change the fact, or my opinion, which, in the end, is what my column is about.
Now, to some U of L points:
1). The defense wasn’t good, but it was improved. I thought U of L’s defense gave the offense plenty of chances in the third quarter to take the game away. And this despite all that had gone wrong
2). The most concerning failure is the second-half offense. The Brohm sacks. The disappearance of the running game. The missed opportunities. Brohm was good enough. Harry Douglas was out of this world. U of L is a team that puts pressure on the opponent with its offense. Last night, hte offense was purely in catch-up mode, not the Bobby Petrino-trademark attack mode.
3). The offensive management was spotty. Often, the play got in on time, but several times it was too close for comfort for Brohm. Only several times did U of L appear to have its customary tempo and rhythm on offense.
4). The coming week is extremely important for U of L. The team will take care of business on the field against a bad Syracuse team. The question is whether fans will fill the stadium and move forward, or will fall back on support of a new coaching staff in a difficult position.