October 14, 2013
Kentucky's out of the fire. Are they still in a frying pan?
Their historic four-game stretch against four ranked opponents just concluded (in quite ugly fashion, it should be accurately noted). How much easier does it get from here?
Well, Kentucky just finished playing four teams with the second, third, eighth and 23rd ranked defenses, in terms of total yardage allowed. (Or, if you prefer scoring defense, first, second, fourth and 39th.)
So it's not surprising that Kentucky struggled in three of those four losses. The one they didn't, scoring 28 points, came against South Carolina, which easily has the weakest defense of that bunch.
Good news, though: the rest of the schedule aligns more with South Carolina's ranking than the other three.
Through week seven, UK's remaining opponents rank (by scoring defense):
-- T-42 (Mississippi State)
-- 61 (Alabama State, which plays in the FCS)
-- T-42 (Missouri)
-- 64 (Vanderbilt)
-- 105 (Georgia)
-- 75 (Tennessee)
Obviously, there's a lot of contextual factors going into these rankings. Georgia, for example, has played a killer schedule with some killer offenses. All these teams have had varying degrees of competition.
But there's no mistaking that UK won't face a defense as good as any of the four they just encountered.
Now, that doesn't mean the Air Raid is about to take off. There's still a lot of fine-tuning this offense needs, and there's that little quarterback question that just got a lot bigger on Saturday. But there's reason to be optimistic moving forward, and with multiple players still talking about winning five of six to become bowl eligible, hope seems to be just what this football program needs right now.