The dust has settled on the Kentucky Wildcats’ 2013 football season. If you compare Mark Stoops’ first season to the previous administration’s final season, there are a lot similarities.
The most obvious and glaring is the 2-10 (0-8 SEC) record. Kentucky now has the dubious distinction of going winless in the conference in consecutive seasons.
The road to respectability is rugged as always. Things are even tougher now that Texas A & M and Missouri have joined the league and are having success.
When there are only two wins to speak of the improvements from 2012 to 2013 will be brief, and very incremental.
As in flux as things were for the Wildcats at the quarterback position, Maxwell Smith and Jalen Whitlow combined to complete 59.5% of their passes. That’s not setting the world on fire by any means, but it is up from the 56.8% clip of 2012. Despite several drops, many of them extremely untimely, UK went from 176.3 receiving yards in 2013 to 193.3 in 2013.
The same goes for the run game. Kentucky eked out 138.8 yards per game in 2012. In 2013 they gained 147.9 yards a game on the ground. When both passing and rushing numbers are sub 200, you are pretty much guaranteed to be in for a long season.
Finally, Kentucky’s field goal percentage was 85.7% in 2013 as opposed to 66.6% in 2012.
The good news: help is on the way. Coach Stoops has a top ten recruiting class coming in next year as it stands right now. That’s never been done at Kentucky. More importantly, that ranks fourth in the SEC. The only way to make any progress in the nation’s best conference is to be consistently in the upper third of the league in bringing in talent.
Now we all know that it will take more than one class, but you have to start somewhere.
Standout senior linebacker Avery Williamson may have said it best.
Makes you wish he could be around for one more year. Felt the same way when Wesley Woodyard and Danny Trevathan left Lexington too.
It will definitely take time, but it will be nice to see the improvements continue to come.