Kentucky Football: Don’t Stop Running The Ball

The Kentucky football program has a dynamic running game and a nonexistent passing attack. It’s fairly obvious what the offense needs to do.

The Kentucky football program has found a formula for success. By merely handing the ball off to one of its three gifted and productive running backs, Kentucky can move the chains and give itself a legitimate opportunity to achieve victory.

Yet, the coaching staff is almost painfully committed to throwing the football when it doesn’t have the personnel to effectively do so.

Kentucky has a trio of high-quality running backs in Stanley Boom Williams, Benny Snell Jr., and Jojo Kemp. All three have put forth tremendous performances at some point during the 2016 college football season.

Together, they form a three-headed monster that few teams have been able to contain.

Despite that truth, the Wildcats have relentlessly attempted to throw the ball. That wouldn’t be much of an issue for the average college football team, but the average college football team doesn’t have Kentucky’s issues under center.

Kentucky hasn’t received average or even slightly below average contributions at quarterback in three weeks.

Since defeating the New Mexico State Aggies in Week 3, Kentucky’s quarterback play has been downright atrocious.

Stephen Johnson was sensational against New Mexico State in Week 3. He completed 17 of 22 pass attempts for 310 yards and three touchdowns to no interceptions. He even ran for 51 yards on 10 carries.

In the three games that have followed, Johnson has completed 34 of 65 pass attempts for 273 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions.

For those doing the math, that gives Kentucky’s starting quarterback an average of 91 passing yards per game over a three-week span. That isn’t just a period of inconsistency; it’s a stretch during which the Wildcats’ passing game has been a liability.

Yet, Johnson has attempted at least 22 passes in all three games.

Until the Wildcats discover an elusive sense of stability in the passing game, the first instinct should be to run. Johnson has been unable to throw the ball downfield with any consistency, often under-throwing targets who are even remotely far away.

Until either Johnson or Drew Barker step up at quarterback, the Wildcats need to get creative with the running game.

At this point, the passing game is a genuine flaw and weakness.