Kentucky Football: Grading Stoops, the players what letter do they get?

Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Jordan Wright, Kelvin Joseph and Tyrell Ajian Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Jordan Wright, Kelvin Joseph and Tyrell Ajian Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /
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Terry Wilson of the Kentucky Wildcats hands off to Christopher Rodriguez. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Terry Wilson of the Kentucky Wildcats hands off to Christopher Rodriguez. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

C-. . . . OFFENSE

Without the running game, there was ZERO offense.

I think it would be disadvantageous to say that the offense for Kentucky was a complete failure.

There were some bright spots obviously with the running game. How Kentucky was able to run the ball with so much success without being able to pass the ball would have even Bill Belichick scratching his head.

I believe we owe a lot of that to not only “The Big Blue Wall” as Kentucky’s offensive line is colloquially known but also to the trio of extremely talented and diverse style of running backs in Asim Rose, Christopher Rodriguez Jr.and Kavosiey Smoke. Kentucky’s front along with its stable of backs was able to produce a running game that accounted for nearly 200 yards per game in rushing which ranked third in the SEC.

They will be under the eye of new running back and special teams coach Jemal Singleton who comes over from the Cincinnati Bengals. Clearing the way will be the Big Blue Wall that will carry on under also under new offensive line coach Eric Wolford.

With the good comes the bad, Kentucky’s passing game was absolutely abysmal. Terry Wilson and company were only able to amass 121 yards per game passing, which ended up being dead last in the SEC along with their 318 yards per game of total offense… and it’s not even close. The second to last in passing yards per game was South Carolina and they were almost able to put up 200 yards per game.

With Kentucky’s style of play being so run-heavy and wasting so much time on the clock the Cats were only able to average 21.8 points per game which also came in near the bottom of the conference at 11th. It’s not exactly exciting football, and the average fan wants to see high octane offense with teams throwing the ball all over the field. Something Kentucky just hasn’t done in Stoops’ tenure.

Kentucky finished the season with a -45 point differential, it wasn’t because the defense didn’t do their part it fell solely on the shoulders of the offense. The offense was absolutely inept at times if it wasn’t for the offensive line and running game Kentucky would have been an absolute embarrassment offensively.

To put it into perspective, Kentucky had seven total passing touchdowns… the entire season. Less than 1 per game. That’s just something that can’t happen. If Kentucky’s passing game was even remotely decent Kentucky rushers could’ve potentially been the best in the country. What can make a rushing attack be even more effective is a dynamic passing game.

All that being said big changes are on the horizon offensively for Kentucky. A new era of Kentucky quarterback will definitely start in 2021, along with a new era of offense. With taking over as offensive coordinator bringing his NFL experience and style comes change and it promises to be interesting.

Taking over under center will be a starting battle between Joey Gatewood and Beau Allen. There aren’t any returning play-callers behind them except incoming true freshman. However, both should easily adapt to Cohen’s style.

A lot of the problems offensively in the past shouldn’t be put on the shoulders of just Wilson. A lot of the problem has been the lack of a big playmaker at wideout and dropped passes.

With Josh Ali returning for another season, and possibly the best class of receivers the program has brought in the recipe to have a dynamic high scoring, high octane offense is there for the cooking.

Ali caught 54 passes for 473 yards to lead the receivers, but the next two in yards received were our two tight ends in Keaton Upshaw with 198 yards and Justin Rigg with 145. Despite being Nos. 2 and 3 they were both sorely underutilized and had great hands.

Kentucky is also rumored to be in the mix for some mystery transfers on the offensive side, one name I keep hearing tied to Kentucky is Wandale Robinson. Robinson would give Kentucky an instant boost on offense, the kid is magic with the football in his hands.

I think Kentucky fans can revel in the fact that a big change is coming for Kentucky on offense, the days of getting C- grades may finally be over.