Kentucky Football: Wildcats need to fine tune all facets in polishing off Mocs

Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson (Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Kentucky football
Will Levis of the Kentucky Wildcats (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Hold on to the ball and it’s time to spread the ball around

Kentucky thus far has been able to get away with turning the ball five times this season and still securing the win. That won’t be the case with the upcoming weeks with South Carolina, Florida, LSU, and Georgia.

If the Wildcats give it away these four will make them pay.

We are not at Defcon 1 here (nuclear war).

The two interceptions we have watched Will Levis throw are easily correctable. The dude has a rocket launcher of an arm and sometimes needs to ease back and take a bit off those short passes. Now the receivers also should be able to get some better paws on the ball.

Against ULM on Levis’ first ever UK pass he drilled it high and behind Josh Ali that went off his fingers for an interception. Last week Isaiah Cummings suffered the exact same fate.

Coughing it up at the goal line and other fumbles

For some reason but not an uncommon sight for us Kentucky fans, Christopher Rodriguez coughed up the ball twice just as he was about to cross the goal line against Mizzou. The first was a huge game-changer as we saw where instead of UK going up 28-7, the Tigers took it the length of the field in two minutes making it 21-14.

His second thankfully was recovered by Eli Cox for the Cats and secured the 35-28 victory.

"“I think going forward it needs to be my job to just focus on holding the rock. As a running back, you are not supposed to fumble at all, but I did. That’s where I need to put more work in.”"

For all its great offensive numbers turnovers stand out the most including Kentucky’s 7 fumbles.  With teams that have played two games so far, there is only a trio who have lost more turnovers than UK, and just ONE that has more than the Wildcats. We have been able to recover four of them.

Offensive coordinator Liam Coen knows C-Rod had a bad couple of carries, but he still rumbled for 226 yards and scored three touchdowns. They have all the confidence in the junior who sits 16th all-time in rushing at UK. Instead of benching him, he said they are encouraging him.

"“Kids make mistakes. I made some bad calls and I didn’t get benched. At the end of the day, we’re all going to make some bad calls, bad decisions, bad plays. I truly believe on game day it’s my responsibility and our job as coaches to act more as caddie…We’ve got to keep our best players positive and keep them upbeat. That was the goal there. He had a hot hand. He was doing a great job all game. He just had a couple of bad plays.”"

You have to like that line of thinking.

Many different hands should touch the ball this week

Kentucky will look to continue to put up big numbers on offense it shouldn’t take long to iron out the rough spots. That means multiple backs and receivers need to get in on the action. They will need the valuable game experience in the rough SEC road ahead.

Balance is no longer an issue as the Wildcats are averaging 239 yards on the ground and 299 through the air.

So far on the ground, Rodriguez leads the team carrying 46 times for 433 yards. Thanks to a couple of jet-sweeps Wan’Dale Robinson is second with three carries for 73 yards. Kavosiey Smoke is third running 13 times for 67 yards and Levis 15 for 46.

C-Rod will get some carries but it’s time to see what Smoke can do along with others on the depth chart including Travis Tisdale, La’Vell Wright, and Michael “Donut” Drennen.

Kentucky ran the ball on 18 consecutive plays last week so look for another heavy dose according to Coen.

"“My philosophy is variety in the run game. Being able to have our go-to that we want to still get to but we want to be able to scheme people up not only in the pass game but in the run game and I think that’s something our athleticism upfront allowed us to do this past weekend.”"

Receiving it’s been all Robinson 10 catches for 227 yards and two touchdowns and Josh Ali 7 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown.

After that, it’s Rodriguez with three catches to go along with Isaiah Epps. Look for Epps to be the target of Levis and backup quarterback Beau Allen. Chauncy Magwood should also register his first reception.

I’ll continue to plead my case to throw to the tight ends more.