Kentucky Football: Wildcats loss to Georgia honestly more of victory for Cats

Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson (Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson (Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Before you shake your head and disagree bear with me here a moment when I say that Kentucky football losing to Georgia was more a win than total loss for the Wildcats – and not the moral kind.

Moral victories as a whole are just a simple overall simplistic sort of cop-out way to look at something.

Digging into the X’s and O’s and what truly constitutes a win or loss gives one a more complete picture. It’s a combination of stats, realistic observations, weighing negatives and positives as well as the mental aspect.

Kentucky football actually a winner despite suffering its first loss

With the Wildcats in the midst of a well-needed and deserved bye week I’ll give a final take on the Dawgs and begin focusing on Week 9 Halloween weekend’s game against Mississippi State.

It’s not a deep dive as though you are balancing a profit and loss statement but the same in theory.

Coach Mark Stoops looked back on the game in his weekly press conference and how the team was handling everything.

"“They’ve been very good. They’ve always handled it well. (We have to) take a good look at it, be critical of the mistakes. Know that we’re trying to get better with each opportunity and it was the same way this week. Take a good look, learn from the mistakes and move on.”"

The Detractors (I don’t like negative)

We have all taken time to breathe after the 30-13 loss to the Dawgs who don’t forget are the No. 1 team in all of college football and maybe the best team talent-wise to step foot on a college field in a very, very long time.

Sure it was the first tick in the loss column for the season but if you think 6-1 is bad and the only loss thus far in seven games frustrates or angers you then you haven’t watched Kentucky football over some dismal seasons gone by.

There are always should have’s, would have, maybe if we had done this better or that better we would have won.

In reality, as I said in the game preview all the stars would have had to align perfectly for the Cats to upset Georgia. They didn’t and it’s doubtful any team could expect MAYBE Alabama.

A few things that really continue to be head shakers are missed opportunities.

Special Teams- not so special and that all much-discussed fumble?

The area that gets often overlooked because it hasn’t been much a focal point got smacked in the face – literally on Saturday.

A blocked extra point and field goal in the same game.

I don’t fully blame Mark Ruffalo although his kicks are always low and barely seem to clear the wall of players in front of him. There are blocking issues upfront as well letting guys through and getting balls swatted back.

This didn’t cost Kentucky the game but it left four points off the scoreboard. Hopefully, that has been a point of focus this week.

Ok, and yes the most talked-about play was the fumble Kentucky failed to pick up as players walked around and pounded their fists into the ground thinking the play was an incomplete pass. Sure, the Dawgs eventually fell on it but they too were a bit confused.

Did it cost us the win? No.

Could it have swayed the point differential? Yes

Is it a learning moment? Absolutely

Old Kentucky would have seen Georgia scoop it up and run for an immediate touchdown and the emotional letdown would have been obvious and sunk the team’s psyche for the rest of the game. That didn’t happen in this game.

Plays on the field are always assumed to be fumbles when not fully obvious and whistled as an incomplete pass. The ball went so far out of Stetson Bennett’s hand everyone assumed an incomplete pass.

Lesson learned – never stop playing till the whistle sounds.

Don’t talk about being sacked because the Big Blue Wall did a fine job protecting quarterback Will Levis who fired off 42 pass attempts in the game and was only sacked three times for a total of just 14 yards.

In reality, you can find plays here or there to point out but as a whole, the detractors were in fact very minimal. I am sure Stoops, Liam Coen, Brad White, and the rest of the staff can surely find and correct them but that is their job to nitpick.