We’ve seen multiple breakdowns of Kentucky’s 35-3 victory over Akron on Saturday night. From a look at the explosive plays to tight end utilization to the lack of affinity for the run game, the KSR staff has been busy bringing you all the takes. It’s now time to defer to the national analytics guys and let us know what we missed.
If this is your first time looking at PFF grades, the folks over at Pro Football Focus use advanced metrics to assign individual scores to each player’s performance on a scale of 1-100. For reference, 60 indicates an average game, anything above 80 is a very good game, and a number in the 40s or below means it wasn’t that player’s best outing.
What is good about these grades is that they go beyond standard box score statistics and break down every aspect of every play of the game.
Brad White’s bend-but-don’t-break Kentucky defense was on full display against Akron. Despite a few drives they might wish they had back, they did not allow a touchdown all game. Maxwell Hairston had a huge game, making several big plays, and the analytics backed up that basic observation. He finished second on the defense in PFF grades with a score of 86.8.
Reserve lineman, Josaih Hayes, led all defensive players in individual grades with a 90.5 despite only seeing the field for 15 snaps. He also only had one tackle, so this is one of those issues where you kind of have to just trust the math.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, it is a little surprising to see that Trevin Wallace only had a score of 48.7, however, a closer look showed he had a solid game with regards to tackling and pass rushing, with grades of 79 and 77.1 in those subcategories, respectively.
Kentucky Defensive PFF Grades and Snap Counts versus Akron
Forget the mistakes, the premium stat gatherers continue to grade Devin Leary’s performances well. Kentucky’s QB1 finished the game with a PFF score of 82.6, third-best among offensive players. It was Tayvion Robinson, similar to last week against Eastern Kentucky, who led all starters in grades with a score of 83.3.
Demie Sumo-Karngbaye wasn’t on the field much, but made the most of his nine snaps, having a great game by advanced analytics standards, leading all offensive players with a grade of 90.2.
At the bottom of the list, it isn’t a surprise to see Jager Burton’s overall grade low after sending two snaps over Leary’s head, however, it is important to point out that he had a great pass-blocking score of 85.4.
Kentucky Offensive PFF Grades and Snap Counts versus Akron