Takeaways From An Ugly Showing In Starkville
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Takeaways From An Ugly Showing In Starkville

Drew Franklin09/21/19


Article written by:Drew FranklinDrew Franklin


[caption id="attachment_268378" align="alignnone" width="2784"] (Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports)[/caption] Well that didn't go as expected. Kentucky went down to Starkville with that post-Florida motivation on its side, to face a team that lost to Kansas State one week earlier on the same field, but the final score did not go in UK's favor. Mississippi State fought off a late fight to win, 28-13; a fifth straight loss for the Cats in Davis Wade Stadium. Ugh. Here's all I have to say about it: Starting the game with a Pick 6 is no way to go through life. First things first, the game got off to a HORRIBLE start with the Pick 6 on the first drive. When you're a touchdown underdog playing on the road, you can't give away seven points in the beginning of the game like that, especially to your opponent's defense. You just can't get in that hole when you're already needing your best football to earn a road win in the SEC. Once Sawyer Smith hit the DB in the numbers and watched him take it the other way for a score, it set the tone for the game. And Smith stared down his receiver before turning it over for the score. I think Bryan The Intern would've intercepted that ball. I don't know what to make of Lynn Bowden. Lynn Bowden is a special talent. The University of Kentucky has a better football program because Lynn Bowden walked through that door three years ago. He's as dynamic as they come, maybe the most dynamic since Randall Cobb. When Lynn Bowden has the ball, you sit up in your seat because you know he can break loose at any moment. BUT... Lynn Bowden has made more than one mistake this season. Drops, quitting on routes, fumbles -- he's made mistakes that Lynn Bowden can't make. For Lynn Bowden to be the Lynn Bowden he wants to be, a first-round pick and All-SEC talent, he can't make the backbreaking mistakes he's made on more than one occasion so far this year. He is still an otherworldly talent with the ball in his hands and I wouldn't trade Lynn Bowden for anyone, but when you're Lynn Bowden, you're held to a different standard, and he has to clean up the mistakes. He knows it more than anyone and I'd bet he's kicking himself over it right now because Lynn Bowden is too good at football to drop catchable balls. Chance Poore. Kicking is a problem. A big problem. So what does Mark Stoops do? Do you quit on Poore, the redshirt freshman kicker you recruited to be your guy? He is supposed to be your kicker for the next four years, but he missed a chip shot to potentially beat Florida and he was bad again in Starkville. 75 percent (I made that number up) of kicking field goals is mental, between the ears, and right now Poore's confidence is shot. I don't know what you do if you're the UK coaching staff, but the current situation ain't good. A.J. Rose played well, so there's that. Rose heard everyone demanding he be benched and he responded with a 100-yard game on only nine touches. Kavosiey Smoke got more carries, like so many people demanded, and only rushed for 25 yards, but did get a score. I'm not going to tell you what to do with your life, but instead of pitting them against each other in a running back competition, let's just appreciate a deep stable of backs. One Saturday we'll see Rose shine; other Saturdays it'll be Smoke or maybe even Chris Rodriguez if he ever gets out of the doghouse for fumbling. Mississippi State had two 100-yard rushers. It's hard to beat any team in America when that team has 250+ rushing yards from two guys. I don't care what team it is; you're having a bad day if two players combine for 265, like Mississippi State's Kylin Hill and THIRD-STRING QUARTERBACK Garrett Shrader did. UK's front seven is strong this year. Not today, though. I don't care what anyone says... there is a backup QB curse. For awhile I blamed the staff for not being ready or making adjustments for a new QB whenever there would be an unexpected change, but eventually you accept the curse and Kentucky is cursed by a higher being right now. Who is Garrett Shrader and how in the world did he go 17-of-22 for 180 yards and another 125 on the ground? How??? Kentucky beat itself for a second week in a row. You. Can. Not. Beat. Your. Self. In. The. S. E. C. But that's where we are right now. Last week, Kentucky was better than Florida. There is no debating that. Kentucky was the more talented football team, yet the final scoreboard said otherwise. This week it was an even fight and Kentucky could've easily won that football game. The Pick 6, the missed field goals, dropped passes.... Kentucky made the mistakes you can't make. Again. And there is another L because of it. Let's bounce back at South Carolina next week. Clean it up and make it six straight against the Gamecocks. Let's go.    

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