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Kentucky Falls to Tennessee

Tyler Bray threw for 354 yards and two touchdowns as Tennessee extended its winning streak over Kentucky to 26 straight games to become bowl eligible with a 24-14 victory on Saturday. Denarius Moore caught one of those touchdowns and had 205 yards receiving. Kentucky (6-6, 2-6 Southeastern Conference) tied the game at 14 with 10:10 left in the third quarter when Mike Hartline hit Tyler Robinson on a 2-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-1. The Wildcats got the ball back on the next drive when Bray threw an interception to Mychal Bailey in the Kentucky end zone.

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Kentucky 14 @ Tennessee 24: Postmortem

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After a promising start, the UK hopes of breaking the Tennessee streak goes by the boards.

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Wade Payne – AP

After a promising start, the UK hopes of breaking the Tennessee streak goes by the boards.

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I have a confession to make — I really didn’t think UK was going to win this football game at any time.  Tennessee has just been on a roll since Tyler Bray began starting, and they didn’t come off that roll today versus the Wildcats.

Congratulations to the Tennessee Volunteers for an outstanding game.  They did it with offense and they played just enough defense to keep the Kentucky Wildcats out of the end zone.

I really don’t have a lot to say about this game.  It went pretty much according to the script that the Wildcats have written for themselves all year — poor defense, turnovers, and stalled drives a critical times.  As the old saying goes, there is really nothing new under the sun.

Even Randall Cobb‘s heroics were not enough.  The Kentucky ground game, which began to move the football for a while in the second quarter, got stymied eventually.  The combination of time and score forced Kentucky to go to an all-out pass attack, and in the end, that attack just wasn’t good enough.

Kentucky, who is pretty much known for getting big plays on offense almost every game, had a notable dearth of them today, and had numerous wide-open receivers that Hartline just plain missed.  Conversely, the defense repeatedly gave up long vertical pass plays, many of them due to perfect ball placement by Bray.  That kid is just as hot as a $3 pistol right now, and might be leading the conference in passing if he had started from the beginning of the year.


  • Randall Cobb amassed a ridiculous amount of offense today, but it wasn’t even close to enough.  Game ball.
  • The defensive line played pretty well today, comparatively.
  • The offensive line gave Hartline all the time he needed, but their run blocking could have been a lot better.
  • The receiving corps ran exceptional routes today.

The not-so-superlative:

  • The defensive secondary was just unable to stop pass plays.  It wasn’t that they were letting people get wide open or anything, but Denarius Moore and Gerald Jones just killed us.
  • Special teams were loathsome.  A missed FG that would have given us momentum, a shanked punt that cost us, a touchback when we could have pinned them down.  Those plays were the difference between winning and losing, in my view.
  • Bad throws by Hartline – he had a handful of receivers wide open and missed them for huge plays.  You can get away with one of those, but not four or five.
  • Turnovers.  This needs no exposition.  The end zone fumble effectively lost the game for us.

It’s too early yet for me to sum up the season, and I have too much to do here to take the time to write a long post on that, but one will be forthcoming soon.  Yes, this is a disappointment, but really, I am getting used to disappointment with this team.  It has been one of those years where the potential has simply been unfulfilled due mostly to poor ball handling and badly-timed miscues.  As good as this team looks statistically, they look disappointing in the only statistic that really counts — winning winnable football games, especially in the league.

With that, I’ll leave you to rejoin your Thanksgiving weekend, already in progress.

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SEC Headlines – 11/5/10 Part Four

1.  Marty Markett has gone from track star to football walk-on to gameball recipient at South Carolina.

2.  Steve Spurrier says that USC’s Brad Lawing is “one of the best D-line coaches in the country” and that “he needs a raise next year.”

3.  Bruce Ellington led Carolina to a season-opening basketball win over Kentucky Wesleyan in an exhibition game last night.

4.  Tennessee freshman James Stone is moving to center… and using an odd technique to snap the ball.

5.  The Vols rank 118th out of 120 FBS schools in red zone efficiency.  Yikes.

6.  Senior receivers Denarius Moore and Gerald Jones seem to be improving as UT rolls down the home stretch.

7.  Vandy defensive tackle Adam Smotherman could be done for the year after re-injuring his surgically repaired knee in practice. 

8.  This writer says Florida isn’t overlooking Vanderbilt this weekend.  Bad news, Vandy.

9.  The ‘Dores have allowed an average of 362 passing yards per game over their last three games.

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