Kentucky 14, Western Kentucky 3: Football Returns. Sorta

It's easy to overreact to the first game of the season. After all, college football has no preseason, so opening weekend is the first data point we have for analyzing a team. It's generally not a reason to panic.

Kentucky fans might be the exception to that rule. In a game that might be the worst offensive performance by any SEC team since the infamous 3-2 showdown between Auburn and Mississippi State in 2008, the Wildcats "rolled up" 175 yards of total offense. The notable difference is that Auburn and Mississippi State were playing bad SEC teams, while Kentucky was playing a bad Sun Belt team.

One Morgan Newton run for 58 yards outgained the remaining 33 Kentucky runs (20 yards). In fact, if you were to remove the longest runs by each of the three Kentucky players who ended up in positive territory on the ground, the Wildcats rushed for -4 yards on 31 carries. Newton had some nice throws, but he also threw three picks in a game that featured a combined seven interceptions by the two teams. And then there was this.

(HT: SBNation.com)

To provide some contrast: Western Kentucky had a total of 234 yards of total offense and outgained the 'Cats on the ground by 63. And the Hilltoppers basically tried to give the game to Kentucky, committing 13 penalties that cost them 120 yards, but Big Blue politely declined.

All of which is fine for the first week against a Sun Belt team that will eventually break, as Western Kentucky did. But the Wildcats' hopes of continuing their bowl streak requires at least two wins against SEC caliber competition. After Thursday's game, their chances of keeping that historic run alive seemed as tenuous as ever.

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