I ran short on time to do as many of these reviews as I wanted, so this one will be abbreviated. The data is all here, but there will be fewer words between the tables.
This review is based on the Five Factors of winning, and I didn't include Kentucky's final drive when it was just trying to run out the clock in any of the below. Also, sacks count as pass plays.
|Team||Runs 10+||Pct.||Passes 20+||Pct.||Explosive Pct.|
Both teams gave up a decent percentage, but South Carolina wins this one thanks to big passing plays.
The main measure here is success rate. Watch this short video if you need to brush up on it.
|Team||Run SR||Pass SR||Overall SR||Red Zone SR|
If it felt during the game that South Carolina was more effective with the run, then your feeling was correct. UK's second half follies pushed its overall efficiency down.
|Team||1Q SR||2Q SR||3Q SR||4Q SR|
UK sabotaged itself on the first play of drives in the third quarter. Two began with holding penalties to set up 1st-and-20, and then Patrick Towles held onto a mesh point far too long and created a fumble after those. Even after the Wildcats quit shooting themselves in the foot on first down, they still weren't terribly effective after intermission.
Efficiency by Player
|Player||Comp. Pct.||Pass Eff.||Yards/Att||Sacks||Pass SR|
Combine this with Mitch's rough performance against UNC and it was probably only a matter of time before Orth got a shot at the job. I keep waiting to see Towles make the jump from a "good by Kentucky standards" quarterback to a just plain good quarterback, but even after this one, I'm still waiting.
The numbers confirm what the eye test said: Jeff Badet had a fantastic game.
Going to Cooper so much isn't a shock, and Adams is a nice tight end option. We're still waiting for a second receiver to step up alongside Cooper.
Williams may have been the more effective receiver, but Kemp was the more effective runner in this one. Williams had three big runs of 24, 17, and 13 yards, respectively, but they were his only success plays on the night.
If you were second guessing having Cooper rather than Wilds carry it on the two-point conversion attempt, feel free to continue—especially given that the Wilds-cat had already been proven effective. Also, Carson looked great in limited duty against UNC. He looked good again here. Why didn't he get more touches?
|Team||Avg. Starting Position||Plays in Opp. Territory||Pct. Of Total|
|South Carolina||Own 35||27||44.3%|
The Gamecocks enjoyed an noticeable edge here. A 12-yard advantage averaged out over ten drives is more than an entire field's worth of yards.
|Team||Drives||Trips Inside 40||Points||Red Zone Trips||Points|
South Carolina won explosiveness, efficiency, and field position. The teams (spoilers) tied on turnovers. So how did Kentucky win? When UK had chances to score, it got touchdowns. When South Carolina had chances to score, it kicked field goal attempts.
Both Towles and Orth tossed an interception. Both were pretty bad. Towles's miscue got returned to the one and turned into a touchdown for Carolina. Orth's killed what turned out to be his team's final drive.
This feels like a less extreme example of Arkansas's loss to Toledo. Carolina won most of the factors and still lost because it couldn't finish drives. Kentucky is better than Toledo, of course, so I'm not saying these things were the same. I am saying that this wasn't a convincing win for UK, and the scoreboard agrees.