Despite the 27-16 win over the Colonels, today’s game was an unfortunate, familiar sight for Kentucky fans. It was an outing that harkened them back to the sorrow-filled days of yore—err, 2015, I mean—when Kentucky was busy struggling to find a win against the EKU Colonels.
This game should not have been close.
Kentucky should not have looked as anemic as they did. Bad penalties plagued their defense. The highly-touted offensive line was blown up all day by EKU. Drew Barker was in the game for some reason that I can only chalk up to the coaching staff just completely forgetting what Stephen Johnson is capable of.
Regardless, today’s game was a complete nightmare to watch, and it wasn’t just because of things Kentucky was doing wrong. Benny Snell Jr., Kyle Meadows, Jordan Jones, and Nick Haynes all suffered injuries during the game, with Snell actually heading to the locker room for a good chunk of the afternoon and Jones suffering his injury with one second left in the game.
However, once Snell came back, it seemed as if he was back to his old self. In the second half, he was once again bowling over defenders, forcing them to put three or more bodies on him just to take him down. Snell finished with over 100 rushing yards and a touchdown, a more than welcome sight.
Other bright spots for the Kentucky offense include Stephen Johnson and...Blake Bone, with the latter racking up 93 yards on a few really monster catches that helped swing the momentum in the Wildcats’s favor multiple times. Bone might be low on the depth chart, but he made the most of the playing time he was given this week.
Johnson, meanwhile, helped lead the comeback with a solid performance, including this spectacular run in which he tiptoed down the sideline and on into the endzone.
In the end, Kentucky was able to prevail after their defense managed to shut down EKU near the conclusion of the 4th quarter, coming up with a massive interception with about 4 minutes left in the game.
However, as the Wildcats move to 2-0, no Kentucky fan can look at this game and feel good about what went down. This is especially true when one considers that Kentucky’s next game is a road trip to Columbia.
If Kentucky is to even have a shot at beating South Carolina for the fourth straight season, they must look like they did in the second half of today’s game. The Gamecocks will roll over this team if first half Kentucky shows up next week.