Dial up this clip to around the 26:30 mark to listen to what Gary Danielson has to say about Kirby’s mindset going into Saturday’s game.
I tend to agree that it boils down to what lessons Kirby’s taken from the Auburn loss. Overall, does he chalk it up as a one-off and stick with what’s worked in the first nine games of the season — solid run game, tough defense and competent special teams play — or does he decide to throw all that out and rework his offensive philosophy?
I lean towards the former, for three reasons: his tendency towards being conservative; the opportunity to reinforce the most important message the team needs to hear after Auburn, which is better execution (particularly on the lines); and the reality that Kentucky isn’t as good a team as Auburn.
That last reason cuts both ways, though. The ‘Cats do a respectable job against the run. Currently, they’re giving up 3.77 yards per rush, which is 35th nationally. They’re not so hot defending the pass, though. UK’s defensive passer rating is 139.50, which is only 98th. (As you might expect, it’s even worse in conference play.) That might suggest this game presents an opportunity to rebuild the confidence of Fromm and the offensive line by opening up the passing game, at least until Georgia establishes control. But what do I know?
One last early point goes back to the second reason I noted. I have no clue if this is just a matter of message sending, or if the staff is genuinely searching for other options to reboot the o-line’s performance, but either way, it’s worth keeping an eye on Ben Cleveland getting reps with the first team line, if only to see if Kirby is sending a message about complacency… as well as if the message is being received.