So, you’re telling me that Kentucky has primarily lined up in a 3-3-5 defense this season and their defensive tackle who just won SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors is out for Saturday’s game?
That doesn’t sound like it bodes well.
If Rybka isn’t ready and Saunders is playing like a true freshman, what does UK do? Their options are limited, but they can fortify the box. This year the Wildcats have primarily lined up in a 3-3-5 defense, allowing Davonte Robinson to get a substantial amount of reps as the nickel. As Adam Luckett suggested on 11 Personnel, Kentucky might have to abandon this look and let Jordan Wright and JJ Weaver play at the same time in a 3-4 alignment.
Pick your poison. Either way, I expect Monken will be ready.
I posted the difference on third down between the two already, but Seth Emerson ($$) adds a few more data points today in his Mailbag:
• Accuracy: Just one of Daniels’ 71 pass attempts this season has been an off-target incompletion, the best such rate (1.4 percent) at the FBS level, per Pro Football Focus. No other player has an off-target rate lower than 5 percent, the national average is 14 percent, and Bennett’s rate is 11.5 percent.
• Third downs: Daniels has converted 11-of-18 third-down passes (61.1 percent), the highest rate in the FBS. Bennett’s rate is 12.5 percent, which ranks 148th. (Though to be fair, he has run for a first down on several of those occasions.) But overall on third down, Daniels ranks eighth nationally in pass efficiency, while Bennett ranks 77th.
• Pocket poise: Daniels has averaged 1.97 seconds in the pocket before his pass, the fastest rate in the FBS level. Bennett has averaged 2.53 seconds, which is 74th in FBS.
Seth goes on to describe the difference between the two as, “Daniels is the efficient distributor, especially on the money down, while Bennett has made more flashy plays, but not quite as consistent.” I would simply add there is no quarterback controversy and Stetson’s been the best backup quarterback in the country this season. Georgia is lucky to have ’em both.
Perusing Kentucky’s schedule, I find their largest deficit in a game at any point this season is seven points, which happened twice, against UL Monroe and Florida. Both were short-lived, first quarter leads. Both were home games.
So what happens if Georgia gets on top early on by a couple of scores? And that’s certainly not an unreasonable expectation. With the exception of the opener against Clemson, the Dawgs have opened at least a two-score lead by halftime in every game this season (and even against Clemson had a 7-0 lead at the half).
It’ll be a road game. It’ll be a loud environment. Can Kentucky punch back? I don’t know. The thing is, this UK team doesn’t really know whether it can, either, because it hasn’t been tested like that yet.
In case you’re interested…
You may have noticed that Alabama’s defense has been pretty meh this season, and downright bad by their standards. You think that’s eating at Saban? Here’s what Aaron Suttles, The Athletic’s ‘Bama beat writer, says about that ($$):
You can tell it’s weighing on him, though. His protege, Kirby Smart, is fielding a dominant unit at Georgia that sure does resemble defenses of Alabama’s past. Saban is a defensive guru, and one thing is for certain: He’s a competitor. He’s taking the challenge seriously.
That’s exactly why you shouldn’t count Alabama and Saban out yet this season. If Pete Golding’s not getting the job done, it’s not like Saban doesn’t have another option available to whip that defense into shape. He sees it in the mirror every morning.
Kirby Smart doesn’t want any part of the ESPN hype for Saturday’s game.
… or Kirby Smart?
If the Dawgs are doing well, postseason wallet time must be just around the corner.
It’s the NOTE that really makes it special. Same as it ever was.
Did they import the Neyland Stadium turf to the practice field, or something? This is getting ridiculous.
I really hate it for Tykee. You change schools, head down to play for a team contending for big things, injure your foot and just as you’re about to get a real chance to contribute, your season is over. That sucks, obviously.
The good news is that he’s in good hands with Courson and Company. They have plenty of experience, unfortunately.
Dunno about you, but this pretty much looks like must see TV for me.
Fans of The Beatles were in a bit of shock on Wednesday when the trailer for Peter Jackson’s upcoming Disney+ docuseries Get Back dropped with never-before-seen footage of the legendary band.
The Beatles: Get Back three-part special will showcase the Fab Four’s fascinating songwriting process, friendship and struggles. The crystal-clear restored footage was gathered from the band’s January 1969 recording session and subsequent final live performance in London.
Helmed by the Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings director, the Disney+ docuseries shows how close the four musicians were while also displaying the cracks in their relationship which would ultimately lead the group to break up in 1970.
In addition to the studio songwriting process, the docuseries will show how The Beatles conceived and pulled off their last public performance, which took place Jan. 30, 1969, on the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters.
Tasty looking trailer: