Sound Off: Kentucky could stumble down stretch if defense doesn’t improve

Kentucky is coming off a disappointing loss to Ole Miss, and now the Wildcats head to Nashville on Saturday to take on a Vanderbilt squad that’s still searching for its first SEC win.

SEC Country Kentucky writers Kyle Tucker and Joe Mussatto preview the Vanderbilt matchup and much more in this episode of Sound Off.

  • Kentucky is 6-3 and has a chance to win eight regular-season games for the first time since 1984, but Mark Stoops was frustrated on his radio show Monday night about the negativity around the program. Not all fans have been on board with this team, and Kentucky’s loss to Ole Miss only intensified the criticism. The call-in show was full of complaints about clock management and poor play from the secondary. But the bottom line is that Kentucky’s offense did everything it needed to do to win Saturday. There are still huge question marks for the defense, especially when it comes to defending the pass. (1:16)
  • Play calling is always a debated issue after a loss, and the same was true last weekend. After scoring on its first five drives, Kentucky went three-and-out on its next four. Many considered that to be the critical sequence in the game. Although the offense did stall at times in the second half, Kentucky marched 95 yards and scored on a 6-minute drive that could’ve proven to be the game-winning score. Is it fair to criticize offensive coordinator Eddie Gran and the play calling after a game in which the offense had a lot of success? (5:15)
  • Kentucky was officially eliminated from the SEC East race, but there’s still an opportunity for the Wildcats to have one of the most successful regular seasons in school history. Kentucky hasn’t won eight or more regular-season games since 1984, and the Cats need two wins in their final three games to reach that feat. Kentucky plays at Vanderbilt this weekend, then at Georgia before coming home for the season finale against Louisville. But everything hinges on the meeting Saturday with the Commodores. Kentucky could either bounce back from a bad loss, or it could be staring at three consecutive losses with a trip to No. 1 Georgia looming. (7:32)

The post Sound Off: Kentucky could stumble down stretch if defense doesn’t improve appeared first on SEC Country.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.