By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky obviously has to figure how to get more effective quarterback play before it hosts Arkansas on Oct. 12.
Kentucky has lost three straight games since starting quarterback Terry Wilson went out with a season-ending knee injury and now backup Sawyer Smith is so beat up that he’s not even scheduled to throw a pass all week.
However, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops knows losses the last two weeks to Mississippi State and South Carolina were about more than just poor quarterback play.
“We didn’t run the ball as effective as well,” Stoops said about last week’s loss at South Carolina. “Again I think we are getting away from that too quick.
“Early one play they really got after us up front and it spooks you because we lost three yards on a first down run. O-line settled in and blocked some things really well. But you feel like it is getting away from you quickly because we are not playing the way we want to play.
“Defensively we have to get some stops early. They get a long drive (and score), we throw an interception. We have been behind three games in a row early. We can’t do that.
“Right now with the injuries we have we are not as explosive as we were. We have to get back to playing winning formula football and that’s playing good defense and the offense getting balanced.”
Kentucky fans have criticized the offensive line, expected to be a team strength this year, for its recent play. Stoops admitted there “were a couple” of plays from last week where that criticism was fair.
“One (player) in particular got beat at right tackle that looked bad. Darian (Kinnard) had been doing a good job and get beat on one rush pretty bad. A few others … and that a fair criticism. Coach Schlarm (offensive line coach John Schlarman) was not happy and the players are not either.”