Mark Stoops Continues Success With Kentucky

Mark Stoops Denies FSU

After removing himself from consideration for the Florida State head coaching job, Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats (6-5, 3-5 SEC) looked to remove any chance of UT-Martin coming into Kroger Field and pulling off the upset.

Now all of that can be put to rest. It was a unique experience to have a historically prominent football school showing interest in the head coach at UK. That hasn’t happened in my lifetime.

Kentucky Routes UT-Martin

UT-Martin’s Rough Start

As for the game, it was a nightmarish start for UT-Martin. An errant snap on the first play of the game led to an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone and Kentucky was up 2-0 right off the bat.

As if that wasn’t odd enough it happened again on their next possession! The Skyhawks weren’t able to get on the ball, Yusef Corker was able to get on the ball, and just like that it was 9-0.

Kentucky’s Defense Shines

Defensively, Kentucky refused to allow this to ever be in doubt. They tallied six sacks on the day, 12 tackles for loss and one interception. That allowed Lynn Bowden and the offense to get on track after a sluggish beginning.

Once they got rolling they were able to run their way right into the record books.

Kentucky’s Special Teams Disappoints

The special teams left a lot to be desired. There was a missed extra point, multiple missed tackles on a punt return that led to Max Duffy having to make (in all liklihood) a touchdown saving tackle. Josh Ali muffed a punt that gave the Skyhawks the ball back. UT-Martin also hit Kentucky with a surprise onside kick that the Cats weren’t able to recover. Needless to say, Special Teams Coordinator Dean Hood will have quite a few things to point out this week.

Game Wrap Up

Overall it was a blowout win over a team that they were supposed to blow out. Beating the teams you’re supposed to beat in the fashion that you should beat them is a good thing. Eddie Gran had to reconfigure the offense on the fly and the defense lost lots of guys to the NFL and yet the Cats are still bowl eligible. Kentucky became eligible for a bowl for the fourth consecutive season with Saturday’s 50-7 win over Tennessee Martin at Kroger Field. Very impressive. While this is certainly a team effort, this is yet another reason stoops is a great fit for Kentucky.

Now it’s time to take all of this momentum and focus into the season finale against the rival Louisville Cardinals (7-4, 5-3 ACC) Saturday at noon at Kroger Field.

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