Give Kentucky All The Credit

Wildcats show some toughness in upset of No. 1 LSU

College Football Recap: Week 7

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Oct. 13, 2007

By Trev Alberts

Special to CSTV.com

 



TREV ALBERTS

Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CSTV and CSTV.com.
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For Kentucky to pull through like they did I thought was pretty remarkable. Especially the way it transpired in the triple overtime and the epic battle that we saw with both teams having to go for two, Kentucky failing and the Wildcats defense so tired, having given up 260 yards on the ground.

 

But you have to be proud of the Kentucky defense and I think Matt Flynn missed more than a few receivers and the Tigers had their fair share of drops. They didn't complete the kind of passes they needed to. It has to be frustrating because LSU has talent and the defense wasn't quite as dominating as we thought they'd be.


 

 

 

You can obviously make the argument that LSU made a mistake by running four straight times in the third overtime. But it's like anything else. Les Miles is praised when he goes for it on fourth down five times against Florida and converts each time, but this time he fails, challenging his offensive line who couldn't come through. The obvious question is why didn't he throw the ball?

 

Rather than point to LSU's ineffectiveness at key moments, I choose to lift up Kentucky's defense because, let's face it, Kentucky had made progress over the years offensively while the defense was always their Achilles heal. They were playing without Rafael Little and were coming off of last week's loss, allowing them every opportunity to say we're not quite ready to run with the big boys.

 

I thought it was a courageous effort out of the Wildcats, but I thought the emotional games that LSU has played may have caught up with them. And that's what makes the SEC so difficult. It used to be you at least had Vanderbilt, Kentucky and South Carolina as guaranteed wins and now you literally don't get a break. Some toughness had to come out today and Kentucky showed that toughness.

 

What a terrific, terrific win and performance by coach Rich Brooks and his staff. In an age when there are too many quick triggers on hirings and firings of college coaches, Kentucky sticks with a guy and gets a hugely important win. But the Wildcats now have Florida next week and the question is how does Brooks transition his team off of this win, then all of a sudden turn around and try to defeat an Urban Meyer team hungry for a win?

 

As this race unfolds for the national championship and the number of teams who are going to have two or maybe even three losses piles up, there are going to be some pretty good SEC teams in the mix who will have beat up on each other. And it's unfortunate for them that they're so good as a conference that it's hurting them nationally to knock each other off. You may not have any SEC team ranked in the Top 5 when the polls come out Sunday.

 

I think what's going to be interesting for LSU is what the poll voters choose to do. Remember, USC played horribly against Washington and got beat at home by Stanford and dropped to No. 10.  I don't think the Tigers are out of the race. They still have great teams ahead on their schedule and potentially the SEC Championship game. They still essentially control their own destiny in the West and that's all that really matters because if they take care of business, they'll get a chance to win the SEC.

 

With what's happened in college football this year, they're not out of this thing. Jacob Hester has to get healthy. Miles can talk about Kentucky and how they had an emotional game the week before against South Carolina and rebounded to get a very important win. You lose the game they have against Auburn next week and the SEC West is all of a sudden out of question.

 

So next week we'll find out about the Tigers' resiliency and ability to overcome adversity. They have some questions at quarterback that I think they need to settle. They have to get healthy and address some holes in their defense. Bo Pelini and crew will go back and try and correct those things with his great players, but sometimes you're told for so long how great you are and then you turn on the film and realize you just lost to Kentucky. I think LSU will be motivated next week. They'll be back and they'll be strong.

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