Through the first five games of the season, Kentucky football played with an edge. Five games later, that edge is missing and it’s derailing a special season.
The Wildcats dropped their final SEC game of the season at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, losing to Tennessee, 24-7 in front of 95,258 fans. Plain and simple, Kentucky got beat in all areas of the game, including coaching.
“Not a very good effort,” said Mark Stoops. “It starts with me and really ends with me. Didn’t have the team prepared, so not a good enough job by myself. I got to accept that responsibility and get back to work.”
The biggest reason Kentucky continues to struggle on offense is the attention opposing defenses are giving to Benny Snell. The UK junior carried the ball 20 times for 81 yards, his third consecutive game under 100-yards.
“They came out and they played harder than us,” said Snell. “They wanted it more than us.”
Following the loss, some would suggest it was a hangover from losing the SEC East championship vs. Georgia a week ago. However, Snell knows it’s deeper than that. When asked, Snell said, “It’s definitely something else.”
“I feel like…just on the team there’s not guys that have that dog mentality that want it, that are hungry. It was obvious that Tennessee wanted it more than Kentucky. We got to eliminate those guys that don’t got that hunger or if you don’t have it anymore, we don’t need you.”
Snell hammered home that it’s a team effort and that guys have to be held accountable, including himself.
“I’ve called guys out before and is it time now? That’s a team thing. I will do that if need be but you know, it’s a team effort on both sides of the ball and special teams.”
Kentucky has two regular season games remaining to get things right. The first is a senior day matchup with Middle Tennessee State at noon on Saturday.