Tuesday, August 21, 2007

SEC Preview, Part 4: Kentucky trying to keep their head above water


Overview: Kentucky surprised the football world last season when they won 8 games, including victories over Georgia and Clemson. However, despite what the major media may believe, UK is going to have a very difficult time getting back to a bowl game this season.

The last three recruiting classes were ranked by rivals.com at 54, 36, and 67. Thus, their three year average ranking in recruiting is 52. When you combine poor coaching with poor recruiting it is not difficult to conclude that this team overachieved last year.

Offense: Kentucky is led by big time QB Andre Woodson. He is an excellent NFL prospect standing 6-5 and weighting 230-pounds. His numbers were very impressive in 2006 as he passed for a whopping 3,515 yards, 31 touchdown passes and threw only seven picks. Equally impressive he was able to complete 63% of his passes.

Woodson has a fairly impressive group of receivers, including some big targets. This group of receivers is arguably the deepest in the conference, although I don’t believe they are. Also, there is good SEC talent at the running back position if Rafael Little can stay healthy.

The biggest weakness on the offensive side of the ball is the offensive line. Look for Woodson to be sacked early and often. The weak line will also lessen the chances of a decent running game. However, if a few JUCO transfers can come in and play the O-line could turn out to be pretty decent.

Defense: Kentucky will be armed with the worst defense in the SEC. Their defensive line can be compared to the Iraqi Army trying to stop U.S. Forces from entering Baghdad. It’s just not going to happen. While Rich Brooks brought in a new defensive coordinator it is unlikely to make any difference. They are so small upfront the defense can be run over by virtually any offense in the SEC. “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Conclusion: Despite having a great QB and great group of receivers, this team will struggle because they will lose the battle in the trenches. The only chance this team has of a decent season is if the offensive line can hold long enough for Woodson to get the ball off. However, defense wins championships and this defense is so poor they will not make a bowl game.

Lamar’s pick: Kentucky will have a record of 4-8 and will finish last in the SEC East.

Photo: sportsevents.net

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