While my Power Prediction ultimately came up two late touchdowns short, Kentucky did begin the official #YearOfTheWildcat by laying the freaking wood today. This is just not the same team from last year, and that's good because remember, the team from last year was kinda sh!tty. Let me get my one nitpick out of the way: the rush defense wasn't perfect. That's it. It's all positive from here on out. The takeaways:
Patrick Towles was in full command of the offense. Remember last year, when no matter who Kentucky was playing, the offense could never seem to get its feet underneath it? Not today. Towles was ruthlessly efficient, completing 20 of 29 passes for 377 yards to ten different receivers. #weaponry
My biggest takeaway from this game: the defense is crazy physical. Yeah, the rush defense wasn't perfect like I said, but this unit hits hard. I honestly can't remember a truly physical Kentucky defense in my lifetime, but when this defense hits you, you stop. We'll see how they do against better competition in the coming weeks, but physical is physical.
Braylon Heard is the truth. He's speed and power. He can run by defenders but isn't always interested in avoiding contact with them. Yes, I know he had just two carries, but did you see them? In case you didn't, here's a highlight of his secondTD run.
Finally, AJ Stamps is a difference make.r. On a physical defense he may be the most physical player on it, pound for pound. While the defensive line, an assumed strength, didn't get much push up front, I'm willing to chalk that up to some vanilla scheming, and let's not forget: when Kentucky's starters were in, UT-Martin didn't score. But the secondary, especially Stamps, plays nasty. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Glenn Faulkner and Marcus McWilson, both of whom I think will only add to the physicality of the secondary.
Be happy about this, BBN. Yeah, it was UT-Martin, but Kentucky did what good football teams do to bad football teams: they drubbed them, and that's not something to take for granted on a day when Navy scared the buckeye out of Ohio State and North Dakota State beat the stuffing out of Iowa State--at Iowa State.
Watch the highlights here via KentuckyWildcatsTV