There wasn’t any finger pointing after the 20-14 overtime loss at Texas A&M, but there definitely was some second guessing.
For No. 13 Kentucky, nothing was second guessed more than the play call on third-and-2 in overtime. The Cats lined up for what looked like a wildcat-formation play to get the ball to Benny Snell before calling a timeout.
Ultimately, the Cats went back on the field and ran a decisive play called 13-Jumbo that ended in quarterback Terry Wilson getting sacked and creating a situation that left UK short on a 43-yard field goal by Miles Butler.
Did UK discuss giving it to Snell on that third-and-2?
“I did. We did,” Coach Mark Stoops said afterward. “So it happened. I have to look at the film. I don’t know if it was there or not.”
Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran explained his thinking in the minutes after the loss, the first for UK this season.
“It looked so good in practice,” he said of the play call, which ended in Wilson getting sacked for minus-8 yards. “It’s been successful.
“My thought was, ‘It’s going to be wide open because everybody in the stadium is thinking Benny’s going to get the ball.’ Bad decision. As you look back at it, it’s not a good decision.”
Kentucky has run that play on film six times, Gran explained. But it was off from the snap.
“We snapped the ball too quick,” Gran continued. “I’ve got to see it because it looked like it wasn’t all in cahoots because there was no reason to hurry. You’ve got a flat route and a tight end going on a corner and it’s like a power pass. We’re 100 percent, going to win the game first down and keep going. So it’s looked great in practice.
“Looking back on it, I wish I’d have handed it to (Snell). If it works, we’re asking a different question and that’s part of this deal, but when you’ve got 26 back there, you probably should’ve handed him the ball.”
Snell, who came into the game as the Southeastern Conference’s top running back averaging 127.8 yards a game with eight touchdowns, had just 60 yards on 13 carries on Saturday night, with no run longer than 11 yards.
“We had the play called, was going to be a run play, called a timeout, switched it,” Snell said. “It is what it is. I trust Coach Gran and what he calls. I trust my team. I can’t do anything about it.”