Cats hope final Missouri drive fixed offense


Lynn Bowden Jr. runs downfield during the game Vanderbilt on Saturday, October 20, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Chase Phillips | Staff

UK football has one week to solve their anemic offense.

One week to figure out how to move the ball against good defenses that have held the Cats scoreless on 38 of their last 45 drives. That’s only a 15.5% scoring rate on drives, including field goals. The touchdown rate is even lower than that.

Their job doesn’t get any easier, as Georgia, their next opponent, has the No. 12 scoring defense in the nation.

“[Georgia’s defense is] really athletic, they play hard, but they’ve just got really good players,” UK tight end C.J. Conrad said Tuesday. “They recruit well, and we’re going to have to play extremely well. We’ll have to play physical.”

The Bulldogs are coming off a 36-17 shellacking of now-No. 13 Florida, where they held the Gators to only half a point above Georgia’s normal defensive average. Of all the SEC teams in the Top 10 of the CFP rankings, however, Georgia has the worst scoring defense.

The Cats, on the other hand, are coming off a nail-biter against Missouri that they pulled out on a final game-winning drive, 15-14.

The team has said that the game was a confidence booster for this week. Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran even took it a step further, saying that one “can’t put a price” on the fact that UK was stalled for 55 minutes of the game and still found a way to win.

“I think you saw it [Tuesday] in our 7-on-7,” Gran said. “We were really, really sharp. Guys catching the ball, guys throwing the ball on time, and so I think that comes from that confidence after that last drive [at Missouri]”.

Conrad, though, is all business.

“We’re very excited, but you have to take your approach very seriously and very normal. We’re not doing anything this week that we didn’t do last week or the week before,” the senior tight end said.

Wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. had his fair share of attention after a career day against Missouri, which included a punt return touchdown that got UK scoring again. Asked what he thought about a defense specifically planning for him, however, he brushed off his offensive contribution.

“If they’re doing that, they’ve got a lot to worry about,” Bowden said. “I ain’t the only player on this team, we’ve got a team full of good people.”

Bowden also said he’d be handing punt return responsibilities back to David Bouvier, who normally takes care of that play.

The Cats will look for a Top 10 win this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.