NCAA Football

Kentucky Loses Heartbreaker to Auburn

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It was an ordinary game starting off for the Wildcats Saturday night.  They found themselves facing a 17-point deficit half way through the second quarter.  Then the lights came on and the ‘Cats found a way to get the ball into the endzone.  Randall Cobb took the snap and found Jordan Aumiller in the back of the endzone.  They left enough time on the clock for Auburn to drive and Cam Newton was able to do what he did all night. Run the ball.  Newton took the ball in from three yards out to score with a minute or so left before halftime.

The ‘Cats were able to pick-up a field goal going into halftime and the score was in Auburn’s favor 31-17.  This is typically when Kentucky comes back out and as they tend to do all the time get steam rolled by the superior talent.  Randall Cobb was determined not to let that happen.

Cobb was able to find the endzone twice in the third quarter and the Wildcats defense held Auburn scoreless.  There was a much different vibe from Kentucky then in previous weeks.  They played with much more tempo and had seemed to have found a way to stop Cam Newton from running the ball.  Kentucky’s defense was able grab an interception and any time the dual-threat quarterback challenged them Kentucky responded.

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The fourth quarter was a little slow.  Both Kentucky and Auburn failed to get a touchdown and Auburn was able to cap off the win with a 24-yard field goal as the clock expired, leaving the Kentucky faithful with their third loss in three SEC games.  The thing that hurt Kentucky the most was the final drive of the game. Auburn got the ball with 7:31 left in the game and was able to run the clock all the way down.  A seven minute drive kept the worn out Kentucky defense on the field and all they had to do was put the ball in Cam Newton’s hands.

Newton was spectacular running the football.  He ran the ball 28 times for 198 yards and four touchdowns.  He wasn’t too shabby throwing the ball either passing for 210 yards.  When the opposing quarterback goes for  more than half of the teams total yards things begin to not work out in your favor.  Newton was probably the best player Kentucky has seen so far this season.  Other then the one interception he did everything right.  He sustained drives for Auburn and the Kentucky front four and linebackers didn’t have an answer for him.  After his performance more eyes need to be placed on Cam Newton as a Heisman trophy contender.

On a positive note for the Wildcats, they probably played the best they had played all season.  Going up against a talent like Cam Newton you know he is going to get his fair share of touches and yards.  The thing is that you can’t let his supporting cast beat you and Kentucky didn’t.  They were able to hold Auburn’s tailback Michael Dyer to just 57 yards on the ground and other than Darvin Adams the Tigers receivers didn’t do much either.

We are also getting used to saying this as well. Randall Cobb was great.  On a night were Derrick Locke went down with and injury Cobb did exactly what he needed to. He put the offense on his shoulders and took on the challenge.  Cobb did just about everything for the ‘Cats.  It was like Batman versus The Joker.  Anytime Newton went down and scored Randall Cobb seemed to counter.  Cobb caught a touchdown, threw for one, and ran two in.

The Wildcats also utilized the “WildCobb” formation and it paid its dividends.  I believed that in order for Kentucky to compete with Auburn they were going to have to put the ball into Cobbs hands much more often then they had been.  Cobb was amazing, the only problem is that Cam Newton was just better.

Mike Hartline again played a pretty good game.  He was accurate completing 23 of 28 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown.  The best thing about Hartline’s stat line is the zero in the turnover category.  As long as he doesn’t turn the ball over Kentucky will be able to compete on offense with some of the best teams in the SEC.

Next week Kentucky gets yet another shot to deliver the Ol’ Ball coach his first ever loss to Kentucky.  South Carolina is coming off a huge win versus Alabama and is probably playing the best football in the SEC.  Marcus Lattimore has been sensational for the Gamecocks.  South Carolina will be bring a lot of momentum into Commonwealth Stadium. We will see if Kentucky has enough power to derail the Gamecocks?