If you’ve been a Kentucky football fan for any length of time you have seen more than your fair share of Jekyll and Hyde performances. The 2016 season opener against Southern Miss is the latest example that can be filed into those archives.
Prior to that one only needs to look back at the 2015 season finale against Louisville.
In both games Kentucky came out smoking hot and built a lead of three touchdowns or more in the first half.
In both games Kentucky was shut out in the second half and saw their lead evaporate and victory slip away.
It was another punch to the gut, another setback and another tough pill for the coaches, players and fans to overcome.
VIDEO: Stoops on Opener Loss to Southern Miss
— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) September 4, 2016
The blazing start on offense and the defense that took the fight to Southern Miss in the first half were nowhere to be found in the second half. It brought back memories of the old Houston Oilers as they squandered away their best opportunity to get to a Super Bowl.
Man, I miss NFL PrimeTime. If you weren’t fortunate enough to grow up when this show was at its peak you missed out on TV gold.
Like Houston back in 1993, once things started slipping away for Kentucky they just weren’t able to regain control, or momentum or much of anything for that matter.
In an opening weekend that saw the SEC struggle much more than many are accustomed to seeing, Kentucky had an opportunity to stand out as different. If they had continued to handle Southern Miss in the second half the way they did in the first 30 minutes they would have stood out like a sore thumb in a positive way in the SEC crowd.
Tennessee was fortunate to beat Appalachian State, LSU was upset by Wisconsin, Mississippi State fell at home to South Alabama and Arkansas eked out a one point win against Louisiana Tech.
It even took Florida a while to pull away from UMass. Like Kentucky in basketball, Alabama was the only one that could be relied on to represent the conference in an extraordinary fashion — at least for this week anyway.
An impressive win by Kentucky would have been a nice talking point throughout the conference heading into week 2 but it didn’t play out that way.
Granted, this is only one game. There are 11 more games to be played as we all know.
The biggest improvement takes place between week one and week two. Coaches, and analysts have been saying this after week one of the season for years now.
This is the case for all of the other teams as well though.
Kentucky has gotten off to hot starts in each of the past two seasons and then succumbed to adversity in the second halves of those seasons. Now they have made life harder for themselves early on and a trip to The Swamp is looming.
There’s nothing to do now but keep looking forward. The season isn’t going to stop for anyone. All is not lost, Kentucky just has to buckle down and keep things from becoming worse.