I was a Tuesday night guest on Larry Glover Live, where there was a discussion about what Kentucky’s run/pass percentages might look like, especially early in the season, under new coordinator Eddie Gan.
First of all, at UK’s media availability earlier Tuesday, I asked Gran how the install and preparation leading up to Saturday’s opener against Southern Miss compared to the installation and preparation he experienced as the new OC at Cincinnati back in 2013?
“Night and day just because we’re so much further ahead here,” Gran said. “It was hard. We didn’t know who we were. Going into it at Cincinnati, we went one way and it really was the other way in terms of personnel. So we had to switch midstream, but we did that and when we did that, we were successful. We feel like we’ve gotten enough now that we know who we are personnel wise and so we were able to add a little bit more and create a bigger package.”
Gran’s first year at Cincinnati under Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati ran the football 52 percent of the time. The last two seasons, before Gran departed to join Mark Stoops at Kentucky, the run/pass percentage flipped with the Bearcats throwing it 52 percent of the time.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
Compare that to Kentucky in the past three seasons under Mark Stoops. Neal Brown, who had been Tommy Tuberville’s offensive coordinator at Texas Tech, was Stoops’ offensive coordinator the first two seasons at UK before becoming head coach at Troy. Shannon Dawson, now the OC at Southern Miss (UK’s foe on Saturday), was the offensive coordinator last season.
All three years, Kentucky ran the football more than it threw the football. In fact, despite running variations of the “Air Raid” offense, UK’s run percentages were pretty much the same, whether Brown called the plays (2013-14) or Dawson called the plays (2015).
I suspect Kentucky’s run/pass ratio under Gran will be close to the breakdown last season under Dawson. On the flip side, I expect Southern Miss will throw the ball more than it did in 2015. For starters, Dawson loves to throw the football. And he has a quarterback who can throw the football in Nick Mullens, who is surely one of the better quarterbacks Kentucky will face all season.
Now here’s Gran talking Tuesday about how he thinks the offense has prepared for Saturday.
Cincinnati’s offensive plays 2013-15
Kentucky’s offensive plays 2013-15