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The Kentucky Wildcats walked away with an impressive 24-2 win against Mississippi State on Saturday night. That is the most important thing if you’re Mark Stoops, but a player who has not been as involved as he wants might disagree.
That seems to be the case with Akeem Hayes, a redshirt sophomore wide receiver.
The Hollywood, Fla. native was clearly frustrated following Kentucky’s big win, taking to Twitter to voice his displeasure with how infrequently he was targeted in the game. Here are a few of his tweets that were quickly deleted but screen grabbed by Kentucky Sports Radio:
As the tweet points out, it wasn’t just the lack of targets. Hayes was frustrated by the lack of snaps. Out of 53 total snaps, Hayes was only on the field for nine of them. Five of those nine snaps were run plays where he had to run block.
It’s never a good idea to call your team out for a lack of playing time directly following its first win of the season. That’s probably not going to end well. But does Hayes have a point? The speed that Hayes adds to the offense would be a benefit, especially in a game where that side of the football is struggling with production.
The Wildcats only produced 157 total yards (84 rushing, 73 passing) on the night. It was a strange development considering how the offense had carried the defense through previous two games. But on Saturday, the defense was the most valuable unit against the Bulldogs.
Kentucky finished with six interceptions and kept the high-powered Mississippi State offense from scoring a single point.
Hayes currently has four receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown, all of which came in the first two weeks. It might not seem like much, but the yardage ranked second on the team even though he didn’t see any targets on Saturday night.
Kentucky is going to continue to rely on its run game. With a trio of stable runners and Terry Wilson as a dual-threat quarterback, the run game is the Wildcats’ best bet for continued success. But the passing game needs to complement the Wildcat ground game, and Hayes obviously thinks he can help make that happen.
If they don’t, it could be long season for Stoops and company.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.