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By Drew Franklin on ©October 04th, 2015 @ 12:31am
They say a win is a win, but tell that to the stain in my shorts from watching Kentucky go down two touchdowns late in the game to the neighboring Eastern Kentucky Colonels. I had very little to no confidence when Eastern scored the go-ahead touchdown; I had zero confidence once Eastern added another on top of it with a little over seven minutes to go.
Then Patrick Towles and Kentucky’s offense stepped up and got the job done, tying the game on a fourth-down fade route to force overtime. From there, things looked positive entering OT and all of those “what-if” thoughts running through our heads slowly disappeared. (But really, can you imagine how bad a loss would’ve been???)
It was a hard-fought game, one that was supposed to be a blowout, but the fourth W is in the win column. And that’s all that matters in the end.
Let’s talk about it for a moment then forget about it…
It’s safe to say the Cats overlooked the opponent this week.
With a bye week and the biggest game of the year ahead, there’s no doubt Kentucky is guilty of looking past its FCS opponent. Early in the week, Mark Stoops mentioned getting Drew Barker some reps in this game, as well as other reserves. He never came out and said he expected to be up big on the Colonels, but quotes from him and the assistants suggested strong confidence heading into the game.
Yes, Eastern played well — kudos to them — but an SEC team shouldn’t be down two touchdowns to an FCS school at home. The talent gap is just too wide, even at Kentucky. Chalk this one up to relaxing all week and not getting up for the opponent. And Eastern giving them hell on top of that.
The rushing numbers are disappointing.
180 for Eastern, 55 for Kentucky. No excuse for that. Shouldn’t happen. Ever.
Another frustrating stat: UK needed overtime to catch EKU in total yards.
Patrick Towles was outstanding. After halftime.
After giving the Drew Barker advocates plenty to complain about in the first half, Towles turned things around after the break. He responded to a 10-for-19, two-interception first half with 222 yards on 19-of-23 passing and two touchdowns in the second half and overtime.
Just when you think Towles has tanked and it’s time to give his backup a look, he answers the call and plays the quarterback position as well as anyone. We saw it in the Missouri game after many fans called for a change all week, then again tonight when he played a disappointing first 30 minutes. Now, how do we get him to do it all of the time? It’s in him, we’ve seen it. Just gotta find that consistency.
The win tied the school record for biggest fourth quarter comeback.
And for the fourth time this year, Kentucky closed out a game by putting points on the board and making stops defensively with their backs against the wall. They love to make us sweat these out, but they get it done in the end.
“Very proud of the finish,” Stoops told Tom Leach.
Dorian Baker was unstoppable.
The aforementioned record comeback was made possible because of one Dorian Baker. He hauled in a difficult fourth-down catch for the game-tying touchdown; then bulldozed his way into the end zone in overtime for the game-winner.
What a grab by Dorian Baker!! pic.twitter.com/jNvRp6a2XE
— UKSTOOPSTROOPS (@ukstoopstroops) October 4, 2015
Shannon Dawson said Baker demanded the ball on a screen with no blockers in overtime. Well that’s what he got, and he took it to paydirt for the win. He carried the Cats in the end.
“He’s a man,” said Towles.
Baker finished with eight catches for 82 yards and those two scores. The win doesn’t happen without his playmaking.
Cory Johnson has been a monster the last three weeks, tonight especially.
There’s a reason I picked Johnson as my MVP on the pregame show: he has been unblockable as of late and Eastern’s offensive line wasn’t cut out to slow him down. Johnson recorded a career-high 19 tackles against the Colonels, coming off his old career-high of 11 tackles against Missouri. He set a record for tackles by a UK defensive tackle and closed out the night with a sack on the final play of the game.
Austin MacGinnis, hurry back.
Confession: I couldn’t watch Miles Butler kick the extra point at the end of regulation. I can’t be the only one. Speak up, guys. It’s okay.
Stoops said he expects MacGinnis to be back next week.
Josh Forrest and Ryan Flannigan combined for 21 tackles, probably missed that many, too.
Forrest and Flannigan seemed to be in on most of Kentucky’s tackles in the game. They somehow seemed to miss every tackle too. I counted at least six blitzes where one of the two linebackers blew past the line and missed the QB. It got to be very frustrating, until one of them made a big stop on the same drive. They’re both very good, but could be even better with improved tackling.
This was a hell of play by Towles and Bone:
Bone had a good game with seven catches for 85 yards. Nice breakout night for him after a rather quiet first four games.
By show of hands, how many people were dying to put some pads on Boom Williams?
It was gut-wrenching to see Boom on the sideline in sweatpants when the offense was stagnant. The SEC Network didn’t do us any favors by cutting to him often and after failed drives.
Let’s hope Boom learned that lesson by sitting out when his team was desperate for his help.
As ugly as it was, the record reads 4-1 going into Auburn.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 03rd, 2015 @ 11:48pm
Mark Stoops’ postgame press conference was as somber as you would imagine, and considering the problems UK’s offense had, it was only natural for reporters to question the quarterback play. Patrick Towles was 29-42 for 3 touchdowns, but his shaky play gave life to the very vocal Drew Barker contingent. So much so that after the game, Mark Stoops admitted he considered replacing Towles with Barker.
“I did. I did. I thought about it,” Stoops said, when asked if he considered playing Barker.
Meanwhile, some good news to end this on: Boom Williams WILL be back for Auburn after disciplinary measures.
“If he was suspended, he wouldn’t have been on the sideline.”
Well alright then. This should be an interesting bye week.
By Nick Roush on ©October 03rd, 2015 @ 11:37pm
Stoops knows it wasn’t pretty, but he’ll take it. “Overall, not very pleased with our effort,” Stoops said.
“They coached better than we did. They played with much better energy and enthusiasm,” but Stoops could find at least one silver lining – they got the win. “That’s the good news, to some how find a way to get to 4-1.”
Stoops shoulders much of the blame, but knows his players played down to their competition. They simply weren’t ready to play today, “You gotta play with a toughness and a mental edge about ya or you won’t look very good.”
More to come.
By Nick Roush on ©October 03rd, 2015 @ 11:29pm
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 03rd, 2015 @ 11:22pm
By Nick Roush on ©October 03rd, 2015 @ 9:15pm
We’ve seen some bad football moments this year, but that whole half was UGLY. Kentucky only has 23 rushing yards, Towles has thrown two deep ball interceptions, and the offensive line looks childish after playing exceptionally well last week. I don’t know where we went wrong, but something has to be fixed.
By Nick Roush on ©October 03rd, 2015 @ 7:00pm
After this week’s off the field drama, a UK spokesman confirmed that Boom Williams will not be playing tonight. Boom did not practice on Monday or Tuesday, but returned to practice for the rest of the week. We’ll have the complete starting lineups shortly.
In other news, some of the new lights went out, including the scoreboards that wrap around the stadium. There looks like there will be plenty of light to play, but it’s pretty dark for those in the upper deck. They’ve got a little over 30 minutes to fix the problem.
By Kindsey Bernhard on ©October 03rd, 2015 @ 6:00pm
Bennie Coney, Eastern Kentucky’s quarterback is a redshirt sophomore transfer from the University of Cincinnati. Here are five things you should know about him…
Coney is become a father today
Coney posted on this Facebook page today:
“Baby girl coming today. Praying for a safe delivery. Pray for my child and the mother of my child as they take upon this challenge”
Congratulations on this day and we wish a safe delivery for your daughter.
Can wait to spoil my daughter man
— **GTB** (@bconey10) September 2, 2015
Coney transferred to EKU for eligibility reasons
Bennie Coney left Cincinnati due to the probability he would not become the starting quarterback, and maybe even the third-string QB. Coney, a Florida native, was rumored to be heading to USF or UCF where he would only have two seasons of eligibility left. However, Coney’s transfer Eastern Kentucky gave him three seasons of eligibility, which I assume was the leaning factor.
Coney likes to pump the iron and show it off
After going through some of Coney’s social media, I have noticed that he likes to show people how in shape he is. Coney has posted multiple pictures of himself without a shirt on and while flexing. #NoDaysOff
A video posted by Bennie Coney (@rasta_qb4) on
Coney attended Plant City High School
After some research, that is an actual name of a high school. Apparently there is a city in Florida called Plant City where Coney grew up. Plant City is a little east of Tampa. Sadly, their mascot is a Raider and not a Conifer Tree.
Coney was suspended from his high school football team twice
Rarely do you hear of a player being dismissed from a high school football, team but Coney managed to defy this odd twice. The first violation was due to a violation of team rules and the second was because of an altercation with a teammate. However, it looks like Coney has matured and has got on the right path.