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Ten Takeaways from Florida Game


Ten thoughts after yesterday’s depressing game

(1) The Start: To say that UK has started poorly against Florida in the last two years would be like saying that you wouldnt let Rick Pitino date your daughter…it is beyond obvious. But 59-0 over the past two seasons is still unbelievably atrocious. For the first quarter, the Cats looked as if they didnt believe they belonged on the same field as the Gators. It caused poor tackling, penalties and odd play calling, all of which led to an embarassing 15 minutes. Rich Brooks said afterword that he had to do a better job getting his team ready to play in games like this…he is certainly correct.

(2) Hartline: The talk amongst most UK fans I have spoken with since the game has been all on Hartline. He cant do this, he cant do that, he isnt an SEC quarterback. While he undoubtedly had some bad plays yesterday, he was not the cause of the 31 first quarter points allowed and most of the penalties had little to do with his play. He made a couple of terribly bad passes and was certainly not sharp. However to hang a 41-7 drubbing on him, seems a bit harsh to me. What was your best case scenario for points UK could put on the board against arguably the best defense in America? Mine was 17…blame Hartline for not getting those extra 10, but the Cats werent going to score over 41 no matter what.

(3): Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes: After the game, Rich Brooks had a revealing statement that only someone as blunt as he would make. He said the first quarter looked as if he had never coached a game before in his life. For 15 minutes, UK football has never looked dumber…6 first quarter penalties, most of the “illegal formation, false start, illegal motion” varities. One longtime UK reporter told me after the Louisville game that he had never seen a Rich Brooks team play stupider. Well he only had to wait one more week to be topped.

(4) Wither the Wildcat?: Where was the creative “go for broke” play calling that is needed to win a game like this? Where were the multiple snaps to get your best playmaker the ball in a creative offense? Where was Randall Cobb in the gameplan? I like Joker, think he is a great recruiter and great for the program. Sometimes I do not get his playcalling (although I loved the call on 4th and 1 on the goalline).

(5) Secondary Problems: With the exception of Trevard Lindley, I have been critical of the secondary’s play this year. But Saturday may have been the worst yet. While the front four did get pressure on Tebow and the linebackers played relatively well (specifically Sam Maxwell), the secondary was one example of blown tackles and coverage, time after time. Lots of athletes in those positions, but if I have to see one more play that ends with one member of the secondary pointing at another for a mistake, I may cry.

(6): TEBOW has risen: The Tebow is a saint jokes are probably played out at this point, but you dont realize how true they are to reality until you spend a game with media members watching him. When he took the nasty hit in the 3rd Quarter, some media members from Florida actually stood in the press box, as if they wanted to somehow gravitate to the field to make him rise. He truly has a level of respect/adoration from media members that I have never before seen.

(7): Tydlacka Improving: Want to have something to cheer? Ryan Tydlacka is kicking much better…and he got a great deal of practice yesterday. While the blocked punt was a coverage issue (that is three in two years Mr. Ortmayer), Tydlacka actually had a couple of booming punts and kick coverage was solid. Hey its something…

(8) Taylor Wyndham: I always enjoy the “life is strange” moments in sports and the Tebow hit certainly was one of those. Taylor Wyndham, a redshirt freshman that most members of the UK media could not have picked out of a lineup, became one of the most talked about players in America in a matter of seconds. While it looks as if Tebow will be fine, Wyndham was mentioned on every talk show, newspaper and ESPN outlet imaginable last night as the guy who could have changed college football with one hit. Modern life is bizarre now and in a moment, everything can change (ask Eric C Conn). But Wyndham’s quick burst of celebrity for a perfectly legal hit is one moment that was quite unexpected.

(9) The Great UK Fans: Bob Davie mentioned on the telecast how amazing he thought it was that UK fans were still into it and cheering on the Cats dring their drive in the 2nd quarter to score their one touchdown. I spoke with him for a second at halftime, mentioned we had 3,000 people on our site for a live blog and he said “these fans are great.” He is exactly right…best football fans for a non-power program in the country in my view.

(10) Worst Matchup: Ultimately I dont read into a lot from Saturday. I knew Kentucky had zero chance to win for a variety of reasons. Kentucky had a severe talent gap, there was a speed problem, Kentucky has always struggled with mobile quarterbacks and the Gators are inevitably going to crush UK…it just happens. There isnt a program that Kentucky matches up with worse in America right now than Florida…and the fact we always play them before it gets cold doesnt help. So I am not into making grand remarks about this team, its players or its coaches based on THIS game. But the Alabama game is different. Alabama is more talented but they play a style UK can hang with. Last year, the Cats played well in Tuscaloosa. I dont think UK will or even should, win. But I do think they should play hard and keep it respectable. If they dont, lets meet and talk again at that point.

Hang tight and enjoy your Sunday…some basketball recruiting stuff tonight.

Article written by Matt Jones

21 responses to “Ten Takeaways from Florida Game”

  1. Old Henry Man

    The Flordia game is over, so lets move on. A very good Bama team is next. Bama has looked better than Flordia most of the year.
    If UK does not come out scared and there are no dump mistakes, it will be better than Saturday night.
    I do not believe that UK can beat Bama, but I hope that UK makes the Tide earn the victory.

  2. lousyvilleCAT

    well said. i get way to emotional to break it down with any common sense. i WANT a good football team so badly it kills me. having sat through seasons at commonwealth as a cousin played, and bill curry coached, im accustomed to being beaten, but….. i actually thought UK had gotten better. ah well, go big blue. lets play with bama.

  3. Micah87

    I agree completely. I wish all the fans would see it more like this because despite what happened the team needs the fans for Alabama and the rest of the year. I especially agree with what you said about Hartline. This is where we are, and we know where we’re headed for the rest of the year. There is still a glimpse of hope. I mean who cares if it’s another small bowl really? we’re not yet a top tier team so ppl need to quit expecting so much.

  4. RCFOM

    The thing with Hartline is at best he is going to be an average QB he does a few things ok but nothing very good or anywhere close to great. To beat or compete with the bigger schools in the SEC UK is going to need an above average QB who can make plays to help you win games not just be average and hope he doesn’t lose a game for you. Now I have not seen Newton play or do I know if he is even ready to play QB yet so by default Hartline may be our best option. But it is not a very good option and I like most other UK fans know Hartline has not yet shown any ability to get us a win over any of the higher group of teams in the SEC which we all want this team to do.

  5. RCFOM

    Also I would like to say that like you I thought it would take a minor miracle for us to beat UF and was not expecting but that first quarter was some of most pathetic football I have seen us play in a long time.

  6. 783CATS

    4.–well said.
    I am just tired of people minimizing the overall–less than average–play by Hartline. I’m not blaming the loss on him by any stretch–however, can we at least be honest and say that this guy is only able to execute his job at qb & deliver passes to wide open receivers 1/3 of the time (the ratio is much less when passing downfield)?!?!? To say that he “had a couple of bad passes” is ridiculous!
    We are in the same boat as last year–for everyone who keeps saying how much better Hartline is over last year–that just isn’t saying a whole heck of a lot–be honest.

  7. BrianWMoore

    The biggest point made, and I completely agree, is that of all of the teams that we play consistently, we match up the worst with Florida. Our strength has never been defending mobile QB’s and yesterday was no different, especially one as talented as Tebow (a pain to admit, but true). Alabama plays a traditional style offense and, while we may not win, we should play much better and the game should be much more fun to watch. Go Cats!

  8. Old Henry Man

    UK is in the SEC, so they have little or no chance of winning the title.
    If the Cats were in the Big East, I would expect a Orange Bowl trip every 2 or 3 years.
    If UK was in the ACC or Big Ten, I think they could compete more often.


    nothing like a good ole reach around on yr way to a Touch Doown.

  10. Micah87

    7, well said, great point on the not good at defending mobile qb’s things. same situation with florida and alabama last year, minus the fact that florida returned all their defensive starters and most of their offence

  11. gcat4496

    Let’s look at some positives:

    #1. The punter did improve as the game went on.
    #2. Moncel Allen was running the ball hard.
    #3. Taylor Wyndham laid a great hit on Tebow.
    #4. UK was only outscored 10-7 during the last 3 qtrs of the game.
    #5. We did not lose on a last second fluke play. You knew it was over within the first couple minutes.
    #6. The secondary got in a lot of work in making downfield tackles.
    #7. Maybe Alabama will overlook the Cats next week.
    #8. Bob Davie gave Joker some good plugs through the night.
    #9. The UK Chandler Hospitial got a lot of publicity.
    #10. We got to see Tebow puke in a bag while leaving the stadium.

  12. Old Henry Man

    #12, that was funny.

  13. WildcatNation

    Tebow camae in like a man and left in an ambulance.

  14. AndTheDevil

    I think one play sums up the game yesterday. Florida had the ball and it was 3rd & 8. Tebow drops back to pass, nothing open, so he runs to the left. Two UK defenders are right there and both begin to BACKPEDAL away from him. Either could have stopped him from picking up the first down. BUT neither ran at him, just backwards until he was past the 1st down marker.

    Why are either would you backpedal from the QB and allow to pick up the first down? He had the ball tucked, so no chance he was going to throw.

    Made no sense.

  15. ChicagoWildcat

    I take one positive away from the game: After the most horrendous quarter of football I have ever witnessed, the scoring the rest of the way was 10-7 Gators. Now admittedly backups were played and Florida stopped going for broke on its play calling, but after the team started playing with some level of discipline we looked like a team that was capable of putting up a game that is not a complete rout.

  16. Beauregard Ulysses

    At some point in time, the issue of Joker Philips being the head coach-in-waiting should be addressed. The offense is his players he recruited for his system and he’s calling the shots. Why do our quarterbacks have to check off 3 times to run a play when LSU, Fla, etc only check off or change the play occasionally? When are we going to start calling the right play from the start and take some of the pressure off Hartline and the receivers. It’s high time we started being successful and competitive against the SEC big boys instead of just beating the teams we are supposed to beat. Can Joker take us to the next level and improve or will we be content to with a 6-6 or 7-5 season at best? Right now, more credit should be given to scheduling than coaching. Not a knock on the players. They are doing their best to do what they are told.

  17. BigBlueFan

    It’s all down to coaching. That’s where we are hurting the most. Time to clean house and get a great coach in here, not just a good coach.

  18. BigBlueFan

    #16 Joker won’t be able to take us to the next level, he will keep us at the same level. Unfortunately, many fans are content with that, especially Matt Jones. Time to demand better of our program and get quality coaches in here.

  19. AUbleedblue

    I was listening to a local sports radio show this morning and they were talking about possible replacements, and how no big level name would come to UK. I don’t have a problem with Coach Brooks, but I think he has taken this team as far as it can go with him at the helm and this whole coach in waiting thing is a complete joke. No pun intended. I say they go after Tommy Tuberville if they make a change.

  20. bluetexan

    #17/#18/#19- Thank you for your posts…I have posted on here for some time that Brooks is passed his coaching prime and that we should get a real head coach. Needless to say, I have been denigrated, called an idiot, etc. However, it’s comforting to know that I am not alone in my feelings. As for Joker being ‘annointed’…I’m not sure how many of the BBN realize that our Cats were ranked 106th in total offense last year under the Offensive Head Coach..that’s NOT the pedigree we need. I TOTALLY disagree that we are not a school that would attact a credible head coach…if it hadn’t been for Barnfart’s blind loyalty to Brooks and haste to get a ‘hire’ made…I love the Cats and am just tired of the same old comments regarding football. And, no, I’m not happy that we settle for secondary bowl games…but, it all goes back to leadership (athletic and admonistrative) – simply, we don’t possess that type of leadership.

  21. dudewheresmygillispie

    the biggest problem is Joker and his play calling. He really needs to learn how to jazz it up a bit. we now have a solid base, brooks needs to retire, joker needs to become the program manager, and joker needs to completely turn over the offensive duties to Randy Sanders or hire Norm Chow.