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9 Things We Learned at the 2019 Kentucky Football Spring Game


The absence of offensive firepower was the only meaningful grievance from fans during Kentucky’s historic 2018 football season. The Cats responded by unleashing an explosive offensive attack in the 2019 Blue/White Game. It was a lot of fun.

1. Go Deep!

Between each team Kentucky had ten plays over 20 yards or more. Isaiah Epps’ 60-yard reception from Terry Wilson would have been the longest pass-and-catch through the air of the 2018 season season.  On that drive Kentucky went 84 yards in only two plays.

Even though it may make you question the secondary’s competence, it was encouraging to see UK’s offense let it rip after failing to consistently connect on deep balls over the last two years.

2. Tricky Start

It’s become the Cats’ signature spring move. In Stoops’ first game as UK’s head coach, three quarterbacks were on the field for the first play. This year, Lynn Bowden started at quarterback. He slung it to Wilson, who was split wide, who threw it back to Bowden for an 8-yard gain. The more trickery, the better.

3. Hello, Bryce Oliver

It was encouraging to see Isaiah Epps convert a couple deep balls, but he did not surprise quite like Bryce Oliver. After redshirting in 2018, the Ft. Lauderdale Dillard product was absolutely incredible. He averaged 13.1 yards on 8 receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown. Most of his catches were jump balls where he either ran past his defender or caught it over the top.

Entering tonight’s game Oliver, Allen Dailey, B.J. Alexander and a few others were vying for playing time. Oliver called dibs.

4. Smoke a Little Smoke

Kavosiey Smoked the defense as soon as he touched the ball. Allow that to serve as my only and only bad smoke pun.

In his first carry, the redshirt freshman running back absolutely torched the defense. He made one cut and was gone, 87 yards down the field for a touchdown. He only had five touches, but he certainly looked like RB2.

Similar to his predecessor’s “Benny and the Jets,” Kroger Field had a song prepared for Smoke’s touchdown celebration. Instead of using his first name to play Busta Rhymes, “Pass the Courvoisier,” Eric Church’s “Smoke a little smoke,” played over the Kroger Field speakers. Eric Church doesn’t slap quite like Busta, but he prefers to simply go by “Smoke.” Still, this would be cool to hear a few times a game at The Kroge.

5. Skyline at Kroger Field

Football Time in the Bluegrass will never be the same. Tonight fans could enjoy 3-ways and cheese coneys while watching the Cats score touchdowns. Somewhere Mike Edwards is smiling ear to ear.

6. Injury Free

Every coaches’ primary spring game goal is to escape without an injury. Stoops can check that box.

All in all, the Cats remained healthy for most of the spring. There were a few hamstring injuries here and there, but nothing that will linger long into the offseason.

7. Good Form, Chance Poore

Kicking is not typically a spring game take-away, but then again, how often do you see a kicker absolutely drill a 52-yard field goal? It was not a live simulation. Poore did not see a rush. Even so, that ball hit the back of the net from the left hash. He could have made it from at least 60. He also knocked down a 36-yarder. Not too shabby.

8. Jordan Wright Stepped Up

If this was a real game, Jordan Wright would have racked up a few sacks. After Brad White openly criticized his outside linebackers just a week ago, Wright brought his A-Game under the bright lights. I counted at least three instances where he was there to make a play, but could only let the QB run out of the pocket. He didn’t just rush the passer. After narrowly missing a first half interception, he picked off a second half pass.

Wright certainly looked the part for the Blue Team. His White Team counterpart at Jack linebacker did well for a true freshman. Jared Casey led the White squad with six tackles and a quarterback hurry.

9. One Awkward Proposal

Throughout the Blue/White Game, on-field interviews were conducted for the SEC Network audience and the Kroger Field crowd. At the conclusion of the third quarter, Christi Thomas brought the mic to Lynn Bowden. After a brief back-and-forth, somebody handed Lynn a ball. He signed it, then handed it to a woman on the sideline. Next to Bowden’s signature read, “Will you marry me?”

She said yes, even if her face did not. Unfortunately, there’s no video to tell the tale, only this picture.

@UKAthletics

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

16 responses to “9 Things We Learned at the 2019 Kentucky Football Spring Game”

  1. Sergeant

    1) Our 2nd team defense is not good lol

    1. mashburnfan1

      Several of those guys were FR and it was their first time on the field, so yea they should struggle. The non FR were mostly guys that have red shirted and played very little except for on DL. Our D should be pretty good if the DB can come along quickly. Plus the sets were pretty basic, I’m sure we will run different sets and blitzes etc in a real game.

  2. KYJelly

    Dude looks like her father … maybe that’s why she’s not happy

    1. UKnowMe

      From the JumboTron video she was either not happy with the timing of the proposal or the tub of lard that asked her.

    2. Teamhhc1

      I was in the stands right in front of them. When the guy reached out to hold her hand after the proposal, she slapped it away. She really didn’t look happy at all.

    3. fireants25

      Is that Billy G with a beard?! Wow

    4. Luether

      My sources told me that she’s currently OTR…

  3. shelby

    She giving that ring back tonight lol … but keeping the ball ??

  4. mashburnfan1

    I know it is not related but the Mens Tennis team played a great match tonight and beat a very good, highly ranked UGA team. They won the doubles, dropped the 5 and 6 singles and the #1, #2 and #4 singles all dropped their first sets. However #3 singles got us on a winning streak and the 1,2,4 all came back to win. This was a really good win for the team, CONGRATS.

    1. friendsofcoal

      I wish you would stick to covering our tennis team.

    2. Parker_UKFanNC

      Amen

    3. mashburnfan1

      I see more people who don’t like facts because I am an advocate that Cal is not a good in game coach. I also show all Cal does not put people in the NBA. All I say are facts people, you just don’t want to hear them, but I never see a post showing them not to be true. You do know I say he has been good for the players, has quality people as players etc. Truth hurts sometimes but you still gotta face it.

    4. runningunnin.454

      And, I suppose Coach K is a great in game coach, LOL. Three top 5 recruits, including a generational super player, and the No. 2 PG in the class, and his team regressed over the course of the year. Reeling and staggering through the ncaa tournament; ha ha, I had never seen a team lose three consecutive games in a single elimination tournament; would have thought that was impossible.
      Stick to football, Mash.

  5. CombatMedic_98

    Wilson looked more poised in the pocket and his passes were more accurate

  6. runningunnin.454

    Say Nick, what did you do, read the live blog comment section and steal all of my Smoke jokes?
    The Courvoisier one is from last year, for cyrin’ out loud.
    Want some more?
    Where there’s SMOKE, there’s fire.
    Smokey Bear says, “only you CAN’T prevent this forest fire”.
    Hee Haw.

  7. RealCatsFan

    How old is that girl? She looks about 15. If this was a real marriage proposal, maybe that’s why she looked uncomfortable. Did the state troopers follow them off the field? 😀