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A few final thoughts on the Central Michigan game…

Courtesy of

– After the game, both Joker and Rick Minter were very candid about how ugly the game was and how fortunate they felt to get out of Commonwealth Stadium with a win. Joker called it “another not-so-pretty win” and strangely said that he didn’t feel like the Cats started slow. However, the obvious feeling was one of relief and a slight bit of optimism regarding how the team played late in the game after they defecated all over the sheets for the vast majority of the first three quarters. Last week, we said that they might have figured it out in the fourth quarter and hoped it would carry into the Central Michigan game. Now we can do that again this week.

– They eyes of Commonwealth were focused on the wide receivers as we all hoped that someone – or a group of someones – would show up on Saturday and establish themselves as a reliable target. The results were mixed. No one really did much of anything, though Matt Roark seemed to again put himself as the leader in the clubhouse for bench time when he dropped a touchdown pass in the end zone. The staff clearly wanted to get Demarco Robinson involved, though they didn’t find much success in doing so. EJ Fields didn’t see the field, though Joker said afterward that he wants him to be involved next week. He said that his suspension means he’s been passed by Robinson and the man who finally got some time – Aaron Boyd. I focused in on Boyd to see what he did when he got the chance and after spending the first quarter jumping on the sideline waiting to go in, #27 got some serious playing time, catching a ball and getting a few good blocks in. He did an excellent job of creating separation and found himself open a number of times. In fact, a lot of guys did. But, there was a problem…

– Morgan Newton had eyes for LaRod King. And they weren’t just regular eyes. They were the big fluttering ones that get little cartoon hearts in front of them. This might have been the case last week too, but I wasn’t in the box so I didn’t see it, but Newton seeme to never go through his progressions, only looking King’s way and firing it at him. When the Cats watch film of Saturday’s game, they’re going to see a lot of receivers getting open and not being seen. You can’t blame Newton if he doesn’t exactly trust everyone to haul one in like King, but they’re going to have to get some sort of trust going between the other guys and the quarterback or else the passing game will go absolutley nowhere.

– Somewhat along that same note, you can tell that the Cats are committed to going deep when they can. Morgan Newton unleashed a handful of bombs Saturday, which created a number of big gains either from interference calls or King hauling them in. Of course, they also resulted in an interception and a handful of overthrows and underthrows. Regardless, the Cats appear to be committed to the deep ball and Joker wasn’t shy about it after the game. He said that Morgan Newton needs to get better in making the easy plays where he’s missing guys, but said that he throws a deep ball as well as anyone who’s played at UK. And with a group of receivers that are, if nothing else, tall, that seems to be where they think they can get things going.

– The offensive line, which was down two starters again Saturday against the Chippewas, looked infinitely better than they did against Western Kentucky. Joker said after the game that freshman Darrian Miller, who started at right tackle in the place of Billy Joe Murphy, did an outstanding job from what he could tell. Joker said he only remembere one glaring mistake, which resulted in a sack, and he didn’t think much about him otherwise, which he considers a compliment for a lineman. Kentucky’s head coach also seemed please with the play of the unit when he was asked about how good Morgan Newton looked while running the ball. He replied, “Everyone looks good when you have guys blocking for you like that.”

– After the run game stalled and sputtered in Nashville, it looked to be doing much of the same until Josh Clemons busted out for an 87-yard touchdown run. Clemons ran hard and, aside from hitting the wrong hole once or twice in the first half, seemed to position himself as the top running back on the roster. Then Raymond Sanders came in and did some chugging of his own. The sophomore back did not look like he was ready to step aside for the breakout freshman and marched the Cats down to the goal line with physical and shifty running. Sometimes the best thing for player development is a little competition. The Cats appear to have a pretty big one at the running back position. Joker said after the game that they’ve known that Josh Clemons has good speed, but now they know he has “game speed”.

– I think I’m heavily in the minority on this, but I loved Joker going for it on 4th and one late in the fourth quarter. Western Kentucky linebacker Andrew Jackson said it best last week when he pointed out, “They’re s’posed to be the SEC.” The Cats were one yard away from sealing the game by taking a chance and Joker Phillips sending his team a message that he believes in them. If they can’t get one simple yard and then suck so bad that they give up a 99-yard drive in four minutes to a MAC team, they have no business winning the game. I think Joker made the right call by flexing his muscles and showing his team he has a little faith. Now, having said that, I think that was an incredibly ballsy call to run that naked boot. If Tyler Robinson isn’t there to block, Morgan Newton is a dead man and we’re all furious.

– 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3……that’s essentially Central Michigan’s drives went. the Cats simply could not stop anyone on third down. Minter’s defense shut down first and second down, but couldn’t get a stop on third and long to save their life. Central Michigan found a way to expose the defense by throwing the ball in the flat or hitting a slant and Kentucky never seemed to adapt. The team that struggled to score on South Carolina State last week was executing like they hired Rick Perry to call the shots. Like the offense, they seemed to clamp down in the second half and they did benefit by creating three turnovers (counting the stop on fourth down). Rick Minter said after the game his team responded because they’re experienced and they never panicked.

– I spent a few minutes talking with Winston Guy and Danny Trevathan after the game and came away extremely impressed with both. I’ll probably write an entire post on that, but I did think it was interesting that Guy told me he and Trevathan, who he says are “like brothers”, have started calling themselves the “Dreadlock Duo” after a fan started Tweeting him and calling them that. He said they get each other fired up before games and that name has become a part of what they use to inspire themselves.

– The fans booed. It was greatly exaggerated. Next.

– During the postgame press conference, Joker Phillips said the game ball was going to Iraq to a group of soldiers that are stationed there. He said that earlier this week a woman stopped by his office with a UK flag that her husband sent from Iraq after “flying it in enemy territory”. Phillips liked the story and surprised the soldier by Skyping with him this week and wanted to send the game ball over there to him. Pretty cool.

– New video boards, new ribbon boards, new sound system, whatever. How about the band?!?!?! The band had an excellent debut to the football season and provided one of the favorite moments of my life when the Cats were struggling badly against CMU. At the bleakest point of the game, the band started playing “F— You” by Cee-Lo, which might have been an accident, and sang out the part of the song where he screeches, “Why? Why? I love you!”. It was as appropriate as any song that has been played at any point in the history of the world. And if it was an accident, it’s the greatest accident since my conception.

And then Dan Hawkins said this…

Article written by Thomas Beisner

37 Comments for A few final thoughts on the Central Michigan game…

  1. Scott in ATL
    9:54 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    It sure was a weird start to the game….again. Hopefully we can have a stronger start vs Louisville next week. LOVED the 4th Down call to GO FOR IT….Joker does have a pair!! And most of all….GO BAND!! That Cee-Lo song should be looped all game next week. GO CATS!!

  2. Warfield Donahue
    9:55 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    Sex Success is important.

  3. kaboom!
    10:02 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    “If they can’t get one simple yard and then suck so bad that they give up a 99-yard drive in four minutes to a MAC team, they have no business winning the game”
    the truth. are you playing to get past CMU or are you playing to make a bowl game?

  4. BenchRoark
    10:03 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    Sounds like UK needs to hire some security at commonwealth. Sex on the football field can be several coeds fantasies but we don’t need our players involved.

  5. BenchRoark
    10:05 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    The media would run with it.

  6. Bulldawg
    10:11 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    Although some fans think that it took too long to make the defensive adjustments, it was still nice to see them happen. Last year UK’s defense under Steve Brown would have kept on beating their head against the rock. At least this year they made the changes they needed to make and they finally shut down CMU. The defensive adjustments that thwarted the CMU offense was the most encouraging thing I saw all day. However, it was nice to see LaRod King bounce back with a Keenan Burton type response to a poor performance. It was also nice to see Aaron Boyd catch a pass and get some clock. Poor Matt Roark might want to convert to a defensive player because that guy couldn’t catch the clap in a brothel. Morgan Newton showed a lot of improvement today. He still needs to improve a lot. However, some blown blocking assignments led to sacks today but he has to learn to get the ball out to the safety valve when that happens. That will come with more experience so I think the Cats will be fine. They better come out with fire in their eyes next week though if they want a win. U of L will be very hungry and playing with a chip on their shoulder and UK is not good enough to overlook anyone. Practice, Practice, Practice. Where were the TE’s today? GBB!!!

  7. truBLU
    10:14 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    I heard that too but was wondering if anyone else heard it.

  8. bigbluedude
    10:15 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    naval academy scored 27 in THE FIRST HALF against wku AT wku. this is a BAD uk team….

  9. UKfan2013
    10:17 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with what you have to say about the band! They seem so much better this year!Just watching them is entertaining! I don’t know if they mean to look so awkward when they dance, but it’s hilarious! Maybe next week they’ll bust out some Party Rock Anthem or something!

  10. hungover
    10:28 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    Did anyone else want to punch this Dan Hawkins dude today?

  11. It's a Celebration
    10:37 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    10. I wanted to punch both of them. That dyke bitch calling the game kept saying the fans were “grumpy.” The team was playing like dog shit again and deserved the boos they were getting. They have no idea what it’s like being a Kentucky football fan.

  12. Goode
    10:37 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    Auburn scored 40 against MSU amd struggled last week.

    Thats to everyone talking about WKU/Navy game. Different teams different games. Cant compare!

  13. JBR
    10:42 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    You are correct 12…can’t compare…Auburn is a big time football school that has coaches that can coach and make adjustments…and we are UK football. We have struggled for two consecutive weeks against two bad football teams. Joker is not able to prepare for a game, and when a team consistently comes out flat, both last year and this year, that is a coaching thing. Joker is a recruiter. That is where he needs to be.

  14. bluetexan
    10:46 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    FREE Mike Leach!

  15. SEC SEC
    10:47 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    our doormat just beat the BIG EAST BCS team from last year

  16. mike
    10:48 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    At this stage of the season and with all 3 teams at 2-0, it looks like UT is playing better than us and especially on offense with Bray throwing over 400 yds today. Vandy is no longer a sure W because the new coach has worked wonders inspiring his team to believe and Vandy might have leg on on D because they put pressure on the quarterback which we haven’t been able to do in 2 games.

  17. Czar of Daycares
    10:50 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    #10 not as much as I wanted to punch Pam Dyke or whatever the hell her name is.

  18. Shawon
    10:52 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    Nine game parlay? Damn. Nice job.

  19. bluetexan
    10:59 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    #15- And, Vandy will put a merciful end to the RISE campaign.

  20. bluetexan
    11:04 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    The Cats will not win a SEC game this year…4-8 at best.

  21. Dane Brammage
    11:14 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    When KENTUCKY Football fans are excited about what the band plays and displays, its time to hire a Mike Leach AND or Mark Richt (soon). The LOUISVILLE game is gonna be baaad! Get ready folks. It is gonna suck.

  22. thenamerobdigity
    11:17 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    Towles starter game 1 next year. Booing was not exagerrated. Morgan newton simply can’t be accurate. It’s that simple

  23. Common sense
    11:19 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    The negativity reflected in this article is unfortunate but unsurprising given this site’s historical apathy towards the football program. In short, it’s hard to believe this article comprises your takeaways from the final product. The growth shown in the second half by Newton, especially with respect to knowing when to tuck and run (hard I might add), as well as the improvement in the running game, were impressive and obvious to anyone who actually understands the game. And what about our defensive play after the first quarter or so? Was our effort totally consistent and without room for improvement? Not by a long shot, obviously. And to be clear, I don’t expect or even want homeristic journalism, but this article is amateurish at best. To focus almost exclusively on the negative is frankly herald leader-esque and our coaches and team deserve better. But hey, big blue madness is coming up, so who cares, right? And you’ve still got plenty of time to go jerk off the dominican republic team some and make edgar sosa jokes.

  24. Tc571
    11:20 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    He didn’t say they had sex. The broadcast was skipping the entire game. But it was definitely a fortunate humorous skip. Dan Hawkins is terrible. Worse than he was at Colorado.

  25. john4uk
    12:13 am September 11, 2011 Permalink

    This is one of the least inspiring UK football teams ever.Whatever the staff is doing to motivate them has to be changed because it is’nt working.
    i’m sure everyone was hoping and praying that this team would be vastly improved from what we saw against Pitt in the Bowl game,but alas,what we saw was a harbringer of what was to come.

  26. JBR
    12:16 am September 11, 2011 Permalink

    23…you may call yourself common sense, but another thing you may look into is reality. I am a football guy, and I do hate the basketball fans that slander football constantly and when it is not appropriate. But to call the article “amateurish” is ridiculous. It is ridiculous because, plain and simple, this team sucks. And, your apologist, baby step mentality is one of the reasons that fans have not expected more from our football program. The UK football apologist tends to live in their own little football world, where they constantly compare our progress to OUR past, not compare to the football landscape as it exists in the nation and in reality. Joker has shown a tremendous incompetence to be able to effectively coach this team…both last year and this year. Why do our guys play with such little heart and enthusiasm? Why do we consistently fail to properly prepare for opponents? Why do we always start games slow and flat? What about all of the discipline problems? That is what you get with a coach that is low key and a “players’ coach”. I watch more than just the play on the field, and I was hoping that Minter would come in and change the demeanor of this entire team, and not just the defense. That has not happened. We have played two horrible teams. WKU got BLOWN OUT by Navy today. We are just a bad football team, and this article has every right to talk about the negatives…because that is what we are being given by this team. When they start playing like an SEC football team, there will be positives written.

  27. UKGoBigBlue
    12:31 am September 11, 2011 Permalink

    The announcers were beyond horrible !

  28. Thaddeus Quarterneck
    1:02 am September 11, 2011 Permalink

    Thomas Paine, this is KSR. If you want to write for a law review, go ahead. After you remove your head from your bum, take the LSAT; then see what happens. ‘Till then, comment ad infinitum…as you have…just please, use less words.

  29. TruBlu
    1:14 am September 11, 2011 Permalink

    Nothing good ever came out of Texas. Loved the Rick Perry comment Bei.

  30. Tommy
    3:31 am September 11, 2011 Permalink

    I am watching all NFL and college football matches LIVE on FACEBOOK. its free to watch on Facebook, Check the Live NFL streaming page of FACEBOOK

  31. G Man
    4:07 am September 11, 2011 Permalink

    23 did anyone ever tell you that your an idiot? 26… WELL WRITTEN! 27. Nah, our team played horrible the announcers were just trying to mirror our performance.

  32. Thomas Beisner
    8:07 am September 11, 2011 Permalink

    23: Congratulations. You’ve been recognized as the KSR’s Biggest Comments Section Dipshit for Saturday – an honor that had A LOT of competition. As your prize, we’ll be sending you and another troll to Banned Island, where you’ll be free to take your head out of your ass, work on your reading comprehension and choke on the big bag of dicks included in your prize package. All of this courtesy of our sponsors at Reality…make sure you check them out.

  33. UKalum
    8:30 am September 11, 2011 Permalink

    I hope the pep band uses that song a certain basketball coach we have all know to be famous for at least 15 seconds.

  34. KJ Choi
    9:45 am September 11, 2011 Permalink

    Us fans just want a product that is entertaining and hopefull. Unfortunately, we don’t have either. That is why there were so many empty seats on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Nobody wants us to be successful more than I, but good grief, this team is bbbooorrrinnnnggg and uninpsired. Maybe we turn it around and play better and win a bunch…man I hope so…just not optimistic.

  35. Kidnut
    11:36 am September 11, 2011 Permalink

    Great 2nd half by the Cats. The defense was great and the offense looks like it is getting a little bit more comfortable.

  36. Jimmy Buffett
    3:32 pm September 11, 2011 Permalink


  37. cgabbert
    4:07 pm September 11, 2011 Permalink

    If the team is sooo bad, start showing the band at half time. At least, put them on this site once.