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Blue/White Wrap-Up

Photo by UK Athletics

OLB Kory Brown was geeking just before kickoff.

OLB Kory Brown was geeking just before kickoff.

 

History was made tonight when the #BBN answered Coach Stoops’ call to Pack Commonwealth Stadium. With an early attendance estimate of 50,381, tonight felt more like September than April. People were actually standing in line at the gates an hour and a half before the game even started. UK Legends like Tim Couch and Joe B. Hall were there to show their support for the upstart program, impressing the 50+ recruits in attendance. The fan fare was phenomenal and the play on the field wasn’t too shabby either. The Blue Team (1st defense, 2nd offense) got the W after the White Squad failed to convert a 2-point conversion with 3 minutes to play. Here’s how the game looked from the press box…

 

– The coaching staff had been pushing offensive tempo the entire Spring, and it showed on the field tonight. After each play, the offense was on the line almost immediately, making it difficult for the defense and my fingers to keep up. There is still some fine tuning to be done in order for this fast pace to work. With QBs rotating between both teams, there were a few times when miscommunication between QB and WR was obvious. Finding a consistent offensive rhythm was difficult at times but they still found a way to make plays. Once everyone gets on the same page, the pace will be very problematic for opposing teams. Not too many defenses will have enough gas to put together 4 quarters of complete football against an offense that doesn’t stop.

 

– Today the fan base had the chance to see which QB looked most suitable in Neal Brown’s Air Raid. Even though it was difficult for them to find a rhythm, the obvious standout was Jalen Whitlow. Whitlow looked very comfortable moving around in the pocket, and picked up some good yards running the ball down the field. Every QB found the end zone (Freshmen Reese Phillips included), but Whitlow was the only one to throw more than one TD (he had 2 of em). It’s a possibility that we may see the Wit-Throw in the Air Raid next fall.

 

– The Cats started the game off pretty funky. With 3 QBs in the game, Raymond Sanders took the direct snap out of the Wildcat. Jalen Whitlow said after the game, “we wanted to do something fun for the crowd.”

 

– The return of Josh Clemons will be a blessing to this young team. The power back hasn’t seen game action in nearly 18 months after tearing his meniscus, giving Clemons plenty of time to get huge in the weight room. Even though Clemons has probably added 15-20 pounds of muscle, he hasn’t lost any of his speed or agility. He worked diligently to improve his receiving game this Spring and it paid off tonight. On back-to-back plays, Clemons caught swing passes out of the backfield before breaking a defender’s ankles and gaining 10 yards. The QBs will have a much lighter load to carry with Clemons in their backfield.

 

– Za’Darius Smith gave the fans everything they wanted and more.  His name was called early and often because he simply could not be blocked. There is no doubt that Z will be a game-changer in the fall.

 

– Today was the most important ‘moving day’ this Spring, with many player’s vying to move up the depth chart before the arrival of new recruits in the fall. Rashad Cunningham was probably the most pleasant surprise, catching 8 passes for 81 yards and a TD. The big target has always had the great WR ‘look’, but hadn’t put together a great performance until today. AJ Legree reeled in multiple catches, and showed great athleticism in the open field on a couple of screen passes. TE Tyler Robinson had a few big catches, proving himself to be a reliable target. SR TE Patrick Ligon was the biggest surprise of the day. I had honestly never heard of the guy until he reeled in a big 20 yard catch, followed by a TD from Reese Phillips.

 

– While there were many great things that happened on the field, nothing can be compared to the change in the atmosphere around Commonwealth today. You could truly feel the buzz around the Stadium before kickoff; something I hadn’t felt at Commonwealth since 2007. Fans young and old were excited to see their team on the field, AND IT WAS A SPRING GAME! Coach Stoops cannot develop a winning attitude overnight, but tonight was the first step.

Passion at its finest.

Passion at its finest.

 

– @RoushKSR

Article written by Nick Roush

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

33 Comments for Blue/White Wrap-Up



  1. Sally
    11:33 pm April 13, 2013 Permalink

    We’re going to a Bowl!!!!!



  2. dave
    12:02 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    No way, no how! Reality will set in next fall. #, maybe 4 wins.



  3. mashburnfan1
    12:25 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    2} For first three years I will not equate wins to how success for this staff. They need to be able to get their players here and teach all players their system. Now if we were in Big East or ACC we could maybe compete this or next year. In the SEC I want to see us improve individually and as a team. I want players who play their a$$ off each play. I want players that look like they know what they are doing. If this staff keeps getting the talent they have in such a shor time UK will compete in the SEC within 3-5 years. My main concern right now is keeping this staff together for a while.



  4. Jay
    12:32 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    We have a tough schedule this year, but no need for the negativity. As a football fan, I like what I am seeing so far from the coaches, the attitudes of the players, and the surge in recruiting efforts. I don’t know if we’ll be in a bowl next year, but I think the team will look better than is has in the past couple of years without doubt. I think folks are excited by the potential, and the understanding that to be better, the culture of what you are doing has to improve. I think this coaching staff gets that notion and I think the culture they are building will reflect on the field.



  5. Rae
    12:40 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    3. I would like to point out that if by year three we haven’t seen at least a slight increase in number of wins, that will be disappointing. Five or six wins by year three isn’t a terrible number to shoot for.

    Unless of course Stoops starts out really well and has a drop off year three, a la Cal’s year 4.



  6. mashburnfan1
    12:49 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    5} I think we have more than that by year 3 as I think we will be way ahead of several SEC schools like Ark, Miss, Miss St, Tenn, Mizzou and Vandy. I’m talking more of competing with the UF, Bama, LSU, UGA on a regular basis. We could, and maybe should, get 4-8 wins in years 2 and 3 but I want us to be at top level in SEC and this staff can get us there.



  7. Ummmm
    1:50 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    So the person that covers UK football for KSR has never heard of Patrick Ligon before today. That’s nice…



  8. #6
    2:12 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    There is no way you can say you think we are going to be “way ahead of several SEC schools like Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt” so easily–especially considering each one out recruited us in 2013 except for Arky and Tennessee, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas are off to blazing starts in 2014. Should we grab a few wins against those schools–sure–I would certainly recommend it if Coach wants to hang around. Statements like that do nothing but reinforce unrealistic expectations for a fan base eager to win. Repeat and remember this phrase in your head through the 2013 season–1/4th of this roster has been rehabilitated and they are freshman. The remaining 3/4ths is significantly below SEC. Work in progress.



  9. Just Saying
    2:43 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Whoever is in charge of music or hype for the football games needs to be fired…. Enough of the Steppen Wolf crapp and let’s get some drake or rick Ross going or something… And even if they did play something halfway decent it was from 15yrs ago. My god its not hard… Make the game like a party and excitement will come but playing steppen



  10. Just Saying
    2:44 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Steppen Wolfs “magic carpet ride” is a sure fire way to zap the energy from a crowd…



  11. #9 rap sucks dude
    4:08 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    How about some better rock music……not a fan of hip hop or rap at all.



  12. Steady
    7:39 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Nice read.



  13. by
    7:50 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    It’s great to see the excitement in the number of fans that attended this scrimmage, but I remember a lot of excitement surrounding the Billy Gillespie arrival as well. Fans were making the same comments about recruiting and how Billy was going to develop players, blah blah blah. We know how that turned out. I hear a lot of talk about how much better UK football is going to be with not a lot of evidence to support such a drastic improvement compared to previous years. Fan excitement does not equate to wins on the field. This staff is still recruiting mainly 3 star players which is what has always been done at UK with a few exceptions.



  14. CATandMONKEY
    8:26 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    By:
    Bye.
    On enthusiasm alone, this staff wins at least 2 more games if they coached last season.
    Our team was a DEFEATED team all year. A major change in coaching attitude can help make many of those classic UK “Almost…..sht!” moments into “hell yeah!” moments.
    This staff is outrecruiting ANY staff in UK football history.
    Football recruiting might be best gauged by your competition for a particular player. We are now competing with ALL the big boys for recruits. We aren’t getting all of them but we are COMPETING. Sorry for yelling, by, but it seems required.
    It is a beautiful thing to look at a recruits stats these days and see no hint of us competing against the University of Vermont for players.
    …..UVM has not fielded a football team in many decades.



  15. leedee
    8:30 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Can you guys make the print any smaller? I can almost read that.



  16. Negative Nancies SUCK
    8:43 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    #13— Actually Stoops and his staff had the highest recruiting class in the last 30 years at UK, so let’s not act like we haven’t got some high profile recruits. U have to give them TIME.



  17. Sec East champs
    8:43 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Espn has us coming in second behind Ga, in the east this year wow. Over fla,they have third. And they say don’t be to surprised to see UK, playing Alabama in sec championship game this year. we are predicted to lose only two games man the Stoops effect. is working.



  18. Billy
    8:44 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    The coaching staff composed the white team of the players that are those at the top of the depth chart. So uk has a depth chart going into summer.



  19. Sec East champs
    8:45 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    #16 exactly i beleive we are ranked what 4 in sec recruiting.



  20. sckysportsink
    8:50 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    The fast pace of the offense will make the players happy as far as getting playing time, but it’s going to require more players ready to go. The offense seemed to get in nearly twice as many plays as some of our former slower paced offenses.



  21. UKSupporter76
    8:51 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    #19 actually, depending on who’s numbers you use, UK was ranked anywhere between 10th and 13th in the SEC. I don’t recall anyone having them ranked in the top 5



  22. Bottom Line
    8:57 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Will we beat uofl?



  23. thats budda
    9:00 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Zadarius Smith was a BEAST out there



  24. Air Raid
    9:04 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    22) No.



  25. Vanilla Ice
    9:34 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Good news guys, while uofl was playing in the women’s final four, I was helping your ladies coach with some dance moves. He is going to bring it for Madness. That beats winning any day of the week.



  26. Ice T
    9:49 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    #25 no one gives a sh%t about women’s basketball.



  27. Richard Simmons
    9:53 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Cal contacted me about taking off about 40 pounds. We have been “Sweatin To The Oldies” ever since the got bounced by Bob Morris. Once Cal stops working out with cup cakes in his mouth, I think we will see some real progress.



  28. Rick Pitino
    9:54 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    26) What about Men’s basketball. LMAO!!!! Suck it!!!!!!



  29. Lisa
    10:08 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    15. You can zoom in by pressing CTRL +. Old people using computers are so cute!



  30. Rick Pitino Kills Babies
    10:15 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Pitino is scum take is jersey down from the rafters, he is not deserving!



  31. Teachable Mo'
    10:28 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Tailgaters, pick up your effing trash. Cheez. Have a little pride.



  32. theSkinny81
    10:32 am April 14, 2013 Permalink

    The sorry-ass UofL trolls are out EARLY this morning. They’re having the best year, collectively, in sports in their program’s history, and they come…. here.

    On a secondary note: I was at Keeneland yesterday (awesome day), and I noticed seeing more UofL gear being worn in Lexington than ever before (and by more, I mean I saw maybe 4 hats and a couple of shirts.) Where did all these “fans” come from?? lol



  33. Crack me up
    12:43 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    #16 the highest ranked recruiting class at UK in 30 years is not much of a compliment. The reality is the class was still ranked last or next to last in the SEC. We play 8 games in the SEC. Improved class? Yes. Will it move UK up the SEC standings? Only if we played in a vacuum where the other 13 SEC teams’ recruiting didn’t matter. It will help UK compete (I.e. lose to Vandy by 14 instead of 40 next year). #19 what are you talking about, #4 ranked recruiting class in SEC? I don’t see that on scout or ESPN (confess I didn’t check rivals). But regardless, for 2014 we have what 2 commits? 3 commits? Lol, who cares what rank the class is this early? Means zilch. Think of it this way…in bball, Cal can sit and wait until the last minute and tell recruits to wait on him while he decides if they r worthy of an offer. And they do. In FB, Saban, Miles, Spurrier, Richt, etc. can do the same. Recruiting rankings only matter when the ink on LOI’s dry. And even then, who cares? Gotta laceem up and play.