***As a part of our phenomenal football coverage here at KSR, we’re happy to have Dave “Buzz” Baker give his take on last night’s football game. Buzz stepped away from watching himself on YouTube with Rex Chapman and penned this piece especially for you. Enjoy.
Last night was going to be a treat for me. With no “working” assignment, I was going to be able to watch the UK opener w/ my soon to be 7-year old Manning (with a name like that you know he likes football) but thanks to the first of SEVERAL complete system breakdowns–(namely the starting time of this game on a school night) he was asleep before the first “three and out” of this titanic struggle. It was good thing–after watching it restless sleep was virtually impossible.
Here now are some random, bleary eyed observations:
1) I’ve defended the UK Athletics Administration A LOT & taken my share of criticism for doing so, but to play this game on the Thursday night before the holiday weekend was beyond a bad decision. Some fans have often mused about playing a basketball game in Commonwealth Stadium. Last night you could have played a football game in Rupp Arena! It was unfair to the fans (who travel & who watch & listen @ home) and to the players who need and deserve that fan support. I don’t care if it was WKU’s home game. If it were basketball and it was going to be played under such a bad set of circumstances, they would have bought the contract out. BTW–stop blaming TV–use you marquee basketball product to ENSURE better football game placement (“you want us to play hoops at 9 five times–help us out w/ a better time for our football game”). I bet Tom Jurich isn’t afraid to play that hand. BTW, if it’s about “the student athletes” what time this morning did they get in bed and how productive do you think they should’ve been in class?
2) Early on, some fans and media types were quick to criticize DeMarcus Cousins because at times he could be a little “overly exuberant” but I said on the air a number of times that I’d rather have a player do that, thanb act like they didn’t care. Was it just me or was an SEC team getting its tail kicked all over Nashville a little lacking in the emotion department. I’d be interested in hearing more from folks in the stands and on the field but the way that thing was going last night, Rich Brooks and Mike Archer would’ve been cussing at each other by the second series of the game.
3) Is it just me or does the sight of a Western tight end running WIDE OPEN straight down the field cause you to cringe at the thought of that trip to Columbia South Carolina–regardless of who Spurrier is playing at quarterback?
4) Certain UK wideouts should talk less and ALL should catch more.
5) Based on the last time we saw this team play against somebody other than themselves, should we have REALLY expected anything different?
6) Morgan Newton is a great young man–but he made Mike Hartline who’s name should have been changed to “The serviceable Mike Hartline” look like Peyton Manning. You can defend some of his poor decisions if he was a freshman, but he’s got far too much time in this program to not be getting plays off making bad throws and at this point we still don’t know how the coaches graded him on things like checking out of a bad play into a good one.
The other thing I’m not sure of is why Ryan Mossakowski didn’t get a sniff (as I said before we’re not allowed to watch practice). What I do know is this–last night Northwest Community College in Mississippi opened up against Pearl River. Mind you now, Mississippi is known for the quality of its junior college football. Northwest’s new quarterback had a pretty fair night.
20-37 passing 1 interception–but wait–443 yards and 5 touchdowns with a long of 74! He also rushed 6 times for 2 TD’s as Northwest beat Pearl River 56-55 in overtime. Mossakowski HIMSELF accounting for 7 scores! I respect the coaches decison but asking about the decision making process is more than fair.
I’ve seen other coaches (Rich Brooks most recently) get teams off the mat and turn things around. But for this staff and this squad as Jerry Reid said in a song from the movie “Smokey & The Bandit” “We’ve got a long way to go and short time to get there”.
Botttom line the only two people happy with that games outcome–Charlie Strong and Bill Byrne, the Athletics Director at Texas A&M