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Can The Football Team Get A Break?

Cal’s first three years in Lexington have been blessed by some remarkable luck. Back in ’09 the team survived against Miami early in the year and later a great bounce allowed Cousins to get the tip in the SEC tournament to force overtime. In ’10 Brandon Knight nailed the big shot against Princeton and then against Ohio State Will Buford’s shot clanged off the rim. This past year Anthony Davis survived a spinebuster down at LSU and a knee collision with Perry Jones to stay injury free. In fact the first three years of the Cal era has seen the Cats remain free from any major injury. While I’m thankful the Cats have been able to stay on the court the good luck that has found the basketball team has seemed to completely avoid the grass at Commonwealth Stadium.

Joker’s first two years as head coach have featured some great moments such as finally taking down Steve Spurrier and ending that forsaken Tennessee streak. But to me at least things could have gone much better if the football team could have just caught a couple of breaks. Back in 2010 the Cats battled eventual national champion Auburn to the final seconds, only to lose to a last second field goal. We lost our senior Derrick Locke for a four game stretch where we lost two close games. Then to end the season Mike Hartline got into trouble and was forced out in our loss to Pitt. Going to a bowl game was nice but the season certainly ended with downward momentum with back-to-back losses.

What could go wrong went wrong the first year and it continued in Joker’s second year. Injuries piled up to the point that we lost so many quarterbacks we had to start a wide receiver against Tennessee. The O-line which was viewed as one of the strong points going into the season was decimated by injury and a proper rotation was never established. We started three different running backs and to add insult to the injuries the receivers forgot how to catch the ball. The year ended in disappointment as we missed a bowl for the first time in six years but five wins maybe wasn’t so bad when you look at the amount of injuries and consider we lost the majority of our offense from 2010.

I just want to see the football team get a break this year. Let those last second field goals come from us or bounce off the goal post. Let our players make it through the year without having to miss a stretch due to injury. Pull off an upset against one of the top teams in the SEC.

Many Cat fans have been quick to give up hope for the coming season. Perhaps though the diminished expectations will give the Cats a better chance of lady luck smiling upon them. Certainly the Cats face a tough challenge once again with the toughest schedule in years and the worst outlook since probation. Hopefully though this will allow opponents to overlook our Cats. Perhaps though with a couple of lucky breaks and a little bit of luck the Cats will find a way to go bowling once again.

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

29 Comments for Can The Football Team Get A Break?



  1. Common Sense
    5:10 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    This is what I have been trying to preach to UK fans but they refuse to listen. Last years team had several players with big injuries and we lost Cobb to the draft, yet you expect us to have the best offense? It’s ok though, let’s just point fingers and say it’s all Joker’s fault b/c that is justifiable right? Crazy.



  2. Common Sense
    5:11 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    On another note, that picture is awesome.



  3. jhd
    5:12 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Whether intentionally or not, this story keeps coming back to a common, and largely preventable, issue: injuries. Hard to win when you can’t keep your first team on the field. And while some injuries are freak accidents, at least some of the fault has to lie with the coaching staff. I once visited the University of Alabama’s facilities, and the head coach rightly pointed to the strength coach as one of the most important members of the staff. A well-conditioned and physically tough team can make up for deficiencies in the talent department. If Joker and his strength coach (Rock Oliver, for those of you playing at home) can’t keep guys healthy and in performance shape, no amount of offensive gimmickry is going to win us games in the SEC.



  4. Luck?
    5:13 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    I hate to break it to you, but what you call “luck” is probably due to the fact that the athletes that Kentucky basketball gets are elite and superior to those they play. The “unlucky” breaks, and even injuries to some degree, are due to the level of talent that the football team can recruit versus what they play against on a weekly basis. Nice try to make us all feel better though.



  5. Common Sense
    5:16 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    3
    Just to throw it out there, Rock Oliver is a very respected strength coach. I mean, after all, his name is Rock.



  6. john
    5:20 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    People are acting like UK football has fallen. We were 1 win away from going to a bowl game and recruiting has been constant for a few years. All Kentucky needs is the young talent to step up. The young talent is a major factor in this years teams success, I say UK comes out of no where to bit a team in the ass and get a win, im looking at USC, TENN, or Miss State. I dont know much about Mizzou



  7. Common Sense
    5:26 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    UK needs the young talent to step up and the FANS to support them.



  8. big tim
    5:30 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    couldnt agree with you more



  9. Duke Sucks
    5:32 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Commonwealth is packed every home game for a average at best team. So please stop with the fans need to support our team. I would say its time for the program to pay the fans back for their support.



  10. paducahfan
    5:52 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Let’s go get some of those Penn State players who can transfer and play immediately.



  11. no
    5:56 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    This team sucks. Joker is a moron. Our DC is a complete boob. No on on offense could score at a brothel. Outside of that, we are solid.



  12. JBR
    6:03 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Common Sense, exactly how are you related to Joker? And, it is a good thing that you did not use the screen name “Football Sense”, because you are sorely lacking there. Not going to beat a dead horse, but Joker is flat out not a D1 level head coach, at least not a D1 team in a power conference. People do not realize it, but the reason everyone has bailed is that there is NOTHING on the field that shows that Joker has a clue. The team is horrible, plays flat and emotionless, and that is persona of Joker. The only arguments I ever see for Joker are excuses and those ethical idealogies like “a coach needs 3 years, blah, blah, blah”. Success in football is on the field, not in the fans hearts because Joker is from Kentucky. Everyone can make all of the excuses that they want, but the bottom line is wins and losses, and $$$$$. To bash UK fans is ridiculous, as there has not been a more loyal group of fans to a mediocre team as our football program has had. This is different, this level and speed of giving up…and that is not an accident. Joker cannot cut it, and it is obvious that we are going to have to learn that the hard way, by sinking our program to rock bottom. Talk to me after the season common sense, and try to talk football and not just excuses.



  13. FloydsScissors
    6:18 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    The miserable will be miserable if the win total ever makes it to 8 or 9…..
    That’s just the way it is around here unfortunately. I feel sorry for them.



  14. Duke Sucks
    6:20 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    This is no dought a make or break year got Joker. If he proves some of us wrong and win more games he will get a big raise and a contract extension. If they bad again joker should due the right thing and resign. Mitch has been very good to Joker and he should force his hand. I would love to see the first, but just haven’t seen anything to think it will happen.



  15. FourThinInches
    7:20 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Didn’t KSR and KSTV spend all year hatin’ on UK and talking about other coaches? Didn’t you interview Mike Leach on your TV show and ask him if he would come coach kentucky? That was only one of many slights towards UK football.



  16. ebell55
    7:54 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    Put Randle Cobb on last years team and they go 7 and 5 and a bowl. The talent is improving. I agree it is time for UK to catch a break. I remember Auburn fumbled 4 times on that final drive and the ball didn’t bounce our way once. If given time Joker will get the talent to make UK football competitive. 2008 and 2009 our recruiting didn’t pan out and before you worry warts blame that on Joker you should know that he was not the recruiting cordinator during that time and the NCAA put recruiting restrictions on the “coach in waiting” when Texas named Muschamp their coach in waiting. Go Cats!!! Beat UofL!!!



  17. JokerGetsFour
    8:14 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    12 – Now JBR, we’ve spoken about this before. Joker doesn’t get three years he gets four. Otherwise you undermine recruiting and a potential new coach if Joker doesn’t get things moving in the right direction in four years. By the way, can you generalize to a greater degree, and be any more smug and condescending?



  18. 3rd & 5 - 2 yd pass
    9:07 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    luck seems to follow those who are talented and bust their azz. coincidence?



  19. JBR
    10:54 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    17 I have begged any of you Joker butt-kissers to talk FOOTBALL…specifics, x’s and o’s, psychology, etc…you cannot have an intelligent football conversation with me…that condescending enough for you? The reason that no Joker supporters EVER offer any football explanations is that they have no ground to stand on. All you have is what “should” be and your personal, ethical type nonsense. Again, I invite you to have a FOOTBALL conversation on this…what is the “strength” of Joker’s teams on the field? What have you seen from his teams to make you think that anything will get better? Why is it when we talk about recruiting, we have better, SEC-type athletes that we have ever had, but when we talk about our record, well, we just don’t have the talent for Joker to win. Again, jump on it son…let’s talk football, not excuses.



  20. Common Sense
    11:56 pm July 24, 2012 Permalink

    19
    I will talk FOOTBALL with you. Joker deserves 4 years. Why? Because this is college football, where coaches have to recruit players! This isn’t the NFL where you can get a new coach and BUY a few players and completely turn a team around in 1 year! EVERY NEW HC DESERVES 4 YEARS. “He was a Coach in Waiting” that doesn’t matter. Joker’s current admin. is almost entirely different than the Brooks admin. Let Joker recruit (which he is doing WAY BETTER than Brooks) and let him prove to you that he can coach. When former players like Jeremy Jarmon are saying that Joker is a great coach, does that not mean anything to you? As for X’s and O’s, did you watch the UT game? You are telling me he doesn’t know X’s and O’s when he pulls off a win against that team in those circumstances!?!?! What other coach could do that? In fact that last time a coach beat UT, Joker WAS ON THE TEAM. Yes we got EMBARRASSED by Vandy, so one would think that Joker would lose the team and their commitment. What happened after that game? We had a very good game against UGA and then we beat UT. So you question his ability to mentally keep his team together? “We had the worst offense last season”, yes I understand that. What did you really expect from an offense that suffered SEVERAL injuries and lost our savior, Randall Cobb? So please, what is your problem with Joker? What makes you believe that Joker doesn’t understand football considering his resume? WHAT IS IT!?



  21. ohhai
    12:38 am July 25, 2012 Permalink

    20 keep chest thumping on that win over ut. they have a bigger clown of a head coach then we do. For a bit of perspective (which you obviously lack with your head up jokers butt) UT had the 116th ranked rushing offense in the nation. Their scoring offense was ranked 106th.

    We beat a horrible, horrible, football team with a goober at the helm. And apparently our best qb is a wr who couldn’t catch the freaking ball. What does that tell you about the state of recruiting and coaching going on at the University of Kentucky?



  22. Common Sense
    1:02 am July 25, 2012 Permalink

    21
    What a typical negative UK fan. Create something negative from one of the most positive events in awhile. Yes UT was bad, but we ran a smaller offensive playbook than Tates Creek High School. Our best QB is a WR? HAHAHAHA, this just proves you are an idiot. That “QB” threw all of about 3 passes that game but he was better than our regular QB’s? Also keep in mind, we beat a “horrible, horrible, football team” that was playing for a bowl game and we WERE NOT.



  23. JBR
    2:47 am July 25, 2012 Permalink

    Ok common sense, I have been wanting to talk football and not ethics, so thank you for that. I will disagree with you, as the “coach in waiting” has a very specific goal in mind…and that is exactly what Joker has not done, continuity. Joker did recruit under Brooks, and these are his players…the four year rule is completely bogus. Don’t believe me, then why can’t our “coach in waiting” perform like Franklin down at Vandy? Or even half as well? I’ll tell you why, first, Joker has no fire, no emotion, no motivation. Our guys play flat and they weak. I could take losses if I was watching guys flying around the field, being aggressive, hitting, giving it their all…but that is not Joker’s style. Franklin has fire, he has excitement, he makes players give EVERYTHING they have on the field and makes it fun.

    I have stated on here many times, my seats were directly behind the UK bench, 4th row. I watch more than just the field, but the sideline. There is little discipline in the players, little respect for the coaching staff and little urgency to perform. They were accepting of getting their tales kicked. Jarmon…I loved Jarmom, but was it coincidence that just after all the Joker compliments Jarmon gets hired by UK????

    Ahhh…the Tennessee game. First, let me say this. It is nice that we ended the streak. I was there, and I was happy for the guys. But, after seeing that this is the ONLY thing that any pro-Joker person can bring up, it is really sad. That game was perhaps the worst two teams to ever play against each other in an SEC game…the quality of play was high school at best. You can look at the scheming a couple of ways…first, Tennessee had no idea how to prepare, and we HAD to change things, so the season was a bust, so why not go nuts (at least that is going nuts for Joker). Second, if this was so skillful with regards to coaching, and Joker really does have this ability, then where in the hell is it EVERY OTHER FREAKING GAME? The Tennessee was great because it broke the streak…but ironically for UK football, may end up hurting our program more than helping by giving apologists the ONLY feather to keep Joker around.

    Look, your arguments are valid from someone who is obviously close to Joker and you have to see things from a slanted point of view. But, reality is this…Franklin is doing it at Vandy in ONE YEAR…the fans have completely turned on Joker and have abandoned this program. You can blame that on the fans…but as I stated before, these fans have seen many, many subpar years in football, and have been loyal…do you think it is just luck or ignorance that all of the sudden they all bail at the same time??? Really? They all see it…maybe can’t verbalize it the way they should…but nobody sees anything to have any hope. I supported Brooks when he was losing. Why? Because I am a football guy, and I saw the little things that I liked from Brooks. He was an old school football guy…no bs, no excuses…he had fire, he held guys responsible, he developed players. Joker has none of the those things, and the players and fans have lost hope.

    Franklin is the best example at Vandy…will Vandy be a power in the SEC, no, of course not. Will this last…probably not because Franklin will move to a better job. But what he has done is inject hope, fight, enthusiasm…all those positive things. All the same things that Joker sucked OUT OF this program. So, have your opinions, that is fine…but thousands of people have already spoken. Thousands and thousands of dollars already lost by this program. The records and flat and bad play has been taped. What will it take before you finally see that Joker is just in over his head? How long do we make a program suffer before making the right decision? Is moving backwards providing hope? Is running a pro-style offense with inferior players going to win football games? I don’t expect you to answer these questions now. The season will answer them for us. I would just like to see an acknowledgment at the end of this debacle that you finally see the truth…or will all those lossses be the fans’ faults too?

    If Joker turns it around, and does better, I will be the first person on here to say that I was wrong…and congratulate him. Reality is reality, and we will see….



  24. bbmike
    9:03 am July 25, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t wait for the season. I’ll be there in BLUE baby!



  25. bbmike
    9:04 am July 25, 2012 Permalink

    #21 Which WR caught more passes in a game than any other? Roark-thats right. Matt had a tough beginning of the season with the dropsies(which impacted newton’s confidence/performance), but by mid season Matt was about the only one catching balls.



  26. JLivermore
    10:47 am July 25, 2012 Permalink

    Quick to give up on UK? UK hasn’t had a winning record in the SEC since 1977…



  27. JBR
    1:02 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    Wow Cassady…I wrote a long, and respectful post to common sense finally talking football, and you delete it? For what reason? Writers like you are the reason that KSR may go the way of the football program…Matt Jones, you need to get a handle on the kids you have “writing” on here now.



  28. Andrew Cassady
    3:56 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    I didn’t delete any post, I never do. It could have gotten picked up by the spam filter. My own comments have done that before on KSRcollege, I’ll try to find and restore it



  29. JokerGetsFour
    10:39 pm July 25, 2012 Permalink

    23 – JBR – as has been stated previously in other Response threads, as well as this one, UK played well against Georgia as well as UT. Though I agree with some of your points I find it difficult to take you seriously when your logic is flawed (ie. your comment to Common Sense that he is “obviously close to Joker” and that you hope he sees the “truth”). How the hell would you know and are you a sooth-sayer? You don’t and aren’t yet your continue to project assumptions and speculate, neither of which is logically defensible, as a means of attempting to manipulate the conversation and prove a point. It’s one of your MOs and sad to me since you are, in my opinion, bright and rightfully impassioned about UK football. Condescend on and compromise your voice and views.