Hey gang! Your Unca Fake Gimel here to wrap up the 36-13 Wildcat victory. We’re going to keep the intro & outro short because my Real Dad is here and has been thumbing through basketball preview magazines. (He’s been torturing me since he met Real Gimel this week.)
To the football victory news!
* I know I said in the QFS that the Redhawks couldn’t close the deal. In the first half, ULM’s QB Cody Wells missed his recievers long or high. Despite making 3rd Down completion after 3rd Down completion, the Redhawks scored only twice in five Red Zone opportunities. They missed a two field goals, including one from the UK 10 where Wells bobbled the hold and still nearly completed a desperate play. They had a terrible play selection for the final play of the first half. Kentucky fans might feel we got a little lucky.
But luck favors the bold: The real closers of this game are the Wildcat Defense. The D force many long third-down situations for the Redhawks. The Wildcat secondary was tested all night long and yielded 1 touchdown. But the secondary provided those points back when Randall Burden ran back his interception 50 yards for a touchdown. The Wildcat D extracted some revenge for allowing 267 passing yards by collecting 3 total interceptions. Senior DT Corey Peters caused problems all night long, including provoking Cody Wells to fumble for a safety. (Of course, Cody might just have been trying to save himself; the Wildcats had been pressuring and clobbering him all night long.)
* Tonight’s Back judge: Rich Martinez. Atta boy, bro!
* If Eric Berry can have a Heisman campaign, can we at least send some fliers to the New York Downtown Athletic Club for Randall Cobb? He rushed 3 times for 41 yards and a TD. He attempted 4 passes, completed 2 for 46 yards. He returned two punts for 84 yards, including a dramatic 73-yard “he-got-catch-interfered-and-still-scored!” TD. He caught 4 passes for 27 yards.
He was responsible for four total times that the crowd chanted “First Down, Kentucky!” Out of Kentucky’s teamwide 330 offensive yards and 91 kick/punt return yards (421 total), Randall Cobb provided 152 (36%) of them.
Please don’t get hurt, Randall. Please!
* Tonight, Ghidorah was fighting itself. Will Fidler (8-13 for 82 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) and Morgan Newton (3-6 for 17 yards, 1 INT) didn’t provide the kind of play worth celebrating. And for the first time in a long time, you can blame the QBs instead of the WRs. Some poor decisions plagued the non-Cobb QBs, whether it was Newton staying too long in the pocket or Fidler throwing into double-coverage. Too many times, Kentucky was forced to end offensive drives before getting into scoring range, giving the Redhawks plently of time (ULM’s time of possession for the game: 34:42) to mount a comeback.
* Senior LB Micah Johnson left the game late in the first quarter. Coach Brooks reported that Micah sustained a strained MCL that is, “not major, major but not band-aid injury either“. Part of the story build-up to this week’s game involved Micah’s return-to-form against Auburn due to him finally being healthy. A tough break for yet another Wildcat defensive star.
* In the first half, Senior Fullback John Conner had 5 carries for 46 yards (including a 39-yard-long rumble) and a rushing touchdown. He also had two first-half receptions for 26 yards, including a 25-yard-long catch for a TD. In the second half, John had 1 carry for 0 yards and zero receptions.
John’s uniform and underwear was found outside the stadium after reports of a strange ground-lightning storm.
* The Drew Franklin did a great job of previewing ULM, but he did drop the ball by not properly identifying ULM’s Head Coach Charlie Weatherbie as Clarence Boddicker:
I work for Dick Jones! Dick Jones! He’s the Number Two Guy at OCP. OCP runs the cops.
* Lones Seiber completely whiffed on that missed PAT. But honestly, I don’t know if anybody was left in Commonwealth Stadium to see it. So that means it didn’t really happen, right?
* WLEX’s Mary Jo Perino was given pumpkin pie today in the press box.
Well, Sunday should be interesting. Matt will be talking with Dave Ragone about the Keg o’ Nails and how Louisville fans will be holding so dearly to their team’s performance against Kentucky. Plus we will have any other breaking news and more post-game football news.