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Joker talks about UK-WKU


After taking some time to digest what happened last night, Joker Phillips held his weekly teleconference today to talk about the Western game, hand out some injury updates and discuss what needs to happen moving forward. Here are a few of the things he hit on:

–Joker shared in the general disappointment with the offensive line, who he said “did not play well at all. ”

–He said that Morgan Newton played better than his stats indicated, which is good because his stats were pretty atrocious, but he still has to get better.

–And while we’re on the subject of Newton, he headlines the injury news. Newton sprained his thumb in the first quarter last night, and Joker said today that he didn’t think he would play in the second half, praising the QB’s toughness for playing through the injury because they weren’t expecting to have him. He also said that lineman Billy Joe Murphy sprained an MCL last night, and defensive end Collins Ukwu suffered a bruised shoulder and is day-to-day, although Ukwu did draw praise from his head coach for his play before leaving with the injury.

Josh Clemons got the attention of Phillips, along with everyone else, with him saying today about the freshman running back, “He was a guy that was seeing cuts and seeing things really well. We’ve got to get him there a little bit more because I thought he blocked well, he understands our schemes (and) he can catch the football, so he definitely deserves to play more.” I think it’s fairly safe to say that Mr. Clemons will be stepping up and seeing a little more of the field in the coming weeks.

–And speaking of stepping up, one position that’s just begging for someone to step up is wide receiver. UK’s head man is looking for anyone who can make a play: “We have to find a group of wide receivers that can make plays,” Phillips said. “I think we had the separation we need to make the plays, but guys have to make the plays for us.” Anyone?

Now that that’s finished, we can all forget last night ever happened.

[UK Athletics]

Article written by Hunter Campbell

I used to write here.

49 Comments for Joker talks about UK-WKU

  1. KyFarm
    8:22 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    its gonna be a long season if that O-line was supposed to be our strength

  2. Williamsburg
    8:51 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    Wide receiver try-outs to be held tomorrow for UK student body 9:00am at the Nutter Field House

  3. williamtitan
    8:59 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

  4. Jimmy Buffett
    9:06 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    We need somebody to step up as the HC; or step aside.

  5. bung
    9:09 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    course rodger bird and larry seiple and rick norton ran into trouble also…Pratt would make a godd AD…

  6. RidgeRunner
    9:12 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    –and not one word on how poorly prepared he and his staff did with the offense last night?

  7. Big Blue 66
    9:12 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    so newton played better than his stats……really. Joker is not going to build anything here, Im sorry but we are going backwards. This team unfortunately was not ready to play last night. Our motto is really RISE up so you can get your head knocked off.

  8. Blue Bug
    9:13 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

  9. RidgeRunner
    9:15 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    I find it remarkable that not one writer or media person has not asked him abou the teams lack of offensive preparedness…ie,> he and his staff not doing a good job.

    It’s been 24 hours since that debacle and no one has the knowledge and/or gonads to ask him about that. Unbeleivable.

  10. bung
    9:15 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    ridge dude…i b with u….course we talkin bout football…..i mean football…

  11. john4uk
    9:17 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    After suffering through that exhibition last night,i was left wondering if anything constructive is being done with UK football.Everybody talks about the off season conditioning program that left me wondering,does UK really have one.Our guys were being manhandeled by an inferior (?) team,and were gassed by games end.
    As for Joker,i would like to have some of whatever he’s taking because he saw play far differently than most people commenting on various message boards particularly on the offensive side of the ball.
    UK honestly has a group of receivers who would be hard pressed to make a good intramural team,and a qb who has made nearly zero progress since his high school days.

  12. RidgeRunner
    9:18 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    I hear ya bung. lol

    I don’t recal ever being this embarrassed over a notable deficiency (Not prepared) and no one even cares or seems to comprehend that it’s an issue. The talk is all about the players and what they need to do. Hell, the issue is as big as the confused look joker has on his face and it’s like the elephant in the room no one see’s.

    Love my Cats…had patience last year with Joker….but damn!

  13. RidgeRunner
    9:24 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    Perhaps Hunters right at the bottom of his article…. Everyone see’s it but wants to pretend it didn’t happen. Hell if I can figure it out.

  14. just saying
    9:27 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    Facts: We have a second rate coach, coming off a pitiful appearance in a horrible bowl level LOSS, and brought in the 11th best SEC recruiting class, while losing our 3 TOP offensive players.

    Fact: We are a horrible football team

    Opinion: We will struggle against C Michigan and then lose to Louisville (breaking our win sreak), and then get our arse handed to us by Florida before finishing 3-9 on the season (breaking our bowl streak).

  15. Ilovethecatsbut...
    9:44 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    When was the last time UK played for such a small crowd?

  16. Morgan Newton Sucks
    9:44 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    Morgan Newton only played in the 2nd half because he realized that his backup would take his job if given the chance. Newton, YOU SUCK!!!! Bring back Mossakowski.

    Go back home Morgan!!!!

    Also Fire Joker Dot Com

  17. Pick Ratino
    9:45 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    Lots of receivers letting balls dribble out of their hands. Ahhh. Good times, great memories. L yeah, Karen.

  18. Keepin it real
    9:57 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    I know it’s only one game but I’m not feeling good about this year. I’d trade every game on the schedule for a win against Florida and Tennessee. Go cats!!!

  19. BloodyBlue
    10:08 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    Joker is finished. Unfortunately it will take two more years to drive the last nail in the coffin.

  20. Big Blue 66
    10:10 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    whats the deal with Oklahoma, are they saying they are looking to leave the Big 12 also? ANy one have info?

  21. Towles12'
    10:12 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    I understand the disappointment but I think your expectations were a little high for the first game of the season… I thought the defense and special teams improved and needed to badly. The offense loses Matthews, Locke, Cobb, and Hartline and you thought we were somehow going to be better???? You basketball fans are as fickle as UofL fans sometimes. People calling for Joker’s job need to go get their old english L tatoos inked up tomorrow. I saw a quarterback that threw some bad passes, some great passes, had butterflies, and made bad decisions. I also saw that he had absolutely no help from anyone. One victory into a long season… this is not basketball and Coach Cal doesn’t recruit football players. Not that Joker has not recruited better players in one season than we have seen in a long time. Get a grip guys, support the team, and support Joker and his staff.

  22. woolulu57
    10:23 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    They shouldn’t have run off Mossakowski. Ky football will always be second fiddle. Tough conference & mid level talent is what we have. Hate it but what we have. I wouldn’t want to play our no offense-offense. Kind of reminds me of Tubby Ball.

  23. Ghorn
    10:25 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    And theeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrre’s the Tubby reference….

  24. Big Blue 66
    10:26 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    21. And that attitude is why we dont have anything more than a mediocre lower level team in the most competitive conference in the country. If you are happy with 6-6 or occasionally 7-5 and occasionally 3-9, then you are right, we have just the coach and system to achieve that, but unfortunately some dont want to be mediocre, some want a legitimate chance to challenge. And i will tell you right now, Joker cant do it, hes not a good enough recruiter to have the talent to win and hes not a good enough developer to coach up lesser talent. Worst of either situation. I support UK athletics, but I be damn if I support mediocrity

  25. buck1544
    10:27 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    joker is obsessed with newton.

  26. blitzedanddazed
    10:34 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    Did you guys expect Joker to appear today with tears in his eyes? I expect Joker and the team to come out next week with a better effort. Hell, it can’t get much worse! Can it?

  27. yourmom
    10:36 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    Give Ed Berry, JR the WR job…he is the beast from Eminence.

  28. STEVE!
    10:44 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    Besides poor play, there is another trend I see that I don’t like. Joker has his favorites – Newton can do no wrong in his eyes – but he throws other players under the bus. No reason to do that unless the players are outright dogging it. The coaching staff is responsible for the results. Either recruit better players or coach up the ones you have, Joker. That’s why you’re paid $1.7 million.

  29. chiddercheddar
    10:55 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    25. I think Joker is obsessed with (or scared of) newton’s dad.

  30. big tim
    11:26 pm September 2, 2011 Permalink

    i dont see why every mad at newton the one you should be mad at the wr none of them really could catch. newton threw the ball right in there arm and they couldnt catch it

  31. bluetexan
    12:03 am September 3, 2011 Permalink

    4-8 FREE Mike Leach…poor game plan…poor coaching…poor wide receivers (but, GREAT recruting class)…face it BBN – this Joker is a joke as a head coach as is Barnfart for not looking outside the ‘family’…been attending/supporting/watching UK football since 1964…this is embarrassing…tired.

  32. RidgeRunner
    12:04 am September 3, 2011 Permalink

    26…I would like to see him take a page from Cal’s book. Cal on a few occasions has said, “This was on me” when a part of the basketball game does not function. While I don’t think this needs to be a routine…I do think that when the offense isn’t prepared one damn bit to execute…it would be logical for the coach to shoulder that responsibility with his staff —sometime in the next 24hrs of a game ending such as this.

  33. CA UK FAN
    3:59 am September 3, 2011 Permalink

    So what would the score have been if those receivers could catch the ball? I withhold my judgement for a couple of more games.

  34. 2020
    4:33 am September 3, 2011 Permalink

    I can only pray that we were saving our best schemes for UL and UF. Otherwise, our coaches are functional idiots. Why does Joker ruin every WR recruit? They become dumb (“can’t learn their routes”) and clumsy once they work out with the staff.

  35. gcat4496
    8:05 am September 3, 2011 Permalink

    A lot of you & including me have been kind of hard on Newton after the dismal performance Thrusday night. But his O line and his receivers did not help. Roark and King didn’t catch anything all night and Newton threw some catchable passes that were dropped. As for the O line, they were outmanned all night long. We had no running game and Newton constantly had defenders on him all night. As for running backs, Clemons looks the best but he is only a freshman. Sanders falls to the ground if you breath on him. All I can say is if the offensive unit does not improve, I see a 3-9 at worst, or 5-7 at best record.

  36. Bozorenob
    9:21 am September 3, 2011 Permalink

    ‘Played better than his stats’. Good God. Lord help us.

  37. Chick Fil A Love
    9:29 am September 3, 2011 Permalink

    Go CATS!

  38. Keepin it real
    9:32 am September 3, 2011 Permalink

    @21, WORD! @22, last time I checked, tubby had a ring. And don’t say it’s because of Ricks squad. That elite 8 game against duke was a chess match that Rick would’ve lost. And I don’t believe even Pitino thought that team had a chance in the world to get back to the final 4. The majority of my all time UK faves were tubby guys that stayed for more than one year (prince bogans fitch azabuke Hayes Daniels rondo sparks).. I’d give anything to have had him not run out of the program only to get Billy G. Cal is great, but we might still regret the hire down the road. I don’t care if he wasn’t found guilty… The end result was the same… 2 programs on Probation. Fact. Hope I’m wrong about said possible regrets. And tubby haters (and joker haters) can suck it! Go cats!!!

  39. "Jamal" Vitale
    9:35 am September 3, 2011 Permalink

    Until we quit supporting this BS and UK gets serious about football, this is what we will have.

  40. Ira Tatum
    9:41 am September 3, 2011 Permalink

    Thought this was gonna be Roark’s break out season; he needs to step up to the plate …now!

  41. Jimmy Buffett
    9:58 am September 3, 2011 Permalink


  42. niaps
    11:38 am September 3, 2011 Permalink

    Trying to be real here and trying to keep a cool head but Joker is and never will be a good SEC coach. How can you hang your season on a QB as bad as Newton and recruit receivers who cannot catch a football. Our running backs have no chance behind an offensive line that is truly offensive and Sanders is a scat back who cannot run against SEC caliber teams much less WKU. Clemons looks like a football player but again where can you run with no line to block. I always thought run blocking was easier than pass blocking but not for our line. I really hope I am wrong but this looks to be a dismal start to a very long year with no highlights of interest. To build a great program you cannot start with much less than great coaching. We all have seen that in our BB program and sorry Joker your in way over your head.

  43. KyCat in Tn
    1:13 pm September 3, 2011 Permalink

    Let me think here what place would i like to play a sport mmm Starkville Ms or Lexington Ky!!!!!! Now if you want to see how to rebuild and have a great football program you might think about hiring some coaches!!!!!!!! We already did this with basketball with Bill D. As a fan who was in Nasville well I was again totally sick with how we played. If we are getting all this great talent then someone needs to form it in to a real winning unit or than barely beating mid major teams. What a Joker we have as a head coach.

  44. Jimmy Buffett
    1:49 pm September 3, 2011 Permalink


    2:54 pm September 3, 2011 Permalink

    If we play like that again we are done and in for a long rest of jokers career. All starts with the strength program for not making us more explosive and the coaches for not playing kids who can catch. D atleast looks better. I know a 12 year old who could make more catches vs EKU than Roark.

  46. Marine
    5:35 pm September 3, 2011 Permalink

    How can the receivers catch the ball when it’s thrown 10 feet over their heads on a 10 yard route. Newton is not the answer.Played better than hi stats.Horsecrap.No wonder Magic left!!!!!

  47. Marine
    5:36 pm September 3, 2011 Permalink

    How can the receivers catch the ball when it’s thrown 10 feet over their heads on a 10 yard route. Newton is not the answer.Played better than his stats.Horsecrap.No wonder Magic left!!!!!

  48. Marine
    5:43 pm September 3, 2011 Permalink

    Their was no compatition for the QB job it was Given to the one with the least accurate arm that can sack hisself.

  49. Viren
    5:53 pm September 4, 2011 Permalink

    Is it me or Joker Phillips in this pic looks like Tubby Smith?