Leave it to Pitt to take the esteemed BBVA Compass bowl and find every possible way to make it as unexciting as they can – but I refuse to let my enthusiasm dwindle. With everything that has been going on around the Basketball program lately (from Enes to Daniels to the start of SEC play,) the upcoming bowl game has done a pretty good job flying under the radar. No, it’s not the sexiest of bowls to play in, and dag gummit if Birmingham is where I want to spend the weekend, but it’s Kentucky football. And honestly, there are quite a few things to get excited about for Kentucky fans.
1.) — Rick Minter and Steve Pardue. But mainly the Nuclear Minter. It’s no secret that the Kentucky defense was woeful at best this season, and many fans got part of what they wanted with the introduction of Rick Minter to the coaching staff as co-defensive coordinator. While it’s unlikely he will have made any huge changes between the Tennessee game and the bowl game, it certainly won’t stop us from giving him credit everytime Winston Guy tackles somebody.
2.) — Mister Cobble. Aside from having one of the best Kentucky Football names in history, Cobble came out of last season receiving tons of praise from his coaches for his performances on the Scout team. Sadly, after being tapped an up and comer to watch, Cobble had to sit out the season due to academic problems. To borrow a line from Bledsoe, Cobble then went and got sh*t right – by studying, refusing to chase women and answering the phone when his mama called. It will be good to finally see him in blue.
3.) — Morgan Newton and Ryan Mossakowski. Newton was the name on everyone’s lips going into the season – until Mike Hartline had a pretty solid year. But with the loss of Hartline, fans will get a chance to see how much Newton and Moss have progressed since last year, and get a glimpse into what next year holds at the QB position. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about Newton since the Mike suspension, and you know Joker will call at least one play for Moss that has him throwing the ball out of the stadium.
4.) — Derrick Locke. While his career has been littered with injuuries, when Locke has been healthy he has been phenomenal to watch. With breakneck speed he became Kentucky’s go to RB after the departure of Rafael Little and has been going strong for a few seasons now. It’s going to be our last chance to see number 20 tear through a hole for a long TD run – and with the QB issues mentioned early, look for the Offense to get Locke going early and often.
5.) — Randall Cobb. Cobb hasn’t decided to declare for the draft – yet. But he is publicly weighing his options, and you can’t blame the kid. He has been the guy for Kentucky starting his freshman year. If there was ever anything Randall Cobb couldn’t do at Kentucky (aside from beating Tennessee,) he must’ve missed it. I would love to have him back for another year, but just in case it’s Cobbs last time in the Blue, gear up and enjoy him while you can.
Look, even Joker has come out and said this season hasn’t quite been what he wanted it to be. But if you let the game go by tomorrow you’re going to be missing out on a good one for the fans. It’s going to provide a decent look into what our team might have next year, and a great way to send off some of our favorite players from the past fewyears.
Plus, you know, at least watch it to see if Pitt’s coach stays the same in between halves.