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Newton’s Relief Effort is Unsuccessful

Morgan Newton’s time as Kentucky’s starting quarterback, to put it kindly, has been unproductive. Today, it didn’t get any better. Because of an bruised shoulder on usual starter, Maxwell Smith, Newton was chosen to man the ship just before kickoff against Florida. Newton’s first drive looked like he would be able to at least keep the Wildcats competitive the entire game. After a 26-yard pass to RB Jonathan George, and a couple of key runs, Kentucky’s drive stalled on 4th and 3, deep into Gator territory.

After that, the wheels fell off. 

Newton was pulled late in the third quarter with Kentucky down 31-0 and seemingly no chance of coming back. Newton’s final stat line was 7 of 21, 48 yards, and 3 INT. Abysmal.

At his post game press conference, Newton credited the bad play to not only a rushed start, but a career full of inopportune situations.

“I never really got in much of a rhythm, just out of sync. … I just tried to be there for my team and the situation didn’t work out very well. … It’s tough. Over my career, it seems like it’s (always) inopportune. Bad timing. Bad situations. Bad circumstances. You know, post-Randall Cobb, post-Chris Matthews, but pre-(DeMarcus) Sweat, pre-Demarco (Robinson) and all these other guys (meaning he had few viable targets last year). It’s just been tough and it makes me look like a much worse player than I really am, but that’s kind of how life goes.”

To Newton’s credit, throughout the week of practice, there was no indication that Smith would not play in this game. On Wednesday, Smith was pretty confident he would play, and as late as Thursday, head coach Joker Phillips echoed those same sentiments.

“He looked good today throwing. I’m not concerned about Max.” Phillips said.

Obviously, that was not the case, and it left Newton unprepared and struggling against a tough defense. After seeing the huge drop-off of talent from Smith to Newton, it makes you wonder, was there ever really a quarterback competition to begin with?

Article written by Rashawn Franklin

32 Comments for Newton’s Relief Effort is Unsuccessful



  1. firstcomment
    8:05 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    RISE !



  2. Dave in Bangkok
    8:07 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Joker failed this kid.

    Joker is to blame for this kid’s humiliation.

    Joker is a fail.



  3. stevie
    8:14 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    I might be wrong, but wasn’t Newton a 5star player. Even if he were a high 4, what has the Joker done to improve his game?



  4. art vandalay
    8:15 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Good game, good effort!
    Good game, good effort!
    Good game, good effort!



  5. WTH
    8:16 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    So Joke says he treated MAX like one of his kids and knew he would not play because of re-injury possibility, but doesnt bother telling anyone much less Newton this information? Not excusing Newtons sorry a$$, but really COACH?? (use term loosely)



  6. art vandalay
    8:17 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Newton was a 4 star. Goes to show just how badly recruiting services can miss sometimes.



  7. Reality
    8:21 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    If he was a 4 star QB, then why was he, an out of state kid, passed on by football powers? There’s your answer to recruiting services. But the most telling of this situation tells a story of Joke Phillips and Randy Sanders, Morgan got worse, MUCH WORSE, not better.



  8. Joey Toddy
    8:22 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    I know everyone says there’s no way Joker will be relieved of his post mid-season but at this point I honestly would not be suprised. If Barnhart found the replacement he wanted and he was available to start immediately, it really and truly has come to the point that a mid season coaching change would not suprise me.

    This is truly unbearable (even by our standards)



  9. Big T
    8:28 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Midseason? Joker should be fired on the plane ride home



  10. Big T
    8:30 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Sure looks like Tee Martin saw this coming. Well…dI did almost everyone outside of team KSR but who is counting!



  11. tdogg40330
    8:34 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    a bruised shoulder is what they said, right?? Its not like he had structual
    damage, if the kid wanted to play he shoulda played.



  12. BBB
    8:35 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Really…. can our coaching staff coach anyone up? We suck! I see talent on the field, but they are not going to play for Choker and this failure of a staff. All summer I heard how we finally have SEC caliper players on the roster. Too bad we don’t have a SEC caliper coach and staff.



  13. bigbluen502
    8:37 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    At this point I am honestly, in all seriousness, starting to think that there’s a conspiracy at UK to keep the football at a level that will never rival bball. That is the only explanation i can buy at this poinf or Mitch is just under qualified for his job that its not even funny. This from a business aspect, forget athletic view point, is such a train wreck of a decision making its literally unfathomable. If joker doesn’t go mitch is 1000% setting himself up to be reasonably fired



  14. Big T
    8:39 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Fire him NOW! This isn’t fair



  15. J A Brooks
    8:41 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    I will say this much.

    I have never been nearly as anti-mitch as some other UK fans. I feel like Mitch has made only a few mistakes during his tenure as AD. I think he allowed Tubby WAY too much time and he passed on Cal to get BCG.

    At the same time I applaud him for canning BCG after two years, recognizing that it was a bad hire and he was bad for the players, and again for going against his gut and hiring Cal who brought #8.

    I liked that Mitch didn’t bail on Rich Brooks so early in his tenure when it was obviously and awful situation that Brooks was handed. I also like that Mitch has improved almost every other sports program in the school.

    HOWEVER, the decision to promote Joker Phillips was a very poor decision. It was a huge mistake, but anyone can make a mistake. My problem is that he made another terrible mistake after already making one with BCG. Compounding that mistake, he has failed to recognize JUST HOW BAD of a coach Joker is, which I feel like is painfully obvious to anyone who knows ANYTHING about football. The WORST thing about all this is the complete PASS he has given Joker when the entire point of hiring Joker was so that there wouild be a smooth transition following Brook’s retirement. He basically hired him so that we wouldn’t have to rebuild again. Which makes Joker even MORE of a FAILURE…

    I say all this because I’ve almost always been behind Mitch, but Football and Basketball are the two real money makers. I tip my hat to him for improving the other programs, but the fact that he’s standing behind Joker no matter what and battling with Cal behind the scenes is really just bizarre. Cal wins a title but he and Mitch butt heads. Joker runs the program into the ground and Mitch gives him a pass.

    If Mitch doesn’t lose his job it should only be becuase Joker loses his.

    You absolutely have to fire Joker immediately. I don’t care what the reprecussions are.



  16. Mike
    9:07 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    I would fire Joker immediately and promote someone from within. That person couldn’t possibly be any worse than Joker and would rally the troops and fan base.



  17. Jim
    9:13 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    (To #6) As I understand it Newton was recruited by S Carolina, Clemson, Florida, among others, so he must have been highly talanted.

    Joker tried to mold Newton into his own failed system and never utilized his raw talent in a system more suitable for Newton. All talent must be coached up not down.



  18. J A Brooks
    9:26 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    I’m not defending Joker at all, but everyone who recruited newton missed on the evaluation. He would’ve been a bust almost anywhere in my opinion. He put up video game stats in high school cause he was bigger and faster than everyone and when he threw the ball his wrs were wide open. A lot of coaches take a risk on a guy like that because they feel a solid QB coach can improve accuracy and mechanics and with his raw ability they assume they can get a solid starter.

    The difference is that D-1 coaches realize when a kid doesn’t have the ability to be a successful college qb and they move on. Joker has demonstrated that he has absolutely no ability to make this kind of realization and to save the program further damage. Joker just keeps puttin him in… no mattter how bad he is.

    We run a spread/west-coast type offense that uses a ton of short passes and requires accuracy. Newton has absolutely no accuracy. I agree he was a horrible fit for this system, but I’m not sure he would’ve been any better at another college, save D-2 or D-3



  19. carl spackler
    9:28 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    BBB: the word you are searching for is “caliber”……a “caliper” is a part for brakes, although your usage of “caliper” might be accurate, since Joker has put the brakes on UK football….

    Mike/#16: Hiring from within is what got us in this predicament in the first place….



  20. Mateotemprano
    9:43 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Morgan Newton is a good kid. Read– KID.

    He was put in a tough situation and did his best. He has shown great character and he is a Cat.

    Joker’s situation is going to work itself out regardless of what any of us want– for better or for worse.

    I will be at Commonwealth next week to see if UK can take some ste



  21. Mateotemprano
    9:44 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    ..ps against a good USC team. See y’all there and keep your heads up.

    We are UK!



  22. UKBlue1!
    9:51 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch Barnhart needs to be fired. He shouldn’t be allowed to hire the next football coach. We don’t need this screwed up. The football program has suffered enough. There has been consistantly one bad hire after another. It is time to spend some money and hire a football coach and give him what it takes to turn things around. Barnhart was given the keys to a Rolls Royce and hired Billy Clyde. This was after putting up with Tubby Smith for about 3 years too long.



  23. jwill
    10:17 pm September 22, 2012 Permalink

    i see alot of people feel the same way i do about this situation.morgan newton was put in a very bad spot today and was LEFT in that bad spot. morgan newton is not a quitter and although things didnt work out for him today they will eventually. joker made some terrible choices today like kicking 54 yard field goals and even the 46 yarder was a bad choice when we where actually running the ball enough to probablly get the first down. i feel bad that morgan newton has waisted his college career with a coach that never put him in a position to win. ive taken up for joker for 2 years now and today proved me wrong.



  24. Jorts' Tightie Whities
    12:25 am September 23, 2012 Permalink

    What I really want to hear is the last time that Morgan actually put in credible reps with the number 1 offense. I’ve heard a lot about him “being willing to do whatever” to help the team, but nothing about him actually practicing as a QB lately. What a move to throw someone who showed true Kentucky character under the bus. Joker can blame Newton now, when in reality I don’t think many QBs could go out and play like that with few good practice reps since training camp.



  25. W in Chester
    1:49 am September 23, 2012 Permalink

    I still question Joker on how he handled the whole BBVA Bowl game when Mike Hartline got suspended and he only went with Newton and never did put Moss in or give the “Texas Gunslinger” a real chance for afterall Moss was ranked a top QB out of high school the same as Newton.



  26. Kentucky shame
    8:47 am September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Too bad Morgan Newton doesn’t come close to flunking out of school, get busted with weed, and make ridiculous tweets like Bookie Cobbins. He would be adored by the moronic UK football fans then. It’s a shame that he makes good grades,stays out of trouble, and tries to help team however possible.

    This is a guy who went to tight end after being a QB his entire life in an effort to help the team, hasn’t seen qb reps in weeks, and was thrown into action against Florida. Yup, him playing horrible is perfect justification to trash the guy. A bunch of regular ass people, most of whom didn’t even attend UK or play football at the High School level feel justified in trashing him. His treatment by the fans is far more embarrassing than his performance.



  27. Dear dummies
    8:51 am September 23, 2012 Permalink

    He was a 3 star by Rivals, Scout had him as a 4 star. The thing is half the qb’s ranked ahead of him didn’t work out either. It’s not an exact science, UK football fans thinking qb’s are guaranteed to workout just because they’re 3 or 4 stars shows their ignorance.



  28. 8&Counting
    9:08 am September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Newton throwing 3 int’s with 48 yards completions is worse than the Smith throwing 3-4 int’s against wku. Even with more completions wku doesn’t have an sec caliber defense UF does. No way to compare stats



  29. GATORCHOMP
    10:10 am September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Yew Kay fanz don’t know football. How could they? They have NEVER had a Football team.



  30. unboltedharp
    10:54 am September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Hey 26, he’s just not a QB, plain, pure, and simple at this level. In high school he probably was the best player on the field and could get away with staring down his receiver or bad throws. But now there are 11 players his equal on the other side of the ball. If joker was a head coach he’d realize the freshmen needs quailty practice time to be a viable backup. Newton is a senior and is done, time to bring the next guys along. As a head coach you cannot wait to teach the freshman when their sophomores.



  31. ThisJokeIsn'tFunny
    3:44 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    26. Take a chill pill. Morgan Newton is a good kid, but he is a terrible QB. All the games he played last year were a complete joke. Completing like 30% of his passes in games with INTs. The real complaint is Joker Phillips, plain and simple. Ryan M. was never given a chance and I KNOW he would be much better than Newton. Jalen Whitlow obviously has more talent, why didn’t he play? If Whitlow isn’t prepared to play QB then Joker again has failed. If we don’t seriously consider Bobby Petrino then this program has a complete moron running it, because someone will hire Petrino, and he will be successful, and put butts in seats.



  32. Katdaddy
    6:56 pm September 23, 2012 Permalink

    Aint no coach like petrino ever going to come here! Not enough surpport for FB and too many unreasonable fan. This program will never be where you guys are expecting it to be. PERIOD!