– This week there was no indication from the coaches that Max Smith may not be able to play today, but the SEC’s leading passer never got close to the field after suffering a bruised shoulder last week. Morgan Newton got the starting nod and showed UK fans how easy it is to disappoint. Newton was Florida’s best player throwing 3 interceptions and giving them a TD. His QB rating was 2.77, and he completed only 6 of 20 passes. Newton showed us that completing short passes isn’t a given.
– As bad as Newton was, the Cats started the game strong with back-to-back 3 and outs on defense. The offense was running the ball well (they finished the 1st half with 111 yards rushing, while only producing more than 100 rushing yards against Kent State) and did a good job of keeping the Florida offense off the field. The game got out of reach after Newton missed a WIDE OPEN Daryl Collins that could’ve resulted in TD, to cut the UF lead to 10-7. The next play Newton threw a bad pick six, making it 17-0. They never had a chance after that.
– What makes this game more depressing than a regular loss to Florida, was the fact that the defense came out ready to play. Jeff Driskell fought pressure throughout the first half getting sacked 4 times, Florida’s powerful rush game was held at bay, and players were making athletic plays, shedding blocks and making tackles. The game showed a lot of promise, IF Max would have been playing Quarterback.
– Watching the second half is one of the sadder things I’ve ever seen on a football field. I couldn’t force my worst enemy to watch it; it was just too painful. Newton progressively got worse while Joker refused to take him out. It got to the point where I felt bad for Morgan, because he could do no right. During the downward spiral, the team began to give up. They looked like a helpless crew that just wanted to get off the field. The first half showed that the Cats could still battle for their coach; in the second half we saw Joker lose his team.
– For fans, we once again had the opportunity to get our hopes up with solid defensive play early on, and like clock work we were disappointed with self-destruction as the game progressed. If you didn’t give up on Joker last weekend, I’m sure you have now. I didn’t want to but, but Joker’s failure to make in-game adjustments proved to me that he cannot be the Head Coach. Not only did he delay taking out Newton, he also changed nothing at halftime. The Cats produced only 50 yards of offense in the second half. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well this thing is more jacked up than Ricky Bobby’s kid on Mountain Dew. Something has got to change.