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Some things we know and don’t know about UK football this season


Over at Team Speed Kills, an SEC football blog, they took a look at some of the knowns and unknowns for Kentucky heading into the 2011 football campaign. One of the ‘things we know’ about the Cats is that Morgan Newton will be leading the offense, but even that probably also qualifies as an unknown because he is unproven as a starter:

1. Morgan Newton is the quarterback, for better or worse.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: “Newton is an impressive physical specimen, especially for a quarterback.” Morgan is certainly no Cameron, but at 6’4″ and 235 lbs, the Wildcat signal caller has the size to be a top flight quarterback. Of course if size was all that mattered, Terrence Cody would have made an awesome pocket slinger. Newton earned praise from Joker Phillips for his growth as a passer this spring, with the head coach describing his quarterback’s improvement as “night and day” versus last year. That’s a critical thing to hear, as Newton has been uneven tossing the ball around. He must show that improvement this fall.

Replacing the production of Locke, Cobb and Hartline is one of the main questions that Kentucky will have to find an answer for during the season. The others, however, have to do with defense. Like, whether one will actually exist and what effect Rick Minter will have on it…

3. The effect of Rick Minter.

Steve Brown hasn’t exactly set the world on fire as Kentucky’s defensive coordinator over the past few years, so Phillips brought in Minter to be the co-coordinator for this fall. Minter is the winningest head coach in Cincinnati Bearcats history, and his coaching tree includes Rex  Ryan, John Harbaugh, Mike Tomlin, Jimbo Fisher, and… Joker Phillips. He’s got coaching bona fides, and he’s primarily responsible for the multiple front schemes UK will run this season. Perhaps the best test is seeing how his new 4-2-5 package will work, with it designed to exploit the quality of the secondary while downplaying inexperience at linebacker. It sounds good in theory, but it’s likely only to work well if the front four get better.

The early returns seem to indicate that both Newton and Minter are having a positive impact on their sides of the ball. There’s a long way to go until the season kicks off, but if both of them continue to trend up as it approaches and others step up when the time comes, Kentucky should improve, as well.

Article written by Hunter Campbell

I used to write here.

15 Comments for Some things we know and don’t know about UK football this season

  1. Juan4UK
    6:09 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink

    How is he unproven as a starter. Started over half the season his freshmen year. Although he was protected by the catches, he still had to play the game. He should be fine this year.

  2. Juan4UK
    6:10 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink

    whoops, protected by the packages.

  3. tdogg4033011
    6:13 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink

    well as far as Minter goes, the defense has to be improved. How could it possibly get
    much worse ??? I think the CATS will be pretty fun to watch this year, might be a
    surprise team in the SEC.

  4. Big Blue Streeb
    6:17 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink


  5. BPsycho
    6:21 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink

    **** South Carolina!

  6. ThrobnThor
    6:43 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink


  7. Jeez
    6:49 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink

    Cats finally beat UT…hahaha…yeah right…just kidding.

  8. BravoBigBlue
    6:50 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink

    My opinion of Newton has been all over the board. Really glad we signed him and saw some good things his freshman year. But he was awful in the bowl game last year. Hopefully, he’s ready to go this year. But he’s too heavy and too slow to be a dual threat. I’d like to see him play at about 15 lbs lighter. Shouldn’t hurt his strength and would do wonders to improve his lack of quickness and speed. That’s is why he was so effective in high school.

  9. Mr Schwump
    7:18 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink

    3, couldn’t get much worse? Consider starting DTs are a sr walk-on who got totally manhandled in SEC play last year as a jr walk-on and a 250lb has-been-usta-was DE. Plus guys who couldn’t tackle Mitch McConnell in a phonebooth are still there. I don’t know what the record is for most rushing yards allowed in a season is but it’s in jeopardy of being broken.

  10. TheGuyPitinoForgotToPayToGetFreshFishAtPorchinis
    7:35 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink

    Hunter Campbell the writer of this article, for better or worse.

  11. Cornfucious
    8:34 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink

    Thought Steve Brown would have left by now.
    The Wild must be doing one hurl of a job keeping him – with Minter.
    We ALL expect dividends each year.
    Year in, and year out, the KENTUCKY job has been a project. Folks, there is no HOPE in a project plan.
    And accepting “it is what it is” is: Unacceptable.
    This is what we do: Demand, expect, then support.
    YOU, WE… are the fans…the CUSTOMER!!!

    They don’t put up with a poor product at Vandy.

  12. Football Man
    8:42 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink

    #8 I agree if Newton can lose some weight He can be a factor running w/it. We need him to get slim & trim and become more mean and agrressive w/taking it right at the opposition. Defense bring the hammer. Offensive weapons use every trick in the book!

  13. Lex07
    10:11 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink

    GROUP A: Louisville, Western KY, Akron, South Carolina, Charleston Southern, Vanderbilt
    GROUP B: Florida, Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia, Miss. State, Tennessee, Pittsburgh

  14. Lex07
    10:20 pm May 26, 2011 Permalink

    Strike that; reverse it

  15. BigBlueFan31
    4:21 pm May 27, 2011 Permalink

    This post is over 22 hours old and it has 14 responses. Oh, it’s about football….