It was good times all around in the world as college football finally returned and two SEC teams were in action in the form of South Carolina and Vandy. While Vandy took advantage of smart scheduling and found themselves at the end of the night tied for the most wins in the SEC, the real story was at South Carolina.
The Tommy Beecher era at didn’t even hardly last an entire game for the Gamecocks. Beecher put in a performance so awful, it almost had former Mississippi State quarterback Michael Henig and his six INTs in last year’s opener feeling good about himself. Beecher threw four picks in three quarters, which is bad enough, but he managed to do it against a MIKE ARCHER DEFENSE! Playing that bad against a unit coached by the guy who put together some of the worst units in the history of the game at Kentucky is a lot like losing to Stevie Wonder in “I Spy”. Pretty pitiful indeed.
Sure, Chris Smelley looked good in relief for the Gamecocks, but Steve Spurrier’s desire to air it out and run up some points on a beaten, tired team that is predicted to finish last in a very weak conference isn’t really as impressive as it looks on paper. North Carolina State pretty much packed it in when it got to about 13-0 and that’s when South Carolina poured it on. If you want to make a knee-jerk reaction without even seeing UK play yet, you have to feel pretty good about UK’s chances against South Carolina, especially if Spurrier remains stubborn and plays Beecher. If Smelley ends up playing throughout the year, it might get dicey. Either way, you have to feel a lot better about the Cats chances in a very important game in terms of bowl eligibility. Basically, I see the schedule breaking down into three groups:
Kentucky has five games against inferior opponents that they must defeat in order to maintain status quo. These are the most important games. Any slip-up in these games and they can kiss a chance at a bowl goodbye.
– Middle Tennessee State
– Norfolk State
– Western Kentucky
Of course, like any other year, Kentucky has three guaranteed losses on their schedule against teams that are going to make some noise at the national level. Just mark these down as losses and hope that it doesn’t get ugly.
So, that leaves UK with four swing games that they need to make some noise in to get to bowl eligibility. Winning just one will get the Cats to bowl eligibility, but you have to win two to start to feel a little comfortable with your chances.
– South Carolina
– Mississippi State
Hopefully, the Cats can get the ball rolling with a win against Louisville this weekend and give themselves a little wiggle room and get some momentum going.
Ok, sorry for the rant. Now let’s get to a couple of quick notes:
(1) Rich Brooks made a couple of announcements regarding the depth chart for Sunday’s game with the Filthy Cards, saying that Jess Beets and EJ Adams will both be starting. Beets has beat out Brad Durham and Stuart Hines for the right guard spot and Adams beat out a whole cast of inexperienced young guys to line up opposite of Sir Richard Lyons, Jr.
(2) Brooks also said that a pair of Louisvillians, DT Myron Pryor and OT Garry Williams, will serve as captain’s for Sunday’s game. Running back Tony Dixon and linebacker Braxton Kelley are your team captains, but Pryor and Williams will serve with them for this game.
(3) We all saw Morgan Newton last week and came away impressed, but tonight is the night for UK’s other big-time 2009 quarterback to take the field. Frisco Centennial High School featuring Ryan Mossakowski gets their season rolling tonight as they take on Denton (home of Neccessary Roughness!) and the gunslinger looks to improve on last year’s 1-9 record. The Dallas Morning News likes their chances for a good season.
(4) The good news on the NFL preseason beat? Stevie Got Loose!! I repeat, Stevie Got Loose!! In the Bills’ preseason game against the Lions, Steve Johnson led all receivers with 8 catches for 74 yards. In the weekend leading up to the U of L game, this has to be a great sign for Kentucky. Also, Artose (Pinner) got lose in the same game for the Lions, rushing for 78 yards.
Unfortunately, there were some mixed results for other former Cats.
– If you caught Sportscenter tonight, you saw that Jared Lorenzen was once again the butt of a few jokes after throwing for 9-16 for 91 yards and an interception against the Bengals. The real reason for the jokes, though, was this quote, which I actually think is pretty funny. I have Verizon and it sucks so I can’t rewind, but it was something along the lines of “I’m not here to win the starter job or the back-up job. I’m just here in case something God-awful happens, I can go in there and not screw it up”. If you have it word for word, please post it below.
– Shane Boyd went 9-17 for 83 yards for the Texans in their game against the Bucs.
– Glen Holt had 4 catches for 20 yards and a TD against the Colts and Lorenzen.
– Keenan Burton had 1 catch for 9 yards against the Chiefs.
– Jacob Tamme had no catches for the Colts and Andre Woodson played four awful plays for the Giants.
That’s it for now. We’ll finish up today getting you primed for a big weekend in the Bluegrass. But, in the meantime, check out all of the good stuff from the day that will live in infamy as Matt Jones’ 30th birthday, including a solid breakdown of the enemy from one of their own, Duncan Cavanah’s UK linebacker preview and what is, dare I say, the greatest anti-Matt Jones youtube video set to the Counting Crows in the history of the world. Plus, Kige gives Matt two shout-outs in one day which no doubt left him feeling like Jesus Shuttlesworth when he was on the recruiting trip with Rick Fox.
See you this afternoon, kiddoes. I’ve got a flight back to the Bluegrass to catch!