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Turnovers, Turnovers, Turnovers

Kentucky isn’t the fastest team. Kentucky isn’t the most talented team. Kentucky isn’t even a very good team. So if Kentucky wants to have any shot at winning games in the SEC, the Cats are going to have to avoid costly mistakes and turnovers. That hasn’t happened so far.

Kentucky’s offense has given up 10 turnovers in four games this season. Only 10 other teams in all of football have given up more.

That can’t happen.

When you’re already outmanned on the field, you have to do the one thing you have full control over – hold on to the football. If the offense goes three and out, so be it. Punt the ball and let the defense make it a game of field position. UK did a great job of doing that in the first 8 minutes of yesterday’s game.

The defense forced Florida to punt on its first possession after only gaining 7 yards from inside its own 20. Kentucky took over on the 37, but had to punt it right back. Again, the UK defense forced the Gators into another punt. At that point in the game, the crowd was electric, the players were fired up, and Kentucky had the advantage in field position. Then the one thing that couldn’t happen, happened.

Josh Clemons fumbled the ball away. The game went with it.

Florida’s John Brantley connected with Gerald Christian for a 45-yard touchdown on the first play after the turnover. Florida didn’t look back from there. The Gators were on the board, the momentum shifted, and every fan in Commonwealth Stadium had that sick feeling of “here we go again.” That feeling was exactly right. The Gators would use the momentum to force another UK turnover just three minutes later on their way to three straight unanswered touchdowns in the first quarter and a 48-10 win.

That’s a sloppy football team,” Phillips said after yesterday’s loss. “I have got to get this football team to know how precious the football is. We’ve had very poor field position the last couple weeks, and we’ve given the opponents good field position, and that equals an L most of the time.”

The four turnovers against Florida weren’t anything new to Kentucky. La’Rod King fumbled the ball away after an 18-yard catch and run to the edge of the red zone in the first quarter against Louisville. Had Kentucky scored on that drive, it would’ve been up 10-0 on Louisville and the game could’ve had a completely different outcome. Another fumble in that game doesn’t even show up as a turnover in the statistics but hurt Kentucky just as much, if not more. DeMarco Robinson had a first down inside the 10 on that final drive but fumbled it backwards where it was recovered behind the line of scrimmage. Instead of a 1st and goal for the tie, the Cats were looking at 4th and 6 and we all know how that ended.

Last year’s team had the same turnover problems and the results showed. Kentucky was 4-0 in 2010 when winning the turnover battle. They were 2-7 when tying or losing that battle. That team still hung around in games because of the playmakers on offense. This year’s team doesn’t have that luxury.

The remaining teams on the schedule (outside of Ole Miss, Jacksonville State, and maybe Vandy) shouldn’t have any trouble getting a win over the Cats. So UK’s offense needs to avoid giving those teams any extra help by beating itself.

This isn’t an unrealistic request. We’re not asking for 300 yards passing, 150 yards rushing, or 35+ points. We’re just asking that Kentucky hold on to the football.

Avoid turnovers and you stay in the game. We’ll worry about what happens from there when we get to that point.

Still, Go Cats.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

32 Comments for Turnovers, Turnovers, Turnovers

  1. Baby Joker
    8:39 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink


  2. Cliver
    8:48 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    Can we just read about Mike Gilchrist’s dinner plans? Maybe another story about Doron Lamb getting his feet did? How ’bout a tweet from Jon Hood? Anything but another reminder of this weekend. Please, guys.

  3. Jimmy Buffett
    8:49 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    How about a coaching turnover? No joke.

  4. Jimmy Buffett
    8:52 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    Hey, post my comment. Or was that another turnover by the KSR server? Even talking UK FB causes stuff to malfunction.

  5. Yesterdays
    8:54 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    One of the worst teams we’ve ever had. Coaching and players share that equally. You dont win football games without playmakers.

  6. White Castle Sliders
    9:00 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    This is what Joker should have said in the post game.

  7. what a Joke'r
    9:05 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    #5 – not trying to start a fight… But who exactly has been in-charge in our recruiting department for the past 5-8 years?

    The Joker experiment is junk. Start over…

  8. Bigfoot
    9:06 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    Yea Clemons is the reason we lost.


  9. Ben
    9:06 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    Turnover are important, but if you can’t score points, you have no shot at winning! You can play a perfect and flawless game and you will still lose. Our offense is non-existent and no team can win in the SEC without production. Joker, like Bil Curry is just kidding himself, but he is not fooling the rest of us!

  10. gcat4496
    9:17 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    Florida had the 2nd string in most of the 2nd half, TOs or no no TOs we stink and Florida would have won going away. Another point, it takes talent and superior play to win TO battles. Our WR are weak and can’t take an SEC hit and hang onto the ball. The Newton sack & TO for a TD was made by the Def. Lineman from Florida. He blew by the OL, crushed Newton, forced the ball lose, snagged it in mid air and walked into the endzone. Heck, our WR cannot even catch a simple toss and the Gator lineman does that!

  11. Buckets
    9:21 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    6 – That rant is the embodiment of Kentucky football.

  12. Kd
    9:24 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    A couple of things I have not heard from fans why isn’t Randy Sanders name not being thrown to the wolves. Also so called nuclear minter more like nuclear meltdown defense looks no better than Browns hmm!

  13. tyson
    9:27 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    if i got embarrassed at my home stadium, i wouldn’t be out at bars like Guy and Boyd were last night. i would stay home and get a head start on watching game tape.

  14. NavyKat
    9:32 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    Enough with the football……..let’s get some basketball news on here and get excited!!
    We suck at football and it will always be second fiddle in the Bluegrass. Most years we are competitive, but this year we are heinous. Turn the page and quit wasting time with these dreary football posts.

  15. Hoffa
    9:39 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    We will lose to LSU. We will beat: mississippi, mississippi st., vanderbilt, upset tennesse and beat Jacksonville. We will have 7 wins and be much improved next year. Its all good.

  16. AlpharettaCat
    9:57 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    #12 – I second what you said. Joker isn’t bad (not great by any means but not bad) at play calling. I remember a couple of years ago at the end of the season before Brooks retired, we let Sanders start making a few calls as Offensive Coordinator. The plays were VERY questionable. Last year, it seemed to follow the same patterns, run when you shouldn’t run, pass on a pattern that isn’t working, and lastly run up the middle after running up the middle on two consecutive plays when the previous play DID NOT WORK BEFORE! I don’t believe Joker would have made those calls. Joke may not be a great or good coach, but I do believe we need a new Offensive Coordinator.

  17. Test
    10:00 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink


  18. Insider
    10:01 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    The filthy Cards will be announced to the Big 12 in the next few days.

  19. juice
    10:04 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    Bring on B-Ball

  20. Big Blue 66
    10:15 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    holy smokes KSR, enough already……we all know every move from saturday night…..its painful, do we have to relive it every 2 hours?

  21. Kingscuba89
    10:18 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    Lol at everyone who say this team is the worst team we ever had. Yea we’ve started slow and our play calling was questionable the first few games. But we opened up the play book and did our stuff. This is Kentucky football. Just because we again now have a top notch basketball program doesn’t meant the football program is gonna be amazing in the blink of an eye. Give it time. Im sick of seeing all the fire joker and hearing all of the booing at commonwealth. If we cant get behind our guys and show support then what makes a kid want to come to UK and play football for us? Other then he will get to play? Were too impatient with what we want as a fan base and a little spoiled with our basketball program. Im disappointed with wear we are just like everyone else but we have a foundation, we just have to start to build now. It won’t always be pretty but you gotta stick with it. At least wait until the end of the season to start throwing OUR head coach under the bus. Just try and be positive. Even this site is ripping our guys. I love our program and the big blue as a whole. I know I’m not the only one…? Go cats!

  22. Cliver
    10:25 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    21 – Dude, this football program has been trying to get it together since Bear Bryant left town. Lol at you for acting like this is just a slump.

  23. Hal Mumme
    10:25 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    We need someone with Boise style offense to come in and become the new co-offensive coordinator. If we are not willing to buy a big name coach lets at least pay for a good group of supporting staff members. I was pleased with our defense for the most part… any defense would have had let a team score and run on them like that being on the field all night.

  24. Hal Mumme
    10:27 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    21. Fran Curci was the man btw… undefeated in the SEC and the best UK squad of all time?

  25. Hal Mumme
    10:30 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    Mitch knows he is just filling seats… if we band together and stop purchasing season tix things will change. I will still go to games and buy tickets at the booth but that is the only way to get his attention.

  26. Hatcher4UK
    10:42 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    Time to bring an exciting offense back to UK. The “Hatch Attack” is primed and ready just a few hours away at Murray State. MSU has already produced the likes of Mike Gottfriend, Frank Beamer and Houston Nutt. Would love to see Chris Hatcher bring Mumme’s air raid back to Commonwealth.

  27. Logic
    10:45 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    When you hire coach after coach after coach and you still only get 6 or 7 wins… That is not the coaches, that is the program.

    We need an athletic director that will get a new stadium built.

  28. winston_guy's_hair
    11:11 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    27. We don’t need a new stadium. We have the newest stadium in the SEC. We need a major overhaul of it, though as well as an overhaul of our weight room and other facilities.

  29. Joe B.. Dorm
    11:18 pm September 25, 2011 Permalink

    Rather than demolish Rupp Arena, could we simply put a roof on Commonwealth and make it a basketball only arena? Did I mention we close the Football operations as well? Please? If UK Football were a horse, it would have been put down years ago.

  30. Jacob Adam Brooks
    12:42 am September 26, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t wanna just give up on joker but this team constantly looks unorganized and confused. every team we have played has looked better prepared and more confident than us.

    Also, why do we run it on first down 90% of the time then act confused when the defense stuffs it. Its insane how predictable we are. u can not compete with our talent when your offense is completely vanilla all the time. Alabama runs a pro offense but they always have the bigger faster and more talented players.

    If you someone make Boise and Utah into power houses then someone can at least make Kentucky competitive. We lost to Tennessee and Florida for 30 years straight and I hate to think I’m the only one outraged by it.

  31. Calipari'sInYourEar
    5:31 am September 26, 2011 Permalink

    Yea, Clemmons fumble lost the game. That makes a lot of sense.

  32. KING REX #3
    7:31 am September 26, 2011 Permalink

    Clearly during my lifetime, UK doesn’t care one iota about football…..championships my ass!!!!!