Too bad this was the lowest attended game since the Commonwealth opener in 1973, Kentucky put on a show. The Wildcats got back on track on both sides of the ball, beating Kent State 47-14 in the home opener.
-The emergence of WR Aaron Boyd is something no one around the Kentucky football program expected. He has become the go-to-guy for QB Max Smith, and a favorite of OC Randy Sanders’ play calls. Boyd finished the night with a stat line of 11 catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. A pretty good night for a kid with only had 6 catches for 51 yards in his career coming into this game. Boyd has pretty much solidified himself as a starter for the rest of the season, and could put up big numbers going forward.
–WR Demarcus Sweat could be something special as well. His touchdown catch was a very impressive play and set up him seeing a lot more playing time. WR Gene McCaskill also found the end zone on a eighteen yard pass from Smith, reiterating the depth at wideout. With so many receivers showing up in a positive way, the never-ending change at starter is sure to be… well, never ending.
–QB Maxwell Smith had a pretty amazing stat line. Smith went 30 for 39, 354 yards and 4 touchdowns. The offense struggled a little in the first half, but eventually got it going. There definitely are some kinks that need to be worked out before SEC play begins, but things are looking up.
–CB Martavius Neloms should be playing safety. The hit he put on a Kent State wide receiver was unfair.
-To begin the game, DE Taylor Wyndham replaced LB Bud Dupree at the hybrid DE/Linebacker spot and Dupree moved to the revolving weakside linebacker position. That says a couple of things:
1.The coaches see the WLB position as the Achilles heel of the defense. Neither Malcolm McDuffen or Tyler Brause is going give the defense quality minutes, and Dupree’s versatility allows him to play almost anywhere in the defense.
2. Wyndham isn’t getting as many minutes as he deserves. He’s a senior, has some experience, and rushing the passer is what he’s done for his entire career. You have to work with the personnel you have and that’s what Minter is doing.
3.The defense is going to start playing more four-down lines than the base three-down. It helps stop the run, and you don’t have to rely as much on the linebackers, who have been a liability.
-Regardless of where people played, the defense played better as a whole. The run defense still suffered though, giving up 182 yards to Kent State’s backs. On the flip side, Kentucky’s defensive backfield put on a pretty solid performance. Besides that forced fumble by Neloms, the group didn’t allow a passing touchdown.
-Along with Savannah State, Kentucky’s offensive play calling in critical situations has to be the worst in the country. The Morgan Newton option call on fourth and one sticks out the most. It was an awful call. Just terrible. I don’t know how much of a hand Joker has in the play-calling but he and Sanders need to figure out some better calls in those type of situations.
-The RB Corps is the deepest position on this football team. Even without CoShik Williams and Josh Clemons, the group had tremendous success against Kent State’s defense. Both Jonathan George and Raymond Sanders found the end zone, and combined for 178 yards.
-Phillips says that QB Morgan Newton will continue to be the backup quarterback, but will still be involved in the offense in different ways. Newton played Wildcat QB and H-Back in tonight’s game.
-You can stop holding out hope that QB Patrick Towles will play this season. Phillips announces he will redshirt the freshman.
-P Landon Foster is a beast. This is Punter University… in case you forgot.
-Cool moment after the game. Coach Phillips named seven-year-old Hunter Jarvis as an honorary assistant coach. Jarvis’ dream is to be an assistant football coach for Kentucky Football, and today he was given a chance. Jarvis was born with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes his bones to break and not be able to heal. Phillips has had Jarvis with him the entire day today, and even gave him the game ball. Great job, Coach.
Good night, and Go Cats.