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Wildcats rebound against Golden Flashes

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.

(h/t @RoushKSR)

Good night, and Go Cats.

Article written by Rashawn Franklin

50 Comments for Wildcats rebound against Golden Flashes

  1. mashburnfan1
    12:02 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    If the Oline can make huge improvements to give the rb’s and qb a chance in SEC play we may compete. May not win but should compete of course that is a big IF. The D will struggle alot so the O has to keep us in SEC games. Still a needed and good win.

  2. Jj
    12:10 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    No 7 blaylock needs some more pt

  3. 3IfItGoes
    12:12 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Regardless of what anyone thinks of Coach Phillips or the state of the program, Joker deserves credit for the time he spent with Hunter Jarvis.

  4. Thanks Guys
    12:16 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    please vote for my cousins picture… this is the last round and she is currently winning thanks to you guys but i know the BBN can keep it from even being close… vote for the middle picture.Middle: Leigh, Olivier, Stewart
    she is a huge UK fan please help her win BBN


  5. Blue Jesus
    12:35 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    His dream is to be assistant head coach?

  6. Mr Saturday Pants
    12:47 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    From the “For What It’s Worth” file, UK football coaches’ records through 27 games since 1973:

    Hal Mumme: 14-13
    Joker Philips: 12-15
    Fran Curci: 12-14-1
    Guy Morriss: 9-14
    Jerry Claiborne: 9-16-2
    Bill Curry: 10-17
    Rich Brooks: 7-20

    In the long run, the best in that group were Brooks (last) and Claiborne (3rd from last).

    For comparison’s sake, Bear Bryant’s record after 27 games was 18-9. Because he was the motherlovin’ Bear.

  7. Donald
    12:52 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    To reiterate what the guy above me just said. I think it’s fair to assume we need to get off jokers back and let him do what needs to be done. We have some talent granted young players so clearly he’s getting the right group of guys together he just needs the time. Our offense is the best ive seem since Andre Woodson and if you will remember that was a team loaded with seniors this team isn’t. That says a lot about the recruiting job joker is doing going forward. We are lacking on defense, yes but give these guys a year and see what they can do.

  8. jeremy
    1:02 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    You know If my piece of crap boss would actually work a Saturday I’d definitely go. My wife doesn’t know anything about football so what better way to explain than to show live.

  9. Kool-Aid_Drinker
    1:21 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah everybody get off Joker’s back. He is the best coach ever!!! Just wait until SEC play begins and he will really show you how good he is!!!

  10. Still da best
    1:27 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    It was Kent st not bama

  11. BPinTennessee
    1:35 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Stuff like spending the day with that kid is why I really want things to work out for Joker. If nothing else, the SEC E (and now Arkansas) certainly ain’t world beaters. Hopefully our coaches starting to figure some things out schematically that will allow us to be only poor against the run and not historically bad. I’m still waiting to render judgment until we get into conference play.

  12. kittylitter
    1:39 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    UK beats up on a team picked to finish near the bottom in the MAC and we’re supposed to get excited about it? Please. 3-9, people. If the Lord is merciful, 4-8.

  13. slford00
    2:14 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Something doesn’t make sense about the Hunter’s story. Neurofibromatosis doesn’t cause your bones to break and not be able to heal–that’s Osteogenesis Imperfecta (like the Samuel L. Jackson character in the movie Unbreakable). Neurofibromatosis causes you to have lots of bumps in your skin (fibromas), tiny tumors in your nerves, and large birthmarks (“cafe au lait spots”). Yet in the WKYT article he clearly is quoted talking about having bone fractures. I dunno, maybe I misread something..

  14. JBR
    2:49 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    #3, agreed. I am fiercely opposed to Joker being our coach for his COACHING ABILITY…but he is a good guy, and kudos to him for what he did with the kid…

    Now to reality in football…KSR is all giddy about us playing ONE good half of football against a low level MAC team…let’s review…how did everyone feel about this game at the half? Go back and look at how many times Matt Jones said it was going to be a long season on the live blog…Joker has always started slow in games…what would the score had been at the half if we played like that against, say, Vandy?

  15. UKBlue
    3:55 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    UK football is a business that brings in a lot of money that supports the entire athletic department. Thank freaking God we are part of the 2nd best soon to be best TV contract once it’s renegotiated because if we weren’t, UK as a whole would be hurting. A big part of revenue that is counted on is received from season ticket sales, as we all know season ticket sales took a huge hit; Mitch has to try making up that loss of revenue from somewhere else, where I have no idea. All of this happening at the same time the state is dramatically cutting budgets to UK.

    A person in Joker position is measured by results on the field, confidence in fans towards him, and how he runs the program. Joker was part of Brooks system, he already knew the players coming in, he help recruit those players, and it wasn’t like coach Brooks left the cupboard bare. It’s always harder to go backwards once you’ve experienced the feeling of being in a better position: UK fans finally believed & bought into thinking maybe finally UK was going to be better or at least consistent in football, but Joker has done nothing but disappoint. A lot of this anger is fans being pissed at themselves for getting their hopes up in the first place & then being proven right about the fear in the back of their heads. Joker has damaged the belief of fans so bad, unless by some miracle of God, there is no fixing it. Winning is the best medicine for everything, and Joker hasn’t & isn’t going to cut it, and to think other wise you have to be in denial.

    Being a UK football fan is a lot like being a UL fan; you have to constantly lie to yourself & have hope that it’s going to get better in order to survive it, when you really already know going into it every year you’ll end up disappointed at the end of the season.

    When it comes to football, for whatever reason, UK consistently for years has made the wrong decisions. If UK would have only given Bear whatever he wanted, all these arguments over the years would be irrelevant.

  16. jill's a dumbazz
    4:23 am September 9, 2012 Permalink


  17. ebell55
    6:28 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    I get so sick and tired of the Bear Bryant talk. I respect the Bear but the SEC and college football as a whole was different back then when he was at UK there wasn’t 1 black man playing football in the SEC!!! Joker is getting better talent that UK has ever seen and before you bash his record this is during a time when the SEC has dominated college football. Joker has done somethings that I can’t defend like punting at UT his first year and thinking that Newton is a good DESIGNED running QB. However he made the right call starting Hartline and Max Smith this year. We lost Cobb Hartline Locke and Mathewes after his first year and the offense took a nose dive. We lost the SEC # 1&2 leading tacklers in DT and Guy so the defense has regressed but I like the adjustments made by putting Dupree at the Will and taking Brause off the field. In the long run for the best sake of the program the fans need to get behind Joker and stop hurting the program and recruiting!! Joker is the only person who wants this job that can go into the living rooms of kids in Ga Fl and SC and get the talent we need to compete in this league!! The one thing we as fans can do to help is show up to the Damn game and support our boys!!!

  18. Bledsoe's Biceps
    6:34 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    I think 16 sums it up very well. And to clarify the lost revenue – Mitch raised the price of basketball tickets to help offset the lost revenue from f’ball tickets.

  19. MacGruber
    7:22 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Glad we are redshirting Towles. I think Smith has the position locked up and you need to get some class space between the two guys.

  20. Charwee Twong
    7:27 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Joker is a good guy.

  21. Joe
    7:49 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    48,000 – ha,ha. Next week there may be a few more after this win, and the fact that the Western fans will attend. Wait until the see the stadium after we lose to a few SEC teams.

  22. dennis
    7:56 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Mad Max is the real deal and the receivers are making good catches which equals points on the board. The downside is Kent St. just sucks and UK should have had 2 more scores in the 1st half but moronic play calls killed that. Sorry but Newton is a big slow downside on offense and needs to be relegated to maybe a fullback blocker position as he has no other upside I can see.
    Cats have 1 more till SEC play starts and lots of work to do on defense to stop the run and close up passing holes that even a bad Kent St. found way too often.

  23. Bpm
    7:58 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    That freshman in the secondary, number 15, played a real good game.

  24. SevenT
    8:04 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    400+ yards of offence


  25. HackRichards
    8:09 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    We should enjoy this week and next…it’s a long time ’til the 11th game.

  26. Things are looking up!
    8:11 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    After this awesome win I am predicting that the era of ill-prepared, unmotivated performances are officially over!

  27. SexnNursinHomes
    8:17 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Someone get Pat Washington a raise. Receivers are doing a great job so far this year. Also helps that Smith is progressing nicely.

  28. stan
    8:23 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    now were ready , bring on the SEC………

  29. barn
    8:24 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    18—good point. i don’t believe there were any ugandans or chinamen playing in the sec when the bear was here either. i could be wrong.

  30. one ball man
    8:38 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Jim trussel is available …..just saying

  31. Jed Bartlet
    8:40 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Keep it moving Joker! Offense looked strong again. Everyone knew the defense would struggle, so I don’t know why it seems to be such a surprise. All in all, I think they are ahead of expectations. Opponent was weak, but we didn’t put a beatdown on ANYBODY last year. Improvement is what we’re looking for, and playing the young guys is the key. Haters gonna hate. I see people hate on Cal on here, so I’m assuming any haters are actually UL fans trolling.

  32. Jed Bartlet
    8:41 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Jim Trussel…Bobby Petrino…Mike Leach…PLEASE people. If you’re going to choose potential replacements, try to do better than that. smh…..

  33. stuart
    8:44 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Hunter Jarvis made a couple of those stupid 4th down play calls. He needs to go!

  34. markp
    8:45 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    7. Difference between those coaches and Joker is that Joker was given the healthiest program in our history, minus the person taking over for Bear Bryant. That stat is stupid. Quit making a case for him. He sucks.

    33. Jim Trussel would get eaten alive in the SEC with a weak school, in football, like UK. Bobby Petrino should be their priority and Mike Leach next.

  35. Ares
    8:49 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    I said after last week I would wait and let the season play itself out. I will stick by the cats throughout and I agree with Matt that the decision to keep or let go will be clear in November.

  36. shields eyes
    8:51 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Guys, Jim Tressel has to “show cause” in order to get a job. Which means he will not be getting a job.

  37. Paul
    9:07 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    ebell55, I agree with you on everything you said. This team will improve as the year goes on and just maybe MAYBE (that is for the non-belivers) in this team UK wins the games needed to go to a bowl game. We all as FANS OF UK SPORTS NEED TO GET OUT AND SUPPORT THE GUYS THAT PLAY ON THE FIELD EVERYDAY. Did any of you see the news from yesterday the player from Tulane the broke his neck playing for his school and puttin it all on the field for them, much like the kids here at UK are doing everyday.

  38. Bulldawg
    9:10 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    ok people, I know my comment won’t change anything but you guys really need to lay off of Morgan Newton!! To say he struggled last year could be considered as going easy on him, but I wonder how his stats would have looked had the recievers not dropped a ton of catchable balls?? Some were perfect throws that could have gone for touchdowns!! I am not saying Newton is/or was a world beater but the whole offense sucked last year, not just Newton. To those of you into conspiricy theories, ponder this…Tee Martin knew he was leaving and did not help the recievers like he should have. He is a UT guy. Maybe he was the problem. Maybe he couldn’t coach recievers since he played QB? I don’t know if any of that is true but one thing is for sure, the receivers definitely dropped a ton of balls last year. It was not ALL Newton’s fault. Don’t forget how poorly the highly touted offensive line played either. just sayin’

  39. Dano
    9:39 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    I was at the game and was not impressed at all. You would think the O and D lines would come out firing. But, they started out awful. Getting pushed around by a MAC bottom feeder. If the D was running a “simplified” package we are seriously in trouble the rest of the year. The last 125 yds they put up were in garbage time, but they racked up 275 through the first 2 1/4 quarters.

  40. gr8ness
    9:48 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Just wanted to address the low attendance, I gave up my season tickets after UK pushed city of Lexington parking laws. Notice when new law went into effect our parking pass went from $26 to $42 / game.
    The lot was being
    over sold and we were reduced to a smaller space. The great SEC schools allow their fans to bring in campers to tail gate. UK has a waiting list to park in the RV lot.
    I know it sounds stupid to give up 23yrs. Of football over a DAMN parking pass, but man it felt good to stick it to athletic dept after they tried to stick it to me.

  41. IrishPokerDog
    10:05 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t know if the blogger was exercising hyperbole in stating this was the lowest attended game since Commonwealth opened in ’73, but that is nowhere close to truth. In 1996, there were 4 games with worse attendance including a game with Miss State with 26,500

  42. njCat
    10:34 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Common… which one of those other coaches took over a program that had gone to 4 straight bowl games and had a schedule w/ 3 automatic wins on it. I give Joker ZERO credit for beating teams like Kent State. Whats his schedule against BCS teams? Bet its about the same as Curry’s. Also, his teams often look completely lost out there against decent competition – much like Curry’s. Joker rivals Curry and Ray as worst to ever coach the cats.

    But does seem like a very nice guy… kinda like Bill Curry. lol

  43. Al's IndiCats
    10:59 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Ok Kent St, not exactly a world beater, but why would you show the rest of the players (poker analogy) your way of playing after only two hands? You wait until the pot’s pretty full before you really show your hands. Remember folks we were favored only by 7 and won by over 30. What this team should do is to remember what WKU said after the game last year….”An they’re supposed to be SEC football.” We beat them in every sense of the word, except the scoreboard. Bitch all you want, if that makes you feel better. I’m all for it. I hate it that we’re being labeled the door mat of the SEC, we’ll win our share of games this year, and maybe surprise a few SEC teams, look what La. Monroe did to Arkansas, and Miss. St. did to Auburn.

  44. markp
    11:49 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    10 more games of the Joker era!

  45. CATS
    11:54 am September 9, 2012 Permalink

    How in the world does an SEC team allow the game to be that close? Kent State is beyond horrible and they had a chance after the first half. We are an embarrassment to SEC football and WKU will probably beat us next week. And Matt Jones, you need a gym and a tanning bed. In that order.

  46. Defense
    12:01 pm September 9, 2012 Permalink

    Rashawn, how can you say the defense was improved? They were consistently gashed and gave up almost 200 yards of rushing to a team that had an abysmal offense. To a team that couldn’t complete a pass if there weren’t any defense on the field. Do you honestly think if we were playing Louisville again this week they wouldn’t have run the ball up and down the field again?

    The drive to start the second half was putrid. They ran it right down our face. The offense will be acceptable this year and I honestly think they are 1 year away from being very good. But to not be able to line up and get 1 yard on 4 different occassions agains a doormat MAC school(Morgan Newton and the goal line stand) is embarrassing.

    Don’t kid yourself, Florida will run for as many yards as they want. We should beat WKU then I see FLA 49 – 14

  47. Big O
    12:59 pm September 9, 2012 Permalink

    I can’t believe Towles is very happy about redshirting at UK. I’ll bet he could have went to a better program and done the same. Just don’t trust Joker’s evalution of talent. Towles is flat out a winner!

  48. Chris
    1:47 pm September 9, 2012 Permalink

    #42 he said it was the lowest attended home opener in commonwealth stadium history since it opened

  49. REALLY???
    7:35 pm September 9, 2012 Permalink

    #49 – Actually he DID say it was the lowest attended game….he may have meant what you said, but he didn’t write that. This game had plenty of fans….I know, I was there and was pretty shocked at how many there were. The bottom was full and the top was almost half full.