It wasn’t a pretty game. Are there every pretty games in the Rich Brooks era? It wasn’t an exciting game. More than likely, an exciting game would have erred on the side of EKU keeping things close. It wasn’t a closely-watched game, as lots of fans in Commonwealth Stadium didn’t come back after halftime.
But it was still a game. A game where youth found a lot of playing time and helped lead the Wildcats to a 37-12 victory.
I missed the first half due to kids-in-soccer-games obligations. Matt told me I didn’t miss much. Anyway, a few points and we’ll move on:
* Time for your Rockin’ Injury Update, with Coach Brooks post-game:
“Ross Bogue did hyper-extend his knee, but he did come back in and play. Taylor Wyndham got a shoulder. Sam Maxwell sprained his thumb. Trevard Lindley tweaked his knee and did not play in the second half. Paul Warford tweaked his quad in the late third quarter and we held him out after that. Randall Cobb sprained his thumb in Thursday’s practice. We didn’t think it was that bad, but it just kept getting sore and he couldn’t move it. We tried a splint on it before the game, but he couldn’t function with it. We tried to put the cast on it, to be able to play in. But, that would obviously make it pretty hard to catch punts and kickoffs, catch balls and take snaps from under center with a cast on your hand. So, we’ll just have to see how that settles down in the next three to four days. It doesn’t appear to be serious because we did x-ray it and there are no broken bones so, that means it is a pretty bad sprain or jammed his thumb.”
Hopefully Lindley and Maxwell won’t lose significant time. We need them all for the rest of the SEC scehdule.
* Also mentioned at the post-game press conference is that Hartline will practice this forthcoming week, and may start on Saturday. Pawpaw jokingly screamed, “QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY!” If I may assert, I believe Coach Brooks is begging the crazy guys to call in to the local Lexington radio shows and start debating furiously over which QB should start. Chris Cross is probably already salivating.
* Speaking of quarterbacks, Morgan Newton was 20 of 29 passing attempts for 187 yards and threw for 2 touchdowns. In the snaps that I watched, Newton seemed fairly poised and well-protected in the pocket. Newton’s great read on EKU’s defensive offsides penalty shows that he’s developing. But Newton’s TD pass to Chris Matthews would have been INT material in the SEC. On the non-throwing side of quarterbacking, Newton ran 6 times for 5 net yards.
* Speaking of running, 8 different Wildcat (2 quarterbacks) players ran the ball today. True freshman RB Donald Russell had the flashiest run; a 79-yard blast that had Larry Vaught sparkling in both eyes. Junior RB Moncell Allen and Senior RB Alfonso Smith shouldered most of the carries, combining for 122 yards and scoring a TD each.
* La’Rod King continues to improve his play, ending today with 4 catches for 41 yards. La’Rod changed his position due to Cobb’s injury. La’Rod said after the game, “When Randall [Cobb] couldn’t play the coaches asked me to step up and change positions. I was willing to help the team and make plays. That’s why they recruited me, to make plays.“
Time to bust out a Mike Rutherford-ism: It’s nice to be able to say, “Fear the Apostrophe” again.
* Between King, Matthews (who had 7 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown), McCaskill (4 catches for 33 yards) and Cobb (DNP: Installation of Mega Buster), Kentucky’s WR corps is going to be fun to watch the next 2 years.
* Oh, Matthew:
Maybe if you weren’t staring at her you might have Tweeted correctly.
* 50 Wildcats participated in this game. Not playing: DeAndre Liggins (coach’s decision).
* UK Defense snagged 2 interceptions (Maxwell and Cartier Rice), allowed only 264 total yards of offense and 14 first downs. Then again, they were playing EKU.
It was a game they were supposed to win. Alright, done. Now hell awaits in Nashville.