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Defending Kentucky’s Octareturn

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Let me just say I’m a fan of Kentucky’s eight-man punt return for several reasons.

Is it unconventional? Yes. Very much so. But Bill Walsh was unconventional when he introduced the West Coast offense. And then he won three Super Bowls.

Let me explain:

First and foremost, it gives three players a much-needed rest in the closing minutes of a tight ballgame. By using only eight guys on the return — as opposed to the 11 traditionally used on, you know, every play in a football game — it allows three additional men to catch a breather and a swig of water on the sideline. That can be the difference in an extra burst of speed or effort, or cramp prevention, later in the game. Stoops was simply looking out for his team and planning ahead.

Second, it tells Auburn they’re weak. It sends a message of superiority and dominance. Playing outmanned says, “We don’t need 11-on-11, we’re fine with the eight we have right here. Kick that thing, bitch.” I imagine that’s what was running through Stoops’ mind at the time.

And then there’s the confusion aspect. Auburn players are looking at each other, wondering why Kentucky has only eight men on the field. They’re fluster. Discombobulated. Now they’re vulnerable to attack. While it’s a ballsy call by Stoops, it’s an aggressive one. Mindf*** the opponent and then pounce when they’re on their heels.

Unfortunately, Kentucky did not field the punt. Not this time, at least. But I don’t think it’s the last time we see Stoops new octareturn.

Change the game!


(But seriously, what were they doing?!)

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

36 Comments for Defending Kentucky’s Octareturn

  1. Dodgebal
    12:09 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Bold move, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off….

  2. Innovative
    12:14 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Just trying to show Coach Cal that you can play at 72.72% of your potential and then fail when you do it. I guess we will see the Norman Dale approach on the basketball court (4 on 5) as well??????????

  3. The Hanson Brothers
    12:20 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Nailing them in the mind

  4. why
    12:25 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    this is one of the worst posts ive read in the history of this website. not funny. hardly original. poor effort

    • Get off my lawn
      12:27 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Don’t ask why, ask #WhyNot

    • mind***
      12:30 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      This is one of the worst comments I’ve read in the history of the internet. Very grumpy. hardly original. 15-second-pitino level of effort

    • Cal's Cats
      12:52 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      I disagree, I rarely find anything on here worthy of literally laughing out loud, not just “lol” which is actually used incorrectly by most sense most people don’t actually laugh out loud when stating “lol”. so it’s a bold face lie.

      Maybe if this was the day after a basketball loss which would take me a good week/month, never to get over would I not find any humor in anything pertaining to the event. We should be quite used to losses by now when it comes to football. If your not, you must be new. Welcome to BBN!

    • Le Docteur
      1:07 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Yep. THIS was worth reading. VERY funny. Well done.

  5. Fail safe plan
    12:31 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    “But seriously, what were they doing?” That would have been a good question to ask when Stoops chose not to hire a Special Teams coordinator. Seeing our coaches yell at each other like 3rd graders fighting on the playground is what happens when NO ONE is made responsible for the crucial special teams unit. It’s 1/3 of the game and we have failed to excel at it. Fair catches at the 2 yard line, 8 players on the field for a punt return, failure to down punts inside the 10 yard line…..Stoops please hire a Special Teams coordinator. It’s getting embarrassing.

    • RUPPS_rhetoric
      12:42 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Have to imagine they make this hire in the off-season. This is all part of the learning curve we are going through with Stoops as a head coach. I love Stoops and think he is guy; but he’s also in his 3rd year ever as a head coach. He’s learning on the job. They’ll get it cleaned up.

    • BlueRedneck
      12:42 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Agree! Backward Hat Guy would be better than coaching by committee.

    • inside info2
      2:05 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Seriously guys, they used the budget on a special teams coach for raises for Stoops and Marrow. I doubt there will be any raises after this season though so maybe they will hire one before next season.

  6. Ha!
    12:33 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Very likely we will be 4-5 after the Georgia game, but I am very optimistic we can finish 3-0. We need to jump on loserville like Courtney Hessler jumps on pulled pork cheese fries

    • Ha!
      2:11 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      2-3, fucc boi. 😉


  7. whatever
    12:34 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    This isn’t humorous. When we as a “fan base” look to publicly demoralize, we’ve completely lost the point of the blog. If your support for a team is lost so quickly and so thoroughly, then just don’t write. Trying to be funny through humiliation, surely, isn’t the answer.

    • Cat man
      12:50 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Take it for what it was meant for, some humor in light of losing another close game, i bet you’re one of those that believes in participation trophies aren’t you? Well, you might get your wish, we may get a participation bowl game this year, since 80 teams are invited i’m sure we can get one for just being a team…

    • BigBlueZ
      1:17 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      You must have missed the “most ridiculous manner possible” part of the website banner…

  8. Mc
    12:42 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    This may sound crazy, but why not just leave the punt returner out there? 1 vs. 11 and no fair catches allowed. Bring it.

  9. BlueRedneck
    12:45 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Damn, some of you need to get a sense of humor. I’m as pissed about the loss as anyone, but I thought it was a pretty funny post. The coaching staff has no excuses for that one. They were unprepared, and they did that clusterf**k on national TV. They deserve to catch some hell about it. We were damned lucky Auburn did not run a fake punt and run it in for a TD.

    • There's8ofusandwe'refine
      12:59 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Well said.
      That was one of the most bonehead moves I’ve ever seen in a Div.1 football game. They should be embarrassed by it.

  10. Jota
    12:54 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    No one wanted that win more then me, been bummed all day, listened to 8 hours of football talk yesterday. @DrewFranklinKSR your the goat on great post.

  11. The Professor
    12:55 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    I fully back Coach Stoops but there were too many sidelines blunders last night. The suspect play calling has played into both losses and it is glaringly apparent that we have no special teams coach,

  12. cletus
    1:02 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    probably because y’all doin that KY math…inbred losers.

    • The Ghetto
      1:13 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      You can take the man out of the Louisville ghettos, but you can’t take the ghetto out of his typing…

    • UofLol
      1:15 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      ….and you can’t take the Louisville basketball player out of his escort!

    • NavyCat
      1:31 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Louisville fans don’t know if they’re inbred or not since most don’t know who their daddy’s are anyway…some “John” on a long list of customers.

  13. Blue Manchu
    1:17 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    I think a better question has to be, what the hell was auburn thinking???? You have a yard to get, and it’s 11 on 8 and you go ahead and punt the ball and give us a chance to win???

    • glenn
      1:44 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      So True!

  14. Jon Osborne
    1:27 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    funny stuff, Drew.

  15. Roger
    1:28 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    I hate to read all the comments about how it’s the same old Kentucky Football. In years past we could line 16 people up and get beat like a teenagers pud when he discovered his first Playboy magazine.

    Now by gosh we are so damn good we line 8 up in order to make the opposing team feel like they have a chance.

    With the modern game changing so fast, I expect next year we will line Elam up all alone and he’ll just yell boo or something and the other team will crap themselves.

    Why Not!!

  16. android guy
    1:35 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    What really happened is they had way more than 11 out there first, and they frantically rushed to get off the field before they got a penalty. The result was only 8 on the field, but it still was better than 12 and a penalty that would have kept the ball with Auburn.

  17. GatorCat
    1:42 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    It really was better than a 12 man penalty and AU first down….though did not matter in the end. Still, it does give me a reason to find my “Got 8” basketball t-shirt.

  18. androidguy is a horrible name
    1:44 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    this is awesome if you dont like it you should go read the herald leader or something. insightful posts about Xs and Os are boring, this is not. Go Drew, Go Cats.

  19. BKisler
    2:04 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    I was stunned that the Auburn punt team wasn’t smart enough to just snap the ball and have punter run for the first down and no let us even have a chance to tie the game. Probably would have scored.

  20. BCC
    7:00 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Drew, this may be one of your best. I was LOLing for real. Good job!

  21. Blasphemy
    12:14 am October 17, 2015 Permalink

    It’s the last game of the year, Brent. You can’t hold back now.