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Five Takeaways from the 2019 Football Season (and then some)

Well, hello there. I’m back.

I’m both excited and nervous about rejoining the Kentucky Sports Radio team. Tyler told me that banging out a blog post would be as easy as getting back on a bicycle. She’s kinda right, but please bear with me as I am in preseason form.

I love the University of Kentucky. Always have, always will. I’ve missed writing on the site and The Depth Chart Podcast, but most of all, I’ve missed interacting with the Big Blue Nation, which has yet again proved to be the best fanbase in collegiate athletics.

Here’s how it all went down: I texted Matt during the Governor’s Cup and told him that I wanted to get back in the game. He graciously agreed. We spoke yesterday and here we are. I’ll be playing catch up to provide analysis for December’s National Signing Day and the bowl game before settling back into the KSR podcast rotation.

This season has been fun to watch from afar. I caught most of the games between traveling soccer matches but haven’t studied analytics or statistics like I have in previous years. With that said, here are my five takeaways from the 2019 season:

1. 2019 is Mark Stoops’ best work to date. Despite Terry Wilson’s injury and losing all-time greats, the Cats are 7-5, retained the Governor’s Cup in convincing fashion, and have made bowl games an annual tradition. The season could have easily come unhinged after a 2-3 start and questions at the quarterback position; however, Stoops and Eddie Gran never wavered from their plan and righted the offensive ship by completely overhauling the Wildcats’ scheme to churn out an SEC-best 274 rushing yards per game.

2. Defensive coordinator Brad White is a rising star. White took over for Matt House minus a complete secondary and an all-timer in Josh Allen. Add in Davonte Robinson’s injury and the absence of defensive tackle Phil Hoskins and the odds were stacked against the first-time play caller. He delivered, and did so in an extraordinary manner. Kentucky actually improved its total defense by allowing 16 fewer yards per game.

3. Lynn Bowden was the nation’s most dynamic player in the last quarter of the season. If he doesn’t win The Hornung Award…well, the trophy should be permanently trashed in a bucket full of wadded up fan votes. Bowden was a leader. He talked the talk, then walked the walk. Respect.

4. Guard Logan Stenberg is one of UK’s top five offensive guards that I’ve seen play in person and now joins the ranks of Dermontti Dawson, Todd Perry, Joel Mazzella, and Larry Warford. Lynn Bowden will be missed. So will Logan Stenberg. The former three-star recruit is yet another example of Stoops’ ability to evaluate and develop top-level personnel as Kentucky was his only Power 5 offer. *Please note that Bunchy Stallings is in this category but his place in UK history will be addressed in a future post.

5. The Big Dog is eating. Vince Marrow’s post-Governor’s Cup remarks were deadly accurate. I paraphrase, ‘At some point, you got to play the game.’ Vince is on the road and in the air fresh off a rivalry win. 2020 is setting up to be Kentucky’s best class in modern history.

BONUS: The Kentucky staff is the best collection of coaches in 50 years. Yes, I said it. Yes, I meant it. Collectively, this group recruits and develops better than any that I have witnessed or been a part of in the program’s history. More on that to follow.

BONUS II: Max Duffy is the best punter in the nation.

BONUS III: Defensive lineman Calvin Taylor finished 2nd in the SEC with 7.5 quarterback sacks. Taylor was a zero, or two-star at best, prospect. The Southeastern Conference QB Sack category is historically a coveted measurement, much like the rushing yards champion was in conference history. Amazing.

BONUS IV: I should have listed ten observations, but I promise this is the last point I’ll make. Eighteen-plus returning starters, redshirting the entire 2019 class, and the return of Terry Wilson gives the BBN a great deal to be excited about. I’m honored to go along on this journey with you. Let’s ride.

Thanks for taking the time to reading this post. I can’t wait to dust off the cobwebs and get back to work. Go Cats!

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

29 Comments for Five Takeaways from the 2019 Football Season (and then some)

  1. Realme
    12:09 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    WELCOME BACK FREDDIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Chacosrule
    12:23 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    Glad to have you back, sir.

  3. kjd
    12:29 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    Welcome back!!!!! Looking forward to your commentary.

  4. J-Dub421
    12:41 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    Yaaasss!!! To all of this. Welcome back, Freddie.

  5. StillBP
    12:49 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    Glad to have you back! Off to a good start!

      1:56 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

      Im pumped!! WELCOME BACK FREDDIE MY DUDE!!!!

  6. Shagaris Sock Puppet
    12:58 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    Love to hear your analysis and insight Freddie, glad to have you back on KSR!! You have a great football mind.

  7. KMcKinnon29
    1:41 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    Truly delighted to have you back, Freddie.

  8. not
    2:15 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    Welcome back!!!!!!!

  9. secrick
    3:14 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    Welcome back Freddie, you got me fired up again.

  10. oldfanallin
    3:42 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    Stoops finds his heart, Matt resigns, Freddie comes back. I’m in forever.

  11. BCO
    3:42 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    Awesome stuff Freddie. Your football stuff has consistently been my favorite part of this site.

  12. oldfanallin
    3:44 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    The best part of football is Freddie, the clear voice above the noise.

  13. cats646
    4:09 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    Welcome back Freddie!!

  14. Scootercat
    4:40 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    It’s great to have you and your football knowledge back Freddie

  15. notFromhere
    4:47 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    We can’t wait either Freddie! Been lonely for your kinda football content round here

  16. antiquefurnitureandmidgets
    10:09 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

    Thank goodness. Someone with credibility to dispel the abject ignorance and/or stupidity of Stoops detractors. It’s okay to say he doesn’t do everything right. What coach does? But to not recognize what he’s accomplishing here is at best clueless, and at worst simple trolling. It’s enough already.

    • Collie
      11:43 pm December 3, 2019 Permalink

      Antiquefuriture. Do you have any step stools? Asking for a little friend.

  17. 206Bones
    5:51 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Please Freddie take Matt and Ryan’s minutes.

  18. CatfaninCinci
    5:56 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Fred-Ex delivers! Without fail… Welcome back!

  19. Redeye
    7:47 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Great Analysis as always!

  20. ClutchCargo
    8:40 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Great news, and just in time for Signing Day!!!

  21. zoupman
    8:53 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Great great read from the guy who said incoming freshmen Josh Allen could be a star. You know the game.
    With the exception of the coaches playing Sawyer hurt to the point he was ineffective, I couldn’t be more pleased with the job they did.

  22. UKCatAttack
    9:20 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Welcome back!

  23. makeitstop
    9:38 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Welcome back Freddie! Now that the gamesmanship is over, can u provide some insight into why we didn’t see – and will we w we see – Xavier Peters; what was so wrong w Woods that when Smith clearly couldn’t go, we didn’t go to him; and are golf clubs still a safe bet for our bowl trip? Oh, and what’s the chances Phil Hoskins gets a 6th year?

    • Corder
      10:09 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

      I don’t think Woods was ready or knew the play book enough to even give us a chance to win some of these games. I think the staff made a choice and new if they put Woods in their most dynamic playmaker was not going to get the ball enough this year to make and impact. All in all I feel they made the right choice going with Bowden and not sure why we even have questions about Woods. If this staff felt comfortable with Woods they would have played him. Also the staff had already talked in the spring about Bowden getting snaps at QB.

  24. BLUEDOUG65
    10:24 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Was bummed when you left and very happy you are back

  25. fairplay
    10:54 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Make he mountains proud, son.

  26. Dustin Rumbaugh
    11:56 am December 4, 2019 Permalink

    Perfect timing for your comeback. Glad to have you back. You make football make sense to me and that’s tough to do. Absolutely great analysis.