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Kentucky/Auburn: Expectations vs. Frustration

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UK Athletics

Rewind to 2013 and relive the Nashville inferno and the reality that surfaced upon kick-off. Kentucky had damning personnel deficiencies and finished the season at 2-10. In that same season, Auburn played Florida State in the BCS National Championship Game. It finished 13-2.

Fast forward to Thursday night. Personnel wise, the playing field was even. The end result, frustrating: Auburn 30, Kentucky 27. The Cats lost a game that many felt it should have won. It didn’t. Does this emotion (frustration) describe the BBN’s mismanagement of expectation? Somewhat, thus fan frustration is virtuous. Was it realistic for the BBN to expect to beat a team that’s two years removed from playing for the Crystal Ball? Absolutely. By my definition, it can be described as progress.

Kentucky is 4-2 with a challenging three game stretch at Mississippi State, Tennessee, and at Georgia. But should we pause to appreciate the four wins or bemoan the two losses? Somewhere in the middle lies reality. There’s no way to sugar-coat the game’s result. Kentucky let one slip through their fingers, both literally and figuratively.

Opportunities like the one that presented itself on Thursday don’t come around very often. When it surfaces; Kentucky must pounce. A Kentucky victory would have disrupted SEC hierarchy. A lasting image would have been created by defeating the Auburn brand. Thursday was proof that preseason polls are meaningless projections. Give Auburn credit for the win and for making plays when it needed to do so. However, Auburn is not a Top 10 team as depicted in mid-July. The Tigers are much like Kentucky, an average SEC football team. Progress or point of frustration? Depends on your outlook.

Enough philosophy, let’s look at the numbers and factors that led to outcome:

FIRST HALF

SCORE: Auburn 23, Kentucky 10

First Downs: AU 15, UK 9

Total Yards: AU 48 plays 297 yards, UK 31 plays resulting in 240 yards.

Passing: Sean White, 12-18 186 yards. Patrick Towles, 10-18 for 161 yards and 1 INT.

Kick-off Return Yards: AU 3 for 72 yards. UK 1 for 18 yards.

Punt Yards Average: AU 37, UK 33.5

Time of Possession: AU 17:06, UK 12:54

3rd Down Conversions: AU 8/11, UK 3/6

Simply stated, the first half was a good ole fashioned butt whoopin’. Unexplainably, Auburn’s supposed weakness became its strength. Freshman QB Sean White unexpectedly shredded the Wildcat defense. Even more troubling, the Tigers converted 72.7% on third down. UK’s pass rush was all but absent. On more than one occasion, White had five seconds to pick and choose his target. Combine the lack of pass rush with an apparent overabundance of cushion in the secondary, and the result was Tiger domination.

AU’s tempo led to UK substitution glitches. This factor was at least expected. But many, including me, anticipated Auburn to prosper in the run, but not in the passing game. That didn’t happen. Kentucky’s incompetent pass defense came against a freshman quarterback who attempted only two second half passes against San Jose State. With Dak Prescott on the horizon, one can’t help but to worry. Auburn definitely made the most of its Bye Week. Again, credit Gus Malzahn and Sean White.

There were positives. Garrett Johnson’s 5 catches for 103 yards excited. Boom Williams got out to a fast start with 74 yards on just 5 carries. Patrick Towles played efficiently, but a red zone interception stalled a potential scoring opportunity. The dreaded dropsies again reared their ugly head. The first half just didn’t feel or look right. Total disclosure, at intermission, I was unapologetically irritated. Understanding that there must be a level of objectivity in the press box, the culmination of 30 minutes of missed opportunity overwhelmed impartiality. A complete expectation management failure was in full effect.

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@UKFootball | UK Athletics

FINAL SCORE: Auburn 30, Kentucky 27

A look at the final numbers:

First Downs: AU-21, UK-25

Rushing: AU-152 yards, UK-138

Average Yards Per Rush: AU-3.2, UK-4.2

Passing: Sean White: 17-28 for 255 yards. Patrick Towles: 27-44, 359 yards and 1 INT.

Total Offensive Yards: AU-407, UK-497

Kick-off returns: AU 6-155 yards, UK 1-18

Time of Possession: AU 28:27, UK 30:33

3rd Down Conversion: AU 11/18 (61.1%), UK 5/13 (38.4%)

*Prior to Thursday, AU defense allowed 47% conversion ratio

Quarterback Sacks By: AU 3, UK 1

*Prior to Thursday, AU averaged 1.7 QB sacks per game.

Kentucky put up a valiant but inconsistent second half fight. But at least it fought. The game was a tale of two halves. Auburn won the first, UK the second. But a consistent theme that led to the Cat’s demise was the inability to capitalize on opportunities throughout critical junctures of the game. Dropped passes continued. One in particular was in the end-zone. Patrick Towles settled into the game. Explosive plays resurfaced. Going into Thursday, Towles’ prior two games 4th quarter numbers were 15-18 for 175 yards and 2 TD’s. Thursday didn’t equal, but was good enough to win. On occasion, Towles’ completed next-level throws.

Any offense that racks up 497 yards should score more than 27 points. However, UK was dominated in the hidden yards categories. Short kick-offs are an area that has to be corrected, now. Punting also continued to be unreliable. For the game, UK punted four times for an average of 35 yards. When opportunity to pin Auburn inside its ten yard line presented, the football sailed into the end-zone. This may sound overly critical or simplistic, but cannot be ignored.

Kentucky had more than its share of chances to win the football game. It didn’t take advantage. UK’s defense accurately adjusted but continued fundamental errors verses the pass. On Auburn’s initial fourth quarter drive, it was flagged for illegal substitution. On the following play, the normally reliable safety duo of AJ Stamps and Marcus McWilson were split by Ricardo Louis for a 34 yard completion. Three plays later, touchdown Auburn. In too many situations, the Cats were close, but just couldn’t finish. Finish, a word we’ve heard Mark Stoops say at least 10,000 times. His team didn’t finish on Thursday. A point of frustration that was evident in his post-game press conference.

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UK Athletics

THE FINAL DRIVE

Down 30-27, Kentucky forced Auburn to punt from its own 47 yard line. The following ensued in the game’s final 2:12.

-1st and 10 on UK’s 15 yard line: Towles to JoJo Kemp pass attempt resulted in a drop.

-2nd and 10: Patrick Towles completes a pass to Boom Williams for a seven yard gain. PENTALTY, holding.

-2nd and 13: Towles pass complete to Jeff Badet for 14 yards, 1st down.

-1st and 10: Towles to Garrett Johnson for a 23 yard gain.

-1st and 10 on UK 49: Towles to Dorian Baker for a 5 yards.

-2nd and 5: Boom Williams rush for a two yard gain. This play would become a point of debate.

-3rd and 3: Towles attempted a vertical pass to Jeff Badet, incomplete.

-4th and 3: Patrick Towles was sacked by Justin Garrett. From snap to sack, the play had very little chance for success.

The elephant in the room is the Boom Williams run on 2nd and 5. Not necessarily a bad play call. For the game, Boom was averaging 7.1 yards per carry. You have to trust your playmakers in those situations. 3rd down result was an incomplete pass to Jeff Badet. Patrick went through his progressions, Badet had defender in an opportunistic position and the pass was attempted. Football happens. The 4th down QB sack was plain ugly. In the media room, offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson was peppered with questions, as was Mark Stoops. The media and BBN wanted answers regarding the final drive. Valid arguments could be made that short to intermediate passes would have been more likely to succeed than the Boom Williams run and vertical incompletion.

The same two minute offense worked against EKU. On Thursday at the end of the second and fourth quarter, the Wildcat hurry-up was detrimental and ineffective. Finishing those two drives alone could have resulted in a 10 point swing in favor of the Cats. Yet another example of Kentucky’s minuscule margin of error. SEC wins are earned, not given.

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

What’s next?

Back to work, return to practice, and prepare for Mississippi State. The SEC is unforgiving. But it’s hard to not imagine “what if” Kentucky would have finished. Not so much on a certain drive or play, but for the evening. So we end where we started, frustrated due to increased expectations. Progress. I’ll take 4-2 with six games being decided on the final drive, over being outplayed in every way during Mark Stoops’ initial program overhaul. The 2015 Wildcats can be described as frustratingly progressing. Sure as heck beats the alternative.

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

55 Comments for Kentucky/Auburn: Expectations vs. Frustration



  1. Doug
    2:06 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    It’s over. Move on to basketball…..



    • Brian
      2:09 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Uh, nope. 6 games left on the schedule……



    • Shut up Doug
      2:48 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Shut up Doug go cry you bandwagon



  2. doc
    2:09 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    If you don’t play well enough to win the game, you won’t win the game. Very few teams can make more mistakes than their opponent and still win. We aren’t one of those teams. Still, I’ll take floundering on the final drive over floundering during the entire game like we’ve seen in the past.



    • Leuther
      5:59 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Agree and well stated. Being competitive and not getting blown out is probably as good as we can expect for this season and as much as we deserve…



  3. BtownUKFan
    2:10 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Some valid points. The kick-off issue will be resolved as soon as McGinnis gets back to 100%. Not sure what Foster’s issue is. The frustrating part for me was to watch our offense drive down the field, get just outside of field goal range and then lose momentum. It generally was a combination of a run for short yardage or lose paired with a missed throw towards the end zone.We should have been in control of the game midway through the 4th quarter. Defense needs to show up for both halves. The fact that they held Auburn to 7 points in the second half says a lot about their effort and half time adjustments but they were way to porous the first half.
    As bad as it was to lose, imagine if Auburn had recognized that we only had 8 guys on the field for the punt and had decided to run it.



  4. BobKYCats
    2:20 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    One positive thing from this game I haven’t heard a lot of people talking about:

    Not until Patrick got sacked did I ever think we were going to lose this game. Three years ago I couldn’t type that with a straight face. If nothing else, Stoops has completely changed the culture around our football team. Three years ago, we would have been happy to even be in this game. Today we’re frustrated because we EXPECTED to win.

    Think about that. We expected to win this game. We fell short even though our team put up a valiant effort, and we’re frustrated because we expected our guys to beat Auburn. An Auburn team two years removed from a run to the championship game and in the preseason was expected to be a playoff contender.

    Wow. Just wow.

    The wins will come guys. We need to take a step back and understand the mountain Stoops and his boys have to climb. This year, yes, it’s bowl or bust. But we’re already 4-2 and we still have Vanderbilt and Charlotte on the schedule. Tennessee and Louisville are both winnable games. We’re going to get there, but when you’re building a program that had hit very near rock bottom, it takes time.

    I’ll admit, I was pretty high on the Cats this week, what with all the news coming from Georgia and Florida, and I allowed myself to at least think about the possibility of winning the East, and yes, that’s probably lost now.

    But the goal for the season still sits in front of us.



    • speak for yourself
      2:51 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      BKC, I followed you the first couple of sentences until you changed pronouns from “I” to “we”. You said you didn’t think UK would lose until the Towles got sacked and 3 years ago you could not have typed that with a straight face.

      Then you morph into 3 years ago “we” would have been happy to even be in the game, and “we” expected to win. “We’re” frustrated because “we” expected to beat Auburn.

      Lol, respectfully, speak for yourself. I did not expect UK to win against Auburn, because they had nearly 2 weeks to prepare like we did, and as YOU said, they are just 2 years removed from a run the NC game (not to mention they won one with Cam Newton). I knew Auburn would come into this game knowing they had to win to salvage their season. Couple that with more talent on the roster, and that governed my expectations.

      It sickens me when people say stuff like “we’re already 4-2 and we still have Vandy and Charlotte left”. That is called looking to back into a low level bowl. You were delusional if you drank the Kool Aid that UK had a shot at stealing the SEC East.

      So no, I was NOT happy just to be in a game that was there for the taking until inept coaching and playcalling reared its head along with the choke type mistakes that inferior teams (maybe inferior “programs” is more accurate) typically make. And honestly, I hoped to win, I rooted for UK to win, but to “expect” it is just ludicrous. You yourself pointed out why….Auburn, despite playing ugly all year, is still Auburn.

      Speak for yourself….your “we” talk rings hollow.



    • What is your deal?
      6:27 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      ^^^^Is there a reason you’re a dickhead? Is it a crime to have high expectations for the team you follow? There’s no problem with you being a pessimist but you can let the rest of us root for our team and we’ll leave you to do the bitching



  5. Harry Clarke
    2:21 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Let’s hear it for the band. They brought it last night!

    https://youtu.be/BmkFb5Xlc7s



  6. Dieter
    2:24 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Expectation was “get to a bowl.” Somehow after only 5 games, basketball fans morphed that into “let’s win the East” and too many level-headed folks took the bait. That was only ever going to result in disappointment. Keep in mind we were not supposed to win this game; it was always going to be considered a “steal” if we did. We’re still in prime position for our chief mission which is to go bowling.

    Manage expectations. Get to a bowl. Reap the rewards that any bowl brings. Enjoy the ride to mediocrity, which is better than the alternative and all we’ve seen the past 5 seasons.

    If we happen to steal a couple along the way and go 8-4; awesome. I’m not expecting it though and won’t be too upset if it doesn’t happen. Our best teams of the 2000’s with NFL talent couldn’t go 8-4, always stalling at 6-6 or 7-5. Why is this year expected to be any different, before even half the season has elapsed?



    • KSR Spy
      2:52 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      The part that hurts is that they SHOULD have one. Fundamentals cost them just like in the Florida game. It’s different if you’re outclassed and outmatched. This game, Kentucky was not. Kentucky beat themselves. That’s why everyone is so frustrated. If Auburn beats Kentucky, then it’s whatever. But Kentucky beat Kentucky. That’s the frustrating part.



    • @BallBlog_Chad
      2:55 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      the exact same thing happened last year, it’s like people forget their own expectations they made just a few short weeks ago … I think Stoops is on pace to meet or exceed the preseason expectations in each of his 3 years … my prediction this year was 6-6 and win a bad bowl to finish 7-6 … it’s frustrating that we couldn’t put up more pts against ULL and EKU, but we’re playing talented teams pretty well with a lot of young guys and even younger depth

      it takes time to build a football team, these guys still aren’t playing with a QB they recruited, the guy they recruited is a RS freshman … and our current OC had nothing to do with that selection



    • j4
      6:36 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      KSR Spy, ummm, they should have one what?



  7. Elmer Skaggs
    2:50 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Coach Stoops is very angry. As angry as Matt Jones was when Drew pranked him by taking a dump in the bathtub of Matt’s hotel in Cleveland



    • Robert Layne
      4:51 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      And I hope he is mad at himself, and coach dawson, and coach eliot. Losing the game hurts, to the turn of 10,000 tickets at the next home game. Getting a bye week to prepare for a home game against a weak Auburn team, and not getting it done…….oops.



  8. android guy
    2:51 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    I had no problem with Dawson going for it on the next to last play. We need that kind of aggressive attitude. Don’t just play for a tie. Try to win the damn game. If it doesn’t work, and least you go down swinging.



    • CatsBy80
      3:07 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      i respectfully disagree. we had all of the momentum at that moment in the game. get the first down and then take the shot on first down. i have no problem with the aggressive play calling. i have a problem with the timing of it. there is a time and a place to be aggressive. you get aggressive in that situation once you are already in field goal range, not when it’s 3rd and 4 and you need a first down to continue the game.



  9. Blueboy
    2:53 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Towels played a decent game but nevertheless cost the Ream the game by his bad decision making. Bottom line the game is to fast paced for him. Give Barker a shot he couldn’t do any worse. I saw both play in high school and Barker is way better of the two.



    • memphis
      3:01 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      He couldn’t do any worse? He could do much worse. And I could care less about you watching them in high school. How they played in high school doesn’t make up for experience. I’m tired of people thinking Drew Barker is the second coming of Tim Couch without having see him play a single down of college football. Just because he plays well against the likes of Anderson County doesn’t mean he’ll come out and throw a beating on Auburn.



    • This Dude
      4:13 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      I also I have seen both play in high school, and well, you’re wrong. You could go either way with saying who was better at that level, but to say that Drew was or is way better is just absurd. Patrick also played regularly against WAY tougher competition.



  10. carvingitup
    3:09 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Be expecting three straight loses. Soon it will be that same Kentucky everyone expects.



    • Nuclearcontamination
      3:14 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Kentucky soon will be 4-5. The question right now is how do we keep the recruits we have. Is there a chance we still get Willis.



  11. Danny Thomas
    3:19 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Recruits will be gone, especially any offensive players. I’d say Boom and Conrad will both be hitting the door at the end of the year, and probably a receiver. I wouldn’t stay and try to catch balls from Mr Inaccurate. Every QB we have played this year has outplayed Towles.



    • cats
      3:28 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Not sure about Boom but if CJ left I wouldn’t be surprised, and wouldn’t blame him. He’s one of those that can come in and make an impact right away as you’ve seen when they do get him the ball. Last night boom had that long run and then only touched it one more time in the first half. Dawson definitely makes a person scratch their head and say WTF…



    • CatsBy80
      3:30 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      you’re an idiot if you truly believe that.



    • CatsBy80
      3:30 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      meant that in reply to danny, not cats



    • Troll Slayer
      3:48 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Obvious troll is obviously trolling.



  12. CAT3
    3:27 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    are comments edited now?



  13. CAT3
    3:28 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    wow



  14. CAT3
    3:29 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    New and Improved … and edited …



  15. Landon
    3:29 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Come on KSR can we get something about basketball now? it’s big blue madness tonight and there hasn’t been a single mention.



    • CAT33
      3:37 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Why wasn’t this edited? Was it not considered negative to KSR?



  16. CAT3
    3:32 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    why the editing?



  17. CAT33
    3:35 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Why so sensitive?



  18. CAT33
    3:35 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Do you get paid per comments removed?



  19. Chad
    3:36 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    FRUSTRATING is the key word, def describes how I feel. Here are my reasons why I’m frustrated.
    1) Continually hearing about the curse on our team. That’s BS. People just hear it so often, they start to believe it. Stoops is trying to change that. #ImAllIn with a change of this belief/perception.
    2) We have the best BB. I want a great FB team as well, one that contends for SEC championships yearly. BB is not the only sport in Kentucky. Attending a UK FB game when we compete for a win is so exciting, even more when we win. Yeah, BB Madness is tonight
    3) My expectations of winning then falling just short of obtaining that victory due to whatever… Learning to win does not come easy. Auburn was not going to give us anything, we have to earn it, which means, make plays.
    4) Famous Cal quotes: “I’ll take talent over experience any day of the week” and “3 things you need to win are good players, good players, and more good players.”. I want to see UK FB compete for more 4-5 star recruits. This is the task at hand with Stoops changing the program. #ToughTask but #WhyNotUK. Make UK attractive for the best players to come here.
    5) Finally, I WANT MORE for my school, state, and BBN. Last night’s loss just hurts (as did the Florida loss). I’m tired of being a so called “bottom feeder” in the SEC with our football team. Again, we do it and do it better than anyone in BB, why not football. Am I expecting too much? Maybe so, but that’s just me.



  20. Shelby
    3:36 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Freddie, did you honestly say that personnel wise, it was even?
    From 2011 to 2014, Auburn’s recruiting classes ranked (per scout.com) 2, 8, 13, and 8. We have never come close to such rankings; the difference in talent and depth betwee UK and Auburn is a HUGE gap. The fact that we are even staying in the field with teams like Auburn and Florida is simply amzing and a credit to these kids and the coaching staff.



    • cats
      3:41 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      No the only reason we are even playing FL and AU close is because they are mediocre this year along with the rest of the SEC for the exception of a few teams. They make us look better than we really are..



    • Reality Check
      4:30 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      cats, are you for real?? FL is 6-0 with a quality win over Ole Miss. Auburn has had a rough year but they played better last night then they have all year. Sure the SEC is down this year, but show me a conference that isn’t! There is very little quality football being played this year, anywhere. UK is in the mix this year. We’re playing well overall, just making silly mistakes. We are a very young team that looks better and better each week. No one is making “us look better than we really are”. We are better. Stop being such a negative nancy boy.



    • Freddie
      6:30 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Yes, I saw no talent advantage (developed/functional) for AU.



  21. CAT33
    3:36 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Do you guys know that if you mention KSR in any comment it gets “edited” and then removed? Wow.



    • CATandMONKEY
      3:52 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Yet currently, out of 35 comments you own 23%



    • Troll Slayer
      3:55 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Moderated is not the same as edited. You typed something inappropriate, and the website automatically flagged it.

      Now, go away.



  22. BlueRibbon
    3:36 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    This is a young team with young depth…they have little if any room for errors and last night (much like other games, not just Florida) they made too many. It’s to be expected they make errors but, they are competing with teams and when they put it all together, they win football games.

    The offense is getting more away from basic play calling (had to be simple due to youth) and starting to look like a SEC team because the young guys are getting experience. Defense was a question coming in this year too but really have outperformed from what I expected.

    They get better each time they take the field too so while I would have liked to be Auburn…and expected them to beat them…I can’t play the blame game for the lose. It was too much youth and too many errors. The special teams have to improve to win games like this as well.



  23. Where's BBALL?????
    3:49 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Yea, I’m pretty disappointed in the lack of basketball coverage on this site this past week. It’s been all about a lucky to average football team with boring stats that no one cares about. Basketball is where your bread is buttered, so step it up. Basketball is what makes the world go around here, see how long this site would last if you didn’t discuss basketball.



    • Ha!
      3:57 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Are you referring to that basketball team that has owned your Tards to the tune of 7-1?

      #L1CWHORE



    • whatwasthat
      8:22 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      Football is the sport of men, so I’m guessing you are a lady. Football is the most prestigious sport in America, basketball is the sport they play to get to the spring football media days and spring games. UK is good at basketball has been and will be, but make no mistake football butters the bread. It is in all of UK interests to have not just a good basketball team but a great football team. The SEC network is born out of football not basketball. what is the record for The UK women’s football team. Love UK basketball and as kentuckians, we have the right to be proud of, but it’s still a girls sport.



  24. Old white guy
    3:56 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    When Stoops took over, I said to myself that anyone ratuonal should give him 5 years before judging. He had improved the program. I think we should be patient. I came into this season cautiosly optimistic. All anyone can expect is to get better every season. I’m not so sure this team is better than last season. Time will tell.



  25. ReverendBlue
    4:01 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    Freddie,
    I enjoy reading your take on the games. You are very knowledgeable and have brought a lot to this site’s coverage of football. I appreciate the way you study the film and summarize your findings for us. Instead of merely spouting your opinion, you back up your thoughts with statistics and logical reasoning. You explain the complexities of the game as you go so as to COMMUNICATE with the casual fan instead of trying to IMPRESS us with your knowledge of football jargon. I find myself reading your articles and almost always agreeing with your assessments. Ignore the “fringe” folks who seem to find it fitting to criticize everything provided by a free website that entertains as well as informs the Big Blue Nation.

    Go Cats!



  26. ReverendBlue
    4:14 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    At the start of the season, I felt that we would be very much improved, but that our improvement might not show in the win/loss column. In other words, I felt that we would be competitive in most of the games on our schedule, but I wasn’t sure we could get over the hump and pull out the win.

    So far, it has been about what I expected, but I am pleased with the number of games we have been able to find a way to win. I didn’t know if we could win on the road at South Carolina, but we did. I wasn’t sure we had closed the gap with Missouri enough to pull out a win — even at home. But we did. We were right there with a chance to win against both Florida and Auburn, but didn’t make the critical plays to get the win. If we win the two remaining games on our schedule where we will be the favorite (Charlotte and Vandy), we go to a bowl game. Most of us said at the start of the year that would be a reasonable goal for this season. If we can pull out an additional win or two in one of those other remaining games, this will still exceed most reasonable expectations for this season.

    Mark Stoops has us back on an upward path. I know the naysayers don’t want to hear it, but seldom does a program transform overnight. We are in YEAR THREE. If Coach Stoops can continue recruiting at the level he has been, we can continue our upward climb. Let’s chill out a bit and enjoy the ride!



  27. timer
    5:26 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    The next three weeks will determine if Stoops and his coaching staff are making progress, or have simply been lucky through the first six games. I said earlier in the year that it is up to the coaching staff to out-coach their opponents. And my opinion is that they have done a good job up to now.

    The next three games are gonna be tough. As Cawood used to say “Let’s see what they are made of.”



  28. j4
    6:37 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    hmmm, I wonder wny Dawson didn’t call plays at WVU… puzzling.



    • inside info2
      6:54 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

      ^^^ this. Why would an SEC team hire an OC that never called plays before? An SEC coordinator should not be a learn as you go position. Especially with a relatively inexperienced HC.



  29. TR
    9:44 pm October 16, 2015 Permalink

    We are improving as the season progresses.Do not give up on these players and coaches.We can still win the rest of the games. Our offensive line needs to get down and dirty on blocking and we need to sub linemen in and out as needed.Patrick needs to throw it away sometimes and play the next play.We need a better pass rush.Fix the two minute drill and clock management.Trust our receivers when a big play is needed and coach backs to look the ball in,tuck it ,and then run. I like the fight in this team and these coaches.I cannot remember a group that rallies like this in the second half.Give Auburn credit….it is not easy to defend an offense like theirs on the college level. We have the talent.We have the coaches.As fans we need to keep up the faith. Let’s start a football equivalent to BIG BLUE MADNESS with a late night practice for football and fill up Commonwealth Stadium for a practice with the loyal football fans.