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KSR’s Emoji Index: Week 5

(Original photo by UK Athletics)

(Original photo by UK Athletics)

(Original photo by UK Athletics)

With four games under our belt, allow me to get an early start on the midseason reviews and take the Commonwealth’s pulse on all things football. What better way than in the language the kids speak these days: emoji. So, through the tiny little faces and figures that even your mom is using in texts now, here’s my take on how things are going with Mark Stoops and his squad.

Quarterback

qbfi5

As one of the few veteran quarterbacks in the league, Patrick Towles came into the season with sky-high expectations. He faltered a little bit in his debut, looking shaky in the second half vs. Louisiana Lafayette and giving life to the contingent of fans calling for Drew Barker. After a reassuring performance against South Carolina, Patrick looked awful against Florida, completing only 33% of his throws. In what may have been the most important game of his life, Patrick delivered, turning in one of his most efficient performances, going 22-27 for 249 yards, two touchdowns passing and one on the ground. Patrick’s haters aren’t totally gone, but they have been silenced…for now.

Running Back

rbfi5-2

Arguably the most solid and consistent unit on the team. UK’s trio of running backs (Boom Williams, JoJo Kemp, and Mikel Horton) has kept the Cats’ offensive attack balanced. UK’s only game without a rushing touchdown was Florida, but that was a pitiful outing for the entire offense, so I’m willing to overlook it. Each of UK’s three major running backs have had their moments: Boom’s 75-yard season opening touchdown, Mikel Horton’s game-winning touchdown later that game, and JoJo’s performances against South Carolina and Missouri. It speaks to the depth of the unit that Stoops can motivate and make headlines by bumping one running back over the other for the starting spot. That’s a GOOD thing, guys.

Wide Receiver

wrfi5-2

I’d put wide receiver next to running back in terms of depth and consistency. Save Dorian Baker’s drops, I have very few complaints about the receiving corps, which is better than Kentucky’s had in years. The Florida game is the outlier, and Patrick didn’t give his receivers much of a chance to do anything. Thankfully, everything got back on track vs. Missouri, with Garrett Johnson and Dorian Baker emerging as the biggest threats.

Defense

defensefi5

I’d like to go back to the preseason and apologize to the defense. With Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith gone to the NFL, most expected the defense to take a big step backwards, but they’ve proved us wrong. The unit was without Ryan Flannigan and Jason Hatcher for the first few games of the season (Flannigan the first three), and in the first outing against Louisiana Lafayette, our fears appeared to be legit; however, the defense turned it on against South Carolina, gave the offense every chance possible vs. Florida, and repeated that performance against Missouri. I’d argue the defense was the only good part of the Florida game, which makes the offense’s ineptitude that much more frustrating; regardless, I think we can all agree the defense has overachieved thus far.

In lieu of breaking down each defensive unit game by game, here are brief emojis for each after the win over Missouri:

Defensive line: ðŸ˜Š

CJ Johnson is the most recent standout on a line that’s improved over four games. Johnson had a career-high 11 tackles vs. Missouri and outplayed the Tigers’ All-SEC center Evan Boehm to earn the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honor. As Freddie Maggard pointed out earlier today, UK used a 2-4-5 defense against Missouri, a new scheme specific to the Tigers, which explains why we didn’t see Matt Elam.

Linebackers: ðŸ˜Œ

That’s a relieved face, in case you were wondering. Ryan Flannigan finally returned from injury on Saturday, and his presence was felt, even though Josh Forrest and Khalid Henderson ably held down the fort in his absence. Having Flannigan and hybrid DE/LB Jason Hatcher back helped UK’s defense become the aggressor vs. Missouri, a trend that hopefully continues upward.

Secondary: ðŸ‘¶ðŸ’ª

Young, strong, and fearless. True freshman Chris Westry is the obvious standout at corner, but veterans AJ Stamps and Marcus McWilson have also stepped up at safety. The thing I love most about Westry is teams keep targeting him because of his youth and he keeps proving them wrong.

Commonwealth Stadium atmosphere

cwsfi5

The opening night of the new Commonwealth Stadium was like your first major concert. You start pregaming before noon, get sunburnt, forget to eat, enjoy it for a while, tell yourself how awesome it is to keep your spirits up, and finally, at the first quiet moment, you can’t wait to sit down. By the end of the night, you’re exhausted, dehydrated, and just.want.to.go.home. It didn’t help matters that the game was a little too close for comfort at the end, but oh well. All around, a great day.

The BBN went in prepared for the Florida game, properly hydrated and fueled by 28 years of losses to the Gators. I wasn’t there, but by all accounts, the scene around Commonwealth Stadium was electric before the game, with the biggest Catwalk crowd ever and a special feeling in the air leading up to kickoff. Unfortunately, it was all for naught, and people were so bitter about the loss they actually complained it was TOO LOUD. Quelle horreur! Fortunately, the crowd responded last Saturday for the Missouri game, not quite filling the stadium up but being loud enough to make a difference.

All in all, the atmosphere at Commonwealth Stadium is ten times better than ever before. I can’t wait to see what it’s like for the Thursday night game against Auburn.

Bowl hopes

bowlfi5

Coming into this season, UK fans were cautiously optimistic about going to a bowl. Hype spiked a bit when some national media members pushed their chips in for the Cats, but for the most part, projections ranged from 6-7 wins. A so-so performance against a good Louisiana Lafayette team didn’t do much to change that, but a win over South Carolina skyrocketed the BBN’s hopes, just in time for them to be dragged down by Florida yet again. Fortunately, the Cats rebounded with their best win yet over #25 Missouri to make the path to a bowl not only manageable, but promising.

“Grove Street Party” popularity

grovestreetfi5

Coming into this season, “Grove Street Party” was a nice little reminder of the South Carolina win, the fun video you’d watch to get yourself hyped up for football. When the Cats beat South Carolina in Columbia and the locker room video surfaced of the team dancing to it, the song skyrocketed to popularity once again, with EVERYONE in the Commonwealth, babies to grannies, singing “It’s a party, it’s a party, it’s a party” and tweeting they GOT A WHOLE LOTTA MONEY (as do iTunes and Waka Flocka after the song’s Bluegrass renaissance.) After the loss to Florida, I vowed to never listen to the song again, but sure enough, found myself bopping along during the Missouri game.

Basketball interest level

bballfi5

Had Kentucky lost to Missouri, the pendulum would have quickly swung in basketball’s direction. Fortunately, the Cats beat the Tigers, keeping football alive and well…for now. Big Blue Madness campout starts tomorrow, putting basketball back in the headlines, but the real indicator of football’s ability to co-exist with basketball will be which storyline reigns supreme the weekend of October 15-17: the Auburn game, Big Blue Madness, or the Kings/Pelicans exhibition game (probably not the latter). If the Cats can upset the Tigers, they’ll move to 5-1 (unless they fall on their face vs. EKU) and the BBN will be talking about the oblong ball well into November.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

19 Comments for KSR’s Emoji Index: Week 5



  1. Dude
    8:05 pm September 29, 2015 Permalink

    This is actually pretty funny and accurate.



    • Quinnytw
      8:14 pm September 29, 2015 Permalink

      Really desperate for some material here, aren’t you mrs Thompson..



    • BigBlueSkyDog
      10:50 pm September 29, 2015 Permalink

      @Quinnytw: Jerry, is that you? Mr. Tipton?



    • Ha!
      4:14 am September 30, 2015 Permalink

      UofL trolls are just mad our record is better than theirs. Even with their savior Bobby. LOL.



  2. AJ
    8:15 pm September 29, 2015 Permalink

    Hilarious



  3. Dude
    8:44 pm September 29, 2015 Permalink

    This should be bumped up to post of the night.



  4. thenamerobdigity
    9:39 pm September 29, 2015 Permalink

    Receivers in the Florida game were awful!

    Dropped TD among other drops.

    That being said, they were amazing against Missouri!



  5. Batcat
    10:30 pm September 29, 2015 Permalink

    Great work!



  6. Can't believe it
    11:57 pm September 29, 2015 Permalink

    What impressive substance of an article…. Dumb as hell.



    • ukjaybrat
      8:19 am September 30, 2015 Permalink

      opinions are like assholes. everybody’s got one. my opinion is that you’re an asshole



  7. ibescootch
    12:26 am September 30, 2015 Permalink

    Offensive line?

    Well, maybe let’s stay away from that one for a little while : (



  8. Self Inflated Ego
    3:53 am September 30, 2015 Permalink

    Stupidity at its worst, “Mrs” Tyler Thompson. No one cares. You’re married. I guess you have to put that title because you think everyone wants you. Relax.



    • Sherlock
      9:24 am September 30, 2015 Permalink

      Or maybe because she has a traditionally male name and some people often think she’s a dude. Next time you have something snarky to say, think to yourself “is this moronic?” If the answer is yes, don’t post it. If the answer is no, you’re probably wrong and it actually is moronic, so just don’t post it.



  9. Log In To Post
    4:09 am September 30, 2015 Permalink

    I’m just gonna put this here…



    • ukjaybrat
      8:21 am September 30, 2015 Permalink

      i dunno… i like the way it is. the regulars can log in to post and we know who is absolutely NOT a troll… and the regulars that for some reason can’t fathom logging in somewhere can still come and go as they please. and the trolls are pretty obvious when they use someone’s name without an avatar… i could care less what someone thinks that doesn’t have an avatar, of course they are a troll.



    • theWilkman
      10:00 am September 30, 2015 Permalink

      I see where I can log in, but not where I can add an avatar. I see where I can edit my color scheme, name, etc, but nothing about avatar.



    • J-Dub421
      10:23 am September 30, 2015 Permalink

      Wilkman, you have to add an avatar through wordpress. It’s a bit of a hassle, but you only have to mess with it once, unless you want to change the picture at some point.



  10. Pass and Catch
    8:22 am September 30, 2015 Permalink

    I’m just hoping that Timmons remains on the kick off return team as the deep man, and the punt returner. Absolutely awesome in those roles.



  11. DACats86
    11:33 am September 30, 2015 Permalink

    This is awesome! Great job, Tyler!