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Silver Linings Playbook: Postive Takeaways From A Negative Loss

Heading into last night’s game we all expected a new Kentucky football where the ball would be zipped around and the defense would be able to handle most of the basic fundamentals. Instead we were shown just how bare the cupboard was left following the Joker Phillips era. Perhaps we forgot just how bad the team looked at times during a 2-10 year and how long it takes to turn around a program that almost resembled a team on probation. By all indications Stoops has things on the right track for the future of Kentucky football and if you looked amongst the muck of last night’s game you could pick some out. Here are some of the positive takeaways I saw in last night’s game:

Ground and Pound

While it wasn’t what you’d expect from an offense called the Air Raid the Cats did show that the running game is truly a strength of this team especially when Whitlow is at the helm. Whitlow didn’t look too sharp on his passes early in the game which could have lead to the conservative play calling we saw all night but he did showcase his ability to run. Raymond Sanders showcased why he will be one of the leaders on offense this season with big runs that gashed the WKU defense. When Kentucky needs some short yards this season they should be able to pick them up on the ground. It’s good to know we have another option when chucking the ball just isn’t working. Even Jojo Kemp looked good the couple of times he got his number called which leads to a larger point.

New Guys Make An Impact

Nate Willis. Za’Darius Smith. Ryan Timmons. Javess Blue. A majority of the time last night the announcer would read the name of a new player on both sides of the ball. It’s promising to see these guys change the game in their Division-1 debut and as the team improves during the year I’d expect to hear their names called more and more. Za’Darius landed his first college sack. Timmons had a big dynamic run that was spoiled by the fumble. Blue was one of the only receivers that looked ready to catch the football. We are in for a long season but with guys like Kemp and company the foundation is there for success come year three.

Two Quarterbacks That Can Play

When Max Smith checked into the game and led the Cats down the field on almost three consecutive drives a Quarterback controversy was born. Whitlow can throw the ball a bit or torch defenses on the ground. Smith can air the ball out with what looked like good accuracy despite being against a prevent defense. Smith looked like the best option for the offense at the close of the game. Whitlow looked like he does have a purpose behind center although perhaps it’s best reserved for some special packages. Either way it never hurts to have two guys that you know can get the job done. Now it’s just a matter of finding out which one is best suited for what Neal Brown wants to do for the rest of the season.

 

Sometimes it’s hard to look at a bad situation and see the good but I think there was definitely some things to be happy about in last nights game. What did you see that you liked in last night’s game?

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

54 Comments for Silver Linings Playbook: Postive Takeaways From A Negative Loss



  1. Jez
    11:39 am September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Finding positives after that just shows you are a good trooper. Real life dictates nothing has changed. Probably won’t ever.



  2. repsol-69
    11:45 am September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Thank you Andrew, I hope all of the people that forgot what Stoops and his staff inherited will sit back now and watch for improvement and realize that even next season will be hard to watch. BBN has to stay behind these “kids” and remember that we are just fans. Stop being so damn negative! Go Big Blue!



  3. You lost me
    11:47 am September 1, 2013 Permalink

    You lost me when you wrote ” It’s promising to see these guys change the game in their Division-1 debut “. Lol, exactly how did they change the game? Oh, I get it it, it changed from WKU needing OT and a trick play to win last year to simply manhandling the high performance players this year. Smh



  4. N Brown
    11:51 am September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Can I go back to Texas Tech?



  5. BBN
    11:53 am September 1, 2013 Permalink

    #4, yes please!



  6. Gabe
    11:53 am September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Were you an intern for a North Korean newspaper?



  7. rainman
    11:54 am September 1, 2013 Permalink

    I’m not sure what you were watching but there weren’t any positives in that mess last night!
    Well maybe Max, he seemed to give them a lift! If JW is the best we have, things are very bleak to say the least
    I know it will take time, but I’m sure our patience will be worn thin in short order with the penalties, and play calling mess we witnessed against the Hillpoopers!



  8. patcat
    12:01 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    While I was very disappointed with the execution of the team (pun intended), I am also disappointed in the comments I am seeing from fans. 5-6 weeks of practice is not going to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.
    Everyone needs to chill, lower their expectations (more on that later) and watch the team, and especially the new freshmen, for signs of progress this year. I really did see some good things from kids who were just graduating from HS 4 months ago.
    The real threat to losing many of the good recruits that have verbally committed is the fans deserting the team.
    As for expectations, I am disappointed in Coach Stoops comments before the game that the team was ready to shock some people this year (unless he meant shock in a bad way). As my brother said, it’s one thing to inherit a bad team, but don’t blow smoke up our (butts). I just hope he was seeing a much better team in practice than we saw last night.



  9. Mr. Obvious
    12:06 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    It’s evident if we’re running an “Air Raid”, it won’t be with Whitlow at the helm.

    16 yards passing in the first half is abysmal.

    Smith is the guy to run that offense. We have plenty of runners.



  10. jpg
    12:06 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    I am getting sick of the bandwagon fans that are just giving up! What is wrong with you all? It is evident you really do not understand much about the game.

    The play calling was geared to exploit WKU’s D-line. The problem was that UK’s O-line was down-right horrible (missing complete blocks!) Since Whitlow was not able to accurately get it downfield, WKU just sat in the box.

    To those fans that thought this was not a coin flip to begin with, might need their head checked! Petrino inherited a team that went to a bowl and returned most of its key players (especially on defense) from last year. Stoops inherited a 2-10 team that had been rundown by Joker and company. On top of this, UK lost some players during the offseason, and had a ton of freshmen in its 2 deep.



  11. rainman
    12:12 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    COIN FLIP? We got our ass kicked!



  12. DHo
    12:12 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Wow……what an article.
    You forgot the part where you pee down my leg and tell me it is raining.



  13. jmh1304
    12:13 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Does anyone remember when Brooks came to Kentucky? It takes a while to get your players in the program to do what you want to do. These are mostly Joker’s players and we are getting what Joker left us. It will take at least 3 years to really be able to blame play on the new coaches. Stay TRUE BLUE fans and give this a chance. Better days are coming to our football program!



  14. rainman
    12:14 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    And YEP, I’ve been a bandwagon fan for about 40 years!



  15. J in Orlando
    12:16 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Any fan who honestly thought this game would go differently is not a very informed college football fan. The staff is working with almost nothing. On paper WKU is a much better college fball team at THIS time. I know we all want them to be good this year…but they arent and they wont be. Get over that fact and appreciate the process.



  16. Blue too
    12:19 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Thank you #4. It was ONE game. Yes it hurt to lose but give the man and the team a chance to grow! Rome wasn’t built in a day.



  17. Papaw Brooks
    12:21 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    One thing that disturbed me a bit was Coach Stoops and Coach Brown’s comments that the players weren’t hyped up for the game. Lou Holtz made a comment that I think rings eternal…”Motivation is simple… you simply eliminate those who are not motivated.” No way I would start anyone not wanting to get out there and smash people in the mouth. Eliot didn’t look great in his first game as DC, guys were not wrapping up at all and weren’t driving people into the ground. It wasn’t trickery or offensive genius that made our defense look bad, it was a Sun Belt team physically dominating our defense and running the ball down our throat at will. The “Air Raid” hype was a bit sad as well… until Smith entered the game and then it became watchable. I can’t wait until Barker gets here because he can run and throw and hopefully we can get some underclassmen in here that are competitors and want to hit people in the mouth and get excited come game time. The future does look bright with the incoming talent, but it is going to be a long, painful year in the Bluegrass unless some things change.



  18. Kristen Geil's Abs
    12:23 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Chill out guys. I thought we had a chance to win it, but after about one quarter of football it became obvious that WKU has more talent right now, a lot more. This wasn’t about Petrino vs. Stoops; it didn’t matter who coached those players, the group in Bowling Green is just better.

    It’ll be year 3 before we have a shot at a .500 season. And guess what, my life is still going to be great for three years, regardless of UK football scores.



  19. B/s
    12:23 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    #13 baloney. It does not take 3 years to call it like you see it. I won’t blame losses against Bama or FL on the new coaches, and maybe not even losing to WKU. But yeah, you can definitely “blame the play” on the coaches when the players appear ill prepared and not even coached up to the 2/3* talent level that they are. No way is WKU that much more talented than UK. Kudos to Petrino and WKU for playing well, but we didn’t show up. The coaches said that in pre game, the UK players were not excited. Really, you can’t get up for 1 of 3 games you have a shot at winning?



  20. dylan
    12:23 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    If it weren’t for the fake a$$ basketball di#k riding fans making negative remarks on UK Athletics forums sites, trying to entice our future recruits to stay away and calling for Mark Stoops’ job I’d be okay.

    But I’m actually pretty pi$$ed- these KIDS, all younger than me go out and bust their tail every day to play for the name on the FRONT of their jersey, unlike that fake basketball team that’s a pro-prep school that only plays for the names on the BACK of the jersey, and they just get sh!t on by these no teeth having backwoods ret#rds. It drives me up the wall.

    I know there’s got to be 65,000 REAL UK FOOTBALL FANS out there like myself, the rest of you all just stay home, we’ll fill up Commonwealth stadium every week and actually GET LOUD and support our boys! GO CATS!



  21. Joe
    12:25 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Yay, we are back to moral victories. What is this, the Joker Phillips era? Geeze…



  22. Johnny Wadd
    12:25 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    All of you shooting down Stoops now……I want you to stay as far from the program as you can if he builds UK into a SEC contender in future years. Rome wasn’t built in a day but all it takes is a few ass clowns to tear it down.



  23. dylan george
    12:25 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    find me on facebook. Going to try and get REAL FOOTBALL FANS to #occupycommonwealth



  24. jch67
    12:27 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Agree with this until you got to the QBs….

    I’m not sure what game you watched but, in the one I watched, the only effective QB for the offense Stoops & Brown want to run didn’t take a snap until the 4th quarter.

    I watched Whitlow look EXACTLY as he did last year… Great athlete, playmaker with his legs, has an arm (not sure where to throw it) and simply can’t handle the other “responsibilities” of being a QB. The QB needs to be the on-field coach, he needs to demand respect and be authoritative. Whitlow seems to be cowed by this and it prevents him from doing what he does best; just make plays.

    Smith, on the other hand, seems to understand this is part of the position and handles it very well.

    Whitlow NEVER needs to have these responsibilities. If you want him to throw, fine, but it’s from a play called by Smith.



  25. B/s
    12:27 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    #20 lol, good luck with that 65,000 figure! Not gonna happen. After UofL, FL, SC and Bama, gonna be more like 6,500 at CWS limping down the stretch.



  26. dylan george
    12:31 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    #25 is one of the above mentioned. Go watch your sissy basketball highlights and leave the real sport to the real men. At these guys CARE ABOUT THE PROGRAM. You think MKG or Anothny Davis, John Wall gave a dam^ about Kentucky? Wrong. All they wanted was a prep school for the NBA. Weak sport. You’re not a real fan at all



  27. jpg
    12:33 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    11, I am talking pre-game! Hindsight is 20-20……..I never thought we were favored, and face-palmed every-time I saw some ridiculous write-up that eluded to it. Petrino, who is regarded as one of the best offensive minds in football, inherited a solid team with a lot of returners. Stoop in his HC debut, took over a team that went (2-10) last season, and has a lot of freshmen and youth in its 2 deep.



  28. rj
    12:33 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    whitlow is not a duel threat QB, he’s a runner, period. he showed me that is passing skills haven’t changed from last year. in the air raid offense you need a QB that can throw the ball, and that’s Maxwell. if they continue to use whitlow I’ll stop watching football till next year and count the days till midnight madness.



  29. Matthew
    12:34 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    I hate how Andrew Cassidy talked about Jojo kemp playing well when he only had one carry all game. How about you actually watch the game next time and do your homework before you give us your insights on the game



  30. dylan george
    12:35 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Guys like this Drew Barker is what Kentucky needs, real talent that holds REAL purpose outside of himself. This program will succeed because these football kids really do care about it, and everyone of them came here with the purpose to work as a TEAM to build Kentucky into an SEC contender. I’m writing myself off as a UK Basketball fan altogether, it’s sad really, because I remember being 5 years old with Mashburn posters on my wall, but I don’t ever, EVER wanted to be classified among people like you who Sh#t on these football kids. It isn’t right.

    UK FOOTBALL FOR LIFE!



  31. Steve
    12:36 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Not this year. I was hopping for more, but it’s not going to happen.



  32. Bandwagon UK Fan With No Degree Living In a Trailer Sitting Behind a Tax Payer Funded iPhone
    12:36 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Stoops sucks. They looked like amateurs. I am done. Will be back when they build the program to SEC contender level to root for my Cats. Until then I refuse to watch another game and my free time spending your dime.

    Sincerely,

    Bandwagon UK Fan With No Degree Living In a Trailer Sitting Behind a Tax Payer Funded iPhone



  33. Young and Restless
    12:38 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Two quarterbacks who can play? Yes. But only one which can play the QB position itself. Jalen gave his all but is clearly playing out of position. Put Max under center, and move Jalen to the Cobb. And coaches, PLEASE, get the kids ready to play next time. No enthusiasm. No excitement. Little apparent motivation. That’s a recipe for a L every time.



  34. dylan george
    12:38 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    nice^



  35. dylan george
    12:40 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Real UK Football fans find me on facebook.
    Dylan George in Frankfort
    lets #occupycommonwealth

    and you trolls, my inbox is ready for you so sh^t talk away.



  36. Buy low sell high
    12:43 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    #32 right on! I totally agree. I laugh at all the saps that laid out their hard earned $$ for season tix this year. The program has not bottomed out yet. Let all the suckers keep throwing $$ and rebuild Commonwealth. I am going to wait a couple more years when we might go 5-7. That is the time to buy. Good advice, no use torturing yourself with this futility until there’s actually a chance we can beat a MAC team.



  37. Buy low sell high
    12:45 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    #30 you got any UK season bball tix to unload? I love a winner! Lol



  38. KYfaninFL
    12:46 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    It appears UK may loose to both WestKY and Louisville for the second consecative year. Any opinion or comment whether any other FB team located in our Commonwealth could defeat or be competitive with the current KY FB team.



  39. Marj
    12:54 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Play Whitlow all you want; but, it should be at slot receiver and occasional Wildcat QB. He is not a quarterback – he wasn’t even a QB in HS – move him to keep him on the field if you want but move him. His inability to complete a pass isn’t the only issue – he cannot read a defense and he stares at the receiver he intends to throw to. We were lucky that most of his passes weren’t picked off – an SEC D will pick those. Honestly, to me Smith’s arm strength is not there, but at least he is accurate and the defense has to honor the throw, with Whitlow they do not. If your opponent stacks the box on D because he knows the QB is not a threat to throw this offense will not work. Start a QB that can throw and make decisions.



  40. schwing
    12:59 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    wow, guys, wow. just wow. just stop. just no. a win last night would have been positive, no doubt. almost beating louisville or florida this year would be positive. but not last night. no.



  41. Kyreds
    1:03 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Is it Basketball season yet???????



  42. CarolAnn
    1:40 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    It sucked. Defense was basically non-existent. There were a few bright spots. I hate the 2 quarterbacks rotating in and out thing though. Pick one! Its is not going to be a stellar season, boys an girls…and we really should have expected that. Its not like Stoops inherited a bunch of Heisman hopefuls. Go Big Blue!



  43. JerryC
    2:05 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    I was taught it’s better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak (type) and remove all doubt. Many of you would do well to follow this advice.
    As far as last night goes: Jalen Whitlow is not a college quarterback. Anyone who says otherwise is seeing something other than what I saw last night. “Air Raid” became “Ground and Pound” because Whitlow has no arm. Move him to the slot if you need to keep him on the field but get him away from any position requiring him to think or throw.



  44. Please No More BLUE KOOLAID
    2:06 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t try to sugar coat me now.



  45. [email protected]
    2:07 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    There is nothing positive about this game for UK. There is a remote chance at 2 wins but UL and the SEC schedule will be ugly. I believe Joker was recruiting way below the caliber players needed to compete at a high level.



  46. Max Smith
    2:20 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Before you go thinking I am Tom Brady all of a sudden, I was playing against a prevent defense. If Jalen could have played against the prevent, he would have looked like Vick at Virginia Tech. Oh and also, IT WAS WKU. I would hope i could complet some 8 yard passes against a sunbelt team.



  47. Really???
    3:29 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    You obviously didn’t watch the game. Take Nate Willis out of the list of positives. He got beat like he stole something all night long. Take it from someone who was there, we need Quinn healthy fast!!!



  48. To Fake Max
    4:10 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Number 1, you were competing against a prevent defense, which means you were being given the SHORT pass, but you actually completed several very nice longer passes right into the teeth of the prevent defense — which made those passes HARDER to complete, not easier, as you implied. So, GREAT JOB. And you did it at a time when your receivers were tired and dispirited because of the fact that they had been getting overthrown and underutilized all game up to that point.

    Number 2, you averaged twice the yardage per throw that Jalen did, and you ran up in one quarter twice what Jalen threw for in three quarters. Stop being so modest: you are clearly the better quarterback, and it has amazed me that there was ever any controversy. I told you from Day one that if Jalen started this would be the result.
    I hate being right all the time.



  49. Rondalp
    5:00 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    The big let down last night was the defensive line. I know the coaches have a good plan but Jalen is not the type of QB that is needed to run the Air Raid. He could be a good option back. Have Smith and Towles calling the plays. Jalen reminded me of Morgan Newton. I think there are some glimmers of hope coming on with some of the new players.



  50. I'm Just Sayin
    5:14 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    The defense has a lot of work to do for sure. The offense that we did produce with Whitlow in the game will never work against SEC teams. If he is our best option at QB then we are in real trouble. With him we are running on 3rd and 9. Joker an call those plays.



  51. white QB holding the clipboard
    5:34 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    says “are you kidding me?”



  52. Beau
    7:48 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Not a lot of good about the performance last night…. The one thing I can’t stand is all the negativity though! Stoop’s recruiting success, I think bloated a lot of fans expectations about our season… While there were some head scratching moments last night, I still believe that the Cats a going to improve in a couple years, but folks, it’s gonna take time… The worst possible thing we as fans can do right now is turn our back on the team. If the guys we have coming in see that we as fans are going to just lay down, they will be setting different college destinations. So suck it and embrace the process…



  53. To fake max smith
    10:36 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Max smith completed 8 passes for 125 yards. 15 yards a completion. With 3.8 of those yards being YAC. Thats an average of 11.2 yards the ball traveled. Deep passes? What game were you watching? I guess your version of a hail mary would be a 25 yard pass.



  54. football school
    9:43 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    To all of the negative people commenting on KSR football blogs: just stop. Go watch your basketball and swoon over Coach Cal and his NBA D-league teams. You have no idea what it takes in football and since you have nothing positive to say, just shut the f*ck up. You are not helping with any future recruits who might read this. Our football team will get better and our program will improve with the staff we have in place. Go CATS!