We finally made it. It’s (Spring) Football Time in the Bluegrass. A lovely sunny and 75, you couldn’t ask for a better day for football. If you couldn’t make it out to Commonwealth Stadium, tune in to the SEC Network and blog along with me in the comment section.
2:00 FINAL SCORE: Blue 31, White 20
Davis Mattingly kept it on the quarterback option for a short score to end the game on a high note. For more coverage, visit UKAthletics.com for the Postgame Show with Freddie Maggard, Christi Thomas and Jeremy Jarmon. Hopefully we’ll be able to carry the live stream on the site. If not, I’ll be back with more soon.
1:52- Hoak’s First TD Drive
Hoak made a bold move on 4th and short near the goal line. With defenders on the pursuit for what appeared to be an immanent sack, he dipped his shoulder for a little juke before pulling up and dumping it into a wide open Jeff Badet’s arms.
1:50- Announced Attendance is 28,441
1:46- New QBs
Drew Barker is done for the day. Davis Mattingly has filled in and we’re getting our first looks at Luke Wright and Gunnar Hoak. Hook’s first pass was a pretty one, over the middle to Ryan Timmons.
1:35 Fumbles Everywhere
As soon as I wrote the entry below, Denzil Ware forced a fumble on the quarterback, Davis Mattingly. After the ball changed hands, Stephen Johnson was stripped with Kobie Walker recovering. The solid first half effort will not be replicated in this quicker edition of the second half.
1:30- SECOND HALF
The clock’s going to be running for the second half. Strap on your seatbelt because it’s gonna go by fast.
1:13- Drew Barker Bounces Back in the Two Minute Drill
If anyone was worried after Barker threw an interception, he silenced the haters with a near flawless two-minute drive. He kept his composure throughout. When he needed to run, he made it passed the sticks and got out of bounds. When he checked down to his running backs, they earned hard yards to stop the clock. After missing a timing route to Ryan Timmons in the end zone, he threw a beautiful ball between two defenders to C.J. Conrad for a 19-yard touchdown.
If you want something to hang your hat on from this Spring Game, it was that drive from the Blue Team, who now leads 17-13.
1:05 Jordan Jones with the Hit Stick
1:03- The White Team Takes the Lead
Shied King deserves all the credit for the five-play 60-yard touchdown drive, even though he wasn’t the one to get the score. He was stopped short of the goal line by Darius West after a 43-yard run that showed off his speed. King leads all rushers with 84 yards on 9 attempts. The White Team is out-rushing the Blue Team, 140-97.
12:59 – Jared Tucker Picks off Drew Barker
The Stone Mountain, Georgia product didn’t let Barker get away with the fade, picking off the back shoulder pass to give the White Team a chance to take the lead late in the first half.
12:54- Stephen Johnson Scrambles
The White Team has struggled to find open space, until Stephen Johnson gets into the open field. Johnson’s 29-yard run put the White Team in the red zone before Sihiem King punched it into the end zone up the middle. Johnson has 43 yards rushing on the day. The Blue Team leads 10-7 with 4:31 to get another score before halftime.
12:45- FIRE UP THE SIRENS!
Drew Barker throws down the middle of the field to find Ryan Timmons for a 64-yard score, the first touchdown of the day.
12:39- DENZIL FREAKING WARE
After starting strong, there was a slight gasp when he went out limping with an apparent ankle injury. Now he’s back and he got his third sack of the day to force a punt.
12:33- First Points of the Day
After starting the drive with a first down pass to Jeff Badet, JoJo Kemp busted a 37-yard run to put the Blue Team within striking range. After another first down, the passing windows tightened up for Drew Barker, forcing the Blue Team to settle for a field goal.
12:26- First Team DBs Step Up
The White Team is running the ball well with the 1-2 speed from Johnson and King, but they can’t throw the ball efficiently. Johnson tried to go at Westry on a fade but he played textbook coverage before batting the ball down. The following play, Johnson tried the other side of the field but Derrick Baity blew the play up with a big lick. These guys are only gonna get better.
12:19- Fast Tempo is Finally Slowed
With Team OLB Kobie Walker knocked the pass out of Drew Barker’s hands on 3rd down to force a 52-yard field goal that came up just short. Even though they didn’t get points, this was the first drive we really got to see what Gran is going to do. A lot of powerful north/south runs, wasting little time getting back to the line of scrimmage.
He said they weren’t going to play fast today, but that seemed pretty fast to me. I wonder what it’s gonna look like when they’re really playing tempo.
12:14- Former Cats in the Building
“The Terminator” John Conner is back in the Bluegrass for today’s game accompanied by THE ROD, LaRod King. The two were interviewed on the jumbotron during the first media timeout. I can’t lie, “first media timeout” seems strange to say during a Spring Game.
12:12 – A Pass Rush is Present
After starting the drive strong with two seven yard runs from Sihiem King, Denzil Ware denied Stephen Johnson with back-to-back sacks. They aren’t tackling the QBs, so I question how close he was on the first one. That wasn’t the case on 3rd down. Ware and Kengera Daniel were on Johnson like white on rice.
12:08- Off the Field Early
On the Blue Team’s first drive, Drew Barker opened the game with a pass broken up, intended for C.J. Conrad. After a run from Mikel Horton to make it 3rd and manageable, the drag to Garrett Johnson could not be held on to. Three and out with Johnson and King up.
12:07- A Look at the Crowd
It isn’t Joker bad, but it isn’t like the first few crazy Spring Games. A view from the man sitting next to me, Keith Taylor.
12:03 – Grove Street Party isn’t Dead
As much as Drew Franklin wants this song to go away, the Cats just took the field with Grove Street Party. There was much less bopping then usual. Crowd is OK, not great, with the lower bull about half full, even though a pessimist might call it half empty.
11:50- Rosters for Today’s Game
11:45- Drew Barker is Ready to Roll