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The Boom, The Dud, and The Win

Mark Zerof | USA Today

UK Athletics

In front of 62,000 excited Big Blue Fans, the Wildcats got off to a fast start as Boom Williams jetted 75 yards to pay dirt on game’s opening play. In the first half, the UK offense had two 90-yard drives and jumped out to a commanding 24-7 halftime lead. The Cat defense worked efficiently by containing the ULL playmakers and forcing the issue on the line of scrimmage.

Then, the second half happened. If the game would have ended after the second quarter, the BBN would have been elated. But it didn’t. Louisiana made timely halftime adjustments. This was expected from a team that has gone 36-16 over the past four years. The Ragin’ Cajuns scored 23 unanswered points and eventually tied the game at 33-33. A late Mikel Horton touchdown sealed the deal. Kentucky won the football game; however, Louisiana had victories in several aspects of the game. Let’s take a look:

OFFENSE

— QB Patrick Towles finished the night 16-34, 3 TD’s and 1 INT. As a stated goal, 62% was deemed necessary to efficiently execute the offense. 47% is unacceptable. However, at certain times of the game, Patrick completed passes that confirmed his assumed status as an NFL prospect. There were also lapses. At a minimum, 21 points were left on the field due to inaccurate vertical pass incompletions. The errant throws were both over and under thrown in crucial moments of the game. With Shannon Dawson’s emphasis to go vertical, this has to progress. During a period of the second half, Towles appeared unconfident. Believed and projected to be beyond that, much more was expected from the junior quarterback. Much more is required from the junior quarterback. Kentucky’s 1st down efficiency faltered. Too many 2nd and long situations limited the offense’s likelihood of extending drives. Another must improve prior to visiting the Head Ball Coach.

— Running backs are fast and have learned to be patient in reading blocks. Their speed was exhibited early. Boom’s opening 75-yard jaunt to the end zone was an historical moment for the new Commonwealth Stadium. Williams again displayed his elusiveness in a timely draw play that nearly led to another TD. For the night, Williams finished with 10 carries for 138 yards. JoJo Kemp provided a necessary spark. Mikel Horton’s the obvious power back of the trio and scored the go-ahead touchdown to win the game. I left the stadium feeling like I needed to see more. Concerns were lack of consistent production between the tackles. But there is no arguing that the Cats are loaded at this position. Effectively distributing the football will need to be addressed going forward.

— Receivers are as good as advertised. On too many occasions, Jeff Badet and Garrett Johnson had five step advantages on defenders and the football was under/over thrown. Missed touchdown opportunities doesn’t damper the fact that WR Coach Tommy Mainord’s group is vastly talented and deep. Haunted memories of dropped passes and the inability to release from the line of scrimmage are, for now, a thing of the past. Dorian Baker and Blake Bone presented outside mismatches that were under-utilized. Again, I left the stadium wanting to see more. This group is going to be fun to watch.

— Tight ends were statistically absent. A projected upgrade to the offense produced exactly zero catches for zero yards. Disappointing to watch. CJ Conrad and Darryl Long are both freshmen. They will eventually become offensive fixtures. But as for the opener, their lack of production was conspicuous.

— Offensive line played good enough. Given it started a true freshman at right tackle, 435 total yards indicates that the big guys up front sufficiently provided protection and opened running holes. It did surrender three sacks, two to LB Dominique Tovall. But, two of the three were unnecessary. Meaning, a potential throw away or a perceived coverage sack.

— Play calling was timely. Shannon Dawson’s style was what the BBN craved. He went up top for potential big plays that led to open receivers. At times, those calls were executed as UK scored three touchdowns of 35 yards or more. 435 total yards of offense is considered a success. But as a whole, during a fifteen minute game segment, it was sloppily and imprecisely executed. Projection was the Cats left at least three scores on the field. The game could have been out of hand early, which we’ve stated was an intended goal. Vertical passing mishaps were a leading factor to disappointment. However, a quarterback’s throw can be improved, a receiver corps that can’t get open cannot. This crew can get open. Execution can be achieved, intent is a continual state of mind. Game plan was solid.

© Mark Zerof | Getty

DEFENSE

First half Cats were dialed in. Second half version played on their heels. When a defense plays on their heels they get knocked over. Simple physics. Lack of depth obstructed efficiency. This especially pertained to linebackers. Already down two starters, there is a significant drop-off in the second team rotation. Youth is the leading influence. Still, surrendering 479 yards cannot be viewed as anything but a point of frustration. Especially giving up 247 rushing yards all while holding Louisiana’s superstar Elijah McGuire to 92 yards on 27 carries. Another point of contention was Brooks Haack and Jalen Nixon’s success. Both quarterbacks had little-to-no game experience going into the opener. But again, don’t let the logo fool you. Louisiana is a good football team.

— Linebacker was a concern during fall camp. Injuries and suspension created a collective cloud over this position. Josh Forrest did not disappoint. His meteoric climb from a former receiver to an All-SEC caliber inside linebacker is astounding. Fifteen tackles and the game-saving interception at the final buzzer were mere examples of the Forrest complete game.

Khalid Henderson, I have doubted him throughout fall camp. Eight tackles, one sack, and a QB hurry proved me wrong. He stepped in and commendably replaced Ryan Flannigan at a much higher level than expected. Denzil Ware showed flashes of meeting expectation; however, moving from defensive end to linebacker is not an easy transition. He’s a work in progress. Jabari Johnson was his normal solid self. Depth is where this position concerns. True freshmen Jordan Jones and Josh Allen saw their first college action. At times, the pair played like seasoned veterans. Other times, well they played like rookies. Same can be said about redshirt freshman Nico Firios. Not having Jacob Hatcher and Ryan Flannigan created a unit vulnerability. Their absence was noticeable and leads to concern going to Columbia.

— Defensive line was led by the two nose guards, Melvin Lewis and Matt Elam. Lewis was second in tackles with 9. Matt Elam played his best game as a Wildcat with 6 tackles and solidified the middle of the line of scrimmage. Regie Meant and the other defensive tackles played in spurts, but lacked consistency in gap responsibility. Louisiana’s second half rushing attack exposed holes in the Wildcat defensive line of scrimmage. Farrington Huguennin was solid as expected, but the group’s expected pass rush didn’t influence the ULL’s quarterbacks as both Ragin Cajun QB’s had career nights. There is potential in this group. Certain personnel groupings in the rotation contributed to Louisiana’s opportunistic run game success.

— Cornerbacks were an enormous preseason concern. Against ULL, the position played its best game in two years. True freshman Chris Westry was tested on many occasions. He held his own. Senior Cody Quinn played like an SEC senior cornerback. Reserve JD Harmon had a textbook interception by high-pointing the football while being in perfect position. I still look for Derrick Baity to make an appearance. But JD Harmon is to be commended for maintaining a positive attitude and making the most out of an opportunity. Safeties were solid led by AJ Stamps and Marcus McWilson. Mike Edwards and Darius West also contributed.

SPECIAL TEAMS

— Mr. Automatic Austin MacGinnis astonishingly missed a PAT and a FG. That’s a sentence I thought I’d never type. Ryan Timmons doubled UK’s punt return average from 2014. JD Harmon’s explosive return was a momentum builder that wasn’t taken advantage of by the offense. Landon Foster was consistent and long snapper, Kelly recovered a muffed punt. MacGinnis’ missed kicks were puzzling and shocking to be quite honest. But other special team’s aspects were positive. Seemed organized with a plan.

What does it all mean?

Kentucky’s last win came on October 11th 2014. A win is a win. But as in describing much of the offense, I left the stadium wanting to see more. Same can be said of the defense. The lack of pass rush concerns as does linebacker play sans Josh Forrest. Going to Columbia, vertical route opportunities will not be as plentiful. When they do exist, a touchdown must be the outcome. Patrick Towles has to play better. No way around it. A 47% completion rate will not likely win in Columbia, South Carolina, or in Lexington, Kentucky for that fact.

There are positives. Commonly, a football team’s most improvements come between game one to game two. Sunday’s film session will not be comfortable for the players. As it shouldn’t be. What could have been a 30-point win turned into a possible home loss which would have all but destroyed bowl chances. Kentucky was fortunate to win. It beat a good football team and slowed its star, Elijah McGuire. But it was hurt by a first time starting quarterback and a reserve running back. South Carolina is a better football team than Louisiana. But not by as much as you may think. However, if UK plays as it did on Saturday, a road SEC win is highly unlikely. That’s the frustration. Kentucky was constantly on the verge against Louisiana. On the verge of what is the question. The game lacked flow. Kentucky has to learn to finish. UK failed that task in week one. It had ULL on the ropes and let it come back by taking an overabundance of second half haymakers.

What’s next?

Sunday’s film session will be a great learning experience. It has to be. Ryan Flannigan’s return is vital. Patrick Towles’ frame of mind is critical. He lacked confidence and accuracy. That has to improve and improve now. For a quarterback that has all the skills to play in the NFL, Pat’s needs to settle down and trust his talented receiving corps.

Neither South Carolina nor Kentucky impressed in their opening games. UK’s performance was more concerning than Carolina’s due to the fact that it had several chances to blow the game open and didn’t do so. Carolina was outplayed yet won the game due to opportunistic North Carolina turnovers. The two teams are a virtual wash in talent. Quarterback play will be the difference in the game’s outcome. Defensively, Kentucky’s ability or inability to stop the Carolina rushing attack will influence the scoreboard.

A win is a win. I still left the stadium wanting to see more. The BBN needed to leave the stadium exhilarated, not relieved in an opening game victory. As for Mark Stoops, Saturday’s outcome was a best case scenario. Cats got the win, but by the game being in doubt late, his young team learned to overcome adversity and win a game in the 4th quarter. Lessons learned.

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

57 Comments for The Boom, The Dud, and The Win



  1. inside info2
    3:26 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Great post Freddie. Thanks for the insight. A lot of work for Stoops & Co this week.



    • Ben Dover here it comes again
      5:30 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

      Defense, again, makes no names look Heisman caliber on the field. No outside containment. We have no answer to a sunbelt two point conversion. We can’t stop anyone. Our halftime adjustments killed us.
      PT is not playing anywhere near Jr level for the SEC. 4-8, if we beat Vandy.



  2. Freddie
    3:29 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Thank you. Finished this morning around 3am. My next post will be more specific and a film breakdown. Thanks for reading.



    • Old Coach John
      5:31 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

      OH NO FREDDIE, you didn’t say that did you…let me quote, “…Patrick completed passes that confirmed his assumed status as an NFL prospect.” Seriously? He is not even in the top 50 COLLEGE quarterbacks. WHAT have you been sipping on?



  3. apocalypse
    3:30 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Patrick, get your head out of your #ss and play footall, defense, you’d best figure it out. I appreciate the effort and winning he game but S..C. is tougher test. Lets get to it boys and make UK proud. GBB.



  4. novalsi
    3:32 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    I feel like people are ignoring the fact that right now Towles is #2 in the SEC in passing yards, and we played a harder game than 11 of the other teams. He wasn’t perfect, but if you look at it in a Fantasy Football perspective, he pitched a 20-point game. Not too shabby.



    • BluKudzu
      5:30 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

      That is because most starters were pulled early due to the scores being overwhelming.



  5. Bread
    3:40 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Love the post Freddie. I love Jared, but he is extremely homer with Towles at times. I like the truths that you are not afraid to say regrading the QB play.



  6. catfan4life
    3:53 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Great post Freddie! You are spot on and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the guts to tell it like it is. It was obvious as I have stated in private and in print this team will be better next year when the better talent is a year more into the system, stronger, more mature and has that depth you mentioned. I want to see Barker in a game, but I don’t think we will see him until the 3rd game unless Towles is horrible early on against SC.

    If SC doesn’t improve much the Cat’s have a great chance to win that game! Again great post.



  7. linebeard
    4:02 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Was expecting the D to be faster and more aggressive. Thought they looked slow, and not as physical as I was expecting.



  8. kes
    4:05 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    play calling was horrible Fred. Dawson gets a D at best. boom with 10 carries? up by 21 and throwing the ball all over the field? no excuse for that foolishness



    • WeareBBN
      6:53 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

      Throwing more than running is fine but Dawson expected most of those passes to be completed. Patrick was off on nearly every throw. The deep throws were under/over thrown and most across the middle or to the sideline were thrown behind the receivers.



    • cig107
      1:33 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

      You’re out of your mind. He called a great game. Horton took some of Boom’s carries, and Kemp took a few as well.



    • cig107
      1:35 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

      Not great, but good*. Agree in the 2nd half when it was 3rd and short we should’ve run the ball.



  9. SteveCinAL
    4:20 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Really good recap Freddie!



  10. SinceStollField
    4:21 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Thanks for the late night work. I’ll be interested to read your thoughts after you break down the film, especially about why we continue to struggle against the run. After they inserted the running quarterback in the second half, we fell apart.



  11. Air Raid
    4:44 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    I’ll be stunned if we beat South Carolina next week. Thank God for Vandy or we would be the armpit of the SEC this year. Our D-line is brutal.



  12. bluegrassstu
    5:10 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    The defense has a lot of improving to do. 47% pass completion against a mid major team is not good.



  13. rwb
    5:20 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    I find myself waiting for your insight and posts. Great job Freddie, hope they get Patrick straightened out or play Drew, defense has to improve, did think special teams looked better than last year. Let’s go Cats



  14. Sad Reality
    5:23 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    It will be a small miracle for us to win 6 games. At least we have 8 home games, so there’s hope I guess .



    • Radmankd
      5:34 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

      Based on last night, I don’t see how we get more than 4.Definitely, 6 constitutes a miracle.



  15. Radmankd
    5:31 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Some blame on lack of TE play falls to Towles and maybe even Coach Dawson. Had one play in second half where Towles never took his eyes off of, I believe, G. Johnson, and tried to drop it into him in the corner of the end zone. Was unsuccessful. Towels did not see open CJ Conrad in the end zone. Would have been easier throw. CJ approached Towles on the sidelines and said something, then he went to Dawson who blew him off.
    CJ was not happy. He didn’t come here not to be involved. He too talented not to get the ball.
    What’s your take. All freshman problem?



    • Andy
      5:43 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

      I would say its more to Towles who probably didnt even make the attempt to scan for his tight end? I don;t blame CJ for being upset. There were a few more instances where he was open and Patrick didn’t see him. The film room should hopefully help Towles to find other guys as well. Makes no sense to recruit tight ends and not have them catch a ball.



    • Ridge Runner
      12:31 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

      Way too hard on the TE’s when I counted 4 plays they were open (wide open) and Towles NEVER looked that way. In fact, threw into double coverage once with CJ on the goal line.



  16. BluKudzu
    5:38 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    No defense, no bowl. 4 wins, unless something changes drastically. QB played at best like a MAC QB, or even OVC. Defense, the most important aspect of the game graded out at ZERO!
    SC WILL HUMILIATE US, if things don’t change in a hurry. We can forget about beating Louisville for another year, don’t even think about Florida, we got no chance based on the level of play, at home, in the season opener, against a CUSA TEAM!!!!
    We are YEARS AWAY, from being a 3 win team in the SEC.



    • Mark
      4:01 pm September 7, 2015 Permalink

      Agreed, no way we win the next two games. With quarterback and defense we have 3-4 wins max



  17. InigoMontoya
    5:42 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    While I like Shannon Dawson’s philosophy, I questioned a couple of the 3rd & short calls in the 2nd half (when our defense was getting tired), where we tried the homerun ball.

    Completing something short for the first down (a higher percentage pass) would seem to me to help our defense by keeping them off the field for 4 more downs.

    “You killed my father. Prepare to die.”



  18. houndstooth
    5:43 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Great work Freddie, the 47% completion rate and the lack of a ball thrown to a TE is concerning. I did now like that reverse call to Timmons in the 4th quarter but playing calling was pretty good execution was as efficient. I don’t know what else you can say about the defense- it is what it is.



    • houndstooth
      5:44 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

      wasn’t as efficient* sorry typo



  19. Stop the knee jerk reactions
    6:16 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    It’s amazing how quickly everyone wants to jump off of the band wagon. UK showed flashes of good and great and flashes of bad and inconsistent. Freddie, great job on the insight. Your posts are informed, in depth and a must read for UK football fans. I think the biggest takeaway from last night is that we are 1-0, not 0-1. Was it pretty, hell no, but unlike teams of the past they found away to win. ULL is a good team with veterans at a lot of positions. Yes they are a sunbelt team, but they are a sunbelt team who has aged in four straight bowl games and has a swagger about them. Experience counts for something. I think everyone expects the stars next to recruits names to immediately transition to wins, but these guys have high school game experience, not D-I experience and that’s a huge factor. The bottom line to me is that last night calls in the shoulders of Towles. He is a junior and he just has to be better, that’s all there is to it. Like Freddie said, we left too many points on the board. If he hits on those throws it’s a completely different game. We are up 35-40 and ULL is throwing the ball all over the place instead of being able to run it. Going forward things are looking up, we get guys back from injuries/suspensions and guys got valuable game experience. Like Freddie said, we can fix an inaccurate QB (and at times he was hitting the throws he needed to hit) but we can’t fix a lack of talent. And our WRs and RBs showed that we won’t have to, those guys are ready to compete. Sorry for the long post and the word vomit, but let’s not all jump off the cliff after one week. We need to show up and show out. We need to bring a loud atmosphere to every game. No one travels like BBN, their is no fan base like BBN. In the words of a coach we are all pretty fond of “you people are crazy.” So let’s show it and act like it. UK football is on the rise. We have a coach and an administration who cares, we have a newly renovated stadium, we are bringing more talent to Lexington. And last night we found a way to win, unlike the football team of old. Go Cats!



    • cig107
      1:37 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

      It’s hilarious how many people are panicking. You better believe I’ll be right here to throw it back at them when they’re proven wrong.



  20. Stop the knee jerk reactions
    6:17 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Played* in four straight bowl games, not aged (although you could say that they are aged and have more big game experience that us.)



  21. Dick
    6:26 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Tight ends cannot catch if you don’t throw to them. Hope they will be included in the offense for more than blocking.



  22. Insanity
    7:20 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Freddie, You, Lorenzen, Roush, and the rest of the KSR croonies have a love fest going on with Towles and it’s borderline sickening. The kid is a very average QB and picked up last night right where he left off last season. Stoops’ job requires him to make hard, tough decisions and for him to continue to stay with Towles expecting different results just proves he cannot make the tough decisions required from his job. Drew Barker deserves a shot and the DB era needs to begin sooner than later.



    • cig107
      1:38 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

      Or, it just proves he knows what he’s doing. Towles has played great for us at times, all that’s missing is consistency. You must think it’s not a big deal replacing your starting QB.



    • J-Dub421
      2:13 pm September 7, 2015 Permalink

      What exactly are you basing this opinion on? Barker hasn’t played a down in college and you’re ready to hand over the reins?



  23. timer
    8:04 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Nice post.

    Bottom line is that PT had a tough night. He made bad reads and he made bad throws. But he made a believer out of me last year. I have no doubt that he will play better and better as he becomes more comfortable in the new offense. I believe he is the best QB in the SEC East and one of the top three QBs in the league.



    • Radmankd
      8:28 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

      Made a believer out of you last year? What the Florida game? What did he do during the losing streak to end the season. He had games where Neal Brown had to scrap the passing game because Towles didn’t have it that game.
      I just don’t understand the love affair so many have with Towles.
      SEC talent will eat him up the way he locks on to a receiver. He’s not seeing the field and is missing open receivers. If CJ Conrad continues to be ignored like he ws the first game, he will transfer. He is a stud and wants to be involved in the passing game.



    • timer
      8:58 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

      Did you see the Mississippi State game last year? One of the BEST games I’ve ever seen a UK QB play. Close to 400 yards passing and 75 or 80 yards rushing. I thought he outplayed Prescott in that game.

      And even in the Florida game he completed several big time passes – as he did in the ul game.

      Give Dawson a lot of credit for his game plan. Even with Towles not having his best game we still scored 40 points.



  24. Just Sayn'
    8:04 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    I respect your opinion Freddie, but you are way off on Towles last night. Of the 16 completions at least 5 were only due to the fact that the receivers saved him by coming back to the ball, or slowing down to let the ball get to them. If he’s even close with 3 of those we have 21 points because our receivers clearly had their man beat by steps.

    In addition, he still locks on to one receiver and if that guy isn’t open he panics and throws into 3 man coverage, eats the ball, or just plain misses. I don’t blame CJ, he beat his coverage many times and Patrick didn’t even know he was on the field. I like Patrick and wish him success, but you really missed it on his performance last night.



    • BackHomeinKY
      9:12 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

      Bingo. Coaches need to set a minimum standard for PT, and if he fails, it’s time to give DB a try.
      PT gets his shot at SC, then three important home games follow, and that’s the time to find out what we have at QB. The balance of the season depends on it.



  25. T. Hatton
    9:51 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Freddie, thanks for breaking down the game. I am happy with the win and looking forward to the game against South Carolina. I believe we will get the win and get a better showing from Patrick and the defense. Go Cats!



  26. Catsrus
    11:24 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    When we struggle to beat our cupcake, I worry.



    • Jarvis Redwine
      8:14 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

      ULL is no cupcake. Ranked ahead of us in several projections for this season. A good win considering how sloppy we were. Good teams find a way to win even when things aren’t going well.



  27. LongTallandLanky
    11:59 pm September 6, 2015 Permalink

    Most of the time, when a quarterback throws for 257 yards and 3 touchdowns and his team wins, people say that’s a good game. Also, if we had better defensive play last night then the game would not of been close.



  28. Photography/Video Fan
    12:18 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

    Freddie, it’s so refreshing to read the comments from a former quarterback who played for the Kentucky Wildcats. Keep up the good work.. In the future, can you provide us with pictures on how the team studies the Game Film. I would like to see how the TECHNOLOGY has changed in this area since the days when you were a quarterback. Thanks again….GO CATS!



  29. jarshoe
    7:15 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

    About a week ago in a thread, I stated that 4-8 or 5-7 was the likely outcome of the season and I got trashed as a UL fan. After watching the game, most of my concerns were confirmed. We just don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle to make a big move forward this year. We’re headed in the right direction and I truly believe we’ll get there with this staff, but we just aren’t there yet. As far as Towles vs. Barker, if the staff felt like he was legitimately ready to play and the team would perform better with him in the game, then he would have played. They don’t believe he’s ready and I expect things will have to get a great deal worse before he sees the field.



    • Jarvis Redwine
      8:16 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

      In your opinion, what are the areas where we are most lacking?



    • jarshoe
      9:08 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

      Obviously, the front 7, especially linebackers. The defense was atrocious at best last year and we lost our two best players to the NFL. Yes, the secondary is much deeper and much more talented. The front 7, however, is going to struggle A LOT even when the suspensions/injuries are over.

      Towles is a solid QB but he is limited, as mentioned numerous times above. He has the ability to have incredible ball games but he is extremely inconsistent. He has limited field vision, and really, really struggles on the mid-range and short passes which are vital to this offense being successful. Unfortunately, at this point, I still expect he is our best option. Barker’s day will come, but I don’t think it will be anytime soon.

      Again, I think we’re making progress. Quite frankly, I think we’re a better team overall than we were last year. I’m still far from convinced that it will result in a better record this year.



  30. Steve
    8:15 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

    Towles is not an NFL prospect and this isn’t fantasy football. His ego is bigger than his helmet. He is too much in love with his hair. As for lack of tight end production, CJ can’t catch it if PT doesn’t throw it. He was open, but our QB locks in on one receiver and that is it, so much for going through the progressions. I believe Freddie said it a few weeks ago, Towles knows how to work camp (play it safe and don’t make mistakes) and he got the nod; Barker took more chances and finished 2nd in the race but he has the :it factor”. Matt Jones and Co. have built Towles up to God like status and I hope they enjoy it, but this team won’t be bowling this year either and Conrad and others may get out of Lexington when it is over.



    • Jarvis Redwine
      8:19 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

      Overly negative. ULL is a good team and Towles will be better. To have a backup like Barker is a luxury we’ve not had very often. He’ll get his chance if PT doesn’t pick it up. The only area we are not much improved from last season is on the edges defensively. We are much improved at every other position group. ULL is a pretty damn good football team. Quality win for UK. Good things ahead.



  31. kentuckyrld
    8:19 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

    This is a team that UK should have dominated on both sides of the ball. Nothing less is acceptable. This was a poorly played and, unfortunately, a poorly coached game. It has been a long time since UK’s last game. How could a team come out and play a game, (second half), so unfocused and such an uninterested fashion? That is all coaching. Can this team improve? Sure. Will it improve? Hard to say. However, here are some facts you can take to the bank:

    1. The defense must improve and in a hurry or you can kiss any chance of a bowl game goodbye.
    2. The defense must improve and in a hurry or you are going to see some extremely embarrassing losses.
    3. The quarterback play has to be brought up to SEC standards. 47% passing accuracy against ULL is just sad. That kind of play will be a joke in SEC games, Vandy excepted.
    4. Coaching must improve in a hurry or the whole season is going to be lost. When will UK find a defensive coach who has a clue how to stop the RUN. The SEC is a running conference. SEC teams, Vandy excluded, will run the ball against UK’s defense as though UK had no players on the field. If you can’t stop ULL where does that leave you? Either there is no talent or there is no coaching.
    5. And finally, when are we going to find a coach who can have his team play two complete halves in the same game?



  32. M. T. Pockets
    8:34 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

    when a lion attacks a herd of animals, before it charges it picks out one, and that one is the one it chases. during the chase there are others that are closer or would be easier, but the lion never deviates from it’s chosen victim. and it’s success rate, is from one in every ten to twelve attempts, depending on which article you read. towles has the same problem. he picks a target and never looks for another, even when they are obvious and open. if he can’t learn to change that his only shot at ever making any money at an NFL game will be selling peanuts and pretzels.



  33. Aja
    9:27 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

    Talent gives you the ability to throw a ball through a tire at 40 yards. Mechanics enable you to do it consistently. We’re halfway there.



  34. Irememberharrylancaster
    9:43 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

    Does Towles have the skills to be an NFL QB…….I wonder. He consistently under throws the deep ball. I mean CONSISTENLY under throws it. The NFL expects you to hit those open receives deep…..in stride. Hopefully, he can come through.



  35. Andy
    11:02 am September 7, 2015 Permalink

    Towles has ways to go still as an NFL QB. Has to learn not to get locked into 1 receiver all the time, hit his receivers in stride and find his god damn tightends.



  36. bige
    1:41 pm September 7, 2015 Permalink

    Typical Kentucky football…you have to love pain.
    Towles is a decent QB but very hot and cold and has poor field vision for a passing offense. A good SEC safety would have made a couple picks Saturday.

    ULL made slight adjustments at halftime after first half drives had some success.
    Time of possession was a scary stat and that will kill UK going forward.
    Play calling on late downs was almost bizarre. Very similar to the former OC…must be a Big 12 thing.