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This Weekend A Star was Born (No, Not Lady Gaga)

After Kentucky’s first loss of the season, it’s tough for the Big Blue Nation to find reasons to be optimistic.  Allow me to show you the silver lining: A Star was Born.

The new Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga remake of a remake of a musical drama isn’t what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about Chris Oats.

This time last year Oats was a four-star recruit at Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati.  On Saturday the true freshman started in his first collegiate game as Kentucky’s defensive signal-caller at Kyle Field.  Even without significant experience, Oats shined.

I was proud of him the way he stepped in and played,” Mark Stoops said after the game.  “I thought Chris did a good job from what I could tell.  There was nothing that stood out negatively in the first half.”

No. 22’s number was called after Kash Daniel received a targeting penalty in the second half of the South Carolina game.  Forced into the Kyle Field locker room for the first half, Daniel liked what he saw from Oats on the computer monitor.

Chris did an unbelievable job for us. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Oats was happy to have Kash on his side throughout the week as the team game-planned against Texas A&M.

“Kash helped me out a lot,” Oats said.  “He was just telling me he knew I could be capable of providing for this team.  He knew I could get my job done.  He was just a big brother to me.  It helped me out a lot.”

It’s safe to say Oats got the job done.  In the first half he had four tackles, 1.5 for loss and his first career sack.  When the blitz was dialed up, Oats was prepared to make a big play.

“The blitz was called.  I knew I had to hit my gap with a lot of speed.  The guard actually fanned out to me, so I had to go underneath.  It was all technique.”

The true freshman’s exceptional technique did not go unnoticed.  Pro Football Focus awarded him a game film grade of 76.9, the best grade of any UK defender at Texas A&M.  Oats played great, but there’s still plenty of room to grow.

I was pretty satisfied, but I know I could’ve done better,” said Oats.  “I played good, but I could’ve played a little faster.”

In his first primetime appearance, the spotlight was not too bright for Oats.  The future is bright for Kentucky’s next defensive star.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

17 Comments for This Weekend A Star was Born (No, Not Lady Gaga)

  1. Played better than Kash did

    • Trevathan
      2:49 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

      Completely agree and hope the coaches see it too. Best player has to play now and in the future – regardless of where they were born or how many people they are a hero to. Maybe a position change for Oats if Kash is seen as good enough by the coaches to hold on to a spot.

    • Kat4Life
      3:24 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

      I’m with ya……even if Doron Lamb is about the 14th best SG in UK history…….

  2. jos_ros_
    1:14 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

    i thought he looked better than kash Saturday to be honest

    • Wade
      3:57 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

      Kash had to come into a hostile game after sitting. he was cold and it showed. Oats should have played all the way thru. No reason to take him out. Another blunder by the coaches. Kash is our leading tackler and didn’t have a solid half.

  3. Mathlete
    1:42 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

    I love hearing the behind-the-scenes stories of guys encouraging and mentoring each other. That’s how you build a winning program: by passing down the cumulative knowledge, attitudes, and culture from one class to the next

  4. And here in Montgomery, AL, a local talk show host just said that if Auburn fires Gus, he would go after…Mark Stoops.

    • Mathlete
      2:29 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

      He’s 2nd generation in the Saban coaching tree, so based on past performance Auburn would never beat Bama again

    • SuperTroy18
      2:32 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

      So it begins…

  5. antiquefurnitureandmidgets
    2:43 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

    There are plenty of reasons for optimism. Not the least of which is a record of 5-1 with several weaker teams left on our schedule. One would also assume that Gran won’t be so quick to get away from our style of play without making a team at least first force us out of it. The teams business like approach and team first mentality. Plenty of reasons. In the other hand, there isn’t much hope of breaking KSR staff from its knee-jerk responses to every game.

  6. Kat4Life
    3:22 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

    I love Oats…..he is a very talented player. Frankly, and I am not alone in this assessment, he played considerably better than Kash Daniels on Saturday. Kash was “lost in space” most of the second half. He was a bystander in a few big plays that he simply didn’t get to. I know it is heresy to say anything critical of a mountain boy the BBN loves…..but he may not be the better option of the two.

  7. gasman01
    3:34 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

    I like Kash but he is a step slow. Oats is a better option especially in pass coverage.

    • UoKFB PHAN
      9:55 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

      I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who feels this way. I like the passion Kash brings but I’ve questioned his speed for a while.

  8. Tom Bombadil
    3:37 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

    You’ve got to give Kash Daniel a pass… he wasn’t as mentally prepared due to helping his teammate get ready to play this past week. Kash $ will be back jack!!! Go CATS!

  9. Bluebloodtoo
    3:50 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

    I’m sorry, that first sentence is just ridiculous. At UK, winning the first five games handily and barely losing to one of the best defenses in the nation should be an all time high. The last season we had that was better was 1956(?). Are you f’ng kidding me with this isht?

    • jaws2
      4:25 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

      Agree. All you have to do is look at the source. Perfect explanation!

  10. Paperbagface
    4:50 pm October 8, 2018 Permalink

    Create a new defensive stat: number times held without a flag. 41 would lead the nation!!