— Every game is winnable. A team without a static identity, the biggest difference in this Kentucky football team and every other one in my lifetime – you can’t write ANY game off as a loss. Miss. State will be tough this weekend, but we thought Georgia was completely out of the question at the beginning of the season. Winning between the hedges won’t be impossible; the Dawgz had less than 300 yards of offense without Nick Chubb in a 9-6 barn-burning win over Mizzou.
— I’m going to stop talking about stats. There were a handful of stats I mentioned repeatedly before Thursday Night’s game. The only one that held true was that the final margin fell within 8 points. Every other category I mentioned indirectly caused a different outcome, most notably the end to UK’s perfect red zone record with Patrick Towles’ end zone interception. After jinxing Kentucky in the “fumbles lost” category against EKU, I’m just gonna shut my mouth and leave the numbers to Freddie.
— I sure hope Stoops and Eliot have something good up their sleeves for Dak Prescott. It’s going to be this week’s primary talking point, the one thing on everyone’s mind, and for good reason. He threw for 347 yards last week (!) and has rushed for more than 50 yards three times this year. No matter how many crafty blitzes the Cats throw at him, it all comes down to making difficult tackles on a big, elusive human being.
— Prayers go out to Melvin Lewis. A guy who has gone through so many struggles, finally found some time to shine, only for it to be taken from him prematurely. The JuCo transfer did not have much time to show what he could do, but he did extremely well in his first five games. The Silver Lining: I’m confident this won’t be the last we here from him. There aren’t many people that have gone through as much as he has. Many have heard about his upbringing in Compton, but just as many forget that his apartment in Lexington was destroyed by a fire last year. It’s one of many setbacks, but Big Mel will be back.
— The fans were absolutely amazing. For the fourth time in five home games, the New Commonwealth Stadium was sold out. They brought the energy throughout, even when Kentucky struggled in the second quarter. The BBN has done almost everything you could possibly do to live up the insanity shared among fans around the SEC. The last step is arriving at least 20 minutes early. The best stadiums only have a few empty seats a half-hour before kickoff. I have a feeling it won’t be too long before Kentucky fans start doing the same.
— Where did the student tailgates go? I showed up to the first game and the infamous “Bowl” was no more. Instead, students are tailgating off campus, essentially having outdoor parties along Elizabeth, from State Street to Dantzler. Even though the two-story beer bong on the corner of State Street is kinda cool, it looks terrible as a whole.
If you want to see what happens at football game outside of the regular broadcast, the craziest tailgate scenes from around the nation are usually shown to the world via Snapchat through a variety of outlets. UK was the absolute worst I have seen all football season. Instead of showing an area with thousands enjoying themselves, it was small groups of people playing beer pong and flip cup in the front yard of a run-down house. What are we, Louisville? It’s my biggest disappointment of the football season and they must find a way to fix it. We’re better than this.
— I’ll take any suggestions on how to handle hearing cowbells for four hours. We drew straws, and of course the new guy got stuck going to the most miserable place in the SEC. I’m going to try to remain positive, but I’m going to expect the worst from Stark Vegas.
— Cow bells could be a positive. Not for me, but for the team. Kentucky is a different team on the road. They seem to rise to the occasion against a stadium full of haters, especially Patrick Towles. Instead of playing afraid to lose, hopefully their aggressiveness will create big plays to change the momentum in Davis-Wade Stadium.
— But seriously, what is in Starkville? I can promise you that Freddie Maggard will spend the entirety of this week’s podcast trying to convince me that Starkville is actually a wonderful place, but I’m not buying it.