He’s being given next year to turn things around. By the time The Joke is done, UK Football will be decimated.
Mr. Barnhart should have brought the Grim Reaper with him to the Press Conference. This announcements is tantamount to a death sentence on the program. The retention of Joker Phillips crushes the hopes of a program that is on it’s death bed.
UK Football dies next year. 2012 will be uglier than the worst of the Curry years. Sure, The Joke will defeat 3 cupcakes. Charlie Strong and his Cards, however, will run through Joker like a hot knife through butter. Vanderbilt will continue to improve under a Coach who actually knows his job. The only team that UK defeated in the SEC fired their coach and will hire someone better than The Joke.
No more bowl games for UK. It’s back to 40 and 50 point shellackings by UT, UF, LSU, Bama and whoever is fortunate enough to be scheduled on the SECs built in Cupcakes schedule.
It’s up to the fans now. If they attend the games and “support the team,” there will be no incentive for change. However, if they steadfastly refuse to spend their hard earned money to see Kentucky Football fail under The Joke, Barnhart and the Board of Trustees will have no choice but to get rid of The Joke.
I have no faith in the UK Football Fan Base, though. They have shown that they will buy into the program no matter how pathetic a team is fielded. It’s almost a badge of honor to be able to state that “I was there for the worst of the Curry years.” Now they’ll be able to say that they were there through the worst Coach in UK History as well. That’s a hell of a feat for the The Joke. UK has had some terrible coaching.
But this is par for the course for UK Football. Two steps forward, five steps back. This time, UK may not recover. At best, it will take a decade to undo the damage wrought by the Head Coach in Waiting.
If Joker really loved the program as so many say that he does, he’d resign. Unless he’s a moron, he’s a millionaire by now. He’ll never get a better offer as a head coach as he’s failed miserably at UK. He sits out a year or two. Someone will eventually call him up to be an Offensive Coordinator.
The reasons range from his alleged off the field behavior to his incompetence on the field. Personally, I believe that if he is resigning, it’s because he’s being forced out because some of these rumors are true.
Personally, I never thought that he’d work out. I was never impressed with the run of cupcake beatings and wins against down teams such as UL, Vandy and the Mississippi twins to get to a minor Bowl Game. The Infamous Cupcake Strategy of Rich Brooks. I was underwhelmed by it all. Rich Brooks had two decent teams — 2006 and 2007. Both seasons had wins against quality opponents and ended with victories in the Music City Bowl. Every other year was mediocre at best. Those years were the lone “good years” of the Rich Brooks tenure.
Joker bought into the Cupcake Strategy. That said enough about him for me. It was winning by sleight of hand. Joker was made Head Coach in Waiting and went on to be a dismal failure. He could beat the cupcakes. He hasn’t proven that he can beat the lower level SEC schools and UL took him out this year. If he stays, there will be no improvement. Retaining Joker will only delay the inevitable and set UK Football back further. UK Football can not afford to be set back any further.
Hopefully the rumors are true about him resigning. Joker will resign or be forced out and UK can move on. If it does happen, UKAA will need to hit a home run in their hire. Leach. Gruden. Someone who can energize the program. Someone who can build something real rather than attempt to fool UK fans with smoke and mirrors.
If nothing is done this year, look for Commonwealth Stadium to be a cemetery next year. Only the diehard fans who want to support the players will show up for the games. Average attendance will be less than 50,000.
The consensus seems to be that Joker will not resign. It’s either force him out of let him play out his contract. If he’s back next year, it’s going to be ugly.
UK lost to the Vols again yesterday. That makes it 26 years of futility. 26 years of ignominious defeat at the hands of the most despicable programs in the SEC. 26 years of losing to the vile Vols of Knoxville. Doesn’t matter how low the Vols sink. Matters not in how bad of shape that despised program lies. At their best, the Vols have slaughtered UK in Football. At their worst, the Vols have found a way to beat UK. Even in UK Footballs recent “glory” years, the Vols have come in to Commonwealth Stadium and strutted out with a W stamped across their effort. Even in the year 2010 when UT is at it’s lowest point in decades, UK has left Neyland Stadium LOSERS.
Joker promised the fans “Operation Win.”
UK Football can’t get over the hump. Not with the Coaches they hire. Not with a Coach who has no heart. And that’s what we have. Joker Philips. All talk, no heart.
He was the “Coach in Waiting.” We were told this was for continuity. Well, we got it. Continuity. He’s continued the proud UK Football Tradition of LOSING.
UK Football has made losing to the Vols and art form. They’ve found new and creative ways to lose this game 26 times in a row.
Hell, I wasn’t surprised that they lost. I was just surprised that after a bye week that UK didn’t get blown out. UK Football never emerges from a bye week prepared. It’s the complete opposite. A bye week seems to bring out lethargy and lackadaisical lapses of concentration.
Joker Philips, or as I like to call him, THE JOKE came in talking big. UK was going to turn it around. This was the year that UK Football got over the hump.
Looks more like the year that UK Football lost momentum and slid back down there level with Vandy.
THE JOKE should resign. If the guy had any honor, he’d already have stepped aside.
He won’t do it. So I give him about 4 more years before the UKAA belatedly admits their mistake, fires him and moves on to make their next lackluster hire of a coach who will be fired soon thereafter. The UKAA has no imagination when it comes to football. Always playing to not lose instead of making a play to win. As long as they’re getting those fat checks from the SEC and fans keep filling up those seats to watch mediocre football this will never change.
So much for this being the REAL BOWL GAME of the season. Losers talk if I’ve ever heard it, that was.
So, here’s to eternal mediocrity and the hopeless fools who pay for the privilege of watching it.
HAS SOMEONE STARTED FIREJOKER.COM YET???
If not, they should.
All of these football people who follow Kentucky have all of these reservations about UK playing Louisville.
All of these Joker apologists have all of these reservations about playing Louisville.
I thought UK Football had improved so much.
If it had improved so much, UK could and would take any challenge and super it.
Instead we have all of this talk about “is it worth it?” All of these folks admitting that UK could lose a game like this.
UK has immensely improved in football. Yet, with all of that improvement, it is still flat out MEDIOCRE.
LET ME SAY IT AGAIN…
UK Football is still sitting at roughly 11th place in the SEC and might have gone from a 150 to 200 ranked team to a 90-140 ranked team.
IT’S STILL MEDIOCRE.
I don’t see much to celebrate.
Barely making .500 each year and barely making a Bowl Game.
Still can’t beat Florida. Still can’t beat UT.
BUT HEY! It’s exciting that UK can beat the decent to good SEC Teams when they are having a down year.
It’s a joke.
If there isn’t significant improvement in the Second Year of Joker, I think the guy should be fired. Especially if there is a set back. If UK doesn’t win at least 8 games next season, the Joke should be terminated. Period.
I’m tired of being forced to cheer for 5th Rate Football. I’m equally tired of the perenially lie that UK is coming up. I’m tired of exhortations to believe.
Screw that…show me something. Something.
And I’m not talking about 2nd rate bowls or winning at Tennessee when UT SUCKS!
We have the newest revolution from the mind of the Joke.
What an idiot!
There’s all this talk about Kentucky and bowls and eligibility and where the Cats might go and whom the Cats might play.
I can tell you right here and now that this year Kentucky’s bowl game will once again be played in Tennessee.
The Cats don’t need to be bowl-eligible to play there.
Yes, the Kentucky-Tennessee game on Nov. 27 in Neyland Stadium is the game the Big Blue Nation is truly anticipating.
To be sure, the Cats need to handle matters this Saturday and notch the season’s obligatory sixth triumph by flogging feeble Vanderbilt.
How feeble? The Commodores are last in the SEC in both total offense, total defense and scoring offense. On the bright side, they are 11th in scoring defense.
Last week, in a 55-14 drubbing by visiting Florida, the Commodores punted 12 times. Poor punter Richard Kent — get this man a leg massage — is on pace to break the team record for most punts in a season, a record set last season.
The ‘Dores are converting just 20.7 percent of their third-down opportunities. Next worst among SEC teams in that category is Tennessee. The Volunteers are converting at a 35.6 percent clip.
Need we go on?
How did Vanderbilt beat Ole Miss in Oxford all the way back on Sept. 18?
Houston Nutt, you have some explaining to do.
Joker Phillips will have some explaining to do, too, should the Cats slip Saturday. We shall excuse last Saturday’s near slip. It’s tough for any SEC school to get up for an FCS team, especially one that lost 66-7 to Hawaii. Playing a flat game against a bad FCS team is one thing, being unprepared for an SEC foe — even one by membership only — with something on the line, is another thing.
I find this article to be the height of stupidity. It’s a joke. My opinion is that THE JOKE already has some explaining to do. Like how “Operation Win” turned into Operation Failure with one of the easiest schedules that UK will face for a while.
This was supposed to be a year in which UK graduated to a bigger Bowl picture. Instead, Neyland and the possible defeat of a downtrodden Vols team is THE BOWL GAME of 2010.
WHAT A JOKE!
At least the name fits.
The “Bowl Game” to which UK Football is looking forward is the game at Knoxville?
It’s an admission that UK Football is so bad that they can’t win against a quality opponent. UK must win this year while UT is down or miss it’s chance at breaking that streak.
UK Football is so terrible that they’re looking forward to going down to Neyland Stadium and defeating (or attempting to defeat) the Volunteers. A Tennessee Vol Team in disarray. A UT Football team on it’s 3rd coach in as many season. A team depleted by scholarship reductions, defections and any number of scandals and problems.
That’s how awesome UK Football truly has become under Rich Brookes.
Now! Dont get me wrong. Rich Brooks did an incredible job of pulling UK Football out of the dregs. He took UK Football from the bottom of the SEC to a respectable bottom of the SEC. And that was a HUGE improvement. That’s how terrible UK was. Now, UK is a threat to actually beat the 2nd Tier Teams of the SEC and to occasionally defeat a #1 LSU team. They’ve done it. They defeated UGa two years in a row. They picked off Auburn last year. They finally took out Spurrier and the Cocks this year.
The only problem is that UK has no depth. They lose one or two key players and the year is over. The year that they beat #1 LSU. They went on to lose the next three games. Why? Injuries.
Why can’t UK recruit? I don’t know. They get decent kids. They just never have enough get over the hump and to stay there. Recruiting kills UK.
Now, we’ve got The Joke and Operation Win. No more moral victories. The Failed First Season.
I don’t see anything that’s changed. Some of the UK fans whom I know rave about The Joke. I don’t see it. What UK needs is something to bring in the recruits. Usually, that’s a head coach. I see Joker Philips simply continuing to bring in the same kind of recruits that Brooks brought in. An occasional gem but no depth.
That’s not going to build UK Football into a powerhouse nor is it going to bring UK Football out of the “respectable basement” of the SEC. It’s simply going to maintain the status quo.
Bottom line. I’m not excited about defeating a down in the dumps Tennessee Vol team. Sure, it would be nice to kick the SOBs while their down. It’s just that I’d like to see a Kentucky Football Team that can go into Neyland in a UT Vol Championship year and kick their butts. I’d like to see a Kentucky Football program that is feared in the SEC. Not just a team that the other SEC programs shouldn’t overlook.
Problem is. The UKAA doesn’t want this and UK Football fans don’t know what they want. And if UK Football fans did know what they wanted, they wouldn’t have the necessary courage and fortitude to do anything about it. The sporting world is full of chumps.
If you need any evidence of that: There are still UK Basketball fans who love Tubby TLT Smith. (They’re usually the same stupid SOBs who don’t want to hear anything but positivity about UK Football.)
I’ve been to three or four SEC Tournaments and 50 plus games thus far.
At each tournament, several local Alumni clubs and Kentucky Websites have organized events for UK fans. I have not seen one event organized by UKAA. UKAA seems to think that it’s above it’s fans. It seems to want to “lord it over” the fans and the various organization that support UK and the Wildcats teams each year.
I find this incomprehensible.
It seems as though the UKAA takes the fan base for granted. The UKAA does not seem particularly interested in returning the support that the fan base lavishes on UK.
Truly, I do not understand this.
Other SEC Teams organized various functions for their fans. UKAA organized NOT ONE function for it’s fans. The pep rally was organized by the local Nashville Alumni association. No one from UK became officially involved.
Without the fans, the UKAA would not have been able to pay that HUGE salary to John Calipari. Without the fan base, UKAA would be hard put to find boosters to support the UKAA. After all, why do boosters support UK?
Because they make dump trucks full of dollars off of the UK fan base.
If the Wildcat Nation or the Blue Haze stopped following UK to every tournament and game, there’d be no dollars to be made.
Why does UK seem to distance itself from it’s own fan base?
I know many organizations and websites who get the UK fan base mobilized and motivated. UKAA attempts to control them and the dollars that these organizations raise without lifting so much as a finger to assist in planning or logistics. If you don’t follow the overly structured rules of the UKAA, they’ll attempt to bully you and/or shut you down completely.
It’s a bit sickening.
I’ve even heard that they sic their attack dogs on fan organization for daring to use the combination of colors of blue and white.
Should not the UKAA be thankful for the fan base and be more supportive. After all, if the fan base dried up, there would be no Kentucky Wildcats program.
Look at the UK football team as an example. UK football is mid-level at best. Why does it remain so? Because the UKAA knows that the UK fan base will purchase those tickets, apparel and related items regardless of the product on the field.
UKAA cares about one thing. The bottom line.
Had the UK fan base stayed awake for the Gillispie era or the end of the Tubby era, those coaches would still be in Lexington. As soon as UKAA started losing profit, Tubby had to go. The same occurred with Billy Gillispie. Had UK fans and boosters continued to spend the dollars, Gillispie could have stuffed one of his athletes into a toilet.
The UKAA should not neglect it’s fan base. They should provide the same support for the fan base that the fan base provides for UKAA.
“Football is a great deal like life in that it teaches that work, sacrifice, perseverance, competitive drive, selflessness, and respect for authority are the price each and every one of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”
A friend on WildcatNation wrote a timely piece on the decaying spirit of sportsmanship across America today. Really, it’s a global phenomenon. From the Football Hooligan of Europe to the assassination of sports stars who fail on the world scene such as the Olympics and the World Cup. In America, we have Soccer Moms fighting with each other. Fathers berating their sons on the Football field and fighting with other Fathers and Coaches over playing time and Coaching Tactics. Fans fighting in their seats in every Stadium across the Nation. There was the big brawl during the Pacers~Detroit game. The infamous Knicks~Miami brawls. Football players and Basketball players carrying guns into the Stadiums and Arenas across America. The list goes on and on.
Lighthouse touches on all of this and gives a few suggestions as to how to improve this dynamic for the future in the following article:
Sportsmanship, What Happened?
Who’s at Fault?
Webster describes sportsmanship as, “a fairness, courtesy, being a cheerful loser etc.” How far have we come from the time in our country when that was a meaningful description? I’m ashamed to say, too far. Who’s to blame? Again I’m ashamed to admit, me, you, parents, coaches, administrators, rules makers, officials, in other words, we are all guilty in one way or the other.
We in Kentucky are very fortunate to have many outstanding athletes at all levels who compete each year in a multitude of sports on the gridirons, fields and courts. These student athletes are coached by a dedicated group of professionals and are supported by thousands of parents and fans. However, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association reports that approximately 700 players and coaches are ejected from high school contests each year due to unsportsmanlike conduct. (The breakdown is 80% athletes, 20% coaches. No statistics are kept on fan ejections, which could easily surpass those of players and coaches). When you add in the NCAA in all sports and levels, it’s mind boggling.
During my nearly 30 years of officiating basketball, football, baseball, and softball, I have seen the decline in sportsmanship in all sports at all levels. I have had the privilege of officiating every level, especially basketball, from small children to the old ABA professional level. I felt blessed to officiate every game, but have personally experienced several upsetting situations. One was at a peewee football game; a dad ran out of the stands and yelled at his son that he would whip him if this much bigger kid knocked him down again. At a DII basketball game; police had to be called to control a coach who the next day was fired because of his behavior. I had to remove a scorekeeper and have fans escorted out. We had to stop a college basketball game because four teenagers were using thick rubber bands to shoot nails at the opposing players. Finally they were arrested. And I could go on and on. I feel very fortunate to have only ejected a few players or coaches.
As you can imagine, I’ve endured a lot of verbal abuse. I guess I’ve heard every vulgar name you can think of. I once had a school administrator threaten me on my way to the locker room at halftime. One of my friends received a very nasty letter, anonymously of course. One official was shot at with a BB gun, they missed. Some of this stuff you expect, but some of it, certainly not. One fact I’m particularly ashamed of, Christian schools are among the worst. I heard this comment from a High School official, “Those Christians, they pray before the game and then all hell breaks loose.” And I have to admit it’s true because I witnessed it myself.
I strongly believe the underlying problem is the lack of respect that individuals have for each other and for authority in our society. Many people feel they can say whatever they want to whomever they want. This particularly seems to apply to individuals in positions of authority. All you have to do is ask school teachers, policemen, even parents. And, the problem is widespread.
We recently witnessed trash talking used to get in the heads of opposing players, and it seemed to be supported by the coach. We hear vulgar chants from fans, and they are not all students, but it is never addressed by school administrators. Hence, a message of support. This language is allowed in the classroom, so why not in the gym. Our students learn in the gym just like they do in a science lab. This lack of respect detracts from the otherwise positive benefits derived from sports participation.
I challenge everyone associated with athletics to make good sportsmanship a priority. Set a positive example to reinforce these critically important values associated with interscholastic sports participation. I propose the following specific measures to improve sportsmanship and the student athlete experience.
Just play the game! Concentrate on your performance, not on putting down your opponent. Whether you’re a professional or in middle school, realize you are a role model, and you have someone looking up to you, so set a good example.
Hold your players accountable for their conduct. Remember, you control your players’ most precious commodity-playing time. Don’t allow your players to engage in unsportsmanlike behavior. Set the proper example with your own conduct. Your players will take their lead from how you behave. Never allow your players to abuse opponents under any circumstances. Never berate the officials. If you disagree with a call, ask (in a gentlemanly manner) for an explanation of what the official saw. If you feel you can “bait” an official, simply scratch him, because the other coach probably feels the same way. If you’re both right, that official has no business on the court anyway.
Create an atmosphere at your athletics where good sportsmanship is expected. Don’t allow your students to engage in vulgar chants or demean the other team. Have zero tolerance for any act that is not in the interest of good sportsmanship. Use athletic contests as an opportunity to teach positive values. Control your coaches, after all, they are teachers of young adults and you would never allow a science professor to act like some coaches do.
A spectator’s ticket for admission must be considered an opportunity to watch the performance of highly impressionable athletes from children thru college and even into adults. It’s not a license to abuse coaches, players, officials or other fans. Fans must understand that attending a game is a privilege and should be treated as such. Fans should focus on positively encourage their teams and not engage in demeaning conduct toward opponents. Fans need to understand they are subject to removal from the premises if they exhibit inappropriate behavior. Officials are going to make bad calls, players are going to make mistakes, and coaches are not always going to play the players fans think they should play.
We must shoulder some of the blame for the deterioration of sportsmanship. When we fail to address unsportsmanlike actions by coaches and players, we do a disservice to the game. We must have the courage and conviction to address those situations. When it comes to dealing with unsportsmanlike acts, we have broad discretion in our responses, from verbal warnings to ejections. Remember, enforcing rules related to poor sportsmanship, and all rules, is our job. The game is there for you, you are not there for the game. You know the rule for walking so, call it whether it happens in the paint or 30 feet out. It does have an effect on the game. If you allow a coach to “bait or work” you and you turn a deaf ear because you’re worried about your rating, please for the betterment of the game, turn in your stripes!
Everyone associated with athletics must take responsibility for improving sportsmanship. From player to coach to official, we are all equal partners in promoting the positive values inherent to interscholastic participation. No matter what your role is in the game, do YOUR part to support good sportsmanship.
I’ll admit that I’m guilty of some of these activities. I’ve heckled the refs in my time. Mostly in fun. To get a laugh from the crowd. However, I can see how it can be taken too far. I’ve heckled fans as well. Coming close to physical altercations a time or two in the past.
I reckon it’s time to modify my behavior so as not to countenance this behavior in the future.
It’s a great piece Mr. Lighthouse. Thank you for taking the time to highlight this issue.
One man practicing good sportsmanship is far better than 50 others preaching it.
— Knute Rockne, football coach
I never thought about losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right.
— Muhammad Ali, boxer
Always imitate the behavior of the winner when you lose.
“In the end, it’s extra effort that separates a winner from second place. But winning takes a lot more that that, too. It starts with complete command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire, determination, discipline, and self-sacrifice. And finally, it takes a great deal of love, fairness and respect for your fellow man. Put all these together, and even if you don’t win, how can you lose?”
When the Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes not that you won or lost, but how you played the Game.
— Grantland Rice, sportswriter
As Kentucky fans, we have been bountifully blessed this year with Coach Calipari and this outstanding Kentucky Basketball team. I know that many of you, like me, are very grateful for this program’s return to prominence as we have endured the longing for success now for several years.
I believe that Kentucky fans are the most loyal, passionate and generous fans of any sports team in America. And, I think I have a way that we can share who we really are with the rest of the world.
There are extremely cold temperatures throughout America now and will be next week as well. Even Florida has had a series of record low, freezing temperatures. Most of us are blessed to have warm clothes and a warm enough place to sleep to endure the arctic air that surrounds us.
But not everyone in America will have what they need to stay warm tonight. They need things that most of us already have in our closets, under our beds, or in our attics. I believe that everyone reading this has something, even just one thing, that they could share with another human being to help keep them warm.
Since Kentucky has the most dedicated fans in the world and we are a caring group of good people, I have an idea how we can show the rest of the world.
Between now and next Friday, January 15th let’s each find some way, small or large, to make a difference in the life of one single homeless person. Let’s choose to unite in belief, for one moment in time, that every homeless person can’t help where they are in life right now.
Let’s look throughout our homes for anything extra we have that we can share. The economy is too tough for many of us to go out and buy new things to give away. So, let’s simply share what we already have with just one other person
Look for blankets, sweatshirts, sweatpants, warm socks, gloves, hats, scarves, candles, or anything else you can share to keep someone warm.
Next, write in permanent ink on the label or somewhere discretely this one simple phrase, “Kentucky fans care.”
Finally, go find a homeless person and give it to them directly or take the items to your local homeless shelter for distribution to those in need. Sadly, there is no shortage in our country today.
Let the message resound throughout America that indeed, “Kentucky Fans Care”.
Feel free to share this message in any way or any place that you can. Post it on other boards. Send it in email to friends and family that bleed blue like us. Print 50 and hand them out at the game Saturday. Just try and help to spread the word in any way you see fit.
I know what good and kind hearted people we have in this Big Blue Nation of Kentucky fans. Just think of how many lives we can touch for the better. It’s a very small thing for each of us to do. But together, we will shout this message to the rest of the world. Let’s help one other human being trying to simply survive, one night at a time.
CurlyCat in Tampa
I think this is a fine idea. Please feel free to copy this and pass it on and use it. I’ll find a way to do it here in Afghanistan as well. I’ll post pics later.
For the past couple of years, I don’t know where I’d be without you guys.
Thanks for all the information, game previews, game recaps and all the other stuff that you guys do on the blog.
I’ve been overseas for a while now and without you guys, I’d be blind on Kentucky Sports.
P.S. WildcatRick hooks me up, too (so don’t get sulky Rick…lol)
GO BIG BLUE!
On! On! U of K On, on, U of K,
we are right for the fight today, Hold that ball and hit that line; Ev’ry Wildcat star will shine; We’ll fight, fight, fight, for the blue and white
As we roll to that goal, Varsity,
And we’ll kick, pass and run,
’till the battle is won,
And we’ll bring home the victory.
Undersized Woodyard having a big impact
UK product leads Broncos’ defense
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos were about to go down for the count when rocket-armed quarterback Jay Cutler came to the rescue along with a most unlikely sidekick — an undrafted, undersized and largely unknown rookie linebacker named Wesley Woodyard.
Things looked bleak for the Broncos when D. J. Williams, fresh off signing a $32 million, six-year contract that solidified his standing as Denver’s defensive leader, went down with a knee injury on Nov. 2.
The bungling Broncos were sitting ugly at 4-4 with a three-game losing streak.
Denver, which had already lost strongside linebacker Boss Bailey for the year and would lose middle linebacker Nate Webster the following week, turned to a free agent from the University of Kentucky who is generously listed at 230 pounds and was ignored in the draft because he’s too small.
Or so everybody thought.
During Williams’ absence, the 6-foot-1 Woodyard has had 50 tackles in his five starts on the weak side, leading Denver (8-5) to the brink of a playoff berth.
“I play with about 10 or 20 chips on my shoulder,” Woodyard said. “I’ve always been looked at as a little guy. I’ve always been small since I was little, so I’m used to playing bigger than I really am.”
Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme, whose Panthers (10-3) host the Broncos on Sunday, said he’s impressed with Denver’s entire makeshift defense — but one guy stands out above the rest.
“I’ll tell you what, the more film you watch … Woodyard keeps on making plays, especially the last couple of weeks,” Delhomme said.
Two weeks ago, Woodyard had 13 tackles, 11 of them solo, and forced a fumble by Brett Favre in Denver’s win over the Jets. Against Kansas City last week, he led the team with eight solo tackles and broke up a pass in another crucial win.
“Wesley’s one of those things you call a diamond in the rough,” teammate Kenny Peterson said. “He’s 200-what?”
Two hundred thirty.
“Oh?” Peterson said. “I was going to say 210 soaking wet with two jogging suits on.
“But he hits like a 280-pound guy.”
Williams is inching his way back to health, and that begs the question: How can the Broncos possibly take Woodyard out of the lineup when Williams returns?
“Yeah, he’s a playmaker,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “We’ll try to keep him out there as much as we can. He’s fun to watch, both on defense and special teams.”
One possibility is keeping Woodyard where he is and moving Williams back to the middle. Woodyard said he’s ready for a reduced role if that’s what it comes to.
“D. J.’s the captain of our defense. You’ve got to give all respect to him. I’m ready to accept my role on the team like I did in the preseason,” Woodyard said.
The way Woodyard sees it, the more depth at his position, the better.
“Once we get D. J. back, we’re going to have a lot more playmakers on our team,” he said. “I’m just going to earn my respect every week from the guys on the team and the guys in the NFL.”
The NFL may be surprised.
There isn’t one person associated with UK Football who is though. Nor is there a fan out there who is surprised by the success of Wesley Woodyard.
My only surprise was when he went un-drafted. Too many scouts relying on internet reports and brand name instead of actually earning their pay. Nothing new there. I suppose that’s not really all that surprising.
Is this a sign of terrible things to come for UK football? Is it the coaches working the kinks out of inexperience? Was it just a momentary stroke of good fortune on the part of MTSU and UK overcame their mistakes to win a ball game.
I’ve been following UK football for a while now. I’ve been talking to UK football fans who have followed the program for years. One recurring theme when it comes to UK football is that every time UK starts to do well, the program self-destructs. Usually probation over recruiting violations. Most often, UK is caught at something comparatively laughable. But instead of fighting the NCAA like UT and Bama and USC, UK cooperates and is burned for their efforts.
USC gets a Reggie Bush and his agents. No problem. Ohio State gets caught paying it’s players thousand. No problem. A teacher comes out and verifies that UT is cheating academically, hell, the teacher gets fired and UT is cleared of any and all cheating.
UK gives a couple of jackets away and is caught writing a grand worth of checks. Probation time.
UK has enjoyed two successful seasons. 8-5 Bowl years. Sounds great. I love it. But I’m still waiting for the other shoe to fall. In some fashion or another.
I hope to god it doesn’t happen. I want the program to be successful. I’d love to Rich Brooks to retire with a BCS Bowl added to his resume.
Coach Brooks and company are making great gains in recruiting. This is hopeful. Signs of a program on the rise. They have beat UL two years in a row. This year they embarrassed the Cards in their own stadium. The Card fans ran out on their team before the 3rd quarter was over. Last year, Brooks had this team roaring. Defeating the #1 LSU in a huge upset. Ranked #8 in the country at one point. Then came 3 losses in a row. The Cats just didn’t have the depth to compete. Not even with Mississippi State. That’s not Brooks fault. That’s Kentucky Football.
Brooks seem to be doing everything right. He’s adding depth and talent. UK finally has a respectable Defense. A first in my memory.
I hope the end of the game is a symbol of persistance and not a sign of things starting to unravel. Kentucky plays in the SEC. If they don’t tighten up, there will be plenty of losses. UF. UGa. UT. Bama. All on the schedule. USC and Spurrier are on the schedule. the Gamecocks might be down. With Spurrier, they are never out.
UK must get at least 3 wins in the SEC. Arkansas, USC, VAndy and Miss. Those are 4 winnable games. UK has to take care of business here. That would be an 8 wins season and a good bowl game.
UT looks beatable this season. But Phat Phil isn’t going to take that last game of the season off. He’ll be ready for UK. That is for certain. In a down year like this one seems to be heading, a loss to UK would be unforgiveable. The Vols might chase him out of Knoxville. Hell, they might put him on the Big Blue Bus and tell him not to come back. So a UT win is going to be a challenge. But not impossible.
Upset one of UF, UGa or Bama.
Well, that’s a lot to hope for…but, if it happened. Oh, if it happened.
A fine effort by Myron Pryor, Ashton Cobb, Jeremy Jarmon, Trevard Lindley and the boys in Blue on Defense. Myron Pryor forces a fumble that Ashton Cobb runs in for a TD. Another forced fumble that Myron Pryor takes 72 yards for a TD. Tips. Blocks. Rushes. Tight coverage. All the things that a defense is supposed to do. And Kentucky is doing it to near perfection.
It’s a new day in Kentucky Football.
The Offense is a bit soft. Hartline and the receiving corps need to bring it together and concentrate. If they don’t, it’s going to be a long year. I liked what I saw in Randall Cobb. The guy is going to be a stud. Plain and simple.
Kentucky takes it at Papa Johns. The UL Offense was shut out. Only a Hartline mistake and a [technical] safety saves the Cards from being completely shut out.
Two in a row. Time to celebrate in Kentucky. A 4-0 start is almost a foregone conclusion.
The next challenge is the Nick Saban led Crimson Tide. The Tide look to mean business this year. They crushedClemson in their opener. Saban is out to prove that he’s worth that huge ‘Bama pay out.
Congratulations on the win to the Boys in Blue. Go Cats!
P.S. Apparently, Morgan Newton was in attendance. I’m sure he liked what he saw. Hopefully, other recruits were paying attention and UK moves up on their list of possibilities. UK is coming on strong. Come join the Big Blue and help lead the Nation to Football and SEC prominence. You’ll be glad you did.
Happy New Years!
The Football Cats have accomplished something that no UK Football Team has accomplished since Paul “Bear” Bryant coached at UK. Yes, that Bear. Congratulations to the Cats and especially to the Seniors.
Looks like the Cats will have 3 or 4 possible first rounders in the NFL Draft this year. Good Luck to them. At least 5 go in the first few rounds. Here’s to Andre being selected by a team with a great QB under whom he can study for a couple of years. Then maybe we can have a Kentucky QB lead a team to a Super Bowl in a few years.
Kentucky defeats the Seminoles 35-28.