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I admit I missed most of the first quarter due to having to drive 2 hours from Ashland after my son's baseball game was cancelled, but here are some of my thoughts and I hope to hear your alls as well.
Defense. I really think this defensive unit will be be pretty good this year. I like their athleticism and agressiveness. They have some big shoes to fill, but I think Williamson and Dupree are going to be just as good as Trevathan and Guy. Also love our defensive line. They look like an SEC defensive line. Our corners and safeties look to be green but love their size and speed. Caffey looks very good. I think Minter is going to have this unit looking very good come fall.
Offense. Max Smith is the man. He has such a quick release and he is not afraid to put the ball in there for the receivers. It cost him an int but I like how he looks in the pocket and delivering the football. Robinson is going to be awesome. He is the real deal. The tight ends look much improved and are going to be used more. That brings me to what I really liked. I love that the coaches are moving to a hurry up offense. I have always felt that UK has played better in the hurry up. There was a lot of that. Second thing I liked is that they are using the pass to set up the run. It seems they are finally playing to the strengths of their players. Offensive line is the question mark and we all knew that. I feel they will be fine come fall. Overall the offense is going to be much better. There are "playmakers" out there and they showed it today. I think this offense will surprise people much like Woodson and company did in '06.
Special teams. Who knows, there were none today. The reports are that punting is a problem but I feel confident the return game will be vastly improved.
So what do I expect. Well, I am no expert, but I think this team can win 6 to 7 games. They are very young and if they do that, I think it will be a successful season. Some may not see it that way, but it is a growing process and with a young team the SEC will be very tough. Then again, youth can be a good thing because they dont know or care that the experts say they dont stand a chance. So 8 wins is possible but not likely. The only way I see them falling flat is if there is a major injury to Smith or one of the anchors on the line. Outside of that, with King, Clemmons, and some of the others who didnt get to participate coming back, I think this is the makings of a young and hungry team, that is a dangerous combo.
This post was edited by mtk4uk 2 years ago
^If we win 7 this year, even the biggest Joker haters will be happy. 6, most will consider it a good year considering, but less than 6 and things will take yet another turn for the worse.
I think anywhere from 5-8 wins is plausable as it is every year.
Thing that I liked hearing is that we ran out of the shotgun so much. To me that sounds like we are going to run an offense that is suitable to Towles.
I think 6 wins would be wonderful.
I love some of the players on this team, but its still really young. I am hoping for six wins this year. Then if we make a move next year to 7-8 wins. A lot of talent in this FR class and the FR class coming in.
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It also appears to be suitable for Smith as well - given his big performance. And probably has a little to do with our Oline being a bit thin.
Does it look like Brause could possibly be the 1 at the other inside spot, or will he only spell Williamson? Kid's a good athlete and as a former QB should have a good understanding of the game and an aptitude for quick decisioin-making.
Brause is among the growing list of young players that is going to get a lot of playing time this year. He made several exceptional plays for the second team defense.
I'be been wondering that about the WLB spot. We have Dupree at RushBacker and Williamson at MLB. Then we have McDuffen and Rancifer reportedly struggling at WLB and a lot of guys at Guy's SLB/hybrid spot. Maybe we consider moving Forrest or Simpson to WLB with the other one staying at hybrid. Would Dupree, Forrest, Williamson, Simpson be better than having McDuffen out there instead of one of Forrest/Simpson? Or maybe Henderson comes in and just takes to the WLB spot like a duck to water.
Brause will get clock but Williamson will be the starter.
I think the staff knows that for us to be successful we have to be a 3 wr one te team that is balanced to slightly pass happy. I liked hearing that we were working from
The gun so much.
I for one think our defense takes another step forward off of their improved season Last year. Couple that with a better offense that puts them in better positions and I think we have a shot at having one of the better uk defenses in the last 5 or 6 years.
In terms of success. Joker must get to a bowl to save his job. I see 8-9 winnable games on the schedule. The Petrino situation puts that one in play IMO.
Uofl, the other 3 ooc games, miss. State, mizzou, Tennessee, vandy, ark and uscjr are all winnable IMO. Some much harder than others but we must get 6 of those.
That "struggling" bit is why I was wondering about Brause, instead of spelling Williamson, could he excel and be a 1 at the WLB spot? Didn't Brause play some at Guy's SLB/hybrid spot last year and then moved to MLB late last year/this Spring? I readily admit what little I've seen of Brause has been only on TV or Video, so I thought I'd toss it out for those who went to yesterday's scrimmage and who were at some of the practices last year.
Could be a possibly, he was very active with the ones. I'm sure I heard his name quite a bit but it's going to come down to his actual speed, I'm not very sure he's quite as fast as you would want someone at the will.
I don't always post but when I do, I try to make things interesting
So did Darren Warren even get to play. I know a couple of weeks ago Joker was talking him up as improving and being a big part of the running game. It sounded like there were a lot of one back shotgun sets. Just wondering?
If he wins 6 games, they should put a statue of him and BROOKS outside the stadium with their arms around each other.
Towards the end they went to a 2-back set. Warren got one nasty block that I remember. I think he caught a dump off.
Couple of quick observations before work:
- You just have to be impressed with the quick development of true soph Max Smith. For whatever reason, it seems many of Randy Sanders' QBs have taken 3 years or so to have any level of comfort in his offense. Smith has gotten more comfortable by the day. I think we all need to hope Towles gets redshirted to space these 2 out a few years. Smith made a few bad decisions, but overall, he looked very good in the pocket.
- TEs. Hate me if you want, but if UK is going to win in the SEC this season, it will be with Sheilds and Kendrick getting the snaps, not TR. The two young guys are soooo much more athletic and require extra attention from the safetys. TR, while solid, does not pose any type of a deep threat and still allows teams to load the box. Shields and Kendrick CAN force defenses to cover the deep middle of the field. TR does not. That could make a big difference in the overall offensive execution.
- DL. As expected, the front 4 was really, really impressive.
- OL. While they didn't give up many sacks (because they were in shotgun 80% of snaps), they simply couldn't open up holes against the front 4 when they tried to line up and run the ball in the "I". This bunch will struggle big time in run blocking against bigger teams, aka the SEC.
- LB. So so. Nothing special.
- Secondary. Suspect.
Special Teams (LoL)- the fact that UK didn't even include punt/punt return because of the absence of a decent kicker is the most insane thing I've ever heard for a supposedly "SEC" program. The lack of attention to special teams, evidenced by the fact that UK never hired a special teams coach, still stands out as one of the biggest red flags regarding the leadership of this program right now.
All in all, a pretty decent showing. How will this group fair against SEC teams this Fall? Who knows, but I have a tough time seeing 3 SEC wins with this bunch.
Agreee with what pretty much everything you said Minter.
By the way they were working on punting before the game. I can assume they didn't do it in the game because its HORRIBLE. Each punt only went like 30 yards. Hopefully Landon lives up to the hype.
Also Demarco Robinson was the one catching the punts and he did a good job. Didn't miss anything back there.
Wasn't Manseur a great punter and kicker in HS? What happened to him punting wise I mean wow. I'm baffled by him not getting it done.
Unfortunately given our O line situation, especially at RT, Robinson will probably play A LOT as a 6th O linemen.
If so he'll give us everything he's got.
Miles Simpson has done really well at Winston Guy's old spot at SLB/hybrid spot. He was running with the #1s and never rotated with anybody at that spot so I think he'll eventually be our starter at that position. Josh Forrest I wouldn't start him at WLB. Forrest was running with the #2s during the spring game and made some plays but he would follow that up with some really timid plays.... It was like it aggression would leave for a few plays and then comes back. I don't know if that's a matter of not being in shape or if its a mental hurdle but that needs to be fixed first before he can move up to the #1s.
What will happen is Dupree will be the starter at RLB aka RushBacker, Avery Williamson will be the starter at MLB, Miles Simpson will be starter at SLB, and McDuffen and Rancifer and a couple of the new freshmen in the fall will battle for the WLB spot.
Oh no doubt he will, but as Minter posted having Shields/Kendrick out there at TE makes us more of a downfield threat and gives Smith more offensive options. But on the other hand Robinson's blocking might help give that extra moment for Smith to find one of the receivers. Who knows how it will play out in the fall.
Turn on espnu and see if other conducted special teams outside of extra points/field goals. Most don't. Why? Because kickoff and punts are where bad injuries happen. Not having a punter isn't why we didn't do punt/kickoff.
This post was edited by hoptownukfan 2 years ago
You have to consider their ability to catch the ball. Shields had two bad drops in the BW game according to what I read. Robinson has possibly the best hands on the team. I think Robinson will play a lot because a 6 yard completion is better than a 12 yard drop. He is also a great blocker. Shields and Kendrick have struggled in blocking but Kendrick has outstanding hands. We have big questions at receiver so we may well see a two TE set which will then flex a TE into the slot taking the spot of a receiver and leaving the other TE in to block. I think it is possible that Robinson is going to be the one with a break out year. Either way it is nice to see that this position which was forgotten the past couple of years finally starting to pay off. Good TE play really helps the running game because it occupies the LB's and safeties.
Shield dropped a short pass
Kendrick dropped a low pass
But they both made some tough plays and ran well after the catch.
I was actually impressed with TR. He caught everything and wouldn't go down easy.
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