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I agree, I really like this freshman class and we're gonna need some of them to play. How much they step up and how quickly will be interesting to watch. One thing I believe falls in UK's favor is that there are 2 key games (Vandy and @UT) that occur at the end of the season and UK gets a bye week and a very winnable game (Samford) sandwiched between those games. Of course the UL game is key as is MSU, unfortunately UL kicks off the season and MSU is a little over a month later.
"Kentucky Football needs to be and will be a championship contender in the SEC."~Mitch Barnhart 11/4/12
To add to why the D got better, I really think the biggest reason was because our NG Mister Cobble (I love saying and typing that) started to get back close to full health. If some didn't know he had shoulder surgery before last season during the spring (I think during the spring) and it showed early on, when healthy he's a beast. In the first 5-6 games he didn't play bad but wasn't nearly what he could have been. Then by the final 2-3 games he was one of the strongest NG's at the POA in the country. Some people for whatever reason think i'm making this up (on other sites) but Cobble was actually listed as a top 5 Jr to be NG, I just can't for the life of me remember what service or site I saw it on... Nor did I link it so when I tell people this I sound stupid and noone believes me.
But yea, the reason our D improved was like you said:
1. Everyone started to figure the scheme out
2. I also think Minter started to figure out what his team done the best and they stuck to it (I know some may say, ahh your are full of it, Minter knew the entire time, blah blah blah, but everyone even the staff have learning curves, all staffs do it's the ones with the least depth or talent that get called out the most)... I also heard that Minter took alot of things out because they were playing so many young guys and all of a sudden they improved... Sometimes with 18-22 year olds less is more, I really love Minter but I sometimes think he tries to be alittle to much x's and o's (and I love talking x's and o's) because there were times during the season when I would go back and watch a game I would see Minter stunting Cobble and or Rumph outside in a contain role, and it on 1st down, and even a couple times in short yardage situations... That had to be a mistake, both those guys should be full-tilt playing their 1 and 3 technique the entire game IMO...
3. Cobble got back close to 100%, by getting his strength back...
4. Rumph was getting better from his injuries, Rumph and Cobble being injured in the Vandy game (Rumph didn't play at all I don't think) was and is the number 1 reason the kept on running Power-Off tackle despite them being more of a zone-cut back and zone-spread team...
5. All the youngsters started to develop a bit.
There is hope for this defense, it's just going to take guys like Malcom-Rancifer getting stronger and playing with more confidence. I think Miles will be fine, but he to needs to play with alittle more confidence as well. If you watch him close like I did in the SG he's always, I mean always very tense. When a LB is always very tense it leads to cramps, energy drain and it also hurts their ability to tackle in the open field. When he fully understands what's going on and can play all out and not worry about mistakes he's going to be a stud at SAM LB. He's already stronger at the POA than Guy, so we should improve alot when teams try to run out-side zone, power off-tackle because Miles is a legit 225# (probably 230-235 by the season) and very strong. I think Miles is honestly strong enough for Minter to consider moving him inside to "Weak-inside LB" along side Avery if Malcom or others don't step up and begin to eat and study the playbook like a starting SEC ILB... I couldn't believe how much thicker Miles was from the last time I got a good look at him at FD before the season... Miles and Paschal look like they are 3 weeks out from a body building comp, I think both will make a mark in their spots at OLB this year.
Our D can improve but it's going to take some work, it's not our D that i'm that concerned about because a strong D-line will mask a small ILB like Malcom (as long as he starts to read and react faster) it's our OFF. I'm really worried that if Collins, Bookie, Gene, EJ, Sweat or Legree (i'm excited about Legree if he shows up for Summer workouts, great hands and very good ability) don't come along we will be stuck again without a dynamic "Z"/slot WR... I know Marco is making plays but come on guys, he may fumble every time he gets hit (sorry to say but like the UofL game) if asked to run a slant, how can the kid really block a 190-210# DB? Seriously, slot WR's have to be able to block, run slants and go over the middle, slot wr's and te's are the ones that work the middle of the field. It's not like Joker and Randy can bring him out every time a running play is called or audibled too, if that happens the D will know what we are doing... So again I hope WR-OL-ILB really comes along, IMO by far the least depth and talent on the team at this very moment. There are options, and possibilities I just hope everything works out for the best. I do think Max is going to do fine, if he can get some help. I just think we are still 1 or 2 years away from being a for sure 6/7+ win team... GO CATS!!!
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by todd 2 years ago
Yep agree. Really gonna be fun to watch. How they use Whitlow will be particularly interesting.
Notice you said "this isn't true", implying what you will say is fact, yet then you follow up with: "the O-line's talent is "probably" the best. " Probably. There's a nice opinionated fact there.
One thing I really don't understand about those of you that complain about Doom and gloomers, and LOD'ers, is that you are also making predictions based on opinions, not facts. Gridiron Jo's opinion is just as valid as Whitaker's, or anyone elses for that matter. It's really pretty simple. We will either be better, worse, or the same as last year. History tells me we will be the same or worse, or possibly slightly better, all of which would lead to an unsatisfactory record. I do see a lot of "long-term" positives in the program, but I do not see any major gamechanging players that I expect to right the ship overnight. Therefore, I have to assume we will at best, not be much better than last year.
The problem with many of you is that you say: if we get better qb play, and , and so and so stays healthy, and there's no injuries occor on the o-line, and several true freshman step up,etc etc etc we could have a really good season. The reality is, there are too many if's in this years program and history tells you that the perfect storm will not come together when there are too many question marks. Like Gridiron JOe though, I hope with all my heart and soul I'm wrong.
I don't see this team being any better than last year. We HAVE to have a running game and until we prove we can run the ball, we'll struggle. I don't think there's anything different with this team that give us a productive run game. Of course, time will tell. My prediction is 4-5 wins, at best.
Our running game was greatly hampered by our lack of a passing game. Joker has said repeatedly that we are team that needs to throw to set up the run. I believe the running game will be better, because I believe the passing game will keep the line of scrimmage honest. JMO
Yea I just hope he likes to play WR along with "zone-read qb"... He's got the body of a BAMA strong safety right now... Go look at his up close pics, he's thick and ripped like Danny at 6'3-210-215#... I'm very excited about this guy too, along with Pancho, Toth, Watson, Grafree, Chapman, TIller, Zack and Doron. I think all those guys will play alot and help a ton from day 1 in some role...
I think Toth is going to be a stud, he too has a very good body type for a younster. I just hope he can play OT, which he should he moves very well and has very good length. I know Jones and Swindle are already projected at L and RT but Toth seems to have better quickness and agility than Swindle with just as much strength and has alot more strength that Jones. Jones does have great feet and athleticism so he'll be fine once he gets a year or two under his belt. I'm not sure if Jones is another Darrian Miller, because his body needs some development but once he and Swindle gain some strength I think they will be fine. Watson and Toth are kids I think come in and make the 2 deep, I'm almost sure Watson will, but like I said Toth also seems to be very mature at only 18... What I hope for more than anything is these guys all have good work ethic. That almost always seems to be the number 1 factor, other than ability...
This post was edited by todd 2 years ago
DeMarco is actually playing on the outside and Collins is playing exclusviely at the slot...
Why do you believe this is an easier schedule? From my vantage point it is more difficult:
-UL on the road, last years frosh QB & WR's now have a seasons worth of experience
-Florida on the road, ought to be better than a 6-6 team
-Trade LSU for Arkansas, likely an even swap
-Trade Ole Miss for Missouri, by far NOT an even swap
-Georgia brings back 10 starters on a defense that eviscerated us last year
-UT on the road, ought to be better....if not, Dooley & his pants will be fired before UK plays them
-WKU finished 2011 one of the hottest teams in college football, and has added former UK recruit & 4* qb Demarcus Smith
I agree that next years schedule is tougher than last years, but I think you left out the fact that UL lost a lot defensively. Also think you are over estimating Missouri (everyone is doing that for some reason), they lost a lot from last years team as well. I would also much rather play Arkansas than LSU, due to the matchups and the fact that they are without their great offensive minded coach. Miss. State lost a lot of production offensively, and Vandy and Tenn. are very winnable games.
Well hell, I just talked myself into changing my prediction to 9-3, haha nevermind I think I'll stick to 6-6.
Another thing regarding the schedule is that it is just more balanced this year. Last year we played a three game stretch that had to be the toughest in the country, let's not forget that and the fact that we will not see 3 absolutely unwind able games in a row like that this year.
I think I read that Smith wiill not be eligible for WKU this year. Although I'm definitely with you re: the schedule not being easier on the whole.
Thank you, Catmando. I've played the iffing game so many times over the past 20 years. The problem is that our list of ifs are much longer than Florida's, South Carolina's, Georgia's, etc etc.
HA HA. Ya think?
I think the Defense played a lot better when Crawford came back and allowed some rest to be taken up front.
Also, I commend Joe for presenting an argument (the most logical ones posted here), being called names - yet calmly defending himself.... You know why?
Because he is s fan. A good fan. A logical and objective UK football fan....not a troll or LOD guy as accused.
He hopes for the best. Expects less, no agenda.
Thank you, sir. That sounds about right.
I've been at Commonwealth for the three top 10 upsets in my lifetime. But I was also there in 1995 vs. Cincinnati with the smallest crowd in the history of the stadium, and in 1994 when we were 1-10, and in 2000, when we were 2-9, etc etc.
I want good product as much as anybody. But I'm trying to be honest. So please, folks, don't pee on my head and tell me it's raining.
Sept. 1, 2012 at Louisville W (upset the turds on their turf and rally the BBN!)
Sept. 8, 2012 Kent State W
Sept. 15, 2012 Western Kentucky W
Sept. 22, 2012 at Florida L
Sept. 29, 2012 South Carolina L
Oct. 6, 2012 Miss. State W
Oct. 13, 2012 at Arkansas L (Close but not enough)
Oct. 20, 2012 Georgia L
Oct. 27, 2012 at Missouri L (Mobile QB and solid WR/RB core)
Nov. 3, 2012 Vanderbilt W
Nov. 17, 2012 Samford W
Nov. 24, 2012 at Tennesse W (Dooley will be fired mid-season)
7-5 is my prediction. As always though we have a legit range of 5-7 to 8-4.
Man I could've made some money!
Looks pretty good in hindsight, although 4-8 might have been optimistic. Alright, I oversold Arkansas, and James Franklin isn't looking like the king of football this year, but otherwise...
Cool story bro. I'm happy that you are happy that your "team" is losing.
I'm not happy at all. Just pouring out a nice cup of "I told you so" for the people who wanted to argue so much back in the summer about how we were going to win what, eight games, nine games. I'll be happy when we actually win eight or nine games in a regular season, as opposed to seeing if Morgan Newton can throw the ball to eight or nine Gators in a regular season game.
What this thread really says is that no one can predict squat. haha
The meanest dog in Taiwan.
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