Even Beisner's baby thinks this season was a thumbs down (not confirmed as Beisner's baby)
I will not promise this, but it's my plan to make this the last football post until next season, which should make some of you "fans" happy. But, I just wanted to recap what I think was an incredibly disappointing and underwhelming opening stanza for Joker Phillips by putting together a list of the 10 moments, in chronological order, that defined this season. What I want you to keep an eye out for is how many were positive and how many were negative:
1. Cats use Cobb in key situations, beat Cards
-Through 2 seasons at UK, many fans felt Randall Cobb was not used enough. Joker Phillips looked to change that in the opening game against UL. With the lead just 7 and 3 minutes remaining, Cobb threw a pass for a first, ran for another, and UK was able to grind the clock down. It looked as if Joker would make it a point to use Cobb in close games. Fanbase was certainly happy with team at this point.
2. Joker lights into players and players respond
-Joker did not have much to scream about his first 2 games. But after an abysmal 1st quarter against Akron, Joker pulled the team together and absolutely crushed them. How would the guys respond? They respond with 17 second quarter points and a 47-10 win. It looked as if Joker had his teams full attention at this point.
3. Hartline loses some fans after Pick 6 against Florida
-After 3 games, the fanbase had almost 100% got behind Mike Hartline, who showed poise in the pocket and an improved deep ball. But, early in the 2nd quarter, Hartline stared down a receiver, threw an awful pass that was then returned for a touchdown, and a 21-0 Gator lead. At that point, many fans began to question whether they had been tricked by early season success. Many never jump back on board
4. Club handed Trevathan put on "hands" team against Ole Miss
-Despite playing poorly, Kentucky rallied within 42-35 of Ole Miss late in the game and attempted an onside kick. Amazingly, Danny Trevathan was on that team despite playing with a large cast on his hands. Of course, the ball ended up in the club of Trevathan, which he was unable to control, and Ole Miss recovered and won. It was at that point, many begin to question Joker Phillips, who doesn't help his cause, never backing off putting Trevathan in that spot.
5. Newton converts 3rd downs gallore in leading Auburn to game winning field goal
-After a wonderful comeback to tie Auburn with 7 minutes remaining, UK decides to play conservative on defense, allowing Cam Newton to lead a 18-play drive that ends with a short field goal at the buzzer. Included in the drive are 3 third down conversions, and TEN Cam Newton rushes. Cats choose to never pressure Newton and he eats them alive.
6. Hartline and Joker get back on the good side of fans, vanquish Spurrier
-If you ever wanted a reason to like Mike Hartline, it was the winning touchdown pass against South Carolina. Despite getting hammered on the play, Hartline tosses a perfect pass to a wide open Randall Cobb to cap an amazing UK comeback. He then does a "turtle on his back" shuffle while laying on the ground. Suddenly, people recognize how important Hartline was to this team.
7. UK defense finally steps up, clinches win over South Carolina
-After the offense did it's part, it was up to the UK defense to hold onto the lead. And as they had done so many times during the year, they played tentative and allowed South Carolina to drive right down the field, looking as if they may get a winning score. But, for maybe the only time during the year, the defense made a key stop, with Anthony Mosley grabbing an INT in the endzone, setting off a wild celebration. Certainly the highlight moment of the year.
8. Cobb's amazing run against Vandy leads to Cats clinching bowl
-Randall Cobb was at his best against Vanderbilt, including a 72 yard TD in the 2nd half. But, there was no better play that Cobb made this season than his 52 yard scamper later in the game. After getting flushed from the pocket and retreating 10 yards backwards, Cobb was able to escape several defenders, cut up field, and go 52 yards before running out of gas. But, it was the type of play that only special players can make, and Kentucky fans were lucky enough to see for 3 years.
9. In key moment against Tennessee, Kentucky chooses to punt
-The play that fans will probably point to more than any other to express their disappointment is the choice by Joker Phillips to punt when in Tennessee territory late in the 4th quarter, down 7. The punt goes into the endzone, Tennessee takes over and drives down the field and scores, clinching a 92nd straight victory of the Cats. Certainly the moment the majority of the fanbase turned on this team.
10. Pitt blocks punt, Cats never respond
-Down only 6-3 late in the first half, Kentucky's defense was doing a nice job stopping the Pitt offense. But, it turns out the special teams is what lets the Cats down. An unblocked Pitt defender is able to get to the punter, blocks the punt which Pitt recovers at the 10 yard line. They score soon after and take a 13-3 lead into halftime. UK never responds in the 2nd half, and the season ends with a thud.
JUST MISSING THE CUT
-Donald Russell's mother raises a stink
-Fumble at the goal line prevents 14-0 UK lead against Tennessee