The SEC is Alabama and who? Arkansas, LSU or South Carolina? The drop off is even more severe once you move past the top three or four.
This week two and possibly three SEC teams will lose their first game of the year. Don’t expect anyone to drop out of the top 25 with a lose though.
1. Alabama: We’re back! With Mark Ingram and Marcell Dareus back Alabama has gone from scary to scarier. Some are expecting a game with Arkansas to materialize this weekend. Not this poster.
2. Arkansas: Ryan Mallett pulled one out against Georgia but Alabama isn’t Georgia. If the hog’s defense magically becomes endowed beyond their wildest dreams it could be a game.
3. South Carolina: On the road at Auburn will give the old balls coach heartburn but South Carolinas defense is better than Clemson’s.
4. LSU: The LSU defense looks ready to take anyone on. Now if they only had a SEC worthy offense. Expect W Virginia to give the Tigers a game.
5. Auburn: Can Auburn’s defense control the SC offensive paper juggernaut? Expect a low scoring game.
6. Florida: The Gators offense looks pedestrian at the best but speed is speed. Kentucky is a lot faster than past Kentucky teams but the defense is still suspect.
7. Kentucky: Joker gets his first shot at the Gators who looked beatable again at Tennessee. Kentucky can win this one but it wont be easy.
8. Georgia: Talent and way to much coffee this morning gets the Dawgs ranked this high. If Georgia loses at Mississippi State this coming weekend say adios to Mark Ritch.
9. Vanderbilt: Turnovers propelled a improving Vandy to a road win. Being off till Oct. 2nd will give the cellar teams a chance to sort themselves out.
10a. Tennessee: Tennessee gets ranked 10a rather than 10b because they showed some spunk against the Gators. Its still going to be a long year. Look for UAB to give the Vol’s a scare.
10b. Mississippi State: The defense is still waiting for the offense to materialize. With Georgia coming to town this weekend one of the teams is going to be 0-3 in the SEC.
12. Ole Miss: Fresno St. comes to town with a good chance to knock off a SEC team that should be 3-0 right now. I’m going to come out and say it. Getting Masoli destroyed the Ole Miss team chemistry.
Well week one is out of the way and very few questions were answered considering the ducks that were on the SEC pond. Here is this weeks rankings and the teams rank a lot better than South Carolina hotels rank. This week will provide a lot of answers and provide a good idea of who will challenge for the East.
1. Alabama: Still #1 and will get a chance to cement the ranking for a while with a win over Penn St. It will be interesting to see how Robert Bolden reacts against the Tide defense. He plays good and Penn St has a chance to win the game and the Big 10.
2. Georgia: Aaron Murray looked goodl and he will have a chance to lock up #2 when Georgia takes on SC. The Gamecocks even with the old balls coach ability to choke in big games are a 3 point favorite.
3. South Carolina: Ditto for SC they have a chance to lock up #2 Saturday if Garcia can continue his good play against the Dawgs.
4. Florida: Tell you the truth I might be ranking the Gators to high. At least the guy at Fire Steve Addazio might think so with him at the OC position.
5. Arkansas: The Hogs get another patsy so its to early to move them up even if their offense is firing on all cylinders.
6. Auburn: Auburn gets a chance with Miss St. to show if they are mid SEC or not.
7. LSU: Struggled holding a lead against a Carolina team with 13 count em 13 players suspended. They are a 10 point favorite at Vandy which ought to tell me something.
8. Kentucky: Beat the hated dirty birds but struggled in the second half. You have to wonder if Joker was just playing possum to hide plays.
9. Mississippi State: Had no problems with Memphis but get Auburn this weekend. This game will start clearing the West
10. Tennessee: Put up a lot of points and got some votes in the top 25. We get to see if they can hang with a big boy when Oregon comes calling. 12 1/2 points shows a little SEC bias in Las Vegas.
11. Ole Miss: So much for the defense keeping them ranked high. I have to wonder if playing Jeremiah Masoli so much might be causing a little tension.
12. Vanderbilt: How about 21 points against Northwestern. They are only a 9 1/2 point underdog against LSU.
What a wonderful ride. UK sits at 29-2, which is remarkable when you consider the unknowns before the season started. Most (OK me) figured UK would struggle early and lose a few more games than they have, but would gel down the stretch. In some ways neither thing has happened. UK IS 29-2 but most would agree that their play is just as spotty now as it was at the beginning of the season. Make no mistake, they are much improved. But the level of play has increased and other teams have gotten better as well.
But let’s face it; the ride wouldn’t be nearly as fun if it were as flat as a Kansas high way. Roller coasters are way more fun. I would expect this type of ride from here on out with the young teams Cal plans to bring in. I don’t know if many of them will be 29-2, but the ride will be the same.
Senior day was something special. Given that Mark Kreb’s mom was able to make it and Patterson got his Senior day that many (OK me) thought he deserved. Something also happened when the game started too. The UK, “Seniors + Wall” went out and took it to the Gators. The defense was as crisp as any we’ve seen all year. UK had a seven point lead in just over five minutes of play. With the return of the, “starters” UF suddenly was able to get just about whatever shot they wanted for a short stretch. UK then went on a block party that looked more like volleyball spikes than rejected shots and extended the seven point cushion to 18. UK also did a great job of hitting the open threes the UF zone afforded them. UF then went to a man to man, the starters + Dodson started doing what they tend to do, and next thing you know UK takes a 10 point lead into the half.
Now let’s focus on this for a minute. UK has a seven point lead with little used Seniors, builds an 18 point lead with the starters, then settles for a 10 point lead at the half. That is a seven point lead in a quarter of that time and an added three points in the remaining three quarters of that time. I hope Cal pays attention to that when he watches the tape. Krebs was able to keep number 11 in front of him. Bledsoe, was not (not at all and it wasn’t even close). The allowed penetration got UK some good blocks at first, then UF adjusted and got some very easy shots. Meanwhile, Bledsoe had a terrific seven minutes on offense followed by a horrid finish to the half. Dodson followed a similar line on defense.
UF was able to execute the pick and roll to perfection in the second half. Very poor guard positioning left the pick man with a wide open alley to the hoop several times in a row. But, UK again found a way to get a slight cushion at crunch time and was able to hold the Gators at arms length.
If UK is going to be a defensive team, Cal needs to play guys that can actually play defense. UK has enough scoring on the floor without all the breakdowns Dodson and Bledsoe allow. Heck, UK wouldn’t NEED as much scoring if it didn’t have the major break downs. Thank goodness for Miller as he is really starting to come into his own on both ends of the floor. UK still hasn’t even thought about solving the double sandwich on Boogie and I think it’s really starting to affect his game. Pat did a MUCH better job of helping take some pressure off Boogie in the second half and I think that should be his focus moving forward. Pat is also now taking the ball from the outside in. Folks, this is the last part of the game he needs to add, and if he can perfect it just a little more, there is absolutely no reason he should even consider returning. UK now heads into post season with some pretty obvious flaws. BUT, they also have things that other teams must gamble to try to stop. The path to a final four isn’t quite as clear as I would hope it would be, but at least there aren’t the major road blocks of the last seven years or so. I have a feeling the roller coaster will get even wilder before it’s all over!
These Cats do have the will to win. I’m not really sure if that is the correct phrase, but it’s the sheik, in phrase that’s going around. What this team really has is the potential to beat teams in any type of game, and when they really want to they can focus long enough to get it done. They also have a confidence in their ability to make plays when they need to. I can’t really compare them to any college team I’ve seen before. I think they are a more well-rounded bunch than the 96 team. Probably more talented 1-7 but obviously much younger. The 96 team came at you in waves and the game was usually over in the first 10 minutes. This team could do that if they could focus for more than 5 minutes at a time. The big question going into post season with the 96 team was if they could handle a close game situation. No such question with this bunch. What this team reminds me of is more of a championship caliber NBA team. Not in talent, not in how they play, but how those type teams approach an NBA season as a whole. They don’t blow people out every night, but they do get some easy W’s. Most of the games are decided in the last five minutes or less, and at the end of the year they’ve clutched their way to winning 90% of their games.
On the flip side, I now agree with Cal that this team needs to focus for longer stretches and put people away. You know they can play in the clutch. They are very battle tested from that area. They are getting better and better and its time to see them flex. Beside, Cal is correct in that one of these times, a team is going to hit that lucky shot, ala the UT walk on, and UK will not be able to recover. This is a mojo I don’t want to play with because we have no idea how this team will react if it lost in the clutch.
It must be very disheartening to take Wall and Boogie out of what they want to do only to see Bledsoe, Orton and Miller step up, fill in the slack, and get it done. You simply can’t focus on one or two guys and beat UK. You can’t take Patterson out so I wouldn’t even bother there. He gets his 16-7 no matter what. I do think he needs to be more assertive and get his numbers up to 20-12.
Some of us noted during the game that Wall still doesn’t look right. He did end up with 19 and 7 of those came down the stretch, but I am concerned health wise. It may just be mental fatigue, which doesn’t change my concern one bit.
The general feeling is that Liggins and Harris were pretty much no shows. I do not disagree and the box score doesn’t either. Liggins had two turn overs and Harris had one fall in the lap rebound. But I feel strongly that an even bigger contributor was Millers much improved play. He only had nine points and a few boards, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Miller was much more involved on defense and mixing it up underneath. He didn’t always come up with the ball, but at least he was in there. He did a better job of getting in the lane and making his best shot, and he knocked down some threes when UK needed it.
Daniel Orton was a beast inside. Those blocks were unreal. They kept coming at him and he kept swatting them away. It looked to me as if one went into the second level. I won’t call them cheap seats because I wouldn’t give a dollar for any of them.
Bledsoe was the beast. I don’t know why he was the only one that noticed UF was not going to challenge people who drove to the rim, but I’m glad at least he did. He was by far the fastest player on the floor and he steadied the Cats when they needed it most. It was good to see his shooting eye return which also was a dagger into the head of the gator beast.
Finally, Cal goes for a tie of Rupp’s conference win streak Saturday. Granted, almost all of them in CUSA, but at least a Cat coach will be the one to tie/break it. It’s nice keeping things like that in the family.
Look, simply put, he should not have been in the game. I don’t know if any of you caught the Mike and Mike clip about it, but I agree with Golic. The game was done. It was clear UK was not going to win, even if Florida turned the ball over twice. He was sick, the game was secure. He should have been out, or Florida should have kept running it to chew clock and protect him.
-So, there is some debate as to why he was in the game. My opinion, simply put, because he’s not having a Heisman year. His numbers for the season are good, and his abilities are prolific, but he’s not having the numbers that he needs to be comparable to the other top QBs in any way other than team wins. And, while we all know that team wins are where the meat of your goals are, it’s individual stats that get reviewed when they go Heisman hunting.
Look at this: 4 games into the season Tim Tebow has thrown for 643 yard and ran for 271. He does have 11 total tds. Good numbers, but where are they in the Heisman race?
Look at Colt McCoy who, in four games, has thrown for 1145 yards and run for 63 yards and has 10 tds. That over 1200 yards of offense that he’s responsible for, compared to just over 900 for Tebow.
Let’s look at some stuff that’s comparable. How close would you think these guys would stack up?
Michigan’s Tate Forcier =671 passing yards, 127 rushing yards 4 wins, 9TDs.
Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen = 1122 yds thrown, 10 tds, 1 pick. 3-1 record.
Bama’s Greg McElroy = 938 yds, 33 rushing, 8 total tds, 1 pick, 4 -0 record
Boise St’s Kellen Moore= 932 yds, 10 tds, 1 int, 4-0
Kansas’s Todd Reesing = 1137 yds thrown, 89 rushing, 11 total tds, 2 picks 4-0
Ohio State’s Pryor =695 passing yards, 235 rushing yards, 7 tds, 4 picks, 3-1
Then take a really really good look at who these teams have played compared to Florida’s schedule.
Michigan and Notre Dame
Ohio state and USC
Boise and Oregon
It’s really not even close.
So, there is your answer to why Tebow was in the game. Because it could very fairly stated that his performance isn’t distancing himself. So, he was in the game so that Meyer could pad his passing stats. It was plain to see. Meyer could see that he was running on us like a video game, but Demps and the other back are better runners than Tebow, and were eating the field up. So, in order to make Tebow look better, Meyer starting calling passing plays. And, you’ll notice that I pointed this out during the game talk, and pointed out florida started looking bad when they committed to throwing. Or, at least, didn’t look as good.
That being said, I don’t think Tim will be back for the LSU game. There’s no way he can take that level of a concucssion, and then play the way he plays this soon. If he were a pocket passer, he might be able to get back early. Tim is a bull rusher who takes a lot of hits.
Mind you I’m no medical expert, and any who are feel free to chime in, but I just don’t see it. You just get into a whole new threat to your career and life when you start down the concussion highway. These things end pro QB careers with regularity.
I do not think I have ever been so sick at a game in my life. The UK team that showed up for this game is NOT the UK team I cheer for. I am still the same fan, but someone took my team and replaced them with a bunch of frauds. I want MY team back. I want the team that was suppose to fight like there is no tomorrow right out of the gate and right up until the final horn sounds. I want the team that not only out played and out hit LSU a few years ago when they were on their course for a National Championship, but also out scored them.
Where did that team go? I’ll tell you where it went. It went somewhere else when Woodson, Woodyard and company had to move on due to expired eligibility. The replacements of Hartline and Johnson simply frail in comparison when it comes to qualities like heart and leadership. Granted, it isn’t entirely their fault. But it is on the leaders of the team to make sure all the heads are in the right place. It is their job to make sure the guys know they will take it to who ever is in front of them and leave it all on the field. And it isn’t like they haven’t been shown the way because Woodson and company were there to show this group. All they had to do was step into the shoes.
I watched Micah Johnson a lot yesterday and plan to review the tape again. But I am sure I will see the same thing there as I did from the stands. Micah flies around with the best of them but was generally ALWAYS out of position and never within his assignment. You can not have your stud leaving the rest of the team to make up for his mistakes. Its suppose to be the other way around! Woodyard had his nose on the ball on almost every play and made up for a ton of poor play around him. He led by example.
I was one of Mike Hartline’s biggest supporters last year. It wasn’t that I thought he was that great, it was just that there were so many other issues and there was no one on the team that could do it better. Mike did make improvements and, as I assumed, he is a little stronger, a little more accurate and a little smarter. But that doesn’t mean its enough when it comes to leading his team against a top flight team. You have to be able to command the huddle and have your team ready on each play and Hartline simply does not show those qualities. Also, while he is a little better, he still does not have what it takes to see the field and deliver to the correct route. There were many many times guys were wide open on easy passes and he chose to go to a more covered guy with a more difficult pass. His team mates HAVE to know this even more than an average fan like myself. I also knew EVERY TIME what sort of play he was checking into. The criteria given to him to check is so elementary that all a team has to do is move one guy two steps out of the box or up on the line to show blitz to get him to check into an off tackle run. UK needs someone that can take chances against a UF. Hartline is the safe bet and the calls for him are as predictable as the sun every morning.
There is no question that this team is more talented than a few years ago on paper. There is no question that this team is not as talented as UF. But the reason this team is 31-0 in the first quarter worse than UF has to do with who is leading the team. And guys like Randell Cobb and Wyndham are the reason UF was only 10-7 better after that. There have got to be more like them someowhere on that bench that can replace the current frauds.
I keep looking for a positive on the loss to Florida. Its possible that tomorrow I might be able to come up with one but tonight its not possible to think of one. I just don’t see a good future for the Cat’s.
Our offense has become so predictable its impossible for a team not to be able to prepare for us. Down 41-7 with 6+ min in the game and Hartline is still in the game rather than getting Fidler in the game.
Everyone watching knew that Florida was going to run on us and they still ran all over us. From what I’ve seen so far this year Vandy is the only SEC team with a worse defense than us and that might be a toss up.
Our recruiting has bottomed out. Don’t believe that look at what Washington a team that was won how many games last year. A Pac10 team for Santa’s sake has recruited so far this year. Five 4 star and 10 3 star players so far compared to 4 3 star and 4 2 star and a couple JC players a sure fire way to win in the SEC.
I guess on thinking about it there are two positive thing I came out of the game today.
1. We simply don’t have the talent to play against the top teams in the SEC this year and from the looks of the backups and recruiting not next year or the year after either.
2. Taylor Wyndham needs to play more. If he can knock a horse like Tebow down while hes walking on water he’s going to be hard hitting player.
3.Joker is really a mediocre offensive coach and if he’s going to inherit the head coaching job he needs to hire a real good offensive coach. While I’m at it Brown is another in a long line of bad defensive coaches at UK so Joker needs to add a good defensive coach to the list.
–Just a reminder and some minor modifications on my prescription for success. Most of it depends on clock management, running the ball, and Steve Brown growing a pair.
From weeks ago…. most of it, at least.
“–This might take a while, but I’m going to piece together a few things, ideas, and suggestions, that I think will give the Cats a chance to beat the Gators. Feel free to jump in and opine, and I’ll snag em as I get them.
–I know that there’s no way this can happen. I know there has been this much agreement as to a number one team in AP history. I know the Gators have returning a fully stocked defense. I know this. Yet, I also know that some teams will play this team close. Likely, ONE team will beat this team. Teams will score touchdowns. Teams will move the ball. Teams WILL deny the Gators the endzone, sometimes. So how does a team like Kentucky do it?
Well, that’s what I’m here for.
–The biggest worry we have to take into consideration is gonna be the kicking game. From all indications, the kickoffs have been inconsistent in their depth. Combine that with Florida’s speed and you have the makings for a LONG day full of short series on defense. No coaching ideas I can offer here. You either can get the ball deep enough or high enough to get the stop or you can’t. My suggestion to the coaches would be to consider free kicking the ball. The punters seem to be able to get over 40 on most every kick, and you get the hang time. Chances are you can force a fair catch on the 30 to 35 yard line that would be better than letting them catch it on the run at the 15-20. Just a thought.
–So, let’s start where we likely will, no matter what. Defense. Opening thought. Team is full of energy. Snapping at the leash. You’ve got better DBs than they have receivers. Start the day with a blitz. Doesn’t have to be a sell out. And, I certainly wouldn’t advertise it. But send one side and Micah. Objective: Get into the backfield early. Even if they hand the ball to a back, get in there early. If they don’t; if Tim keeps the ball for a play action, then hallelujah. Hit HIM! Throw or no throw. Get the hit, and set the tone. Chop the throwing arm if you can get there early. Remember. You’re not trying to win the game in one play. You’re trying to make this guy thinking about himself, not the play, late in the game.
Addition: UK must attack upfield. We have to play our assignments on the wildcat, but Linebackers cannot be expected to scrape the line with the way UF blocks. Each tackler is going to have to get upfield into the gaps and tackle their man.
–Obviously, UF has a lot of weapons. And, they have their best play maker handling the ball. But, Tim Tebow is human. He can be caught up in a number of things. 1st: You have to attack HIM for the game. Not waste time with assignment here or there, or this or that. Yes, you need to honor the assignments you have, but when all esle fails go hit Tim Tebow. Have somebody, as often as you can, not spying on him, but running toward him. And I don’t mean the DT and DE who are pushing every play. I mean a LB. A safety. A corner. MLB. MLB again. Safety. You’re gonna have to mix coverages and you’re gonna have to play up and back with your spacing, but this will be effective. You run your DBs up to play press or to blitz, then you back them up and leave the safety in. The snap of the ball he lunges then falls back into a zone about 8 yards off the ball to the slot side. Instead, your MLB some hard on a blitz to the opposite side of the DT the safety lunged to and the press is on. Tim is good enough to beat you. Yes. He’s good enough to make tough throws. But, NOW, at least, YOU are deciding how long he has to do it, and what routes he’ll have time to see develop before he gets rid of it.
ADDITION: Florida does not have good wide outs. They are primarily down field blockers, and blockers for the option pitch. We should be able to man up on them.
–Offensively (which I’ll get to ) I’d all but guarantee screens will be a waste of time. Screens just aren’t that effective outside of high school. Florida’s defense is gonna be too experienced. I think UK will call a screen. Probably a couple, and I’ll go on record telling those coaches ahead of time that they will be terrible plays and that the Gators will smell everyone of them out and be all over them. Cut and paste it. The screen is great if you catch a blitz, or if the other team is slow. But Florida’s DT’s will smell it out and be in the middle of it.
–About the only way I’d call a screen is if I was running double screens and had a QB who could fake to the heavy screen and throw to the weak one. And even THEN that’s not a good call.
–Trick plays are for tricks. I don’t mind the occasionally punt fake, or field goal fake, but most everything else is just too chancy. If we’re in third and short (3yds or less) Florida will be bringing heat. And they will have some of the, if not THE, fastest linebackers we’ll see. They will be in the backfield and trickery will likely mean a fumble or sack.
–***Florida will be a game where the judicious use of the tight end will be key.*** Like I’ve described MANY times, there is little defense for having the TE come off the ball, go 5-7 yds, turn and sit. All the QB has to do is burn a shot right to the side opposite the defender and then they guy just has to catch it and fall.
–The Wildcat package will be neat, but I’m not sure how much. Against a deep and experienced fron seven, some times you just need to be able to reduce the variables, put helmet on helmet and just get three yards between the tackles. It’s not flashy, and it won’t make we the fans go oooohhh. But, it gets the ball moving, keeps the defense honest, and gives the defense some rest. Can’t do it every play, but we also can’t consistently scheme up wildcat option draw passes. And, yes, we do have the lineman and full back to get yardage up the middle. The one thing UK CANNOT DO (are you listening Randy) is run hope plays. We need to run consistent plays. If you are in 2nd and 7 and you can either run it up the gut for three yards, try a screen (and we all know how badly those can go), or run a post pattern, TAKE THE THREE YARD RUN. Get it to third and four. Extend the defense’s time on the field and give yourself options. Now you only need four yards, but you can go as deep as you want. You can expect a blitz and run a slant, a draw, or a screen (still, I think, not a good call against florida’s speed) You can hit the TE short. And, depending on field positions, if you’re say… inside their 45, you call a hope play and leave yourself the option of faking the punt because you ONLY need four yards, not 7.
ADDITION: I cannot wait to see the wildcat. I believe it will be very interesting in seeing how Florida reacts to their own medicine. I think they will quickly be able to adjust, with their experience, but I don’t think they realize how fast UK is. UK back field, with Smith, Cobb, and Lock is just as fast as the Gators. Truth. Tebow is what gives them the edge, because he’s a running 250lb tight end that can throw. We don’t have any QBs that can bullrush for four yards. I cannot help but be convinced that it is not coincidence that we have seen this program use it’s most deadly weapons effectively until this game. My gut tells me that Rich Brooks knows we can win this game, at commonwealth.
–A big weapon offensively for us, will be the big weapon we’ve all known about from Florida. You set up in a shotgun formation with either Hartline (who runs fairly well… um no. Change that. Never again.) Cobb, or Newton and spread the field. On the snap the QB just runs a QB draw and tries to get three or four yards without fumbling. This can be a cheap, easy, play, and the formation is such a problem. Run it with Cobb and you’ve got a real passer, who’s a better runner, with a speed back. Call this play out of no huddles and it drives defenses crazy.
ADDITION: Imagine Cobb in shotgun, tucking the ball and stepping up like a run, then springing back (as he is quick and agile enough to do, and looking down the sideline for Matthews. Florida will bite on this, and I can see it being a big play once or twice, if we establish the wildcat.)
–My next bit of advice is for Steve Brown.
–Umm.. blitz. Hit Tim Tebow early in the game. hit him late in the game. Hit him when it’s a draw play. hit him when it’s a trap. Okay,.. okay. Clearly we can’t hit the guy with no reason, but you get my point. I strongly encourage you, Steve, to look at some of the blitzes that Joe Lee Dunn used to come up with as Miss. St. Safeties, corners, every LB, one LB, Middle and weak LB, Zone blitz. LBs and no ends. You are going to have to call a game that PREVENTS Florida from being able to assume anything.
–As a defensive coach, You cannot play a veteran team by doing what they’ve seen time and time again. You have to create mismatches. You have to limit Tebow’s time to make reads. You have to shorten their passing game by making Tebow protect himself from hits.
ADDITION: I would still blitz, but I’d blitz as much now to get my backers in the backfield on the run, as I would to just hit Tebow. Maybe he’ll break out, but Tim Tebow is not a good passer, and they don’t have Spurrier era Wide outs. I think we can chance their passing attack and focus on the run. If we get florida to start passing the ball, our chances for winning improve dramatically.
–Here’s another HUGE tip from the guru. During pass rush situations, You need to train your defensive lineman to rush for two seconds. TWO SECONDS. In TWO SECONDS if your defensive lineman doesn’t have the advantage against the offense, if they aren’t in a seam heading for the QB, or if they are running straight into a double team, they need to back up, get their hands up and jump into passes. It’s a waste of energy for a d-lineman continue to struggle for another second and a half to two seconds just to have the play go by them, anyway.
–I know many coaches teach this. I KNOW it. But, I still see teams that are getting out there and not doing it.
My thoughts for offense aren’t too complicated. This is the one area where Florida DOES have the advantage. The ability to make plays is still a factor. So, here’s what I recommend. Don’t get too caught up in trying to outscore Florida.
The Gator offense is similar to a major league baseball pitcher on a good day. They start the day, get you into a rhythm of going three and out, trying to make desperation plays to keep up with them. The pitcher gets going. He’s usually throwing the ball fairly quickly, because he’s in his groove. When good pitchers do this, they start commanding the strike zone, getting ahead early, and that’s the beginning of the end.
So, how does UK stop this? In a similar fashion that major league hitters do. They step out of the box and call timeout. They stretch back and swing a couple of times. They take some time to readjust the gloves. They MAKE the pitcher go at the pace they want. This frustrates the guy. Might even make him throw a little chin music. That’s fine. The minute he starts doing stuff like that, he’s showing his aggravation. He’s showing he lost the focus. That’s what you wanted. And, that’s what UK needs to do.
UK needs to perform simple, aggressive plays that keep the Florida defense on the field. Even if you don’t score a touchdown, a couple of first downs and time off the clock will disrupt the offense, and slow the game down.
wanna know a little secret? Urban Meyer is an ego maniac. HE is the one he will get frustrated from this kind of play. He KNOWS everyone is watching and he KNOWs that his team’s fitness for a championship is being evaluated every game not by whether or not they win, but in how GOOD they look doing it. He would ABHOR a 21-17 third quarter score, even if he was winning.
ADDITION: Take note of the gator players during the UT game, and Meyer’s reaction afterward. Even up till Tuesday of this week, he was grumbling over the fact that UT took them out of their play style. I tell you, he’s an ego maniac worse than Spurrier. WE run the ball, we get some first downs, He’ll start eating his nails. UK runs it with Connor 4 or 5 times and focus on hitting them from Tight end to tackle, and we’ll get first downs, stay in third and shorts (which hinder blitzing) and we WILL win this football game.
–This UK team has potential. No, they will not be able to stare down there schedule and pick out the tough games that they SHOULD WIN. But…
Let me see if I can give the Wildcat Faithful the best way to look at this.
–Florida is as good as any Florida has been, when they’ve been good. They’re not better than the best teams that Spurrier had. Look at those teams and be fair. A lot of NFL players. This team is still good, and right up there. That’s what everyone in the media sees. The problem is that ignore that THIS UK PROGRAM IS NOT THAT ONE THEY USED TO PLAY. This Florida could beat those UK teams by 70 points,… just like they did then. This Gator team cannot beat this UK team by 70 points unless we just let them. And this team has WON THREE BOWL GAMES. Had THREE winning seasons. Is putting guys into the NFL. This UK team has players who have beaten… not just played with… not just came close to… but BEATEN the SEC and National Champion.
This UK team is the team getting better and deeper EVERY YEAR. They are not regressing. And they certainly have not peaked. These coaches are still hungry. They have a mission. It’s not out of reach, anymore.
–Let’s be clear fans. Let’s not doubt this team until they give us reason. If I could emphasize ONE point, it would be this. We need to realize that UK playing the Gators is NOT like UK playing EKU. The talent difference is not that vast and broad. Certainly in Florida’s favor, but not by some damn near divisionally sized difference. No. UK playing Florida is more like Miami Redhawks playing UK.
(Minor Change: Miami was really, really bad. Really bad. If I had know their talent had fallen off that much, I would have declared the game much more like UK playing Miss. St.)
Yeah, we should win. But, we aren’t going to their house, with a starving fan base in an SEC sized arena. This is doable, if not likely. Florida sees Alabama. They see Georgia. They LSU. They see UT (to beat on) They see what they think are peers. They do not see the UK team coming. They don’t. The MEDIA will even tell you what to look for. They’re pre-selling it.
–Florida has UT at home. The Vols and the Gators. In the Swamp. Lane Kiffin and all the bad blood. The smack. The egos. Then they go on the road to play #11 LSU. LSU. ANOTHER championship coach. ANOTHER HUGE EGO…..
Those of you who’ve looked ahead may have noticed something. There’s a game in between those two monsters. A little visit to UK. Now you tell me. Where is the practice priority going to lie? What films do you think the coaches are REALLY going to be watching? What highlights do you think the players are going to be looking at? Think they’ll be looking for UK Louisville highlights? Think they’ll be flipping over UK Miami?
I see the world overlooking this game.”
The majority of that was written weeks ago, and I think it’s been damn near Karnak like.
–UK: run more than pass. USE THE CLOCK. Understand that each play is only a battle, not the entire war. Be happy with 2nd and seven. Run it again and get 2 to 4 yards or throw to the tight end or a hook route. Eat clock. Use the tight end three plus times. Run between the tackles. Stay in third and 5 or less. UK has a great kick return team. We should get good field position. Turnovers never need be emphasized. It’s hyperbole. Florida will do what they did against UT. They TOO will commit 9 to the box. Fine. Play action and give Matthews a reason to play here. Start this guys career with a highlight day torching UF when he’s in single coverage.
On defense, Get up the field. Don’t try to play laterally, they’ll be through the line if you do. Use 9 in the box most of the day, and disguise it by floating your safeties a bit. Blitz, and mix up the blitz.
I’d probably put Micah on Tebow as a permanent spy.
In fact, I might drop him an additional yard off the line to encourage him to run at the line of scrimmage.
Expect Florida and Meyer to get impatient to score. Trust Lindley, Burden, and Warford. Let them know you trust them. They can do it.
Tell your DE’s to get upfield and KEEP contain. Don’t get trapped at the line while they string out an option and leave the DB on an island. If you’re blitzing appropriately, as I’ve described, **STEVE BROWN**, then you will still get good pressure and will meet runner at the LOS.
LAST THING for the defense. Strip the ball every chance you get. Florida has shown a propensity to fumble the ball. They are so used to and eager to burst out that they aren’t used to being in traffic. They do not protect the football well. Strips by safeties and corners could yield BIG results.
Couple of good games this weekend mixed the top 25 up a little with the Pac10 and the MAC doing most of the mixing. The MAC and the WAC came real close to pulling upsets over the Big 10 and the Pac 10. The biggest losers this week Notre Dame and the Big 10.
Being off Kentucky didn’t pick up any votes in the AP which doesn’t mean anything since the AP has never matched what fans manage to see every weekend with what writers don’t watch.
In the Coaches poll Kentucky got 9 votes which would rank us 6th in the SEC and 38th in the nation.
1 Florida 2-0
2 Texas 2-0
3 USC 2-0
4 Alabama 2-0
5 Brigham Young 2-0
6 Penn State 2-0
7 Mississippi 1-0
8 California 2-0
9 Boise State 2-0
10 Ohio State 1-1
11 LSU 2-0
12 Oklahoma 1-1
13 Virginia Tech 1-1
14 Cincinnati 2-0
15 TCU 1-0
16 Miami (FL) 1-0
17 Georgia Tech 2-0
18 Utah 2-0 405
19 Nebraska 2-0
20 Oklahoma State 1-1
21 Houston 2-0
22 Kansas 2-0
23 Georgia 1-1
24 Notre Dame 1-1
25 Michigan 2-0
In an attempt to give you a unbiased by the media blue view of how good teams are we proudly give you our week 1 top 25 rankings.
Our rankings in no way suggest that some of these teams deserve to be ranked #1 or in the top 25 since at least one of them won against a Charleston Pastry team and others against programs desperate for money and short on top 150 talent.
BBR’s hats go off to Alabama, California, Miami (Fl), Boise St, BYU and Cincinnati for winning against quality opponents. A special hat tip to the WAC and the MWC for electing to play top tier teams and to William & Mary and Richmond for wins over ACC teams.
1 Florida 1-0
2 Texas 1-0
3 USC 1-0
4 California 1-0
5 Oklahoma State 1-0
6 Alabama 1-0
7 Penn State 1-0
8 Mississippi 1-0
9 Brigham Young 1-0
10 Ohio State 1-0
11 LSU 1-0
12 Boise State 1-0
13 Georgia Tech 1-0
14 Virginia Tech 0-1
15 Oklahoma 0-1
16 TCU 0-0
17 Utah 1-0
18 Miami (FL) 1-0
19 Cincinnati 1-0
20 Notre Dame 1-0
21 Nebraska 1-0
22 Georgia 0-1
23 North Carolina 1-0
24 Kansas 1-0
25 Missouri 1-0