Tyler Robinson talks it over with Morgan Newton. Robinson had a great spring game last night.
Good afternoon, BBN. I apologize for not getting this up sooner after last night's Blue White scrimmage. It just wasn't in the cards. As you probably know by now, the game ended with a first string victory, 35-28, a misleading score given that the backups were spotted a 14-0 lead. Since I am late getting this up, I'll give up the pretense of a column and go bullet point style with my observations of the game.
* It was a cold night in Commonwealth, and attendance showed it. While the crowd was announced at 4,500, I can assure you it was quite a bit smaller.
* Someone at UK clued in that calling a first team v. everyone else game Blue/White was going to create logistical problems. In fact, the offense wore white and the defense blue, with the teams being renamed "Kentucky" and "Wildcats". The offense and defense took to different sidelines. This was wise, since it allowed players to get time on both teams where appropriate. However, if you were interested in the outcome of the game, it was a little confusing.
* The stars of the game were WR Demarco Robinson and TE Tyler Robinson (no relation, which I probably don't need to tell you if you follow the team). Demarco had two early touchdowns, one on a blown coverage and a ball in the end zone in traffic. He made plays time and again, showing some explosiveness. Tyler showed the best hands on the team, catching five tough balls and looking every bit of an SEC tight end.
* As for the rest of the receivers: La'Rod King was a late scratch, leading to a number of other guys getting first-team reps. E.J. Fields worked out with the starters, and Aaron Boyd spent time there as well. Daryl Collins had a couple of nice grabs in the slot. Boyd made a good shoestring catch on a 4th and 8. Kentucky was Kentucky, though. There were several drops by both the TEs and WRs'. The good news was, the same people were doing the dropping most of the time.
* As expected, the second string O-line had a hard time. Jacob Russell (who played very well under the circumstances) was on the run all night and "sacked" seven times. As Joker reportedly pointed out after the game, this unit has little depth. He hopes to get by with five guys in the fall, which even he admits is not likely.
*Avery Williamson stood out on the defensive side of the ball. With Rumph and Cobble, he gives us a solid core to build on down the middle of the D. Alvin Dupree looked tough to block. I saw Marcus Caffey make a couple of nice plays in run support.
* It was hard to get much more of a read on the defense since the "Wildcats" O-line was having so many issues. The first string did look bad in spurts. In one series, Jonathan George looked like he had us on roller skates with a few nice runs strung together. Russell went 54 yards for a TD completely untouched at one point. Other than that, the first string defense played well.
* If you are looking for a sleeper from last night's game, it would be George or redshirt Freshman DE Travaughn Paschal. Paschal was all over the field for the second string and had his name called time and again by the PA. Kentucky is thin at DE, I'd love to see Travaughn get a chance this year.
* Joker is down on the punting game and its easy to see why. The Cats did punt team drills right before the game began and it didn't look pretty. Once the game commenced, there were no punts of kickoffs. Hold that thought a second.
* Max Smith's night was a mixed bag. Overall, he was pretty accurate and made the right throws. He looked in command out there. He ended up completing about 2/3rds of his passes, and number that wasn't helped by some drops. On the other hand, Smith threw a couple of picks to guys who might never see the field in an SEC game. A couple of other balls were tipped and could have been picked had they caromed the right way. I give him a B. We'll see where things stand in the fall.
* I could be wrong, but my impression after three spring games is that Joker doesn't like playing it. Last night halftime was cut short and the fourth quarter featured a running clock. It was like the staff just wanted to get it over. The lack of kicks turns the game into something besides actual football and makes it feel less like a "game". While by all means understandable, the Mickey Mouse format doesn't help. Real talk. If UK wants more excitement surrounding this game, it might start by showing some itself.
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