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Vanderbilt 31, Kentucky 24: Post mortem

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Congratulations to the Vanderbilt Commodores on an outstanding win.  They came in needing this game more, and they earned the victory over a rather inept Kentucky team.

I'm having a hard time mustering any more anger.  This was one of those games that you just have to forget.  Three roughing the kicker calls and one roughing the passer (one of the RTK's was offset) was the difference in this game.  It is very common to see untimely penalties create a loss, and we saw that tonight on steroids.

Frankly, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, I am all outraged out this weekend.  Vandy played a great first half, and UK played a pretty good second half.  Here are my observations, for what they are worth:

  • I've never seen one team penalized so many times for roughing the you-name-it.  This is a discipline problem that needs to be addressed.  We are not Florida State.
  • Just what in the name of the Seven Hells was Joker Phillips doing in that first half?  Every call was some kind of pass.  Did he forget that Cobb is much more dangerous on the ground, and that the triple option actually works?  Were we afraid we couldn't recruit if we moved the ball with the option, or what?
  • Opponents rarely throw the ball at Trevard Lindley, and they rarely throw the ball at D.J. Moore ... Oops ... except for Kentucky.  Stupid.
  • Really schizophrenic game for the Wildcats in every respect.  The special teams were either great, or horrible.  The offense was either non-existent, or very good.  The defense -- well, the defense just stank.
  • What is Phillips' aversion to running the ball outside?  I really  want to know.  Every time we went outside this game it was for positive yards, but we just didn't do it enough.  We haven't all year.  Good grief, I am getting tired of making this complaint.
  • We had plenty of time on that last drive, and had been successful running the ball.  Why so many passes?  Inquiring minds want to know.
  • Tackling?  UK couldn't have tackled a blow-up sex doll with its feet encased in 40# of concrete tonight.
  • Randall Cobb really did well in the second half.  The two interceptions were rookie mistakes.  Costly, yes, but that's what you get with a frosh.
  • Poor Matt Roark -- he finally gets wide open, and Cobb throws him a ball that Shagari Allene couldn't have caught.
  • Lones Seiber was perfect tonight.
  • Fake more punts.  Kudos to Masthay for giving us our only first down of the entire first half.
  • Calvin Harrison knows how to bring wood.  He needs to learn how to wrap his arms around the bad guys.
  • One more thing I forgot -- Kudos to Brooks for sticking with Randall Cobb.  I thought he might bring in Hartline.  It turned out to be a good decision -- didn't win the game, but it was still a good decision.

I must admit, losing to Vandy sucks like a singularity.  But I also have to admit that this Kentucky team, as riddled with injury and starting practically nothing but freshmen at skill positions on offense, has done a lot better than they probably should have this year.  Vandy was much more sound on offense than UK was, and UK's defense had no answer for Chris Nickson, and allowed way to many big plays.  We were beaten by a marginally better team tonight.  I only hope we can muster enough mojo to do something special in Knoxville two weeks from now.  I know we can sure use the week off.

Finally, I sure am getting tired of writing about losses.  I don't think this is what I had in mind when I signed up for this gig.

More tomorrow.  Rest now, 'Cat fans.  Or drink heavily.  Whatever.