Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.
I know none of us are tired of talking about the big beat-down of Tennessee in Knoxville Saturday (God, I love saying “beat down of Tennessee in Knoxville” so much...), so I want to talk about it a little more:
- I have no words for the Kentucky defense, but I can say with confidence I don’t recall any team picking off so many passes in three consecutive halves of football... ever... against top competition. This has to be some kind of first for UK if not college football.
- I wasn’t sure I would live long enough to see UK win in Knoxville. I wouldn’t have taken a 2-1 bet that we would win there convincingly in my lifetime.
- Kentucky football culture has come light-years since Mark Stoops was hired. Emphasis formerly reserved only for skill positions has been reworked to prioritize the lines, resulting in vast improvement in the overall team. It’s hard to say enough about how effective Mark Stoops has been at getting both lines in SEC condition. And we still get great skill players, too.
- The much-maligned defensive backfield (after the first two games) has redeemed itself in spades, particularly LSU transfer Kelvin Joseph. I sure hope that continues, because we need them at or near this level to have success going forward this season.
- I like the commitment to the run, but we have to learn to block the weakside defensive end. Too many times, there was nobody to pick up the weakside DE, and he made the tackle before the running back could get to the hole. If we are going to pull both linemen and not leave a back to pick up the end, our runners have got to hit the hole faster. Maybe that’s a Wilson problem in the zone read, I don’t know, but we have to get that cleaned up.
- I am very happy to see Wilson targeting the tight ends more, and happy that Josh Ali is no longer the only target he sees. We really need other WR’s to get open and catch balls, and we got some of that Saturday.
- Dropped footballs in the end zone make me very, very angry. ‘Nuff said.
- I like that Gran tried to use Keaton Upshaw as a WR, but they need to practice that more — that’s why we got the ineligible downfield lineman penalty rather than the interference call in the red zone when Upshaw covered the TE. Upshaw’s size makes it very hard for a corner to cover him effectively, especially in the red zone.
- Matt Ruffolo’s kicking still makes me nervous. But he didn’t miss Saturday, so there’s that...
- The defensive line was much better than anyone noted on Saturday. They didn’t shut down the run, but with one of their best on the bench injured, the did keep it from getting into problem territory. In the meantime, we had good pressure on the passer all day and forced numerous opportunities for poor throws, which Tennessee obligingly provided — to their woe.
- I hate to call for more QB runs, but Terry Wilson’s legs were underutilized in this game. We have a credible backup, so I hope Gran will open up the play book for Wilson’s considerable skills. I didn’t feel like he did that this game.
On to Mizzou. Getting back to the plus side of the W-L record would be nice ...
Tweet of the Morning
Kentucky/Missouri:— SECSportsTalk (@sportstalk_sec) October 20, 2020
Kentucky coming off one of it’s biggest wins with an win at Tennessee, while Missouri coming off a week from covid scheduling.
Kentucky’s D has caused 9 turnovers and Missouri’s offense has 6 so far. Kentucky’s D has 10 TO in last six Qtrs.
KY 34 Mizzou 20.
I like the cut of this writer’s jib.
Kentucky Football has decimated the entirety of the Tennessee fanbase. What’s the German word for Schadenfreude squared?— your vibes were off at apple bees (@RickyWiIIiams) October 20, 2020
- Former UK D-line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh was fired from co-DC position he held at Tennessee after the Vols lost to UK. Fansided thinks he was scapegoated, and I think they’re right.
- Updated UK depth chart for Missouri game.
- Landon Young is the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week.
- COVID-19 creates havoc on the coaching staff — Eddie Gran’s mask caused his glasses to fog, making his play sheet hard to see. He picked the wrong play on the second down of the opening drive, resulting in a negative play and ultimately a punt.
- Kirk Herbstreit gives props to Mark Stoops for the Tennessee win.
- UK 2021 target Skyy Clark set to announce his college decision Thursday on CBS Sports HQ.
- Kentucky’s newcomers are among the best in the nation.
- Bruiser Flint says that mostly freshman team “shocks me a little bit.” Get used to it, pal, it’s pretty common around these parts.
- UK assistant basketball coach Joel Justus tabbed as a “rising star” in The Athletic’s 40 under 40 list.
Other Kentucky sports
- Kentucky men’s tennis shows significant improvement at the Commodore Invitational last weekend.
- Women’s golf team star Jensen Castle fired a 3-under 69 opening round at The Ally.
- Clemson stays ahead of Alabama by beating down Georgia Tech.
- Remember when Tennessee-Alabama was a big deal? It used to have it’s own name, the “Third Saturday in October.” But the series doesn’t seem to have the verve of the old Phillip Fulmer days anymore. Still, Alabama fans are told they have to hate the Vols, and only a beatdown will suffice. Given what we’ve seen so far, I’d say that’s likely.
Other sports news
- Dustin Johnson still recovering from the effects of COVID-19 and withdraws from Zozo Championship citing low energy.
- Could an asteroid hit the Earth the day before the election? Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks it’s possible. That would be so 2020...
- Scientists clock the fastest interval of time... the “zeptosecond.”
- Voyager spacecraft detects increased space density outside our solar system. Voyager is currently approximately 1000 light-minutes (16 light-hours) away from Earth.