Actually, the game really never was in doubt after the midway point of the second quarter, and the Cats did it without their starting quarterback Michael Hartline. They also had first and second string tailbacks Derrick Locke and Alphonso Smith at 75 percent at best and were without pre season all SEC defensive back Trevard Lindley. They then lost all SEC linebacker Micah Johnson to injury for the last three quarters. That’s five of their top six players.
I don’t think there is any question who the best one is: Randall Cobb. As a matter of fact he could be one of the top five in the SEC, which puts him in the hunt for top 10 of college football in my eyes.
Quite frankly, with the schedule this team has competed against, they may be overachieving at a level that none of us following it can properly evaluate, comprehend, or at least appreciate as much as they deserves.
Yet, you sensed in the atmosphere the distinct feeling from those in attendance at Commonwealth Stadium that they were disgruntled and somewhat upset with the Cats’ 23-point win.
Now, I ask you longtime suffering UK pigskin followers, did you ever think you would get that feeling? This is just another indication of how far Brooks and his staff have brought this program.
Cats can start building bowl resume
Once a college football team starts down the backside or second half of the season, they begins building their post season resume for the bowl scouts. This is why this present three game home stand is so crucial to UK. It’s no secret among Big Blue Nation that Wildcat football followers desire a move up the bowl ladder to at least a warm weather bowl south of Tennessee. A bid to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl and Catlanta would be nice since it’s inside the Georgia Dome.
Problem is the Mississippi States of the world have the same goal, and they rest at 3-5 and desperately need this Saturday’s game to fall in the win column.
UK sits at 4-3 for this Saturday’s homecoming game with two home games against EKU the following Saturday and Tennessee on Thanksgiving weekend. The Colonels should be an easy win but the Vols, but we all know better to count that one until it actually happens. The other two opportunities reside on the road at Vanderbilt and Georgia. Brooks has had pretty good success in Nashville for the most part in recent years, but it’s a conference game on the road. Enough said. Georgia is as beatable as ever, and their coach is on the hot seat, but it’s down between the hedges. If the Cats run the table on this home stand and they can get a few players back from the injury list then it’s possible to pull a win out of Athens, Georgia, but not probable.
Now, you should understand the importance of this Saturday’s game with the Bulldogs. UK will probably be a slight 3 to 4 point favorite although a pick ‘em game wouldn’t surprise me.
It will be a classic Cat and Dog fight, but I’m beginning to like the savvy and toughness this team has even though they’re beat up and playing shorthanded.
To get to the 8-win plateau for a mid major bowl it’s a must win scenario for UK.
Cat Notes of Interest
1 - UK has won 17 straight non conference games, tying the school record held between 1954-60
2 - UK was 2 for 2 on 4th down conversions which puts them at 10-13 for the season
3 - Five UK defenders posted a total of seven team tackles for a loss in the game, a season high
4 - Randall Cobb has scored at least one TD in eight of UK’s last 10 games
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