Saturday, November 8, 2014

Just met a UK lineman

Two keys to a win over the Wildcats

Cold, cold day here in Lexington. But the Dawgs need to come out hot.

1. Run the ball. A lot.
2. Get back to winning the line of scrimmage. 

David Andrews' ankle deserves its own key. He's crucial to both 1 and 2. Defensively, we just need to be Georgia and show them why they're Kentucky, eternally a basketball school. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

"Because I don't want to get soft."

Tomorrow is the Wildcats' Senior Day.
"Because I don't want to get soft," said the 6-foot-4, 264-pound defensive end to whom that word does not typically apply. "But it's going to be real emotional, and my parents are going to be here. It'll be an emotional game for the coaches, too, because this will be our last time playing with them in Commonwealth. And the fans, all our fans, this will be our last time seeing them in Commonwealth.
Yeh, I can totally see this not helping us. That's the misery in me right now. Suddenly really, really glad this is not a night game. Especially when you factor in the fact that they'll not only be playing for their mommas, but also this:
A victory over 17th-ranked Georgia would extend Dupree's college career by one very significant game. The Wildcats (5-4, 2-4) have to win one of their last three regular-season games to qualify for their first bowl game since 2010. Dupree, the Southeastern Conference's active leader in career sacks, has never experienced the postseason.
I've said before, this ain't your daddy's Kentucky tackle football team. Mark Stoops has a more talented bunch than we're used to seeing. But they're not as deep as they need to be yet. Georgia's job is to expose that.

Friday Misery - "Theodore Donald Karabatsos...Good night sweet prince."

Jacksonville is dead. Sure as shit y'all. Now, it may come back to life in some alternate time frame, or universe, or even a college football season. Maybe. But right here, right now, in this particular moment, it's dead. Its ashes are blowing in the wind. The prayer/eulogy/drunken mumbling has ended.

In other words, the WLOCP (version 2.014) would like you to move on dipshit. And below you will find your complete guide. It takes you from the lowest of lows to some semblance of peace and order. It may be wrought with words and context and links considered grossly unsafe for work environments, but it'll get you outta the gutter Dude.

And then we crashed.
Humming along to the Creedance in our tape deck, notice something suspicious on the periphery and then BOOOOOOOOOOOM!

What the hell just happened? I mean, things were rolling along smoothly without much worries to the contrary. Maybe we weren't quite footloose, but we were fancying our groove man. Out of nowhere, blindsided by what should have been a mere deterrence, a casual glance, a simple safety check on your six. Then quickly, without cause or reason, escalates into a chaotic, reckless, fretful dumpster diving mission.

Say what you want about the tenets of epic road trip swings, but they appeared to be an ethos, a means by which the nation had bound together and stood ready to take on all remaining formidable foes. 

(Voice within my head..."Don't be fatuous Bernie.")

Now, here we are with a burnt hole in our chinos, spilled beer all over the front seat, floorboard, as well as some dive bar on St. Simons Island, and listening to "Heartbreak Tonight" on endless repeat. Ugh. Eff. Me.

Our brain is rattled, perhaps from the self-medicating, or maybe we brushed too hard against DuBose's ego. There's no way out and everything we reach for is somehow beyond our grasp. Trapped. Alone. Confused. Surrounded by a bunch of goddamn nihilists and we're pretty sure Donny is dead and Brandt sure as shit ain't walking through that door. Richt is saying one thing. Ramik is saying another. And all Marshall wants is some fucking lasers. Jeezus!

No way this jalopy can make it to Lexington. No damn way dude. Can you not read the internet boreds? Have you not heard the twitters? Whatever or whoever set this whole shitastic sequence in motion is much bigger than some Malibu Chief of Police. It goes beyond a head coach losing control of something and everything. It's even bigger that the darkest, mostest evil and mostest vile dealings of a double secret agent, codenamed "Will".

Ironic isn't it? Will. Because we have none man. No. Just sit here. Let's accept our fate and be done with it. If we live to see Christmas we'll all go bowling man. Then we'll swing by the offseason and invest in a new rug.
^^^^^^ Once had beers with Erk Russell and John Wayne ^^^^^^

Strikes and gutters.
/cues "Dead Flowers"
/orders a cold one
/prepares to reflect

"Howdoyado Dude?"

There's always something peaceful, serene, and so goddamn chill about The Stranger. He exudes quiet, introspective, all-encompassing confidence. He never forces himself on you, just sits there waiting for you to notice that you need his voice, his guidance, and his wisdom. He waits for you to be drawn in by his moustache, and once you finally tear your eyes away from it and engage him he's not going to belabor the point that Donny is dead and run the risk of reducing you to a weepy, ball of raw emotions on the floor of a bowling alley bar.

In fact, he doesn't say much of anything, yet he communicates everything. "Life ain't over Dude. Glad to see you doing well." Yup, he's glad to see that you're abiding and shit, takin' er easy for all them sinners. Yeh...and again...of course, he was sad to see Donny go. But he's already looking forward to catching you later on down the trail.

And friend, that trail leads us to Commonwealth Stadium tomorrow. Better or worse, healthy or wounded, ready or with your stupid drunk jock strap down there around your ankles. Dumbass. So go tell Cynthia to take care of her own goddamn pomeranian and Bunny to blow on her own goddamn toenails. Dude, it's time again to play football. Football.

Football. RIP Donny. RIP Jax. RIP my second liver. RIP GODDAMN GUTTERBALLS!! Let us pray...Lord Baby Jesus, please help me set the edge and Pruitt's dudes to conquer the Bourbon Trail. Or vice versa. Cuz that'd be cool too man. Amen.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Wildcats' O-line looking for confidence

Coach Stoops' was not happy in the days following Kentucky's loss to Missouri last weekend. And his tirade still resonates as the Wildcats prepare for Georgia.
"We just need to grow up and play big-man football instead of just, like, little-boy football," Mosier said, paraphrasing his coach's speech. "His message was grow up and start playing disciplined."
That goes for everyone after an all-systems failure in the Wildcats' third consecutive loss, but especially for an offensive line that has hit a rough patch in conference play. Kentucky (5-4, 2-4 SEC) has allowed 25 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in these last three defeats.
The Cats now rank 108th nationally in sacks allowed and 112th in tackles for loss allowed this season.
Whoa. I mean, whoa. Saturday alone, against Missouri, the Wildcats gave up three sacks (-24 yards) and nine tackles for loss (-38 yards). And it's not just problems after the ball is snapped either.
But at right tackle, despite also generally playing pretty well, Jordan Swindle continued his baffling trend of false-start penalties. He now has eight in nine games.
"It's a frustrating deal for him," line coach John Schlarman said. "There's a fine line. You say too much and then it's in the forefront of his mind and it takes away from other aspects of his game. You say too little and then all the sudden it happens and everybody freaks out. So it's just something we have to get him over.
"I know that Jordan Swindle's going to get that fixed, and it needs to be this week."
No pressure kid. All in all this is shaping up to be one big key to the game, especially after Georgia's defensive front played so poorly in long stretches against Florida. Something will have to give. And I'm all for Kentucky's O-line gaining its weekend when they go to Knoxville.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

As I pack for the last road trip...

At least for the regular season, I find myself pondering a question.

I've told y'all before, I love road trips. It's one part seeing other destinations, tailgates, traditions. And it's another part hearing the Redcoats in another stadium while seeing the Dawgs in those beautiful road whites - the best uniform in football iyam.

Recently, I think it was after I returned from the ColaEast game, my kids asked me when they could attend their first road game. I had not thought of that yet, so my answer was somewhere north of a shoulder shrug. Mrs. Bernie and I have taken them to a bowl game before. Hell we may take them to one this year if Santa is good to us. But they've never been to a true, SEC, bonefide road game. 

And I'm not sure when that'll happen. But like I said, as I pack, I thought I'd asked my reader what he/she would suggest. I've been to both MS trips, either of which I'd take them to. We've also been to Tennessee. I'd take them there when they are older, but Mrs. Bernie has vowed ne're shall she return. I've been to USCjr, and it'll be a cold day in Hell before they get the displeasure of those fans' foul mouths. I've been to Auburn a couple times, and that might work as long as Nick Fairley isn't getting honored for his community service while matriculating in Opelika that particular evening. Missouri was a decent trip, though it was rather long. If I hit the lottery and could afford four plane tickets, maybe. And Vandy would be easy. Kinda like a home game across the border and over a ways. Know what I mean?

Those are the only ones I've been to, at least until this weekend. I would imagine Lexington might be a good first trip for a Junior Dawg too, especially if said junior is old enough to drive her daddy back along the Bourbon Trail!

Anyway, what say you reader? Where would you suggest a young Dawgette learn to bark in enemy territory? I don't mind exposing them to uncomfortable/hostile language in the stands. They've heard enough in their time in Sanford (and occasionally when Daddy watches a game on the tv). But ease of travel and fun venue get bonus points. Let me know your thoughts if you have one.

Go Dawgs!

The Gurley investigation's key points

After reading the details, here are the key points as I see them:

Gurley had representation from the get-go. And he didn't speak with UGA officials until after receiving counsel from William King, his attorney. By now we know that the number of people with specific details of the investigation were few, and that is something McGarity confirms in his comments. But word is UGA didn't ask Todd if he'd received money for his autograph. He offered that to Compliance.

Now, once that was done, it appears UGA did everything it could possibly do to control the amount of damage to Todd's playing time/college career. A student athlete tells you (in front of counsel) he took money and broke a rule, you can't cover that up. Yes, there are some programs that would give it a shot. But we should all know by now that if UGA attempted to, they'd fail. And then Indianapolis would burn the mother down.

(BTW, the timing of the Bauerle case is intricately sewn within the fabric of this investigation. Intricately. We should all be aware of that as well.)

Next, Emerson hits on another key point:
The indefinite suspension of Gurley was announced on the evening of Oct. 9. From then until Oct. 22, when UGA sent in to the NCAA its request for reinstatement, the wait was for Gurley and King to go through their options, according to McGarity.
UGA administration first gained knowledge of the situation on (the evening of) October 7th, completed their investigation by close of business October 9th, and then waited for Gurley and his lawyer to put the ribbon on. Finally, on October 22nd, UGA was able to submit its request for reinstatement.

What took so long? Two weeks for King to sign off on what sounds like a pretty tidy investigation, at least according to McGarity. You could surmise they were hoping to put more pressure on the NCAA to rubber stamp it I guess. Or maybe there were people in Gurley's camp trying to convince him to walk away.

I'll resist any further wild speculation because I truly don't know. But it seems clear from this timeline laid out last night, that UGA arrived at the same $3000 figure and was completely done with the minutiae and the details within about 48 hours. The fact that the rest took so much longer is probably not an important detail. Probably. But I do think it's curious.

Lastly, the gray area in what happened between UGA submitting for Gurley's reinstatement after two games and the NCAA deciding on four games (with the tone of leniency on its breath) remains very, very unclear. I had been going on the assumption that UGA had found the Bryan Allens $400 and the NCAA had found the rest, especially when taking into account that they came back and asked for more information over that following weekend. Turns out they were on the same page as far as dollar figures from the outset.

Did Richt's comments earlier in the week have an effect on the NCAA's mood? Hard to say for sure without completely speculating. Did the Bauerle case have more weight on the Gurley decision than we think? I'd like to think not. Most likely it's that the NCAA felt more strongly towards the fact that Gurley had done this on multiple occasions over the course of multiple years with multiple brokers than UGA Compliance did.

To close, the most important point to date is that the Todd Gurley case has not cost Georgia a single win in the time that all this came to light earlier last month. Although we may never know any more details in the case, it's important to look at it with a keen eye. I agree with McGarity in that Coach Richt put it best when he said, "When rules are broken you don't control discipline. That's called life."

Lesson learned. Again.

Humpday Hilarity - Marriage is Bliss, chapter 47

h/t Mac

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Kentucky will start a freshman running back

Looks like the Wildcats are turning to Stanley "Boom" Williams at running back.
The new Kentucky Wildcats depth chart is out with a huge matchup vs. the Georgia Bulldogs coming in Week 11.
True freshman running back Stanley “Boom” Williams is the No. 1 RB on the newest depth chart. True freshman Garrett Johnson is also now one of the four No. 1 receivers.
Stanley has earned his nickname back in Lexington. (VIA)
Now, I don't how true this depth chart remains throughout the week preparations. When I first saw this yesterday I figured that JoJo Kemp kid we'd heard so much about after their game with South Carolina was injured. Kemp had a field day in the fourth quarter against the Gamecocks, albeit mostly from the Wildcat formation. But I can't find any injury news on Kemp, who despite still leading the team in rushing has seen his carries dwindle to next to nothing the last few games.

Perhaps they're sending a message to the older running backs on the roster. More likely, this kid Williams has earned this chance. He's a four star talent out of George Walton Academy over in Monroe that Kentucky offensive coordinator never really considered redshirting.
A four-star recruit according to the 247Sports Composite, Stanley "Boom" Williams quickly silenced any talk of a possible redshirt season during his first preseason camp at Kentucky, though offensive coordinator Neal Brown declined to call him "Boom" until he earned the name on the field. In his second collegiate game, Williams scored on a 53-yard touchdown run. He briefly gave Kentucky the lead in overtime vs. Florida with a highlight-reel 25-yard touchdown catch-and-run in which he cut back across the entire width of the field. After the game, Brown finally acknowledged Williams had earned his "Boom" nickname.
So at least as of this morning, sounds like we might see a motivated young running back going up against a defense eager to prove the Florida game was a fluke.

Moving on along

Let me first say that I hope some of my comments yesterday weren't interpreted too loosely. In times like these I like to see the team have a circle the wagons mentality and the fanbase lobbing thoughtful questions at those in charge.

Instead, the last two days have been a tornado of chainsaws drowned out only by the incessant screaming. From water coolers to message boreds to social media to call in shows. It was enough to make me rethink my away game planning.
I checked the calendar this morning and it's Tuesday November 4th. Sounds like a good day to take a deep breath, go vote, and then look at this Kentucky team that we happen to play Saturday. Word has it Coach Richt even held practice yesterday to get ready for this game. And then Ramik dropped some truth and accountability on the team as a whole.
So speaking of voting today, Wilson has my vote as this season's Shawn Williams Motivational Speaker. Moving on along, let's follow the team's lead and focus on what we can control - our mindset in closing out this schedule.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Coach Richt, I beg to differ here Partner.

From last night's teleconference Emerson gives us this quote:
“We didn’t have an effort issue, so that’s good,” Richt said. “So if you’ve got guys quitting, then you’ve got a problem, you can’t name anyone a captain.”
Richt's right in that I too saw guys putting in effort in the game. But there are distinct levels of effort, are there not? For instance, I can half-ass a report and turn it in saying that at least I gave it some effort. And I believe he's making a point about the locker room and that the team didn't and hasn't given up. But whether or not there was an effort issue Saturday is a matter for some debate.

Because the problem is Florida came prepared to handle, manage, control Georgia's best effort Saturday in Jacksonville. Richt's team did not come in with that mindset and were beat out of the stadium. So I would most definitely call that an effort issue.

Regrouping is painful, hard work

The questions are in abundance. The answers nowhere to be found. But as we venture down this path licking our wounds there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, I hate agreeing with Bill Shanks, but he lays it all out here with history and venom on his side. Just remember that he's pointing to a larger issue and using broad strokes. Calling for a coaching change at this point in the season is a lot like yelling at your steering wheel during a traffic jam. I'm not saying the questions aren't necessary and timely. Now happens to be a great time to ask questions. And to his credit, Shanks does get around to something a lot of people beating their chest don't in that he suggests action over standing in place stamping one's feet; he suggests writing letters and making calls to those in charge.

It's also a good time to remember that the players should never be the target of your frustration. Vent in the direction of your friends, family and especially those that are getting paid good money to find the answers. But never the players. They are busy preparing for the next game because while Saturday's debacle might seem to be the end of the world, it's not the end of the season yet. Maybe for you there's no hope left, but the team doesn't have the "luxury" of just packing up and going home.

Speaking of which, Richt has a good track record for making lemonade in these spots. That won't make many of you feel any better about getting outclassed Saturday in Jacksonville, but don't abandon 2014 too hastily. There's much left to play for this month. And while that starts on Saturday in Lexington for regular fans like you and me, it started yesterday for the players and the coaches.

In good times as well as those that are more painful and hard, Go Dawgs!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Thoughts on being sober

Short and bitter:

- Out played and out coached in all phases. Pure and simple.
- The two losses this season not only come against two of the weaker teams in the conference, but also come after the two bye weeks.
- Unlike in Columbia though, we were completely flat after the week off this time.
- I wasn't aware it was even legal to rush for so many yards in one game.
- Credit Roper for having a simple and straight forward game plan for his young quarterback to where he wouldn't have to pass much. But I bet Muschamp and his staff were surprised at how little they had to throw the ball.

For all the talk of how bad florida is this season it turns out their players missed that message.