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SEC Headlines – 11/9/11 Part Two

1.  Mr. Everything, Chris Rainey, is expected to play for Florida on Saturday.

2.  Steve Spurrier versus the Mighty Gators now appears to be just on another game to both parties.

3.  Georgia’s Aaron Murray is “just a natural born leader.”

4.  Yesterday, Mark Richt quoted scripture and said his faith helped him get through UGA’s 0-2 start and many, many calls for his head.

5.  Kentucky linebacker Danny Trevathan has been playing with a chip on his shoulder since failing to make the latest cut for the Butkus Award.

6.  Wildcat forward Darius Miller wants to end his up-and-down career on a high note.

7.  Quarterback Connor Shaw is expected to play this weekend, but South Carolina has a number of other injuries to worry about.

8.  Injuries have opened the door for true freshman safety Brison Williams.

9.  The focus at Tennessee is on quarterback Justin Worley’s footwork…

10.  The Vols will “keep playing with” the Wildcat package they unveiled last Saturday.

11.  Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Kentucky are about to start a round-robin battle for bowl eligibility.

12.  Commodore hoopster Festus Ezeli says his injured right knee is feeling “good.”

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New UK DC Minter Teaching Players “Like We’re At Yale Or Something”

New Kentucky defensive coordinator — technically “co-coordiator” — Rick Minter is teaching new plays, new schemes and new terms to the Wildcats this spring.  This spring, the playbook has been the focus in Lexington.

“He’s teaching us like we’re at Yale or something,” linebacker Danny Trevathan told The Louisville Courier-Journal.  According to Trevathan, Minter has already added as many as 30 new plays to UK’s defense.

Like most defenses these day, UK is going more multiple.  They’ll operate out of a 4-3 base, but they’ll also shift to a 3-4 or a 4-2-5 depending on the situation.  Learning the new schemes hasn’t been easy.

“It’s really difficult, I’m not going to lie,” safety Winston Guy said.  “It’s a whole new defensive scheme, and a lot people were recruited here for a 4-3 scheme.  Things are different, and you have to adapt to it.”

“Our playbook is thick,” Guy added.

Minter isn’t backing down.  “I’d rather it be overload now, let them have a little time to digest over the summer, (then) refresh in the fall.  Then when they hear it all for the second time after coming back in the fall, it’ll start to sink in better.”

At least that’s Minter’s hope.

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SEC Headlines – 1/14/11 Part Two

1.  ESPN basketball analyst Jimmy Dykes believes the three best teams in the SEC are Kentucky, then Georgia and Vanderbilt.

2.  How might the stars — and I use that term loosely — of Florida’s 2010 offense be worked into Charlie Weis’ pro-style system?

3.  Urban Meyer says “the Gators are going to get better” under Will Muschamp.

4.  Georgia linebacker Justin Houston has until tomorrow night to declare for the NFL draft.

5.  Here’s an early look at UGA’s 2011 offensive line.

6.  Trey Thompkins is leading the Dawgs’ basketball resurgence.

7.  Randall Cobb’s many talents will be difficult for Kentucky to replace next season.

8.  Wildcat linebacker Danny Trevathan will return to Lexington for his senior season.

9.  John Calipari wants his team to put aside individual goals and make a “commitment to win.”  (The Cats are 13-3.)

10.  UK’s lack of depth puts a lot of pressure on big man Eloy Vargas.

11.  South Carolina’s offense has to come from its defense.  (Pay site.)

12.  ESPN’s “GameDay” crew will be in Knoxville for tomorrow’s Tennessee-Vanderbilt game.  (Think Bruce Pearl’s situation might come up?)

13.  Struggling against three-point gunners, the Vols will now have to face Vandy’s John Jenkins.

14.  Festus Ezeli has been coming up big for the Commodores.

15.  This writer says Ezeli is putting up “AJ Ogilvy-type numbers — without all the drama.”

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Cobb, Trevathan, Warford Named to AP All-SEC Team

Three University of Kentucky football players, including juniors Randall Cobb and Danny Trevathan, were selected to the 2010 Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference team announced Monday.

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Cobb, Trevathan named first-team All-SEC

Content provided by Chip Cosby on UK football.

Kentucky junior receiver Randall Cobb and Danny Trevathan were both named to the Associated Press All-SEC first team.

Cobb had a league-leading 79 receptions for 955 yards and seven touchdowns. He ranks second in the nation in all-purpose yardage and was named to the first team as a receiver and all-purpose player.

Trevathan led the league in tackles with 130 and was also third in the nation in tackles for loss with 16.


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Cobb, Trevathan on Steele’s All-SEC

Content provided by Kentucky Wildcat sports beat.

Kentucky wide receiver Randall Cobb and linebacker Danny Trevathan on Friday were named to Phil…

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Kentucky Football: Some Questions For Joker Phillips

Content provided by A Sea Of Blue.

Hey, Joker!  Don't you think we should be improving at this point in the season?

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James Crisp – AP

Hey, Joker! Don’t you think we should be improving at this point in the season?

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I watched the Kentucky Wildcats versus the Charleston Southern Buccaneers on Sunday.  After that review, I felt like Kentucky fans have rather more questions than answers after that game, so in a kind of “open letter” to head coach Joker Phillips, I am wondering a few things:

  • I understand that the defense is young, and as SEC defensive lines go, they are pretty small.  But how is it that Charleston Southern can push us around so much up front?  How long does it take for player to improve, at least incrementally?
  • Why are we repeatedly getting caught out of position on misdirection plays?  Twice, CSU threw back across the field for big plays, and Kentucky defenders were nowhere to be found.
  • Is it just me, or do we have absolutely no pass rush whatsoever?
  • At this point in the season, I think giving up 270 total yards to an FCS team is a real problem, don’t you? Please tell me the team just didn’t take CSU seriously.  I’ll accept that explanation for now.
  • What’s up with the play calling?  How many times did CSU obviously have their defensive backs in cover-0 and we didn’t audible to a vertical or a quick slant route?
  • Why three passes in a row in the second quarter when CSU had proven that they couldn’t stop the run?
  • How long does it take for a linebacker to learn to stay in his gap?  Danny Trevathan seems to get this, but none of the other linebackers do.  After 10 games, am I wrong to expect them to have figured out how to execute something this fundamental?
  • Why have we completely shelved the Wildcat?  I know we didn’t need it to win this game, but shouldn’t we be working on it just a little?
  • Matt Roark gets a one-game suspension after pleading guilty to a DUI in which he ran into a parked car and blew a .192 BAC, not to mention being under age?  I understand that “zero tolerance” is too tough, and I’m sure you are doing some other things, but don’t you think this is a bit … I don’t know, laissez-faire?
  • What’s going on with these in-game suspensions?  Don’t you think perhaps the team would be better served by suspending the player for the entire game and allowing their substitute to get the whole game to show why he deserves to play?  After all, I presume there is a reason you are suspending these guys at all.  Just askin’.
  • I saw some of the most passionate coaching out of you in this game.  Why did I have to wait until the tenth game of the season?  I’m sure it’s just a learning curve, but we do need to see that you care whether we win or lose, not just hear you say it.
I’m not mad at Phillips, and of course I don’t think he should be fired or even on any kind of a “hot seat.”  I just see some puzzling things.  To be fair, I saw puzzling things under Brooks, too, and other coaches as well.  And also to be fair, despite some minor discipline issues, UK is about as far as it is possible for an FBS program to be from Fulmer Cup (maybe we should rename it the Meyer cup now) consideration.
I’m sure many of you have questions, also.  I was disappointed that Kentucky’s defense looked so vulnerable against such a weak football team.  It would bother me less if the defense had showed improvement, but they seem to be making the same old errors over and over again.
Fortunately, the offense was humming along pretty well except for some inexplicable play calling at times.  Turnovers are still a serious problem, although the Mike Hartline interception was just an amazing one-handed grab by the defender. However, Hartline threw that ball on the wrong side of the receiver, so he probably deserved the pick.
Still, I am not pleased with what I saw on Saturday, and I’m sure most of you are equally unhappy with it.  I guess we can just chalk it up to a letdown, but we need a lot better on Saturday against the Commodores, because they could have easily beat this CSU team by similar margins and held them to less than two touchdowns.

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Transcript of Joker Phillips’ post-game presser

Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

As provided by UK Athletics:

November 6, 2010

An interview with:


COACH PHILLIPS: Injury situation, Ronnie Sneed has a stinger in his shoulder, and wasn’t able to finish the game. He came out in the first quarter. Josh Gibbs had a hip flexor and he also did not finish after the first. Nick (Mellilo) went in and covered one kick, couldn’t finish. (Martavius) Neloms got his ankle stepped on, and he came out in the fourth quarter. And Donald Russell got rolled up and hurt his back in the second quarter. So that’s the injuries, so all of them should be back next week.

But one of the things we talked about is playing clean. We did not play clean. In the first half we changed one of our plans to win, and we turned the ball over on downs. That’s considered a turnover, and that’s my fault. That’s me being selfish, it was.

Probably should have kicked the ball and played field position, but that’s a sudden change. It’s like a turnover and two plays later they’re in the end zone. We’ve got to do a better job when we do turn it over.

I was just informed that we have turned the ball over and thrown an interception in the end zone three times in the last two weeks. So we can’t do that. They go back down the field with that sudden change and go 80 yards, that can’t happen.

The time of possession was 40 to 20 and you look at that first and you think no, it can’t be. But at halftime it was 20 10, something like that almost 20 10, correct? And we gave up a couple of big plays on defense, and the offense turned the ball over two times. Can’t do it, you cannot do it and survive in this league.

The thing you can’t do is you can’t go three weeks without creating turnovers on defense, and we have not created a turnover. Our offense created one but it was after a turnover last week. So we’ve got to play a lot cleaner to win next week. Any questions?

Q. Was it hard to get them fired up and ready this week?

COACH PHILLIPS: You know, I didn’t think it was hard to get them ready because our guys were ready, I thought they were raring to go. We had really good practices.

You start thinking the weather changes, you start thinking well, it’s going to be hard to get them going today. It wasn’t. I told you guys after practice I thought our guys played in practice really well. The attitude was good. There was a lot of enthusiasm. So I felt we were ready to go.

Then you kickoff, usually you can judge this football team how their kickoff team covers kicks, and our first kickoff our guys ran down like their hair was on fire. That told me that our football team was ready to play.

We gave up a couple of big plays, and then offensively we don’t get the fourth down. Then they converted, and I think that kind of took the wind out of our sail a little bit. But we battled back.

The thing is we didn’t play clean. We didn’t play fast at times but we won the football game.

Q. What did you think of Donald Russell’s performance?

COACH PHILLIPS: He played good. He got the ball in the end zone. He made some big time runs. Both backs made some runs and they missed some runs, but he did what he had to do in this game. That is to hang on to the football and possess the ball at the end of each run and get positive yards.

Q. Your decision or (Derrick) Locke’s decision not to play?

COACH PHILLIPS: His decision. If he can play, he’ll play. He just didn’t feel like he could protect the football and also protect himself. Locke really wants to play, but Locke really doesn’t want to hurt this football team also.

Q. Can you assess the overall performance of the defense today and how you felt they played?

COACH PHILLIPS: We’ve got to make sure that we don’t give up as many big plays. This football team that we just played put out a lot of trick plays on us. The thing we have to do is make sure if it’s man to man coverage, stay on your guy.

They ran a sprint out throw back that it looks like a run, yes, it does. But your job is not to stop the run. Your job is to cover your man all over the field, regardless of what happens until the ball crosses the line of scrimmage.

We gave up the big play on that. We gave up a couple big runs with the quarterback. But they got stops when we needed them, that’s the thing. They got stops when we needed them. But I think we’ve got to do a better job of creating turnovers, and we haven’t created one in the last three weeks.

Q. That was the first snap ever recorded by (CSU) quarterback (Malcolm Dixon).

COACH PHILLIPS: I never saw that. I had to check the roster to see. I mean, he had never lined up at quarterback that we had seen. He obviously was in the game to run the football, and he’s a good athlete, and he did a good job of running their offense. It was really their wildcat package really is what it was.

It was something that we had seen because we had seen it in practice every day, and that is their Wildcat package.

Q. Are you pleased with where you are?

COACH PHILLIPS: Hey, I’m .500. Yes, I’m pleased. We’re 5 and 5, with two games left. A home game next week in our league, and senior day for guys. You know, about 16 guys that have been around here for a long time. Some that haven’t been around here for a long time, it will be an emotional week for those guys, and we’ll try to feed off of that.

Q. You said you need to get some momentum. Is this the kind of win you need?

COACH PHILLIPS: This is what we’re talking about. We need this momentum, we need this feeling. We’ve been in this locker room for five out of the last six weeks that we haven’t had this feeling.

So I think this is the momentum that we need to carry us through the rest of the season.

Q. Were you planning on splitting the reps at running back with (Donald) Russell and (CoShik) Williams?

COACH PHILLIPS: Yeah, that’s what we had planned to do to play both of those guys. We were going to go two and one, one series, two series. But once Donald got rolled up from behind on the kickoff return, we decided to give them split reps or split series.

I thought both of them did a good job of getting the ball in the end zone and taking care of the ball first of all, and getting the ball in the end zone.

Q. Did you play the backups as much as you wanted to?

COACH PHILLIPS: No, you never play them as much as you want to. I would have liked to have seen everybody get in the game. I would have liked to have played a little bit more. Liked to have gotten a chance to get (back-up QB Ryan Mossakowski) in the game, but we weren’t able to.

Q. Is it too early to say whether (Derrick) Locke and (Raymond) Sanders will be back?

COACH PHILLIPS: It’s way too early. We’ll have to see tomorrow. Again, both of those guys will be day to day. We’ll see tomorrow if they can give us anything. Then just throughout the week, the same deal. It’s been like that for about two weeks with Locke, so we’ll see.

Q. Was there ever a time that you looked at the scoreboard in second quarter in a tie game and thought it would like an Appalachian State game?

COACH PHILLIPS: Yeah, definitely. You know, you felt like you had control, but you didn’t have control. But when you look at the scoreboard it didn’t say it.

We felt like just get a stop here and there, don’t turn the ball over. We felt like we could score points. But, yeah, it was a time to look up at the scoreboard and say that.

Q. Did you get momentum because you played well or just a matter that you won?

COACH PHILLIPS: Both, both. We played a lot better longer. But also the fact that you won, I think can you get a lot of things corrected in a different way with the win.

Q. Can you talk about Danny Trevathan what continues to impress you with his play?

COACH PHILLIPS: The speed. You very seldom see Danny Trevathan. What is frustrating is when we’re in position to make plays and you don’t make plays. That is the frustrating part of battles on defense, you know.

When Danny is in position to make plays, he makes the play. He runs his feet, he runs through people, not to people, first of all. Then when you see Danny hit people, they go backwards.

A lot of it has to do with the way he runs. He’s one of our faster guys on defense, and a really smart football player.

Last week we were getting some of the other guys a lot of reps because he was a little beat up, and just watching him on the sideline talking to our young linebackers about their assignments. That tells me that it allows Danny to play as fast as he’s playing, he knows what is going on. He knows everything that’s going on with this defense. So it allows him to play faster than a lot of our other guys.

Q. Seems like Craig McIntosh does a good job angling the direction of his kickoffs. How has that helped the kickoff coverage?

COACH PHILLIPS: Yeah, it does help. We wanted to see this. We challenged our kickoff coverage team also. We’ve gotten really excited about how E.J. Fields covered last week, so we moved E.J. actually went in and covered in the position that Matt Roark had been in.

And Matt Roark has been a beast on the kickoff coverage team, so it allowed us to move someone else off the team that we weren’t covering as well. Put E.J. Fields back in there and insert Matt Roark. We thought that Brian Adams was playing good on that same team.

So the thing we wanted to do is keep the ball in play. I wasn’t interested in kicking the ball in the end zone; I wanted to see these guys covered. Because that sets the tempo and that shows the attitude of the football team in how you cover kickoffs, and I wanted to see those guys cover. I thought they did an outstanding job.

Each guy on our sidelines was picking out a guy who they thought was going to make the play and telling the other guy. Hey, I’ve got Matt Roark this time or I’ve got Brian Adams.

So we wanted to challenge our kickoff cover team, and they did. They covered outstanding which I think tells us the attitude of your football team.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports


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SEC Headlines – 11/4/10 Part Two

1.  Florida’s defensive line isn’t creating the kind of pressure it did last year… with Carlos Dunlap and Jermaine Cunningham.

2.  So why isn’t next week’s SEC East title game between Florida and South Carolina on CBS?  Because Cam Newton and a potential upset of Auburn are too good to pass up.

3.  The basketball Gators won an exhibition game 88-62 over Georgetown College of Kentucky.

4.  Mark Richt told everyone that he was hiring a fiery guy when he brought in Todd Grantham as the Bulldogs’ new defensive coordinator.

5.  Want to read about Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar in a sports story?  Then here’s a column comparing Richt to Job.

6.  MSU’s Nick Bell played his last game against Georgia… and that fact isn’t lost on UGA’s linemen.

7.  Kentucky linebacker Danny Trevathan needs to become a more vocal leader.

8.  Folks in the Bluegrass State will keep an eye on Indiana’s Guy-Marc Michel… a player who is facing Enes Kanter-like eligibility questions.

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News and notes from UK’s loss to Miss St

Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(H-L photo/Pablo Alcala)

(H-L photo/Pablo Alcala)

News and notes from UK’s 24-17 loss to Mississippi State:

  • Kentucky dropped to 1-5 in the SEC, its worst record after six conference games since starting 0-6 in the league in 2004.
  • On UK’s final play, a pass attempt which Mississippi State intercepted at the goal line, apparently wide out Chris Matthews didn’t get the call at the line to go to the end zone. Quarterback Mike Hartline, who was hurried a bit, threw long, and Matthews had cut off the pattern. It was supposed to be a jump ball. Instead, MSU db Jonathan Banks was the only one jumping at the goal-line, and got the pick.
  • In its six SEC games, Kentucky is -5 in turnover margin. The Cats have given the ball away 14 times, and taken it just nine times. The Cats were a -2 against State, giving it up four times, taking it twice.
  • Kentucky gained just 89 yards on 43 carries, the third straight game it had failed to rush for 100 yards.
  • It was also the third straight game without Derrick Locke.
  • Mississippi Sate’s 214 yards rushing was second most against UK this season, behind Auburn’s 311.
  • State averaged 5.49 yards per rush, the fifth team to average at least five yards a carry against Kentucky. Louisville averaged 5.94, WKU 5.67, Florida 5.33 and Auburn 5.98.
  • Randall Cobb had a career-high 12 catches for 171 yards and one touchdown.
  • It was Hartline’s first three-interception game since the Alabama game of last year. He also threw three that day against the Crimson Tide.
  • Hartline completed 23 of 41 passes for 258 yards, with two touchdowns and those three picks. That figures to a pass efficiency rating of 110.42, his lowest since posting a 104.17 at Florida.
  • Danny Trevathan had 16 tackles, his fifth straight game of double-digit tackles.
  • Craig McIntosh has made seven consecutive field goals.


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