Three days late and a dollar short to do any kind of real recap on Saturday's win over Louisville. Here are a few leftover thoughts before we turn our attention to WKU.
* One person who hasn't gotten much mention is CB Martavius Neloms. Neloms started for the second time on Saturday (having been pushed into duty against USC with both starters out last year). Officially he was credited with 3 tackles, one for a ten yard loss. Unofficially, he was all over the field. Mychal Bailey also played well, and I feel great about the Cats' secondary at the moment.
*That said, UK got nothing out of the Sam Linebacker spot. Jacob Dufrene was credited with two tackles though I don't even remember seeing him on the field. Ridge Wilson committed the roughing the passer penalty that basically kept Louisville alive for the last five minutes of the game. I've begun to wonder why Qua Huzzie is not working out there. It would seem that having Travathan, Huzzie and Ronnie Sneed on the field would be using our three best linebackers without sacrificing size or speed.
*I suppose no one is second guessing Strong's decision not to try an onside kick with 3:10 left, down by a touchdown. Conventional wisdom would be to kick away with two TOs left and that much time. Since they never stopped our offense without our help the entire game, I thought it was a tough call.
*If you watched my video preview, I'm sure you can guess that I was thrilled with Mike Hartline's performance in this game. Mike made some plays, never forced anything and threw the ball away when he needed to. These are the things I expect from him. It looks like his feel for the game has improved. He move out of the pocket and continued to look downfield, tucked the ball up and ran once or twice and just seemed to be more in his element.
*My father-in-law played halfback at UK before a bad knee and Charlie Bradshaw chased him away in 1962. He said something interesting about Derrick Locke after the game. "If he doesn't start protecting himself, he won't last past the third game". I don't know enough about playing the position to make that kind of assessment, so I thought that was interesting. What I know is this: Louisville got several clean licks on Derrick that look like they hurt. I'd like to see him get some rest over the next couple of weeks.
*New coach, same problems on special teams. Ryan Tydlacka is a good punter, but I think Joe Mansour's time as our placekicker is now. His redshirt was burned Saturday, so I have to think that was the plan all along.
*First half Kentucky was an eight win team. Second half Kentucky was a five win team.
*The Pizza Pit is a very nice facility. I won't lie, I enjoyed my chair back immensely.
*More coming as this week unfolds.
Dakari Johnson’s Tuesday News and Views
7 hours ago