Brad Abell is a contributor with KentuckySports.co. We welcome him to LSB for some much needed UK perspective among us Cardinal faithful. Here are some thoughts on this past weekend’s UK Spring football game.
When Kentucky’s basketball season ended with the heartbreaking loss to Uconn I wasn’t ready for the season to end. I had basketball withdrawals for a week. Over and over in my head I thought if Kentucky would have just made a free throw, banner number 8 would be hanging in Rupp. If you are like most Kentucky fans the summer months are spent counting down the days to Big Blue Madness. I’m as anxious as anyone to see the fabulous four freshman and finally get back to the championship… but basketball season will be here soon enough. It is time for us all to get excited about Kentucky football. I know that sounds crazy in April but we need to get behind the football cats like we do the basketball team. Andre Woodson said it best on twitter.
I can honesty say that Football is my favorite sport and I wish so bad for Kentucky to be good… 6-6 seasons with 40 degree bowl games are getting tiresome. It seems like every season I have so much hope and enthusiasm but by the end of the year I’m ready to give up my season tickets and throw in the towel… but it’s a new year and once again I have hope of a bowl game in the warmth of the Florida sun. Kentucky has an all american linebacker in Danny Trevathan, a solid offensive line, promising quarterback in Morgan Newton, and a handful of talented wide receivers. The one area of concern is defensive tackle with Mister Cobble out, and an undersized defensive line could spell trouble in the SEC, but they have all summer to find someone to step up.
The Blue/ White game this afternoon gave us a glimpse of what we have to look forward to. I was really happy to see EJ Fields have a good game. He has been disappointing in his early career, partly due to injury, but he made the play of the game with a one handed catch from Maxwell Smith for a 50+ yard touchdown. Hopefully this spring propels EJ Fields to get in the rotation this year. Brian Adams was the other star of the game with a pair of TD’s from Morgan Newton. Brian Adams is going to be great when he puts it all together. He is the fastest wide receiver on the team, and also the biggest at 6’-4”. If he can run good routes and catch the ball, he has all the physical tools to be one of the top wide receivers in the SEC. The defensive side of the ball saw a good game from Louisville Trinity graduate Luke McDermott with a pair of sacks. Collins Ukwa also had a nice game with a sack, and two tackles for loss, look for him to be one of the starters come fall. Matt Roark had the case of the drops today but I don’t think it is anything to be concerned with. I was talking with someone that has watched practice this spring and he said “Matt Roark looks like a different player, he was catching everything.” I think Roark will be a solid #2 or #3 wideout beside La’Rod King and Brian Adams. Maxwell Smith also showed some promise and I think the future looks bright with his pocket passing ability.
Kentucky is spending over 6 million dollars this summer to get new sound and video boards so let’s get Commonwealth rocking this year. Get your season tickets, or find a way to get to the games this fall to support the football team. Let’s make Commonwealth as loud as the other SEC football teams. If you haven’t been to an Alabama, Georgia, Florida, or LSU game you need to go see what real SEC LOUD is. Fans go crazy the whole time. It helps they have great teams year in and year out but the fans also help the teams play great.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there is a single school that has a great fan base in both basketball and football. Florida has great football fans, but even when they are good in basketball their basketball fans are mediocre at best. Ohio State was really good in football and basketball this past year but their basketball fans couldn’t even fill up their arena. Is it possible to have great, passionate fans in two sports? I think Kentucky could become the first if we get behind the football team like we do the basketball team.