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C.J. Conrad: “We’re going to have to pull it together.”

C.J. Conrad had Kentucky’s only TD catch at Tennessee. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

While running back Benny Snell questioned the commitment of some Kentucky teammates after the 24-7 loss at Tennessee Saturday, senior tight end C.J. Conrad was more perplexed about what happened.

He thought Kentucky had a “really good week of practice” after losing to Georgia and saw nothing that worried him about UK’s attitude even in pregame warmups.

“I felt the energy that we needed to have to win on the road in the SEC. I don’t know what happened,” Conrad said.

Conrad said the loss was “very frustrating” and not just because UK had not won in Knoxville since 1984. He said there was little “streak” talk going into the game.

“We talked about playing our last SEC game, a lot of us seniors. That was my last SEC game, so obviously not the way I wanted to go out. Once again, I thought we had really good preparation. I thought we had good practices, good focus,” Conrad said.

“We’re really just killing ourselves offensively right now. On offense, you need all 11 guys to be on the same page. All it takes is one guy, and the play doesn’t work. We’ve been having a lot of that lately.”

Needless to say, that’s not good to have a lot of plays where one or more players don’t execute. That’s how a once productive offense goes stagnant.

“Your senior leaders have to step up. We’re going to have to have a meeting,” Conrad said after Saturday’s loss. ” I know some of the older guys are extremely frustrated right now, myself included, because this is our last go-around here. You don’t want to end it like it was tonight.

“We’re going to have to pull it together, have a meeting Monday and really just address the team and what we need to do to not let this happen again.”

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  1. Another game like this, and I think you will start seeing UK lose some recruits.
    Gran is cutting his own throat and doesn’t have the sense to see that either.

  2. Very disappointing performance.

  3. I liked this and it is 100% true:

    Austin Stevenson
    ‏ @AStevenson2014

    When Eddie Gran took over UK’s offense in 2016, they had the 61st best offense in the NCAA. His second year, it was 103rd. Coming into today, it was 110th, and that’ll go down.

    With the best RB in school history, and an NFL TE and WR.

    That can’t be a coincidence.
    6:19 PM – 10 Nov 2018 from Kentucky, USA

    1. Remember this boys, Stoops let a good OC get a way from this program in Shannon Dawson who returned the nest year to beat UK at CWS in 2016 as OC with Southern Miss. For example, DorianBaker had the best year of his college career under Dawson in 2015, 55 receptions for over 600 yards. He is a forgotten talent at UK in 2018. UK could score points and did under Dawson. Snell was just developing as a running back. UK, to start the 2018 season, had a very much improved Oline and Dline. I say UK would be in much better shape today if Dawson was still calling plays for this offense. Now we can’t throw it or run it.

  4. Preparation is important, but in a game like that, motivation has to start with the head football coach. He has to have a sense about his team and where their heads are at game time. This is UK’s biggest rival, or it should be. It is one of the oldest rivalries in the SEC, if it can still be addressed as a rivalry. It has been dominated the past 30 years so much by UT that Kentucky just seems to “Ho Hum” it every time no matter who the head coach is. UK shows up with no fire, no desire, no risks, just timid, anemic play. UT just wants it more than UK it seems every time they play. Had UT had a few more seconds last year in Lexington they would have won that one. They were inside the 5 yard line and ready to score for the win when the clock ran out.

    This problem C. J. Conrad is talking about here is very troubling. This problem has seemed to come out of nowhere at this stage of the season. Kentucky has enough skill players to win, and early in 2018 they were doing just that. I think the problem is upfront, on both the Oline and Dline. A football team has to dominate the LOS. UK is not doing that right now. They are getting pushed around, Maybe it is because they are physically worn down, if so Stoops has to see that and make adjustments, whether it be practice schedules, or personnel changes.

    1. You nailed it LP.

  5. How many more hits does Gran need to take from everyone? The whole sports world knows the major problem with our program and Stoops only says “we have to get back to work” Gran said yesterday that he had to do more to help the team…OFFER YOUR RESIGNATION!!!

  6. Stoops fired Dawson because he wanted to score, too quickly, and that wore down his defense.
    Now they can’t score and his defense is still worn down because of the all 3 and outs.
    You can never score too quickly unless you are managing the clock late in a game.
    I am starting to really worry that UK will lose some good players over this.

    1. OF If you go back and check, I believe you will find UK was much more balanced, offensively, between the run and the pass under Dawson that they are now. Dawson’s offense did score quickly, at times, due to quick strikes and deep balls c for quick scores. UK also had more capable QB’s back then too in Towles and Barker, especially Towles to be honest. I don’t feel UK has done a very good job in developing their QB’s since Dawson left. Hinshaw is overrated IMO. I also have not been a fan of Gran, but all the talking heads sing his praises, generally speaking. I remember the last game Cincy played with Gran calling the plays, a bowl game, and they got creamed.

  7. I agree, LP.
    Gran was actually beaten by San Diego State 42-7 and if I remember correctly, Cincy didn’t score until the game was almost over.
    Also, Gran has had his struggles in the SEC when he has been with other teams.
    He lasted 3 years at Ole Miss, 9 years at Auburn, and 1 year at Tennessee, but while at Auburn, his duties were very limited.

  8. I vividly recall the rush to judgement in this room when we hired Stoops. Many were vocal proponents of hiring Butch Jones or Bobby Petrino. How’d that work out? We’re 7-3 and they’ve both proven to be substandard HCs. I think Stoops and Gran can fix this.

    1. Norman my friend, you are one of the voices of reason on VV’s, always have been. You have a way of calming us hot heads. I sure hope you are right, and Stoops’ job is safe for now. He is going nowhere, especially with this AD, and a potential 9-3 season in play for 2018. Stoops’ loyalty to Gran will keep Gran in his place as well for the immediate future despite some negative chatter from some of us fans. I do think next season, or two, will be the real test for Stoops’ future at UK. UK loses a lot of talent off this 2018 squad. Next year is a rebuild IMO. There in talent in the wings, but unproven talent for UK come game time in 2019. I am just not a fan of Stoops’ coaching style, never really have been.

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