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Prediction putdowns only motivate UK players

Darin Hinshaw (Lacy Robinson Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

I’ve seen national writers predicting that Kentucky, a team that won 10 games last year, won’t beat Arkansas, the SEC’s worst team last year, or Louisville, the ACC’s worst team in 2018, this season even though both games are in Lexington.

What does that kind of national disbelief have on the UK players?

“I think that just motivates our players even more,” Kentucky quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw said. “Mark Stoops has done a phenomenal job building a culture here.

“Our kids saw Josh Allen go from 210 pounds to 265 pounds and being the seventh pick in the draft. Why can’t I be Josh Allen? That’s what they are all saying.

“We did lose some great starters but we have also built a culture about what it takes to go win games. We have guys that have to step up. Some guys  you have not seen yet, it is their time to step up and play and I think they are going to.”

Hinshaw, like coach Mark Stoops, thinks many national college football analysts don’t understand the way UK has recruited in recent years.

“Recruiting is like shaving. If you don’t do it, it will show,” Hinshaw said. “We are right there where we have the talent. We just lack a little bit of experience.”

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  1. This morning, I heard the Jerry Palm (I think I got the right guy) has predicted Toledo over UK on Saturday.

    I understand that Toledo is a MAC team and the MAC has a rich football history and tradition. I understand that Toledo is the preseason favorite to win the MAC in 2019. I even understand that they have a lot of former players still playing football on Sundays.

    What I don’t understand is the disrespect at this level for the UK football program. I do understand that respect must be earned, and it takes a long time to overwrite the dismal history of the UK football program. I also believe that UK is headed in the right direction even though they have not arrived at a position that commands respect from those paid to handicap college football on a national or regional level. However, I do not understand the apparent point of view that totally ignores the last season, and indeed the growth that has occurred since Coach Stoops arrived at UK.

    So, last season Toledo finished 7-6 and then lost 5 starters on offense and defense, yet Sagarin’s preseason rating for Toledo increased from last year’s #75 finish to #60 to start this season. UK finished 10-3, and had substantial losses of players on the defensive side of the ball, but modest player losses on offense. Yet, Sagarin’s preseason rating for UK decreased from last year’s #26 finish to #49, and the Sagarin matchup for Toledo at UK yields a line of only 4 1/2 points.

    We will all get to see with our own eyes on Saturday. Based on last year’s finishes, UK should be at least 3 TDs stronger than Toledo, and Vegas has the game handicapped at UK by 11 1/2 points. You and I, indeed all of the “experts” will get to see first hand whether this UK team can maintain the gains it made last season and control this game with a multiple TD victory or whether last year’s UK team was the flash in the pan that most of these “experts” clearly believe it was, and UK either hangs on to get a win by less than a TD or even loses to Toledo.

    I sure hope the UK camp has a huge chip on their collective shoulder and goes out Saturday determined to send a message to college football that UK football is a player.

    Go Cats!!!! Go Big Blue!!!!

    Exactly 3 days and 5 minutes left until we can all begin to get some questions answered.

    1. Once again Professor, great stuff

  2. It don’t matter, really, does it? UK just needs to go play winning football come Saturday, and shut some mouths in the process.

    1. Very true Pup. Nothing matters except winning

  3. Careful Pup, it may be your mouth that gets shut. Until our secondary proves itself, there are no guaranteed wins this year. If Gran will open up the offense, maybe that will give us the cushion we might need. Maybe our pass rush will step up and help out too. I think we will be tough to run on, but that just puts more pressure on the secondary to grow up quick.

  4. I’ll be there to the cheer the cats on Saturday. GO CATS!!!

  5. What sort of graduation losses did Penn State sustain after last season? I recently watched the UK-Penn St game again, and the talking heads on TV could not stop raving about the value of McSorely to the Nitany Lions, and he is gone. Is Benny’s loss any more significant to UK than McSorely’s loss to Penn St?

    Yet, the preseason ratings for Penn St are in the top 20, and for over 3 quarters, UK dominated Penn St. Yes, Penn St made it a game late, but UK was clearly the stronger, better team that day.

    Yet, no respect for the 2019 Cats.

    Tomorrow we begin to learn about our team.

    As a fan, I want to see this team come out of the gates ready to take the game away from Toledo early and keep the pedal to the metal.

    Go Cats!!!!

  6. I have an uneasy feeling about these first 4 games. We need to be 3 – 1 given the back half of our schedule and should be 3 – 1 Our secondary has me worried.

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