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A year away?

Posted: 5/24/2014 12:03 PM

A year away? 


When I think about the 2014-15 season, I look forward to watching the OLine grow, Bud and Z on the DLine, Stamps making a difference in the backfield, the development of a new QB, and a deep RB corps. I am also looking forward to seeing how Blue grows his senior year.

But, it appears to me that this team is more likely to turn the corner in the 2015-16 season. That year, year 3 for Stoops, should be deep and experienced.

1. We will have an experienced QB in Brown's System.
2. An experienced and deep group of RBs (Srs Heard and Clemons, Jr Kemp, Sophs Horton & Williams)
3. We will have a deep experienced WR corps for the first time in years, all well versed in the offense
4. We should have a couple of young TEs with great potential (perhaps the least experienced position)
5. The OLine should be the best Brown has had, even losing Miller
6. Hatcher and Hueggenin, and a couple of young DEs, should be prepared to step in for Bud and Z
7. The interior of the D Line should be deep and strong
8. I expect the LBer corps to be the best Stoops has had
9. Safety and DB should be a strength for the first time in years

Last edited 5/24/2014 12:26 PM by Badinage

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Posted: 5/24/2014 12:40 PM

Re: A year away? 


I pretty much agree with you but I do think that Bud and Z are going to be big shoes to fill even with Hatcher, Ware and others around.  I am not sure what positions they will play but Dubose and Middleton are both going to be special
Badinage wrote: When I think about the 2014-15 season, I look forward to watching the OLine grow, Bud and Z on the DLine, Stamps making a difference in the backfield, the development of a new QB, and a deep RB corps. I am also looking forward to seeing how Blue grows his senior year.

But, it appears to me that this team is more likely to turn the corner in the 2015-16 season. That year, year 3 for Stoops, should be deep and experienced.

1. We will have an experienced QB in Brown's System.
2. An experienced and deep group of RBs (Srs Heard and Clemons, Jr Kemp, Sophs Horton & Williams)
3. We will have a deep experienced WR corps for the first time in years, all well versed in the offense
4. We should have a couple of young TEs with great potential (perhaps the least experienced position)
5. The OLine should be the best Brown has had, even losing Miller
6. Hatcher and Hueggenin, and a couple of young DEs, should be prepared to step in for Bud and Z
7. The interior of the D Line should be deep and strong
8. I expect the LBer corps to be the best Stoops has had
9. Safety and DB should be a strength for the first time in years
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Posted: 5/24/2014 1:55 PM

Re: A year away? 


^^^ agreed.
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Posted: 5/24/2014 8:04 PM

Re: A year away? 


UK has put all their eggs in one basket for the 2015 season with the Commonwealth renovation completion and Stoops and staff having 3 recruiting classes under the belt plus 8 home games. That said I'm really hoping we can somehow win 6 games in 2014 with a bowl, although I doubt I'll predict such
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Posted: 5/24/2014 8:22 PM

Re: A year away? 



TerryBlue wrote: UK has put all their eggs in one basket for the 2015 season with the Commonwealth renovation completion and Stoops and staff having 3 recruiting classes under the belt plus 8 home games. That said I'm really hoping we can somehow win 6 games in 2014 with a bowl, although I doubt I'll predict such
I got my neck snapped for saying this on another board but anything less than 7 wins will be a disappointment this year.  I am not making a prediction just saying anything less will be disappointing.  The way their games fall it can happen.
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Posted: 5/24/2014 9:39 PM

Re: A year away? 


Reach for the sky? Sure. Disappointed if win fewer than 7 games? Nah, as long as there're enough positives to show that the team is headed in the right direction. The following year, though...
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Posted: 5/24/2014 9:44 PM

Re: A year away? 


I agree with all of those points; however, if this year's team doesn't win 6 games I think anyone would be crazy to predict a 6 or more win season in 2015 due to the fact that we will lose at least 10 senior starters at the end of this season.  Returning 12 starters, would rank 87th in returning starters this season per Phil Steele.  It's hard to see the 2015 team being significantly better than the 2014 team losing that much starting experience.  Plus, it's not like we are out recruiting the majority of the teams on our schedule.  While in terms of talent in 2015 we are going to move ahead of Louisville, Missouri, Vandy, and remain ahead of our other 3 non-conference opponents, it doesn't necessarily mean we will beat Louisville, Missouri, and Vandy in 2015.
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Posted: 5/24/2014 10:47 PM

Re: A year away? 


A year away from what?  We'll be better this than last & better in 15 than 14 & probably better again in 16.  So just what are we a year away from?
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Posted: 5/24/2014 10:50 PM

Re: A year away? 


Start by reading. Then post.
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Posted: 5/25/2014 3:22 AM

Re: A year away? 



TenCatFan wrote:
TerryBlue wrote: UK has put all their eggs in one basket for the 2015 season with the Commonwealth renovation completion and Stoops and staff having 3 recruiting classes under the belt plus 8 home games. That said I'm really hoping we can somehow win 6 games in 2014 with a bowl, although I doubt I'll predict such
I got my neck snapped for saying this on another board but anything less than 7 wins will be a disappointment this year.  I am not making a prediction just saying anything less will be disappointing.  The way their games fall it can happen.
That bar is way too high, TenCat... Even the coaches are warning (privately, and in some cases hinting publicly) not to get that far ahead of ourselves. 

The schedule alone will not allow for seven wins. If they get six, Stoops should be considered for national coach of the year.

I think they're going to be 5-7 with a ton of improvement, then be ready to make some waves in 2015.
-----
Jeff Drummond
Publisher, AllWildcats.com
Scout.com/FOX Sports

JDrumUK@gmail.com
Twitter: JDrumUK



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Posted: 5/25/2014 8:25 AM

Re: A year away? 


Four to six wins in 2014 seems reasonable to me.  I have hard time figuring out where that 7th win is going to come from even if all the planets align correctly.

Folks have been saying for a year and a half now that 2015 would be the year we "turn the corner" -- whatever that means.  And, for all the reasons listed by the OP, that makes sense.  But, there are also the downsides listed above, too -- losing 10 starters, for example.  The other "downside", or mitigating factor, for 2015 is that Vandy and Miss St will both be on the road that year.  It has been widely acknowledged, and written about elsewhere, that UK's football records usually revolve around three games -- Vandy, Miss St and UofL. 

The formula for success under Rich Books was pretty simple -- win the gimmees, do well in the 3 games just mentioned and pull 1 upset.

Maybe Stoops can change that formula.
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Posted: 5/25/2014 8:45 AM

Re: A year away? 


I pretty much agree with Jeff. I always give my season prediction the week of the first game but right now it would probably be 4 wins. I hate to say 5 because if that happens we'll spend all winter analyzing how if we could have just won one more game we would have been in a bowl and got that extra practice
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Posted: 5/25/2014 8:57 AM

Re: A year away? 


This is all my opinion as a very long time fan and I am talking winning six regular season and a minor bowl.   

Also I am with the ones not seeing a large improvement between 2014 and 2015 because of graduation and scheduling.  Making the jump from where we were last year to six (regular season) wins is not nearly as severe as the jump to the next level winning maybe eight games.

This year there are three games we should absolutely win, two we should win, and two we almost absolutely cannot win with the remainder being doable - we are not going to win them all and could win zero of them.  I think we will win all we should win and one of the other five.

UT Martin - W
Ohio - W
@ Florida 
Vandy - Probable W
S. Car.
ULM - W
@ LSU - L
MSU - Probable W
@ Missouri
Georgia - L
@ Tennessee
@ Louisville

I am glad we are playing Louisville later in the year because I think that will help up but it would have been a good year to play Tennessee earlier in the year.

If we do not show that we are competitive this year recruiting will suffer.  Six regular seasons is doable this year and might actually be tougher next year.  
JDrum wrote:
TenCatFan wrote:
TerryBlue wrote: UK has put all their eggs in one basket for the 2015 season with the Commonwealth renovation completion and Stoops and staff having 3 recruiting classes under the belt plus 8 home games. That said I'm really hoping we can somehow win 6 games in 2014 with a bowl, although I doubt I'll predict such
I got my neck snapped for saying this on another board but anything less than 7 wins will be a disappointment this year.  I am not making a prediction just saying anything less will be disappointing.  The way their games fall it can happen.
That bar is way too high, TenCat... Even the coaches are warning (privately, and in some cases hinting publicly) not to get that far ahead of ourselves. 

The schedule alone will not allow for seven wins. If they get six, Stoops should be considered for national coach of the year.

I think they're going to be 5-7 with a ton of improvement, then be ready to make some waves in 2015.

Last edited 5/25/2014 9:29 AM by TenCatFan

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Posted: 5/25/2014 9:46 AM

Re: A year away? 


Neil Brown expects the offense to be good this year and very good next year. That makes sense. UK will lose a senior FB, a starting senior TE, a backup senior TE, a starting senior Lineman who has NFL potential, and two WRs who probably start. That said, the depth on the OLine is growing and there should be an experienced backups to fight for Miller's spot. Long will be a second year TE and Conrad a highly regarded recruit.

The QB will be a returning player with experience. Brown feels good about his options. The RB corps will be the deepest and best UK has had since the 80s. Although we lose Blue and Robinson, I will suggest the WRing corps will be the best UK has seen in 2015.

So, while UK will lose 4-5 starters off this year's team, I believe the offense will be greatly improved in 2015.

On the defensive side, I think UK will be better in 2015 at DT, safety, and CB. Even though starter Douglas and backup Coleman graduate, the depth UK is building at DT is impressive. Meant, Middleton, Johnson, Elam, Lewis and others will have the interior covered and, IMO, improved. While I hope Paschal has a breakout year at LBer, the Jucos and high school recruits coming in behind him may put the returning starting returners to the bench in 2015. I predict an upgrade, even with a loss. At safety, Lowery and Dixon might lose their starting jobs THIS year (Dixon will have to fight to get his back after spring - unlikely).

I agree that DE will not be as good in 2015, but it can be good. Hatcher is a starter NOW in some formations. I expect him to be fine. Huegenin received praise from the staff all spring. Ware and others will compete for a starting role. While Bud and Z will not be replaced, the talent around the 2015 starters makes this less a concern for me.
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Posted: 5/25/2014 11:19 AM

Re: A year away? 


Its a little difficult to determine how much better UK will do in 2015 versus 2014.  There is no doubt UK will be a better team overall.  When you compare UK to the rest of the SEC its easy to see that UK is either catching up with other teams or may very well pass other teams.  Some people are not going to like this but UL is going to get better too and they are going to be better then some SEC teams (Even if UK loses to UL from time to time UK should still be able to achieve a 6-6 season).  However, competing in conference play should be UK's top concern and UL rivalry should always come second. 

All areas of UK's team should be improved.  If UL had hired some no name junk coach then it would be an easy for the Cats but UL seems to be one of the more aggressive college football teams as of late.

For 2014 I'm gonna say the 3 SEC games that stand out are Vandy, MSU, and Tennessee.  I really think Vandy hired a great coach and better coach then either Tennessee or MSU so I'm gonna call that game a toss up.  The MSU game should be a win and the Tennessee game should be too.  UK ought to at least keep the score close against Florida or Georgia.  Keep in mind with Tennessee they had a great recruiting class but that will fade by the time they get around to playing UK, its UKs game to lose.  It looks like Tennessee is banking on a 6-6 season having 2 weeks to prepare for the UK game with it at their place thats the only thing that makes me a little skeptical.

I also like how UK gets to play Florida earlier on and jump right into SEC play.

Last edited 5/25/2014 11:41 AM by Bigbluesea90

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Posted: 5/25/2014 2:51 PM

Re: A year away? 


I think UL is going to have a high potency offense this year. I am told that Strong had very good recruits to fill in for the many defenders they lost. Given that 3 guys went to the NFL in the draft, I find that very optimistic, but will assume it to be true. But, I do not think UL will be better in 2015 than they are in 2014. I think that is wrong.
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Posted: 5/25/2014 9:54 PM

Re: A year away? 


A little more offense would go a long ways.  Last season our offense ranked 107th in the country.  There were four games we lost in which our opponent scored less than 28 points.  

I think 6 wins and a bowl bid is a fair and realistic goal for this team and what we should be setting our sights on.
The sleeping giant is awakening.  

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Posted: 5/25/2014 10:17 PM

Re: A year away? 



CatFansince73 wrote: A little more offense would go a long ways.  Last season our offense ranked 107th in the country.  There were four games we lost in which our opponent scored less than 28 points.  

I think 6 wins and a bowl bid is a fair and realistic goal for this team and what we should be setting our sights on.
Agree.  Our offense is not going to be 107th in the country this year.  We will put points on the board.
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Posted: 5/26/2014 2:10 PM

Re: A year away? 


We didn't get blown out often last year
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Posted: 5/31/2014 8:52 AM

Re: A year away? 


I feel the offense will be improved this year. The OLine should be better. The offense will be more varied and our young playmakers will get the ball more, rather than being so one dimensional. And, we are developing playmakers. I expect the offense to be much improved. Whitlow was a stud athlete, but our line needed work, the playmakers around him were young, and he did not have the skills to aptly share the ball. We will see a better offense.

But, will the defense be improved? Some of our biggest studs are on defense (Bud, Z, AJ), but there are real questions right up the middle. Will we be the same or even better at DT? I am not sure. I think that depends on the summer and fall development of players with potential, but will they be ready? And, will our LBer corps be SEC capable? I am not even sure fans could confidently say who will be starting at LBer. Paschal? Simpson? Henderson? Blaylock? Mathis? Flannigan? The list continues.

While I am confident the O gets better, I could see the D taking a step backwards or, more likely, being about the same. Should I expect it to be better in year two?
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Posted: 5/31/2014 9:58 AM

Re: A year away? 



Badinage wrote: I feel the offense will be improved this year. The OLine should be better. The offense will be more varied and our young playmakers will get the ball more, rather than being so one dimensional. And, we are developing playmakers. I expect the offense to be much improved. Whitlow was a stud athlete, but our line needed work, the playmakers around him were young, and he did not have the skills to aptly share the ball. We will see a better offense.

But, will the defense be improved? Some of our biggest studs are on defense (Bud, Z, AJ), but there are real questions right up the middle. Will we be the same or even better at DT? I am not sure. I think that depends on the summer and fall development of players with potential, but will they be ready? And, will our LBer corps be SEC capable? I am not even sure fans could confidently say who will be starting at LBer. Paschal? Simpson? Henderson? Blaylock? Mathis? Flannigan? The list continues.

While I am confident the O gets better, I could see the D taking a step backwards or, more likely, being about the same. Should I expect it to be better in year two?
My opinion only.

Offense
Should be much improve. The O-line will be better and the quarterback will have a LOT more tools to use and no matter which QB wins he will be a major improvement over last year.  This is not a hit on last year's QBs but Max was hurt and QB was not Jalen's developed skill set. Offense will score a lot more points and there were games last year we would have won with a little more productive offense.

Defense.
D-line will be better if for no other reason than a year in Korem's S and C program. The tackles will be an improvement over last year (this is not a knock on last year) plus having Bud and Z on the outside will help up the middle.  The linebackers will be more than adequate and will improve during the season and the improved d-line play will help the linebackers. The secondary will be much improved over last year because of experience and coaching and an infusion of talent.  

Because we haven't developed a lot of depth yet injuries will still hurt a lot especially on the defensive side of the ball.  Here again Korem's work should help.
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Posted: 5/31/2014 1:26 PM

Re: A year away? 


Great discussion.

I have a discussion question though. How much does our success hinge on having great QB play? If we get Mike Hartline like production would that give us a chance to make a bowl game? Thoughts
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Posted: 5/31/2014 2:18 PM

Re: A year away? 


With just adequate QB play last year we would have garnered another win or two. Let's face it. For whatever reason(s) the play at that position was very sub par. I expect much improvement in that area. Add to that the additional weapons (as previously stated) at WR, the obvious upgrade in talent at RB and the additional year's experience for 4 of our 5 starting O-linemen and I can't see any way we won't be improved on offense. How that translates to points scored is anyone's guess but the difference could be anywhere from minimal to substantial.

Defensively, our two deep should consist of 18 Juniors and Seniors. That folks, should make everyone smile. The Missouri team that won the East last year was basically the same Missouri team that didn't win a conference game the year before. The difference as I see it was having an mature, experienced Junior and Senior laden lineup.

Now don't get me wrong as I'm not saying we will win the East but if things begin to click and fall in place with this team, folks may be selling them short.

Last edited 5/31/2014 2:19 PM by IamRV

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Posted: 5/31/2014 2:36 PM

Re: A year away? 


I cannot wait to see how this all comes together.  This is the first time I have been this optimistic in many years.  Not looking for miracles but I would love to see a good solid SEC football team.  
IamRV wrote: With just adequate QB play last year we would have garnered another win or two. Let's face it. For whatever reason(s) the play at that position was very sub par. I expect much improvement in that area. Add to that the additional weapons (as previously stated) at WR, the obvious upgrade in talent at RB and the additional year's experience for 4 of our 5 starting O-linemen and I can't see any way we won't be improved on offense. How that translates to points scored is anyone's guess but the difference could be anywhere from minimal to substantial.

Defensively, our two deep should consist of 18 Juniors and Seniors. That folks, should make everyone smile. The Missouri team that won the East last year was basically the same Missouri team that didn't win a conference game the year before. The difference as I see it was having an mature, experienced Junior and Senior laden lineup.

Now don't get me wrong as I'm not saying we will win the East but if things begin to click and fall in place with this team, folks may be selling them short.
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Posted: 5/31/2014 5:49 PM

Re: A year away? 


Lot of good comments in this thread but I've got one bottom line-this is college football and I hope not one single player thinks "we're a year away". The only time to point to next year is when you've played all that was scheduled and earned. Only then can you realize/maximize potentials. I'm not selling the players or the coaches short this year and expect a lot of good things to happen. Don't ask me what that looks like in wins and losses but in the end we will be proud of the guys.
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Posted: 6/1/2014 12:03 PM

Re: A year away? 


Denzell Ware, Lloyd Tubman and Tymere Dubose will all be an impact on the DE recycling front, IMO. All those guys are badazz. They will have time to get worked out and in shape, especially for the 2015 season. Hatcher will be a super monster at that point. Those huys can ease in behind hime and wreck opponents minds with this OL. UK's future on the defensive front will compete with anyone if we can get our DB's to cover. And that looks really promising as well.
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Posted: 6/1/2014 12:50 PM

Re: A year away? 


I see at least 5 wins turning for the home stretch of ut, uga, and ul. Didn't get any favors drawing lsu as the rotating game.




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