– Today marked the beginning of Drew Franklin and the City, a rapidly unfolding story filled with mystery and intrigue. Much like its predecessors, Drew Franklin and the Little Horse, Drew Franklin That One Time At Two Keys and Drew Franklin That Other Time in Two Keys (to name a few), Drew Franklin and the City is about our friend Drew going to wherever the wilds things are and finding his way back home. Drew took the wide-eye flight out to the Big Apple this morning to serve as a one man Big Blue Welcome Wagon before the big match-up against Kansas on Tuesday. Drew posts pictures and updates from his adventure on his @DrewFranklinKSR Twitter account. Today, Drew took in some local cuisine, watched the football game from the UK game day bar Jack Demsey’s and even hung out with the Peanuts characters. We can only imagine what old Drew will get into tomorrow.
– The second biggest story of the day was Kentucky football’s loss to Vanderbilt, 38-8. The game was just terrible. Vanderbilt controlled the football 2/3 of the first half and held the Cats to just 41 yards of total offense. A Randall Burden interception on the UK 1 yard line saved a late first quarter touchdown, but positive notes after that are sparse. Instead, there are numerous stats that are shockingly bad:
– Vanderbilt averaged over 5 yards per play and amassed 410 yards of total offense.
– The Dores gained 28 first downs.
– Kentucky’s net rushing total was 54 yards.
– The Cats were 0-12 on third down conversions.
– Kentucky had 10 penalties for 105 yards
– Max Smith did pass for 179 yards and a touchdown, but 158 of those yards came in the second half when the game was all but over.
We’ve discussed various ‘excuses’ or ‘problems’ plaguing the inadequacy of the football program, and many of these, especially bonding issues, must be addressed. But what happened today puts a big asterisk on those conversations. In terms of an athletics program, Vanderbilt is inferior to Kentucky is every way: Inferior facilities, less money, smaller fan base, significantly worse recruiting position and smaller stadium. Fans can argue all day about the tangible impact of a new facility or stadium renovation, but Vanderbilt didn’t have those things. Fans can gripe about the lack of institutional support to athletics, like out of state tuition waivers or discounted campus dining costs, but again, today’s result hurt that argument. The bottom line: this team was either not prepared enough or not capable enough to compete with Vanderbilt today. That’s a coaching issue.
– Not to pour it on tonight, but Chris Thomas also reported that prized UK RB recruit Shadrach Thornton has switched his commitment to N.C. State. The home of the “Purverts.” This is a terrible loss for the UK football staff.