Sports

UK fans didn't pile on after Tebow injury

Fast-break points from the week between No. 1 and No. 3:

21. Kentucky fans. From what I saw, any suggestions (and I got some in the e-mail in-box) that Commonwealth Stadium fans behaved inappropriately after Tim Tebow was injured are flat wrong.

20. The reaction in Commonwealth. On a night when they had precious little to yell about, the Kentucky fans initially and understandably cheered following Taylor Wyndham's sack.

But a silence fell over the stadium after it became apparent that Tebow was not getting up. When the Florida quarterback sat up on the field, he was cheered. When he walked off the field he got a standing ovation from all parts of the stadium.

19. Urban Meyer. I'm not among those criticizing the Florida coach for still having Tim Tebow in the game late in the third period while holding a 31-7 lead against Kentucky.

18. Working on the passing game. Given how badly the Gators' air attack sputtered the week before versus Tennessee, it was hardly unjustified for Meyer to want Tebow and his main receivers to play together for at least three quarters Saturday.

17. Kentucky players. I didn't think UK had any realistic chance to beat Florida; I do wish the UK players had played as if they believed that they did.

16. Ricky Lumpkin. When he looked at the scoreboard after the first quarter Saturday night and saw his team behind 31-0, the UK defensive tackle said "I felt like I was in a video game."

15. Another UK punt blocked by Florida. It was inexcusable for Kentucky to get yet another punt blocked by the Gators after having two snuffed last year in The Swamp.

14. Micah Johnson. Why did Kentucky start so slowly against Florida? "Really, I don't know," the UK linebacker said Monday. "They kind of jumped on us defensively, but we held them to a field goal (on the first drive) and that was big. But with the blocked punt, everything just kept piling up and piling up. There was no excuse to come out and play that way. We never gave ourselves a chance."

13. The glass half full. As dispiriting as Kentucky's play was Saturday, consider this: Since the 2006 blowout loss to LSU in Baton Rouge, UK has had a chance to win in the second half of all 35 games it has played except for two — Florida in 2008 and Florida in 2009.

12. The glass half empty. In the seventh year of a coaching regime, you shouldn't be 31 points behind to a conference foe in the first quarter under any circumstance.

11. Mike Hartline. I've never been as down on the Kentucky quarterback as much of the UK fan base perpetually seems to be; but the junior did not do anything Saturday to discourage his detractors' belief that he lacks the arm strength to make the kind of throws it takes to succeed against elite-level SEC defenses.

10. Curtis Pulley. The guy who would have been Kentucky's starting quarterback had he not gotten (and deserved) the disciplinary boot before last season completed 22 of 34 passes Saturday for a career-high 315 yards and two touchdowns to rally Florida A&M past Tennessee State.

9. Jeremy Jarmon. Speaking of guys who could be on the UK roster but aren't, Jarmon — who lost his senior year of eligibility this season after the NCAA said he tested positive for a banned substance — made his first career NFL tackle Sunday for the Redskins in Washington's loss to Detroit.

8. Chris Matthews. Contrary to what I wrote after the Miami (Ohio) game, Kentucky's junior-college transfer wide receiver seems to be going through exactly the same period of first-year transition that prior juco wideouts at UK such as Steve Johnson and Aaron Boone have always needed.

7. Dan Mullen. In his first year as Mississippi State head coach, the ex-Florida assistant has MSU playing better than expected — and looking like anything but a certain win for UK when the Bulldogs visit Lexington.

6. Brandon Deaderick. The former Elizabethtown High standout turned Alabama defensive tackle has made five tackles in four games for the Crimson Tide this season. He'll see a familiar face in Lexington. His former E'town teammate, Zipp Duncan, is UK's starting offensive left tackle.

5. UK's wooing of Brandon Deaderick. Given that defensive line is the toughest position to recruit effectively, it was a blow to Kentucky when Deaderick left the commonwealth. "We lost him," Rich Brooks said Monday of UK's recruiting effort. "He was here a lot. He had a sister living here. He chose to go to Alabama."

4. Julio Jones. The Tide's erstwhile star wide receiver will come to Lexington tied for fifth on the team in receptions with seven.

3. Where does the time go? It's hard to believe it's been 12 years since Couch to Yeast beat Alabama and brought the Commonwealth Stadium goal posts down for the first time ever.

2. The Bear at Kentucky. In eight years as Kentucky coach, Paul Bryant won 71 percent of his games and the 1950 SEC championship, and he led UK to back-to-back-to-back appearances in the Orange, Sugar and Cotton Bowls.

1. The Bear at Alabama. In 25 years as Alabama coach, Paul Bryant won 82.4 percent of his games, 13 SEC championships and six national titles.

Given what has happened to both programs since Bryant, was the Bear's better coaching job actually in Lexington?

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