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Kash Daniel says if stadium not full “something is wrong”

Kentucky fans have seen tough times for the football program, but Saturday they have a chance to see UK win a fifth SEC game. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky fans have seen tough times for the football program, but Saturday they have a chance to see UK win a fifth SEC game. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Two games into the season many Kentucky fans had given up on the season after UK’s 0-2 start. After the Cats won 35-21 at Missouri Saturday for their fourth SEC win, some Kentucky fans actually came to the airport to greet the team and coaches when they arrived back in Lexington.

“I was excited for our players and our program and the fans. I have never denied the fact that I feel an obligation and want to put a product out there that the fans are proud of. I have said that from day one and I have said it every opportunity that I have had,” Stoops said.

“I am not going to use the word pressure, but you feel an obligation. You want to deliver for those fans that have been starving for a long time to have a successful football program. Believe me, we work every day around the clock to do that for them.”

Those fans are starved for a bowl bid and winning season. At this point, especially with the distress at Tennessee, the Cats are in serious contention to finish second or better in the SEC East.

Kentucky hosts Georgia Saturday night. The last few homes games have had numerous empty seats in Commonwealth Stadium.

Freshman linebacker Kash Daniel, never one to mince words or hide his feelings, took to Twitter Monday night with a message for UK fans.

“If commonwealth isn’t full this week then something’s wrong,” Daniel posted on Twitter.

But he’s right. Kentucky football fans have been stunningly loyal at times. Now with UK 5-3 overall and 4-2 in SEC play, fan support could play a huge role in what figures to be a close game with Georgia.

“I think it’s very important for us to see the stadium filled. I think that our players would love to see that happen. Our fan base, there has been a lot of loyal fans to us. We just need more and need people in there to fill it up. I would love to see it filled,” Stoops said.

“Again, I make no bones about it, when we see it filled I expect our team to play at a high level to make those fans proud. Believe me, we are going to go to work  and have a great week of preparation to put ourselves in position to win the game. It will be very important for us to play well.”

 

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  1. Juan4UK

    I live in FL and can’t go, but I sure wish y’all would fill this up for these guys. they do deserve it. #BBN is staunchly loyal, dig in and give it to these guys one more time for a few more games this year guys!!!

  2. KingGhidora

    It’s true that Cat football fans have been “stunningly loyal at times”. I’ve been amazed at how loyal they are in fact. I guess I’m one of them. I keep coming back for more even when there are many years without much to cheer about. I’m a Cat fan through and through. And if I lived closer to Lexington I’d be sitting in Commonwealth as often as possible. Cat fans have filled that stadium when the team had no right to expect it to be filled. In fact it wasn’t until the Joker era when Cat fans finally started staying home because of poor play. But that has certainly changed. Stoops has shown great promise at times only to have the program fall back into the old ways of constantly shooting itself in the foot. Barney Fife has nothing on the football Cats.

    This year the Cats have made real progress IMO. To win in the SEC is no small thing even if it’s not the top tier teams you’re beating. There are few bad teams in that conference and generally UK is the one that fits that description. But not this year. I have to admit I was finally ready to write off Stoops after the first 2 games but some things happened that changed my perception and they go beyond just winning. For one thing the team started playing with imagination. As much as football is a game of power it’s also a game of strategy. And I saw UK actually flood a zone which resulted in a long pass for a TD against Mississippi State. That was a total shock to me because I had seen scant few plays run with that kind of inspiration. Football is still a lot about “go down by the big tree and wait until I fake a pass to the other side”. You have to be smarter than the other team to win. And it looks like Stoops finally has gotten to the top end of that dichotomy. They are the ones making the smart plays.

    CWS will be filled this week. I’d just about bet on it. UK may not win this one but they have a chance. They played very well against Mizzou. The Cats are one win away from going bowling (with the winless FCS team, Austin Peay, on the schedule yet) for the first time since Brooks left. And that is enough reason to fill the seats.

    1. TrueBlueJohn

      King, you are right on the money when you said “UK may not win this one but they have a chance.” This is about as close to being a toss-up with Georgia as we have been in a long, long time. Three point underdog at home, I will take that chance any time. I think the turnaround has two basic causes, Stoops getting more involved with the defense, and a young offensive line gaining experience and maturity. I am excited about the rest of this year, but when I look at the two-deep on both sides of the ball, I really get excited about next year. Very few seniors listed, the biggest loss probably will be John Toth. I hope that a strong finish and bowl game will pay off in recruiting, because it looks like the train is back on schedule.

    2. Juan4UK

      King G, I have all the respect in the world for you, but I think, hopefully if things continue to trend upward, you will see that you are kinda holding an impossible standard to a young team (in terms of years 1-4) by using phrases like “falling back into the old ways….etc). The whole fanbase is guilty of this. We need to recognize that and move forward.
      Unfortunately, Stoops got saddled with the history of the reputation of the program.
      Separate from UK’s history, Stoops was developing a young team, mixed in with engrained veterans of an entirely different makeup. That was nobody’s fault.
      The mistakes are a natural frustrating normal progression of a brand new make of fresh faces. A still very young team. Do you realize what the big headline will be if this team reaches 8 wins after a bowl? Young. Very young.

      1. KingGhidora

        Juan I saw what happened on the field and like UK teams have done so often the Stoops era teams did shoot themselves int he foot. Youth may have been a factor in all those instances but IMO it is a matter of tradition and expectations that the players have of themselves. The same way the basketball team expects to win the football team has often expected to lose and it became a self-fullfilling prophecy. I’ve seen the basketball team win when they had no reason to win really. When that young group of players under Pitino beat LSU and Shaq in Rupp that first year that was a case of tradition making a difference. The football team has had a different tradition. I have stuck by the team year after year anyway. I have felt sorry for them for blowing wins they should have had actually. It’s more than just the current youth situation. It’s been a long, ongoing situation at UK. The team has shot itself in the foot so many times it’s amazing. I could make a list but I would get depressed and I want to feel good about this team right now. They are breaking out of that tradition and that is not an easy thing to do. I’ll mention the Bluegrass Miracle and let it go at that.

        Again this team is breaking that tradition and that is really a hard thing to do. Ask Loserville about losing to UK. They have lost when they maybe should have won. This isn’t peculiar to the Cats. It happens everywhere. If you expect to win then you get things going your way and if you expect to lose…

        1. TrueBlueJohn

          King, I know the feeling that you are talking about. I could probably name 35-40 games over the many years that I have been a UK football fan that the Cats have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Let’s hope that Stoops is changing that mindset.

          1. KingGhidora

            Exactly. I didn’t want to go into how many times that had happened. It’s depressing. 🙂 But things are definitely looking up at this point. This season has already been a success IMO and there is a lot more to come. Still I get these feelings of dread that somehow Austin Peay will find a way to win against the Cats and there won’t be a bowl game. That’s how much this tradition of shooting yourself in the foot has affected me and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I will feel much better once they get just one more win. That much will be a major victory and from there continuing to improve is not out of the question.

            I’ve supported the team through thick and thick and I want to see some thin for a change. I really do. Still they will remain my team regardless.

  3. Juan4UK

    Think about this: When’s the last time UK, under any circumstances, had a legitimate shot at 5 SEC wins. And the way its shaping up, 6 wins possible.
    Stoops is building something good guys.

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