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  • LB Bud Dupree on UK underestimating Missouri in second half and more

    By: LARRY VAUGHT



    LEXINGTON — Sophomore linebacker Bud Dupree knew he would get a lot of unpleasant questions when he was one of three players that came to Monday’s Kentucky football practice.

    Kentucky is 1-8, has lost seven straight and was mistaken-prove in last week’s loss at Missouri, one of the worst teams in the Southeastern Conference.

    “I am pretty straight with it (the press conference). I don’t care too much about it. It is our fault we are losing. If talking to you all (the media) would help us win, I would do it,” said Dupree. “I understand why all the fans are frustrated. We are their team. They don’t have any NFL team. They all want to win. I know why they are mad over the way we are playing. If I was a fan, I would be mad, too.

    “The coaches have been pretty much doing the same since beginning of the season. They have been hyped with lot of intensity and trying to make us feel like we can win.

    “We are pushing, but it is hard. I don’t feel like I am going to give up. Sometimes it takes a toll on you when you lose so many games. It gets in the back of your mind. Sometimes you worry players may quit mentally, but we have a strong group of guys so far. We just have to stay together and make sure we get each other advice. I am not used to this, but sometimes things come in life for a reason.”

    Dupree was one of the most optimistic Cats coming into the season. He envisioned a winning record, bowl bid and SEC wins. Instead, UK has been hit with injuries and has likely become the worst team in the SEC going into Saturday’s home game with Vanderbilt.

    So what went wrong?

    “To be honest, I have no idea. Coming into the season, I thought we had a pretty good team and pretty good scheme coming into the Louisville game (to open the season). I had a good vibe for the team, a good feel. It seemed like everything just started going downhill,” Dupree said,. “Maybe the seniors see something that I don’t see, but I don’t even know what happened. The effort is still the same in practice. It ain’t like we don’t want to win. Everyone wants to win. We just can’t pull one out.

    “Nobody wants to lose this amount of games. I hate losing two games, three games. I hate losing one game. I hate losing. Everyone wants to win. We just have to keep grinding and not give up.”

    So why didn’t UK keep grinding at Missouri when it was down only 17-10 at halftime?

    “Really, I just think like we probably underestimated them when we were in a game so close. Coming from the half, we probably thought we were just going out here and blow (them) away. But you can’t do that in football, especially in the SEC. We just have to find ways to eliminate things that we don’t do to win and do things to win,” Dupree credit.

    Give him credit for being brutally honest. But how could a 1-6 team “underestimate” any team at halftime, especially when the other team already had the lead.

    Dupree did not that holding Missouri to under 300 yards, UK’s best mark of the season, meant nothing — and he’s right.

    “If we ain’t winning, it don’t matter. Winning is the big key. If we give up 500 yards and still win, it’s different than giving up smaller amount of yards and still losing,” Dupree said. “Winning is all that counts and we ain’t winning. I don’t care about my stats. As long as we win, I will be happy with that instead of the individual effort.”

    Maybe Kentucky should have learned a lesson at Vanderbilt last year when the Commodores dominated them. But pay attention to what Dupree said the attitude was like going into the game even though UK had just four wins.

    “Going into the game we thought we were going to beat Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt is supposed to be like the bottom of the SEC. But we turned out to be the bottom,” Dupree said.

    Bingo. UK has turned out to be the league’s worst team the last two years.

    “We thought we were going to win and had high expectations and everything. We practiced good. But this year we can’t go in and take them lightly. We just have to go play hard,” Dupree said. “I remember a lot of bad plays down there last year. We have to have a chip on our shoulder coming out against them this year. They wound up beating Missouri and Missouri beat us, so we have to work extra hard.”

    Dupree did back off any significant statements about whether he worried about coach Joker Phillips’ job because of the team’s play.

    “Me? No, I don’t think about it. He is a cool guy though. I don’t think about. We really don’t focus on that. We just focus on ourselves and trying to win,” the sophomore linebacker said.

    Dupree says he talks often to friends and family, especially his mother, back in Georgia for inspiration.

    “Me and (junior linebacker) Avery Williamson talk about some things to make sure I am working hard. If we give up, basically everybody else will give up. We just don’t want to put the team in that situation,” Dupree said. “But it is tough. After a loss you find out everything wrong with your body. Fingers hurt, toes hurt, calves hurt. After a win you do not know you are hurt until two days later. But this year we have had that pain way too many times after games.”
    Comments 18 Comments
    1. Thedonnie123's Avatar
      Thedonnie123 -
      A 1-7 team underestimated a conference opponent that they were currently losing to at halftime?

      Whuuuuuuuuuuuh?
    1. UKFlounder's Avatar
      UKFlounder -
      Is that a sign of the "youth" we hear so much about, just too immature to have the proper approach? Is it just bad leadership, either from coaches and/or players? Bad coaching? Or all of the above?


      Quote Originally Posted by Thedonnie123 View Post
      A 1-7 team underestimated a conference opponent that they were currently losing to at halftime?

      Whuuuuuuuuuuuh?
    1. kybobcat's Avatar
      kybobcat -
      Quote Originally Posted by UKFlounder View Post
      Is that a sign of the "youth" we hear so much about, just too immature to have the proper approach? Is it just bad leadership, either from coaches and/or players? Bad coaching? Or all of the above?
      Flounder, I've heard quotes like that from UK players for over 30 years.

      I cringe when I hear it, but it's something that has been common to the program no matter who's coaching.
    1. UKFlounder's Avatar
      UKFlounder -
      So you're saying it's not Joker's fault?

      I don't remember seeing one like that about underestimating them at halftime, but I've probably missed or forgotten them. I've seen it about pre-game, but the halftime aspect made it seem different.
    1. Catonahottinroof's Avatar
      Catonahottinroof -
      Same ole same ole.

      Brooks had talked about breaking the habit, or mindset of "here it goes again". We had broken most of that. It's obvious we are back there again now.
    1. CitizenBBN's Avatar
      CitizenBBN -
      Quote Originally Posted by kybobcat View Post
      Flounder, I've heard quotes like that from UK players for over 30 years.

      I cringe when I hear it, but it's something that has been common to the program no matter who's coaching.
      Here and there I've heard them, but this has been a near constant refrain the last two years. Of course the fact that it's gone on a lot longer tells me our coaching has been bad for a long time.

      This has got to be the worst mentally prepared team in college football, maybe any sport anywhere. Sounds like this staff is so busy blowing smoke up the player's you-know-whats the kids think they can phone it in.

      It shows in our slow starts, these constant comments from the players, and about every other aspect of the game.

      bobcat's right it may pre-date Joker, but then he's just another in a long line of UK football coaches who has no idea how to prepare a team for a game.

      Overconfident in the 2nd half when you're losing on the road. Wow.
    1. CitizenBBN's Avatar
      CitizenBBN -
      Quote Originally Posted by Catonahottinroof View Post
      Same ole same ole.

      Brooks had talked about breaking the habit, or mindset of "here it goes again". We had broken most of that. It's obvious we are back there again now.
      Exactly. So dead on I can't put it in words.

      UK had a loser's mentality. Brooks changed that culture, something almost insurmountable to accomplish. I felt like it had finally turned the corner of "here we go again", exactly the right words.

      This has set us back to the beginning in almost every way. What a debacle.

      Had Mitch made the move last year there would have been damage, but repairable. Willingly going through this season, one we all saw coming, has made it so much harder to fix. Now you have two classes of players that have known nothing but losing and a third that can barely remember what playing the right way was like. Next year we have zero "winner's mentality" players on the roster other than those who have clung to it from high school.
    1. MTcatfan's Avatar
      MTcatfan -
      If there was ever a comment that proves that Joker can't coach, I don't know if there is a better comment. I loved Rich Brooks because you could see how he and his coaching staff made adjustments at halftime and got their teams to EXECUTE those adjustments. One of my biggest problems has been with Joker and his staff is that you see no evidence of them making adjustments at the half and/or having the ability ot get their players to execute those adjustments in the second half. So now you have a player that spent his time at halftime thinking how easy it was going to be to beat this team, instead of paying attention to the coaches. So to me this says that either it is a disorganized mess during the half, or that the message at half isn't executable, or that the ineptness of the first half is just passed on to the second half because we have coaches that can't coach.


      I mean really this is why I say that I think you could hire ANYONE to be the next head coach, and by ACCIDENT they are going to win more games than Joker did. If they have just one iota of coaching sense, they are going to win at UK for a couple years at least. Then imagine we hire a coach that can coach AND recruit, and we can start making moves in the SEC.
    1. CitizenBBN's Avatar
      CitizenBBN -
      MT, I rarely say this, but I honestly think I or any number of other non-football people on here could randomly win more games. I'd have the good sense to take a pay cut to spend the money getting better assistants then my job is just organizing them.

      I'd be lousy, but I'm not sure I'd be this lousy. At least I can have a meeting, hear the opinions and get everyone moving in the same direction.
    1. MTcatfan's Avatar
      MTcatfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by CitizenBBN View Post
      MT, I rarely say this, but I honestly think I or any number of other non-football people on here could randomly win more games. I'd have the good sense to take a pay cut to spend the money getting better assistants then my job is just organizing them.

      I'd be lousy, but I'm not sure I'd be this lousy. At least I can have a meeting, hear the opinions and get everyone moving in the same direction.

      Funny...I almost typed that UK could hire one of us at KSR and we could probably win more games than Joker...I guess great minds think alike. As a lot of KSR old-timers know I am usually a coach supporter, but like with BCG, I just noticed a lot of on the field(court) coaching issues, halftime adjustments included, that I just couldn't ignore, and it quickly turned the tide against the UK coach that I would probably have supported longer. Above all else, you have to be able to coach, and if you are an X's and O's type person, of which I am, when you see issues there it doesn't matter who the coach is, they are never going to succeed.
    1. truecatsfan's Avatar
      truecatsfan -
      Did anybody else notice Bud said the coaches are doing the same thing now, as they did at the start of the season. There's the problem no adjustments.
    1. CitizenBBN's Avatar
      CitizenBBN -
      Quote Originally Posted by MTcatfan View Post
      Funny...I almost typed that UK could hire one of us at KSR and we could probably win more games than Joker...I guess great minds think alike.
      Oh no, I'm going one further. I KNOW you and some of our football savvy folks would win more games.

      I think us football idiots could do randomly as well. You'd smoke his a--.
    1. LarryVaught1's Avatar
      LarryVaught1 -
      Wouldn't you like to have heard the halftime talk/adjustments that left UK overconfident
    1. dan_bgblue's Avatar
      dan_bgblue -
      One part of my mind does, but another part of the mind thinks I am better off not knowing.
    1. Catonahottinroof's Avatar
      Catonahottinroof -
      Quote Originally Posted by LarryVaught1 View Post
      Wouldn't you like to have heard the halftime talk/adjustments that left UK overconfident
      Lalalalalala....can't hear you lalalalalala

      Don't share if you know Larry. You can't unring the bell :/
    1. MickintheHam's Avatar
      MickintheHam -
      Quote Originally Posted by CitizenBBN View Post
      Oh no, I'm going one further. I KNOW you and some of our football savvy folks would win more games.

      I think us football idiots could do randomly as well. You'd smoke his a--.
      Citizen, this didn't just start happening this season. It was obvious enough to a large chunk of fans last year that they didn't renew season tickets. it was obvious to a smaller chunk the year before that and it caused them not to renew. At some point an intelligent person has to ask who made the decision to hire the guy, stand by idly while a competent staff was gutted and then gave it one more year to work when it was obviously going nowhere,

      My guess is RB'S was starting to get in his boss' grill and his boss was happy to See everybody but his friend leave town.
    1. CitizenBBN's Avatar
      CitizenBBN -
      Quote Originally Posted by MickintheHam View Post
      Citizen, this didn't just start happening this season. It was obvious enough to a large chunk of fans last year that they didn't renew season tickets.
      No doubt there. OK hiring Joker was a mistake, don't compound it with another by keeping him when it's obvious it is heading off a cliff.

      Same for BCG IMO. OK, horrible hire, but it sounds like it was obvious about a week in we had issues. No way given what was happening you keep him a 2nd year.

      I'm confident I could find people here to do no worse than Joker this year, and could probably find some who would have done better. At least beat WKU.
    1. jazyd's Avatar
      jazyd -
      On BCG, would MB fired him IF Darius Miller had not been thrown to the court, got a concussion, called his mom who called PP mom who then bent the fool out of MB's ear. It seemed to snowball from there, the W-L record didn't seem to matter to MB,


      Quote Originally Posted by CitizenBBN View Post
      No doubt there. OK hiring Joker was a mistake, don't compound it with another by keeping him when it's obvious it is heading off a cliff.

      Same for BCG IMO. OK, horrible hire, but it sounds like it was obvious about a week in we had issues. No way given what was happening you keep him a 2nd year.

      I'm confident I could find people here to do no worse than Joker this year, and could probably find some who would have done better. At least beat WKU.