I don’t get into the prediction game..."/>
I don’t get into the prediction game..."/>

Kentucky Wildcats Football: The Mystery of Morgan Newton


I don’t get into the prediction game, but with kick-off literally hours away, all the predicting will come to an end for Kentucky’s signal caller and then the criticism will begin. What he did right, what he did wrong, how much zip he had on the ball, how he moved around in the pocket, his accuracy and anything else you could possibly think of. The fact is, there is a mystery surrounding this year’s quarterback spot at Kentucky that hasn’t been there in quite some time. The main story over the course of the off-season was what would this season bring for Morgan Newton? How much would he have improved? How much would he have regressed?

Newton got a lot of flack at the bowl game after he came in and you know, maybe people had too high of hopes for him after seeing him play as a freshman. They saw him play, win a few games including a win at Georgia and at Auburn, playing especially well in that Georgia game. I think Newton caught a lot of flack by not putting enough zip on his thrown passes, and they hung in the air just a little too long. In reality, he didn’t have a horrible game.

Throwing 21 for 36 and 211 yards, it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either. A lot of folks want to base this season’s Morgan Newton as progressing from what we saw at the BBVA Compass bowl, but in reality it’s a mystery because of how good of a season he had just the year before when he went under the gun, and under the gun suddenly. After all, Newton had little under a month to prepare for that bowl game with the sudden charges against Mike Hartline which put him out of action.

Will he be a mobile quarterback? Another mystery all in itself, if you play NCAA 12 then you’ll see Newton has a speed of 87. I’ll say that in reality, Newton is not that fast but I don’t see him staying in the pocket and getting sacked when the pocket collapses around him, I see him being an athlete, being one of the fastest quarterbacks Kentucky has had in a while, that’s not counting Randall Cobb of course.

So it’s all a mystery and one of the biggest mysteries in the SEC this season. Everyone wants to know how good these new quarterbacks can be, the world is there for Newton to take. He can become the next Andre’ Woodson, adored by the fans by his improvement and accuracy. Or he could become the next Mike Hartline. A solid player, but just not good enough to play against SEC caliber teams, barring a couple of games, and constantly picked apart and berated by the Kentucky football fan base.

All of it ends tonight, and in a little under three hours when Morgan Newton lines up under center to take the first snap of the year, all eyes of the big blue nation will be upon him, will he capture the moment and capture the hearts of the Kentucky faithful like so many quarterbacks before him ? Or will the message boards light up with constant criticism from the armchair quarterbacks on what he’s done wrong.

Time to #RISE.

You can follow me on Twitter tonight for updates if you don’t happen to have ESPNU. @JNorth0

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