DEMAREE: Where there's smoke there's fire?

When the cats run out of the rotunda fill with a cloud of smoke and pyrotechnics, this by all accounts signifies a team that should be fired up and ready to score some points. I have always contended that perhaps the edge is taken off when the ball is relinquished to the opponent to start the game via the coin toss decision.

Rich Brooks has a philosophy he wants the first possession in the second half and theoretically an extra possession in the game.

For most of the Rich Brooks' regime, there has been a prevailing problem with the first quarter starts as far as point production. The question has been posed on several occasions to the coaching staff and players and the answers have been nebulous at best. In many cases, there has been a ‘I don't know answer.' We would like to write in the positive rather than in ambiguity. Over the last several games, the closest thing to a definite as far as an answer on the lack of points in the first quarter is what Brooks alluded to was the lack of experience on offense in 2008. Scores by quarters in 2008 were; 1st – 34-101; 2nd – 71-71; 3rd- 78-41; 4th –111-66. This writer sees that as a huge dilemma because this does not imply inexperience was a huge problem because the team got better as the game progressed. .

The problem with that answer is the scoring by quarters that got stronger as the game progressed. It seems as though they have a boxing approach whereby they spend the first quarter feeling out the opponent. So we will take the boxer approach and feel out this article.

For the purpose of comparison, we will eliminate years 2004 and 05' because those were the height of the probation impact. This is a problem that has existed from day one. In a radio interview 2003 offensive coordinator Ron Hudson said he had no answer for the slow starts. Scoring by quarters was 1st quarter – 48-52; 2rd – 64-90; 3rd – 90-46; 4th – 87-86.

Joker Phillips alludes to the hundreds of e-mails he receives from fans on how to spice up his offense and his establish-the-run-first philosophy. His answer to that is – "meet me as the office at 5:00 clock in the mornings when I arrive and we'll talk about it." When asked about a coach he's coached with he most respects he most often mentions Daryl thingyey, who was the UK offensive coordinator from 90'-94.' thingyey was always a run first coached.

Now let's look at other years sporadically by quarters that should explain the dilemma. Scoring in 2006 was; 1st – 58-68; 2nd -113-109; 3rd - 56-82; 4th – 92-90. Scoring in 2007' high-powered offense, 1st – 95-72. Scoring in 2005 was; 1st – 58-61; 3rd – 78-77. In most every case in Brooks tenure, the first quarter trend has prevailed and we imagine the staff will be taking a long hard look at that tendency and game plan to correct that.

During the aforementioned years, the Cats have never failed to ut score the opponent in the fourth quarter.

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