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The Cardinal Countdown: 32 Days Until Kickoff

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The Crunch Zone

#32 Blanton Creque

Class: Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 5-11/188

Position: Kicker

Hometown: Shelbyville, KY

Twitter: @Bcreque_19

Thoughts: Congratulations to Blanton. I did a quick search and it appears I have mentioned Blanton’s name six different times in this Countdown prior to today’s post, more than any other player. That’s right, six different times in the last 68 days I’ve mentioned the Sophomore kicker who hasn’t even won the starting job at this point. I believe I have an unhealthy obsession with special teams. That should be more than sufficient for your post Creque. Deal with it.

Just a quick reminder in case you didn’t read the last 68 days…Blanton is a Sophomore, recovering from an off season basketball injury (because, Kentucky) who appears to be the next in line for taking over the starting kicker position. Creque does have some competition from the other 17 kickers (slight exaggeration) we currently have on the roster but many point to Creque or O’Hara as having the top foot. Only Fall camp will tell.

Alright, no more ‘Creque Talk’. Dude’s dominating the Countdown like Miele dominates camera time. Sorry, Chris.

Sweet Tweet:

Don’t have a snapchat because I’m one of the “olds” but I hope you young cats realize that between this faceswap, Pokemon Go, and any other app utilizing your GPS,  anybody that hacks your crap has a scan of your face and can track where you are and where you’ve been. Be careful out there folks. When those drones become self aware….

#TinFoilHat

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#32 Stacy Thomas

Class: RS Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-1/232

Position: Linebacker

Hometown: Miami, FL

Twitter: @diosprimero32

Thoughts: Stacy Thomas could possibly slide into ‘Dat Dude’ territory fairly quickly this season. Playing backup mostly to James Burgess last season Thomas saw a window of opportunity violently swing open as Burgess nearly decapitated a Texas A&M receiver in the bowl game (legally, mind you) and was subsequently ejected on the first play from scrimmage. How did Thomas respond? With the game of his career. Thomas seemed to always be in the mix on defense, a constant disruption up the middle, covered the field very well, broke up passes, and lead the team with 11 tackles to fairly or unfairly set a precedent of what he is capable of if given 60 minutes of PT. While we had all seen flashes of who Stacy Thomas could be in spurts this was his moment in the sun…and my boy walked out of Nashville like Corey Hart (80’s reference alert!)

So, is it reasonable to expect Thomas to grab 11 tackles and do his best Lance Briggs impression on a weekly basis in 2016? Well, yes and no. While we may not see the production statistically on a weekly basis to rival that of the Music City Bowl I have no hesitation in predicting that his intensity will be at the same level. Losing a player like Burgess would typically create a void or at a minimum a step back in production, but I’m not sure we’ll see that in 2016. Don’t misunderstand my respect for James, who will go down as one of my favorite linebackers at UofL and was a huge part of the defense the last 2-3 years, but Thomas is an athletic freak who can more than hold his own in the middle and now that he’ll be called upon to be a full time player, well, watch out.

My one concern with Thomas taking on the starting inside linebacker position will be the void he leaves on special teams. For those who go grab a beer or take a potty break during punts you missed some damn good plays from Thomas on special teams the last couple seasons. He was always one of the first guys at the ball, laid some great hits, and picked up the timely fumble in the Virginia game last year after J. Quick laid the wood on the poor return man to set up a touchdown. I’m sure Tony G will throw in one of the younger linebackers to fill in that role but his production in that area was key in helping us maintain field position multiple times last year. Of course, we can avoid all that nonsense if we just never punt. Sound good Lamar?

Really excited about seeing Thomas step into a larger role and even more excited that baring something crazy, we have him roaming the middle for two more seasons. With the departure of Kelsey and Fields next year his presence will be vital to maintaining consistency in the linebacking group (sorry, I’ll save that for the 2017 countdown)

Sweet Tweet:

Why settle for “average” if a few quick calculations can provide you with a much more statistically relevant mean, median, and mode? Of course, it’s directly dependent on what the analysis is in reference to in order to determine the validity of the resultant. A quick peek at the conditional probability of each variable and a review of the correlation coefficient would be recommended…..know what I mean, fam?