Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
September 5th, 2015

Wake Up! Gameday Is Finally Here

newcws overhead

We’ve been waiting 40 long weeks.  After 280 days, Kentucky football has finally returned.  With it, a newly renovated Commonwealth Stadium and a season filled with hype and expectations that we have not seen in many years.

The start of the season will show the BBN many things we haven’t seen before.  First, is an SEC-caliber stadium.  Second, is Shannon Dawson at the helm of an offense filled with young firepower.  Big Blue fans are rarely surprised; we always expect the worst to happen, and it usually does, but this offense will be an explosively pleasant surprise.  We also get to see Matthew Mitchell’s singing AND dancing shoes.  After only performing during Big Blue Madness, he’s grown up before our eyes into a true rockstar.

What will be familiar is #14 at quarterback.  after an up-and-down first year as a starter, Patrick is poised to become one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC, with a loaded arsenal of wide receivers to do his dirty work.  Boom Williams will once again bring the Boom, ensuring the sirens will not go silent.

There’s too much excitement for me to contain myself, so let me try to break it down for ya.

Today’s Itinerary

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TV and Radio Coverage

  • TV- ESPNU (514 TWC and DirecTV 208) will have Anish Shroff and Ahmad Brooks on the call.
  • Radio- AM stations 840 WHAS and 630 WLAP, and 98.1 WBUL-FM. Satellite at XM 204 and Sirius 126, and online at UKathletics.com/gameday/ (You can also get live stats from the gameday site).

Chris Bailey says It’s Going to be a Hot One

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Visiting Recruits Excelled Last Night

There will be a variety of people in attendance today, but few will have cooler experiences than the dozens of recruits visiting campus.  using the recruiting room for the first time will be an honor, and their hospitality is much needed after fantastic Friday night performances.

Gunnar Hoak is 10-16 for 230 yards and 3 TDs in a 52-0 victory.  Davonte Robinson’s 80-yard touchdown run on the opening play of the game blew the doors off the hinges, helping Henry Clay win 35-13 over George Rogers Clark.  Russ Yeast had a Pick Six and 4 offensive touchdowns.  Benny Snell had a casual 281 yards and 5 touchdowns, but it still probably wasn’t as crazy as Kash Daniel’s night.

Some of those guys, and many more prospects will be in attendance today, with a roster coming to KSR later today.

Kentucky Beat Louisville Again, This Time in Women’s Soccer

We’re used to beating Louisville in pretty much everything but football.  The tradition continued last night as the 22nd-ranked women’s soccer team took down the Cards 1-0.  For those counting at home, UK has won their last five in a row against UofL.

The 17th-ranked men’s team also got a W at The Bell, defeating Wright State in comeback fashion, 2-1.

Mark Stoops Spent Last Night Helping the Community

Most coaches spend the night before opening day sweating out the details with little to no sleep.  Mark Stoops spent his giving back.  The Stoops’ helped raise money for Cardinal Hill at the Kentucky Bash at Donamire Farm.  Hopefully his smile is this big tonight.

@JenNimePalumbo

@JenNimePalumbo

I end your wake up with a view from the tunnel, under the lights.  Geek.


September 4th, 2015

Kash Daniel Put the Team on His Back; Is Too Good For Words

@TannerWYMT

@TannerWYMT

Pikeville and Paintsville just played the best football I’ve seen so far this year.  Leading the pack was Kash Daniel.

The 1A rivalry was mountain football at its finest, bringing physicality to every snap.  It started fast, tied quickly in the first quarter at 7, remaining the same until late in the second half.

Down 15-7 with four minutes to play, Paintsville needed Kash to carry them to victory.  The offensive line was stuffed multiple times, causing a turnover on downs.  The game looked over…until Pikevillle fumbled it back to Paintsville on the following play.

Kash put on his cape.

A few plays later, he sailed a beautiful ball more than 30 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown with 1:50 to play.  A bootleg from Kash on the 2-point conversion tied it up.  Pikeville only marginally moved the ball, before coughing it back up to Paintsville with :30 seconds to play.  They took their shots to the end zone, coming close multiple times, but didn’t get as close as Kash did running the ball.  4th down with :08 to play, Kash tucked it and ran down the near sideline, diving toward the pylon to come up JUST short, stepping out of bounds a few yards short.

There was still time for him to be a hero.

Daric Pugh bullied his way into the end zone to give Pikeville a TD lead in overtime.  Not going for two cost them, because NOBODY could stop Kash.

They ran the same play three times in a row, spreading the field and running a QB power.  He knocked off an opponent’s helmet on the first play.  He attempted to go “up and over”, leaping into the air on the second play.  He fell three yards short, but landed on his feet, driving them until he fell into the end zone.  The 2-point conversion for the win looked like it would fail, with defenders surrounding him immediately.  It didn’t matter.  He broke at least three tackles before getting his team the win.  23-22, Paintsville.

Just when I thought I couldn’t like him anymore, he made Richard Sherman look like an amateur in his postgame interview with WYMT .  It was aggressive awesomeness that could only be compared to Ric Flair after a World Championship.

 

Kash Daniel is the superhero of single-A, and you should be proud that he bleeds blue.

 


Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

Spicy Chicken


You know you’re thinking of a Wendy’s ® Spicy Chicken Sandwich. The spicy goodness of the all white meat chicken lightly breaded with a unique blend of eight peppers and spices, topped with crisp lettuce, delicious fresh tomato and creamy mayonnaise, all on a soft toasted bun. The only way to get it out of your head is to get it in your hands.


You can be a part of Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day. Now. On to the tweets:

#10 EJ Floreal


God I love them.

#9 holly


Holly. I think you need a new job. Come on.

#8 Joshua Ryan


I hate you, Josh.

#7 Dr.SicilianoCalipari and Megan Calipari


Guys. Be nice or we will lock you in a room together until you get along.

#6 Mike Lomuti


Mostly just put this in here so I could use this:

#5 Rachel


We Atlanta is ruined for me now.

#4 Amanda Lemond


WHY?!

#3 Monticello Sinkhole


So accurate.

#2 Ghengis Donn


YES. There it is. The perfect description.

#1 Ken Gatton


Boom.

@Hessler_KSR


CasualGamerReed makes his pick for tomorrow

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If you’ve seen CasualGamerReed’s videos before, you know two things: He LOVES the Kentucky Wildcats; and he needed to take that package to the post office months ago. I don’t know what’s in there but I hope someone isn’t waiting on it.

Anyway, as he tells you in the video, CasualGamerReed is a single man now so he can devote his entire life to following the Cats. “No wife breathing down my neck,” he says.

He then goes on to make his prediction for tomorrow’s game. I won’t spoil it for you. See for yourself…


Best-Case, Worst-Case For Louisiana

November 8th, 2015 was the date of Kentucky’s last home game and to be honest it seems like that took place sometime last century. Tomorrow will begin a new era for football in Lexington  in more ways than one. Not only is the Louisiana game the debut of the newly remodeled Commonwealth Stadium but we also have the launch of Shannon Dawson’s offense and a look at Stoops’ continued rebuilding job. In Year 2 the team knocked on the door of success but this year they could be poised to kick that mother wide open.

The good vibes are bounding around Lexington and the Cats have an opportunity to kick-off the season with a major beat-em-down that fills the fanbase with confidence for the rest of the year. Or they could come out flat, like the teams we saw last night, and cast doubt upon bowl eligibility. Against the Ragin’ Cajuns the outcome is likely the former but sports aren’t played on paper. Here are my picks for the best-case and worst-case scenarios for this season’s debut.

Best-Case Scenario

The Ragin’ Cajuns have made a bowl game in each of the past four seasons but most of their success has come from beating up on opponents from the Sun Belt league. Against teams from the SEC, BIG 10, and Mountain West, Louisiana has gone 0-8 while getting outscored 46-23. That streak continues as Kentucky clobbers ULL 52-14.  Patrick Towles performs like Bo Wallace last year with a 300+ yard and four touchdown game. Drew Barker makes his Kentucky debut for the fourth quarter and looks  ready to take the reigns if ever need be.

The Defense is able to contain Elijah Mcguire under 100 yards and a touchdown. AJ Stamps grabs an interception to start off the year. Chris Westry showcases why he is a future star. The entire defense makes it through the game unscathed to begin SEC play.

The offense looks great and the defense looks solid. Confidence is sky-high for a trip to Columbia next weekend.

Worst-Case Scenario

Last season Kentucky gave up 200+ yards rushing six times (Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee) and 300+ yards rushing three times (Georgia, LSU, Mississippi St). Also, that was when they had Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith on the ends so stopping the run could be a major issue this season. Elijah Mcguire does his best Todd Gurley impersonation as he runs roughshod over the Wildcat defense to keep the clock moving and the ball out of Patrick Towles’ hands.

Louisiana is confident they can win as they refuse to back down under the lights of a near-capacity crowd inside the new CWS. Early turnovers put the Cats down early but they manage to scratch their way back for a razor thin victory 20-17 . A bowl game is going to be hard to reach in Year 3.

The Likely Outcome

Against UT-Martin last season the Cats rolled to a 59-14 victory. While UL-L is certainly a step up in competition from the Skyhawks, the Cats are returning several key players from last season that should continue to improve. It’s a safe bet that Kentucky gets the W with young playmakers getting some early clips for the highlight reel. The back-ups should get plenty of clock late in the game as UK covers to start the season 1-0

How do you think the Cats are going to look tomorrow?


Opening Game Impact and Position Advantages

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

Countdown to kickoff has gone from days to hours. By now, the new Commonwealth Stadium will likely be sold out. That’s a good thing. Now to the important stuff: the actual football game.

As you’ve previously read on KSR, I’m not much on rah rah. I rely more on personnel and statistical analysis. But there are instances when emotions can highly impact the outcome of a football game. This post will analyze emotions, strategic schedule placement, and a position group analysis.

EMOTIONS

Nerves

Logic says UK will have more nerve issues due to the high number of first year players and christening the new Commonwealth Stadium.  Louisiana has played SEC opponents on the road before, so crowd noise won’t necessarily intimidate the Ragin Cajuns.

Advantage: Louisiana-Lafayette

Desire

In order to reach a bowl game, Kentucky has to win its opener. No way around it. Ending 2014 with a 6 game losing streak left a collective stink throughout the Nutter Center. ULL has circled this game all summer. Saturday offers a chance to beat an SEC team on the road. UK’s opponent will come into the game with a colossal chip on their shoulder. Too much riding on this game for the Cats.

Advantage: Kentucky

Fan expectation

BBN is fired up. I really don’t like that term, too general, but no other expression properly describes the Wildcat fan base’s mood. The excited yet undecided Wildcat fan base wants to see a decisive win. Louisiana fans expect a W. However, the home team and new stadium wins out.

Advantage: Kentucky

Schedule

In addition to emotions, strategic game placement can factor an outcome as well. Some teams play flat prior to a rivalry game, others are opposite with a lesser opponent on the horizon. Schedule timing matters.

UK’s next opponent-South Carolina. The Gamecocks beat North Carolina in an unimpressive fashion. There are holes in the Garnet and Black’s armor. Suddenly, this game looks more winnable. But, expect to see a different South Carolina team at home. If Kentucky runs up an early lead, Stoops may go generic in order to not show Spurrier all his tricks and schemes. By UNC running a similar offense, film study will be incredibly helpful going into game two.

Louisiana’s next opponent-Northwestern State. The Ragin Cajuns return home to face a 1AA opponent. All their “eggs” are in the beat UK basket.

Advantage: Louisiana-Lafayette

POSITION GROUP ADVANTAGES

Quarterback: Kentucky

Patrick Towles is a Top 5 SEC quarterback. ULL’s yet to name a starter and has to replace All-Conference Terrance Broadway.

Running Back: Louisiana-Lafayette

Elijah McGuire, by now I feel I’m his unofficial biographer. He can go, limiting his explosion plays are critical. May be best player on the field regardless of team. On virtually every national award watch list. UK has more depth and Boom Williams. This was a close one to call.

Offensive Line: Kentucky

Lafayette hasn’t lost a starting offensive lineman to injury in four years. LG Mykhael Quaves is the group’s best blocker. Kentucky’s OL is experienced with an emotional shot of youth in RT George Asafo-Ajei. Expect the Wildcat big guys to play extremely well on Saturday.

Tight End: Kentucky

Going out on a limb here, neither of the Wildcat TE’s has played a down of college football. Both are going to be special. Going with the unproven goes against my norm. Just call it a hunch.

Wide Receiver: Kentucky

This Wildcat group is deep and talented. Legitimate chance for 6 or more players to rack up 600 receiving yards in 2015. Louisiana’s top receiver, Jamal Robinson is coming off a missed season due to injury.

Defensive Line: Kentucky

Close one here. Melvin Lewis and the much improved Regie Meant gives the Cats an edge. ULL will bring in JUCO transfers and like UK, has a defensive tackle suspended for game one. Depth favors UK.

Linebackers: Louisiana-Lafayette

Ryan Flannigan’s out due to shoulder injury. Josh Forrest is the best LB in Saturday’s game, but others are unproven. Louisiana’s top LB is Dominque Tovell and has a more experienced supporting cast.

Cornerbacks: Kentucky

Strange I know, after harping on this position being a team weakness, Kentucky wins this battle due to a true freshman, Chris Westry. ULL’s top cover corner is not making the trip to Lexington. Depth, attention, and positional competition also favors UK.

Safety: Kentucky

Easy choice, AJ Stamps is an All SEC performer. Joining him will be an improved Marcus McWilson and two redshirt freshmen that have received rave reviews.

Special Teams: Kentucky

Austin MacGinnis and Landon Foster are one of if not the best K/P combination in the SEC. Return game favors ULL as Elijah McGuire also returns kickoffs. Kentucky requires an increase in return and cover games. Will be tested in game one.

All signs point to a Kentucky win. Last night’s South Carolina game may decrease the score. An early lead benefits Kentucky. Takes the football away from Elijah McGuire and also provide young players with game action prior to the trip to Columbia.


WATCH Kash Daniel and Paintsville vs. Pikeville

cn2

cn2

One of the biggest games in the mountains is going down, and you can check out all of the action through WYMT.  Two of the best schools in 1A will surely produce a showdown.

Kentucky commit Kash Daniel has already thrown for a score, but Daric Pugh of Pikeville is going to keep it close, with the game currently tied 7-7.

pikeville livestream

If that link doesn’t work, click here.


The Bills Cut John Conner

Robin Buckson | Detroit News

Robin Buckson | Detroit News

NFL roster cuts have put one former Wildcat out of work.

John Conner was one of Rex Ryan’s favorites as head coach of the New York Jets, but today they parted ways once again when the Bills cut 16 from their roster.  Even though “The Terminator” was still lighting people up (see the picture above) in Buffalo, it wasn’t enough to secure a spot on Ryan’s 53-man roster.

Rex might’ve forgotten about you John, but the BBN will never forget.


#FlashbackFriday: UK Football’s “Recruiting Room”

uk-recruiting-room

As we count down the hours until the grand opening of the New Commonwealth Stadium tomorrow, let’s take a moment to look in the rearview, back to how things were. (The kids call this #FlashbackFriday on “the ‘gram.”)

The photo you see above likely helped spark the public outcry for bigger and better things for the football program. The area in that photo is what UK once used as its recruiting room on game days. That photo is embarrassing as hell. That photo sums up UK football the last however many decades. That photo is unbelievable. Truly unbelievable.

Tomorrow, we’ll see the brand new recruiting room in the East end zone and we’ll forget all about that poor excuse of a church potluck setup in the corner of Nutter Field House. Those days are behind us.

Started from the bottom, they say.


Kobi Simmons is Moving Back His Announcement Date

After visiting Kentucky’s campus last weekend, Kobi Simmons has decided to delay his decision date, according to Cats Illustrated.

Normally that might sound like bad news, but if you’ve listened to Matt you know it is not.  Simmons is currently visiting UNLV, and will be at Ohio State next week, but this delay doesn’t have anything to do with them; it’s giving Calipari more time as he continues to recruit and evaluate De’Aron Fox.

Calipari could wait for the #1 point guard, or immediately take a commitment from the #3 point guard.  The best case scenario for Cal is more time, and that’s exactly what Simmons is giving him.


Commonwealth’s Top Plays of the 70s and 80s

Commonwealth Stadium has been around since 1973, way back when Fran Curci took over as head coach of the Wildcats. A lot has happened since then — some good, a lot bad — and Kentucky Wildcats TV is taking us back in time with a series of video highlights from each decade.

We’ll start with two that were before my time…

1970s:

1980s:

Go Cats.


Get in the 360-degree, high-res photo of CWS tomorrow

At the conclusion of the first quarter — when Kentucky is up two touchdowns, hopefully — Blakeway Worldwide Panoramas will take a 360-degree, high-resolution photo of Commonwealth Stadium and everyone inside. It will be the largest UK football photo ever taken — outside of anything with Matt Elam, of course.

If you’ll be in attendance and would like a notification when the photo is ready, you can sign up for an alert at the Kentucky Wildcats Gigapixel page.

I will have fun with the photo here on the website on Monday, so don’t be too shy to give us a three-goggle or anything else to stand out. (No nudity, guys.)


“We Ask You Wednesday” Vol. 58 (Friday Afternoon Edition)

(EHarmony.UK.com)

The folks here at KSR love getting your input on things… relevant and bizarre. We have to get a little creative around here sometimes. Last summer I started a weekly series called “We Ask You Wednesdays,” that brought in some great responses from many readers via Twitter.

Each week, the question will change and we will hit on a variety of topics, mostly UK-related… but you never know. Each week the best responses will make it on to the website.  This week’s twenty ninth volume of the “We Ask You Wednesday” allowed Kentucky fans to answer the following question via Twitter in 140 characters or less: WHAT IS THE BEST UK-RELATED FANTASY FOOTBALL TEAM NAME?

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Until we get some more Cats in the NFL, Randall Cobb has to carry the load for reppin’ the Cats…

 

 

Chris Simpson definitely was the MVP of the week for all of his answers…

 

 

There is a good chance that exceeds the character limit…

 

BEST ANSWER OF THE WEEK:


UK Athletics getting dirty to get CWS ready

mitch-allin

UK Athletics is #ALLIN on getting Commonwealth Stadium ready for tomorrow night’s game. Earlier in the week, Mrs. Tyler spoke to Janee Thompson about UK Hoops’ voluntary cleaning effort. Thompson told Tyler, “We were up in the suites cleaning the cabinets and refrigerators, and it looks so nice in there.”

Matthew Mitchell even got his hands dirty:

And this morning, Mitch Barnhart was spotted with a Shop-Vac in his hands.

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No position in the athletic department is too high up to help out.

UK Gymnastics, too:

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Round of applause to everyone around the athletic department who volunteered their time this week so we, the fans, can enjoy tomorrow night.


Four-star wide receiver tweets #BBN

JaVonte Richardson, one of the top wide receivers in the 2017 class, tweeted a shout-out to #BBN this morning after he received a good luck message from the UK coaching staff.

Richardson, ranked as the 30th best receiver in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, is from just outside Cleveland, Ohio; so you know Vince Marrow is heavily involved in his recruitment.

A quick scroll through his Twitter feed shows a lot of love for Ohio State, but Kentucky is the first and only Power 5 school to offer him, so that should go a long way in the fight for his services.

I’m a big fan of these good luck images as a recruiting tool. Here’s a look at the one Richardson received from UK, that he tweeted out to his followers earlier today: