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November 29th, 2015

Mark Richt steps down

Wesley Hitt / Getty Images

It’s open season on college football coaches right now as University of Georgia’s Head Football Coach Mark Richt becomes the most recent coach to receive a pink slip from his university.

After 15 years with the Bulldogs, Richt agreed to step down from his position following Georgia’s upcoming bowl game, which will be announced on Dec. 6. Richt will leave Georgia as the second-winningest coach in Bulldog’s history with a record of 145-51. UGA finished this season 9-3.

According to UGA athletic director Greg McGarity, who met with Richt earlier this morning, it was a mutual agreement that Richt should step down as the head coach.

The news of Richt’s leaving came shortly after Rutger’s released both the university’s athletic director Julie Hermann and head football coach Kyle Flood. This marks an abrupt end to Hermann’s short two-and-a-half year tenure that was riddled with controversy. Flood, who faced a three-game suspension in September for violating a university compliance policy, was ousted after a tumultuous season that included the arrests of seven of Flood’s football players on various charges.

The search for football coaches is about to get really hot, as college football staffs and athletic directors continue to reshuffle their decks in search for more wins. New football staffs  mean that December and January will be a recruiting Armageddon as newly-installed leadership look to fill their coffers with fresh recruits as many previous commitments will likely fall to the wayside.

Get ready for war, that’s all I’m saying.

On a lighter note, Les Miles appears to be safe and sound at LSU after a bizarre week of speculations that the head football coach would be receiving the boot in Baton Rouge. Even Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal got involved:

Putting the rumors to rest, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva made it clear the Tigers would be sticking with Miles:

“The season’s complete, and I want to make it very clear and positive that Les Miles is our football coach and he will continue to be our football coach. I’m looking forward to working with Coach Miles as he leads this team to a bowl game and another great recruiting class.”

I would hate to be a college football coach right now.


Towles bids farewell to UK

Darrell Bird |

Darrell Bird |

After a rocky season with the Wildcats, UK quarterback Patrick Towles just announced his plans to transfer from the university on his Instagram account.

The quarterback, who spent four years with the Wildcats and is a native of Fort Thomas, KY, wrote:

I would like to thank the University of Kentucky for giving me the opportunity to achieve my childhood dream of playing quarterback for the WildCats. The last four years have been ones that I will truly cherish for the rest of my life. Although I wish my time here in Lexington could have ended another way, I’m eternally grateful. I’ve decided to transfer to play my fifth year at another university. Thank you to Coach Stoops, Coach Dawson, Mitch Barnhart, my teammates, the Big Blue Nation and the entire Kentucky Athletics Department for allowing me to achieve my lifelong dream. I will truly bleed blue til the day I die.


While at UK, Towles joined Tim Couch, Dusty Bonner and Jared Lorenzen as the only players in school history to top the 3,000-yard mark in their first season as a starter. Due to red shirting in 2013 his sophomore year at UK, Towles will be eligible to play immediately for the university he transfers to. The quarterback was expected to redshirt in 2012 as a true freshman but was pressed into service when injuries struck the quarterback position.

Good bye Patty Ice, you have always represented the Wildcats with class and while this year has been a difficult one, I will miss seeing my favorite Harry Potter fan out on the field. Much success to you, and please, grow out those luscious golden locks again.

The feels, they are too much right now…


Five takeaways from Cal’s Illinois State presser

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 10.26.50 PM

Ulis will not practice

According to Coach Calipari, Tyler Ulis’ status for the team is still day-to-day and the 5-foot-9 sophomore will not join his teammates in today’s practice. Cal shied away from reporter’s questions about Ulis playing in tomorrow’s match up against the Redbirds, instead, Cal saying the team “might be without Tyler” and that it “would be a different game.” Cal assured reporters that Ulis’ injury was not serious and that “he’ll be fine.” Ulis hyperextended his elbow during the Wildcat’s game against South Florida Friday, but according to Ulis’ dad, subsequent x-rays revealed no broken bones and told reporters that his son’s injury was nothing to worry about. Cal said, knowing Ulis, the starting guard would insist on playing against Illinois State but it was still too early to make a definite call.

If the team is without Ulis for Monday’s game, Cal said he was unsure how the team would react gainst the Redbirds who, according to Cal, play similiar to Arkansas in that they like to trap and pressure teams on defense.

“Tyler keeps coming and does not stop,” Cal said of Ulis. “That’s the experience. I don’t know how the other’s will respond. They (Illinois State) has some veteran guys… Ulis has experience with these types of teams.”

Let’s just hope that Tyler is icing up that elbow.

The guys need to be more aggressive

Cal said the guys need to “stop running from someone” and instead “look for someone to post up” during games. He told reporters that after reviewing tapes, he noted that some guys need to play more physically and fight for position.

“We’re playing really fast and that is really hard to do,” Cal said. “You have to play physical. What we’re asking of them is really hard. If we can get to when the shot goes up, fight for position then go get the ball, we’ll be fine.”

Cal said Illinois State likes to spread the court and play five men out, which means the Wildcat’s will need to adjust on the defensive side of the ball where center Skal Labissiere will need to up the ante on the aggression meter.

“If Skal doesn’t play tough enough, we’ll put Isaac in,” Cal told the media.

Hawkins is working hard for minutes 

After being sidelined with a hand injury, Dominique Hawkins told reporters he felt like he was “being left behind” and has been working hard to get back into rotation. In regards to Hawkins’ playing time, Cal said he has been trying to get the guys to understand that they are responsible for themselves.

“They need to fight within. You want more time, how are you going to get it,” Cal said. “If you don’t defend you have no chance playing here. If you go under the ball screen – you are coming out.”

Cal said, unlike other teams, Kentucky players are expected to be on “warp speed time” here and develop their talents quickly.

“(On other teams) you can tell them that by junior year, you are going to be a beast,” Cal said. “But here, we say, by JANUARY, you got to get this right.”

Blue gets in

Cal said he expected to see some blue at UCLA’s Pauley Pavillion when the team takes on the Redbirds tomorrow.

“I don’t know why,” Cal joked with the media. “I would figure they would get tickets somehow.”

Let’s hope the Big Blue Nation doesn’t disappoint.

Isaiah Briscoe has a message 

According to Cal, Briscoe has a card attached to his mirror that reads: “Make a ridiculously hard play look easy.” However, the coach said Briscoe has been reading the message backwards, because he has been making easy plays look difficult. Cal claimed it was “just how the AAU play” and that Briscoe would have to break some habit’s from high school.

The No. 1 Wildcats (6-0) will take on the Redbirds (3-4) tomorrow at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

Pitino thinks he had “the best recruiting class” this year


Because Rick Pitino is Rick Pitino and likes to keep us all entertained, he told the media after a 77-57 win over Saint Louis: “We had the best recruiting class, I think, in college basketball, as far as I’m concerned.”

And because he can’t do anything without talking about Kentucky (jealous, much?) he also said, “Kentucky taught me how to get into the one-and-dones, and I’m doing it now, except I’m waiting for fifth-year guys instead of high school kids.”

According to Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal, Pitino also believes that Louisville is being ignored because of the Katina Powell stuff. Apparently everyone is focusing on that instead of the stellar basketball they’re playing.

If you want, you can read the full article here. It might brighten up your day after yesterday.

Keep doing you Rick, never change.

Watch Calipari preview Illinois Sate

Future Cats take to Twitter after loss to UofL


It’s natural to worry about the state of the upcoming recruiting class after yesterday’s disappointing loss to Louisville. It was very apparent yesterday that we will need some new blood in order to compete in next year’s tough schedule, so we need to keep the recruits that we already have. Lucky for us, some took to Twitter to ease the mind of the Big Blue Nation.

However, cornerback Tobias Gilliam’s tweet was less than reassuring.

Sunday’s Morning Wakeup


Sunday’s morning wake up is brought to you by the only fitting movie title. Groundhog Day. I, much like everyone else here, probably woke up feeling the same way from a year ago regarding the football team. High expectations after some perceived early season wins, playing Florida tough but ultimately losing and then collapsing against Louisville. Rinse, wash, repeat.

Let’s take a look at some happier things though.

There are special players joining the basketball program next year

I know it’s weird to already say that considering the season is less than a month old and Kentucky is still No. 1 in the country. But, De’Aaron Fox played in the Thanksgiving Hoopfest in Texas and put on a show against Andrew Jones – another top guard prospect. Fox put up 31 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. The highlight though may have been when he went coast to coast and finished while adjusting in the air, in all under four seconds. Oh, and Malik Monk scored 46 in a win too. Those two are going to be a ton of fun to watch next year.

LSU Decides to keep Les Miles

In a bizarre week for LSU, rumors were the Tigers were going to relieve Les Miles of his duties, leading one of the best coaches in the game looking for a job. Well, after beating Texas A&M last night, it was announced that Miles would be keeping his job at LSU. This obviously means a ton for the conference, even if the Cats only see LSU about twice a decade, just to keep a big name like that at one of the more prestigious football jobs in the country is national news. The boosters need to get Miles the finest grass to eat for dinner tonight now.

The Guys Survived Day One

After the game, Drew, Matt, Shannon and Ryan hit the road for the KSR Does America roadtrip and it seems like they survived day one. Follow the guys on Twitter for the constant updates, complaining, questioning and all-around tomfoolery that makes this site great.



November 28th, 2015

Another epic collapse defines Kentucky’s “woulda, coulda, shoulda” season

© Mark Zerof

© Mark Zerof

It started so well. Kentucky stormed out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, looking like a well-oiled machine behind a strong running game, a solid passing attack by Drew Barker, and a scrappy defense that came up with two crucial picks. Receivers were catching passes! The offensive line was opening holes! It was happy times in Commonwealth Stadium again!

Then Boom Williams got hurt. A Louisville pass interference penalty gave Kentucky a free play at the end of the first quarter and Boom took the ball one yard before slipping and falling on the elbow he injured during the Tennessee game. With 37 yards and one touchdown, Boom went out of the game and wouldn’t return.

Neither would Kentucky’s offense. Behind backup quarterback Lamar Jackson, Louisville went on a 38-3 scoring run, Kentucky’s only points coming off a Miles Butler 20-yard field goal. In the second half, all of Kentucky’s woes came back to haunt them: drops, penalties, questionable coaching decisions, etc. Meanwhile, Louisville couldn’t be stopped. After Butler’s field goal, they scored 31 unanswered points and that was that.

The script of the season

Today’s game was pretty much the entire season in a sad, 60-minute nutshell: a promising start, a setback, and an epic collapse. I mean, really, what other team could squander a 21-point lead? That’s why any UK fan worth their weight in heartache knew what was coming when Lamar Jackson scrambled into the end zone for Louisville’s first touchdown of the game, his first of three today. As fans, it’s sad that even that early, we could sense the collapse; it’s even sadder that the players did too.

Some depressing and mind-numbing stats

  • 4-1 start to season; 1-6 to finish
  • 21-0 to start the game; 3-38 to finish
  • Offensive yards in the 3rd quarter: Louisville 204, Kentucky 19
  • 3rd quarter passing yards: Louisville 78, Kentucky -1
  • 2nd half rushing yards: Louisville 247 Kentucky 13
  • Kentucky penalties: 9 for 95 yards

Today in one, cruel loop:


They went back to Patrick Towles

Drew Barker started off well enough, putting up 129 passing yards, one rushing touchdown, and no interceptions in the first half, but the second half was a different story. Barker was rattled and didn’t get any help from his receivers, who repeatedly dropped balls. The freshman completed only one pass in the second half, and it was for negative yardage. With Louisville scoring at will, the staff eventually went back to Patrick Towles with four minutes in the game, but it was too little too late. After the game, Stoops admitted he should have gone back to Patrick sooner.

“We had a discussion at that point,” Stoops said when asked why they didn’t switch quarterbacks when the score was tied at 24. “I talked with Shannon (Dawson) at that point, and we felt like there were some plays that were there that he was making some good decisions. We felt like he was a fraction off. I think it was (Jeff) Badet had a drop, I think it was at that time. We had some plays and could have probably gone with Patrick (Towles) a couple of series earlier than that.”

Get ready for another quarterback battle this spring.

Another backup quarterback looked like a superstar

If we’ve learned anything about Kentucky football over the years, it’s that even in the best of times, the worst can happen and backup quarterbacks, especially those that are mobile, are our kryptonite. After Kyle Bolin threw two interceptions, Lamar Jackson came in and took over the game. Jackson finished with 130 yards passing, 186 rushing, and three touchdowns. As Stoops said, he made Kentucky look bad.

“He just flat out made some plays,” Stoops said. “He outran us and really made us look bad on the edge, on the perimeter on some plays.”

Bizarrely, Stoops said the staff was caught “off balance” by the quarterback change. Really? Louisville didn’t even name a starter coming into the game. Theoretically, that would mean UK would prepare to see both Bolin and Jackson, but instead, they were caught “off balance”?!

After the game, Jackson put it very cruelly when he said “We just couldn’t lose to those boys.” Even crueler? He’s only a freshman.

Will there be coaching changes?

Some things, like receivers dropping balls, can’t be helped; however, some things, like adjusting your defense to stop the read option, can. The difference in the game happened in the locker room at halftime. Bobby Petrino and his staff made adjustments to contain Kentucky’s wilting offense; Mark Stoops and his staff couldn’t come up with any answers on offense or methods to shut down Lamar Jackson.

After watching Kentucky fail to move the ball in the second half, the most obvious target is Shannon Dawson; however, Stoops voiced his support for his offensive coordinator after the game.

“Yes, I absolutely have confidence in Shannon Dawson. He’s a very good coach, very knowledgeable. It gets frustrating for him, believe me. It’s the same way, as a defensive play caller, when things aren’t going well. It gets difficult. Let me put it to you that way. It gets hard and it gets frustrating and guys need to step up and make plays.”

“Whether you’re an offensive coordinator or defensive coordinator, there’s only so many good play calls. At some point, you have to win some one-on-one battles. I have a lot of confidence in Shannon. He’ll get the ship corrected and straightened out and get the guys competing at a higher level and we need to play better across the board.”

In fact, Stoops refused to comment on any coaching changes, telling reporters he doesn’t want to make any emotional judgments.

“I’m not going to get into that right now. You know, I’m disappointed in this loss, as all you and our fans. And everybody that cares about Kentucky is disappointed and frustrated. Believe me, I am. And we’ll look at all aspects of our program to make it a program that everybody’s proud of.”

Where do we go from here?

“Five wins is not good enough. And I’m tired of the woulda, coulda, shoulda, just as the fans are,” Stoops said. “And this won’t hurt our momentum in recruiting and developing our team and our program, we’re going to continue to get better, believe me.”

I like Mark Stoops, but after yet another spectacular collapse, it’s getting harder and harder to keep the faith in this staff. For the second straight season, Kentucky is 5-7. Technically, there’s a chance they can still go to a bowl, but based on today’s performance, they don’t deserve it.

Embrace the Suck: The Worst of the Worst from Today’s Game

Image from every UofL fan on Twitter.

Image from every UofL fan on Twitter.

Never in my life have I been more disgusted with the Kentucky football team.  I’ve seen awfulness from the program before, but that’s because I knew they were terrible and lacked talent.  What makes this year’s season finale performance sickening (I thought I might puke in the press box in the 3rd quarter) is that this team has talent, but they lack execution, direction and development.

I’ve tried dressing this thing up throughout the year, but all I can do now to cope with the loss is make a long list of the disasters that made today’s Governor’s Cup a dumpster fire.  It may not be cohesive or carry a common theme because I’m pissed off and frankly I don’t give a damn.

Getting Spotted 21 Points isn’t Enough

For the second year in a row, our rival has handed us 21 points to start the game.  I’ll grant you, the first offensive drive was pretty good.  I just can’t get over the fact that the script was similar to last year: go up 21, they put in their backup QB, Kentucky loses.  At least last year’s team showed more fight down the stretch, displaying a mental toughness this team did not have.

What can the Offense do Without Boom?

There’s some things you can’t just can’t plan.  UK had the upper hand in the running backs department, but they were all hurt at some point.  Jojo for a big chunk of the first half, Mikel’s hand was crushed on the fumble (so much so the media relations staff asked us not to shake his hand after the game) and Boom Williams was lost for the game.  With receivers dropping passes in the rain, there was virtually no shot at a big play of any kind without Boom.

I tried to hold on to my hope for a win, but that quickly vanished after halftime.

Kentucky’s 3rd Quarter of Offense

11 offensive plays will get you nowhere fast.

3rd quarter

UK Will Never Learn How to Defend the Read Option

Defensive football is more complex now than it ever has been, but it’s astounding to see the lack of fundamentals displayed by Kentucky’s defense.  In its most basic form, defense is about gap responsibility.  Each hole is covered by a defender.  Defensive ends are responsible for outside containment.  Playing against option teams should be the most fun for defensive ends because you know what their job is?  Hit the quarterback.  Every single play.  Is Lamar Jackson an elite athlete? Yes, but he’s not a good thrower.  The ends didn’t force him to do anything out of the ordinary, they stayed at home and were too hesitant to lay a lick on him.  I know that offense can create big plays with an elite athlete, but I don’t understand how high schools can figure out how to defend it but Kentucky can’t.  Until proven otherwise, I’ve lost all hope that they ever will be able to defend the read option.

Bobby Petrino Did this After the Game

Second Half Passing

In Drew Barker’s career as a starting quarterback, he’s had -1 passing yards in the second half of play.  His second half stat line: 1-14 for -1 yards.

Two Stats You Can’t Rely on with this Kentucky Team

In the Governor’s Cup, you could rely on whoever won the battle in the rushing department to win the game.  Last year that trend changed (it did not today though).  You could also count on one team only winning four games in a row.  No team had ever won five in a row, until today.

Tobias “Cash” Gilliam might reconsider

Stoops said this loss wouldn’t hurt offseason “momentum,” but one of their best defensive back commitments seemed to be wavering before the game was even over.


Where Do We Go Now?

It’ a question that I don’t have an answer for, a question I don’t think anybody, including the coaching staff, has an answer for.

They tried to remedy the offensive woes by playing Drew Barker instead of Patrick Towles, but with an inept offensive line and receivers prone to dropping passes, the quarterback was only part of the problem, and getting a new one was not the solution.  The same goes for Shannon Dawson.  Getting a new offensive coordinator would give the offense three OC’s in three years – that makes things worse before it makes it better.

With a team heavily relying on young guys, we knew it was going to be struggle this year, but nothing THIS bad (10 TD passes and 16 INTs, I mean COME ON).  Kentucky has recruited the talent, but the coaching staff must prove that they can develop players, and they must do it quickly.  The players don’t have to transform into world beaters, they must consistently make the simple, routine plays.   

Things must change in Year Four of the Mark Stoops Era.  Until then, enjoy an annual Kentucky tradition: forget football by enjoying basketball season.

An Update on the Postgame Parking Lot Brawl



Pictured above is the scene from the Blue Lot after the game when UK fans got into a violent altercation.

Jennifer Palumbo of WKYT was there when the dispute turned bloody.  Three men were involved in the fight, two leaving with head injuries after the alleged assailant pistol-whipped them in the scram.  UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said that Joe Walters has been charged with second-degree assault and first degree wanton endangerment.



A sad way to end the day.  Here’s to a full recovery from the victims, regardless of the source of the dispute.

How the Players Handled the Loss

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

There’s plenty of blame to be dished out, but immediately after the game all that was left was one feeling: hurt.

“It hurts. Everyone in the locker room was hurt and crying. It was emotional because we don’t like losing. We have to start executing the little things,” Mikel Horton said.

It’s a feeling that’s going to stick with the team for awhile.  Instead of moving on to the next opponent, a long offseason lies ahead.  “It is the worst feeling in the world, especially (against) Louisville,” Mikel Horton said.  “We have got to come back harder and stronger in the offseason as a team. We have to move as one and that’s our goal.”

A.J. Stamps was disappointed in the way his team handled themselves when faced with adversity, “That’s not the way we expected it to go. We faced adversity and we didn’t come out on the right end of the stick.”

Stamps also took it one step further: today was the worst loss he’s ever experienced.  “With a bowl game on the line and it being my last game here at Kentucky, (it’s the worst feeling I’ve been through here).”  But A.J. doesn’t have any regrets during his time at UK.  “It’s been a great place. I’ve had a great time the two years I was here and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”

Even though there isn’t room much room for optimism within the fan base, the departing Seniors are confident in the players returning.

“This is a great place and I am excited to see what Kentucky has in store for the years to come,” Farrington Huguenin said.  “Kentucky is not in trouble and I don’t think Mark Stoops is going anywhere. We have some young guys that will start taking control.”

“I definitely expect the program to grow,Josh Forrest said, but he challenged the young guys to take the next step.  “A lot of young guys that have played will have to step up. We have a lot of freshmen that played that are older now and will not make the same mistakes as they did this year.”

The young guys must move forward, if not, Kentucky football will continue to hurt for years to come.

Auburn has a Knack for Crazy Catches

The original Miracle at Jordan-Hare (Shanna Lockwood | USA Today)

The original Miracle at Jordan-Hare (Shanna Lockwood | USA Today)

I don’t know what it is about Jordan-Hare, but they must practice the tip drill A LOT.  A few years ago it was the Miracle at Jordan-Hare against Georgia, now THIS from the Iron Bowl.

So that’s what good (lucky) football looks like?

That Moment when you Thought Kentucky was Going to Win

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Kentucky’s offense began the game with a solid 10 play, 75-yard touchdown drive that gave many confidence.  After a Kyle Bolin interception resulted in another touchdown, things were looking UK’s way.

Bolin had the Cards driving, and the anxiety began to settle in, until Josh Forrest had one of the greatest Pick 6’s since Bud Dupree’s game-winner against South Carolina.

He followed the interception with one hell of a celebration, by chucking the ball into the stands, all the way past the Recruiting Room.

I thought it was awesome, and still think it was pretty cool, but many believe the ensuing 15-yard penalty began the team’s downfall. It didn’t directly lead to a score, but it didn’t get much better after this.

A Frustrated and Disppointed Mark Stoops

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Mark Stoops’ voice cracked as he began his press conference.  Stoops didn’t use the word “angry” because it was a different feeling.  “Disbelief” might better describe his disappointment.

“There’s enough blame to go around,” Stoops said.  “I know the fans aren’t happy, and I’m not happy.”

Things were looking up in the first quarter.  Just when you thought things were starting to turn UK’s way, they completely collapsed.  “It’s a setback. It’s disappointing,” Stoops said.  “People have been patient through a tough third year.  People want to see a change and nobody wants to see a change more than me.”

Instead of change, it was more of the same, even though Kentucky capitalized on some Louisville errors at the beginning of the game.  They simply could not execute, something very basic that has haunted Kentucky all season.  It was most obvious against Lamar Jackson in the read option.  “We had some guys on the edge that were just getting outran and were not playing with proper technique, not understanding where their help was in the defense,” he said.  They weren’t understanding, and I still don’t either.

Stoops is ready for a change, mostly in mentality.  They weren’t tough enough.  He wasn’t ready to say whether or not there will be any coaching changes to come, “I’m not gonna get into that right now.”  He added, “We’ll look at all aspects of our program to make it a program everybody is proud of.”

Whatever changes he decides to make, it needs to start producing results.

“I’m obviously very frustrated with the result, and the result wasn’t good enough in my opinion,” Stoops said.  “I’m tired of the woulda, coulda, shouldas, just as the fans are.  We’ve got to make those plays.  That’s when our program will grow, when we make those plays to win games.”

After today’s loss, we’re more than likely going to have to wait another year to see if it can happen.

UK Fans Make it Even Worse by Fighting in the Parking Lot



Just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse, the disaster spewed over into the parking lot.

One Kentucky fan is in police custody after pulling out a gun and pistol-whipping another fan in the Blue Lot, according to Jennifer Palumbo.  There’s no word on what started the fight or why there would be blue-on-blue violence.

Please don’t follow suit BBN.  Today has been bad enough already.