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September 1st, 2014

Jon Toth named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week

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Congrats to UK center Jon Toth, who was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against UT-Martin. Toth was instrumental on both of Braylon Heard’s touchdowns, and Stoops raved about him on his call-in show this evening. Patrick Towles also got some love as Gene Chizik’s “Unsung Player of the Week.”

Cats.


All Hail the Tennis Ball Machine

Dropped passes have always haunted this Kentucky offense, but Saturday we finally might have broken that curse. Players like Demarco Robinson, Javess Blue and Ryan Timmons who have been plagued by this curse caught the ball with such ease that makes the entire Commonwealth very happy.

Practice reports over the summer stated that Coach Stoops brought in a tennis ball machine in order to decrease the number of dropped passes. Except for the fact that some injuries occurred (Jeff Badet), I would say the machine was a success.

Stoops stated earlier in the week that some of the tennis balls would hit the guys in the face, which motivated them to work harder at keep their eye on the ball.

Saturday the receivers dropped far less passes than we have seen in a long time. With much of the receiving core being true freshman, I was very impressed with their ability to make plays and hold onto the ball.

In the first quarter, Kentucky only accounted for four incomplete passes, one of those being a defensive interference penalty. The second quarter looked about the same with only five incomplete passes, one being defensive pass interference on T.V. Williams. With the help of our defense in the 3rd quarter, the Cats only totaled for two incomplete passes. The offense lead by backup quarterback, Reese Phillips, only had had two incomplete passes.

A total of 10 players caught passes from either Towles or Phillips. Timmons lead the team with three receptions for 75 yards. True freshman Blake Bone scored the only touchdown for the receiving squad. He had two catches for 65 yards.

We can’t give all the credit to the receivers, without giving some credit to our quarterback’s on point passes. Patrick’s poise and ability to put the ball in the right spot added to the success of the receivers’ ability to hold onto the ball.

Keep that tennis ball machine charged and ready to go and those tennis balls flying.

 

@kbernhardKSR


Carlton Bragg puts UK in his top five

@carltonbragg31

This morning, 2016 shooting guard Jayson Tatum put the Cats in his top ten, and this afternoon, 2015 power forward Carlton Bragg announced that Kentucky is in his top five, along with Kansas, Illinois, Arizona, and UCLA. The 6’8″, 205 lbs. Bragg is considered the fifth best power forward and the fourteenth overall player in the 2015 class.

Bragg will take an official visit to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness on October 17, a week after taking an official to Kansas for Late Night at the Phog.


Damien Harris rates his latest visit to UK “a definite 10″

(@Damien_D1Harris)

(@Damien_D1Harris)

Damien Harris took yet another unofficial visit to Kentucky on Saturday, and afterwards, he told Bleacher Report that he’d rate his visit “a definite 10″ on a scale of 1-10.

I always have a great time when I’m on campus at UK. Its always a great atmosphere,” added Harris. “Especially being an in-state kid. They show me a lot of love from the fans, coaches and players. My favorite part other than the game is being with Coach (Mark) Stoops and Coach (Chad) Scott. I love trying to develop a closer relationship with them.”

Damien will take his first official visit to Ohio State this weekend to watch the Buckeyes play Virginia Tech. Let’s go Hokies.

[Bleacher Report]


Picture of the Day: UK Hoops and UK Cheerleading

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Two of these people in the photo are Freshmen on the UK Hoops’ team …three are UK cheerleaders. Any guess on which are which?


Watch the replay of Mark Stoops’ presser

Transcript after the jump.

(more…)


Vegas Money Coming in on the Cats

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I was intrigued to learn what the opening line would be for the UK/Ohio game on Saturday in Vegas, in large part because the Cats exceeded expectations in their first game. I guessed that it would be Kentucky -10, as it would factor in UK’s strong performance and Ohio’s win on the road versus Kent State. Vegas ended up giving UK little respect early, opening the Cats as just a 6 point favorite on the morning line, but then the money came in from bettors and now, the Cats have moved up to a 10 point favorite and that might even grow. It is clear the betting public favors the Cats to roll more than the experts in Vegas and we will see which is correct.

By my tally, the four point swing is the largest of any of the Week 2 lines…interesting indeed.


Jayson Tatum has the Cats in his Top 10

jaysontatum

2016 shooting guard Jayson Tatum released his top ten today, and, not surprisingly, the Cats made the cut:

Tatum has talked about a possible three-way package deal with fellow five-stars Harry Giles (power forward) and Dennis Smith (point guard), but as we all know, package deals rarely come into fruition. Right now, Tatum’s Crystal Ball sits at 47% Duke, 24% Kentucky, 18% Kansas, 6% Memphis, and 6% Saint Louis.

Be lazy on your Labor Day and watch Tatum work:


Stoops Knows There’s Room to Grow

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Keep it simple, stupid.  After breaking down the film, Coach Stoops found many areas needing improvement on the defensive side of the ball, “Anytime you go 8-9 possessions with 150 yards and zero points, you’ll take it, but there were still some things we need to get a lot better at.”

Part of it is simple fundamentals, “Just not striking people, being as violent as we need to be.”  The biggest mistakes occurred when players were trying to do too much.  Bud and Za’Darius were anxious to get that first sack, but trying too hard kept them from making that big play.

“I saw a couple instances where they were trying to do too much.  And that’s bound to happen when you’ve got guys that want to be playmakers.  They want to do what they can do, and that’s make big plays, but you have to do that within the scheme.

AJ Stamps does things you can’t teach.  In his first game as a Wildcat, AJ Stamps showed the BBN his versatile playmaking ability.  He’s comfortable making big plays in the air and coming up for the big hit on the run.  His decision-making ability gives him an advantage that you can’t teach.

“I think what impresses me most is that comfort level, the instincts he has,” Stoops said.  “Sitting there when you have to read in a run/pass conflict, and you’re darn near 100% on when you’re ‘pulling the pin’ and playing the run or pass.  Those things are very difficult to coach, all of those little minute little points.”

Stoops wasn’t pleased with 2nd D, except for one guy.  After holding UT-Martin to next to nothing for 3 quarters, Stoops was upset on how much offense was allowed late in the game.  One guy that didn’t disappoint was Kendall Randolph.

Stoops has not been able to use depth in the secondary, but Randolph brings explosive energy every time he takes the field.  It didn’t take long for him to prove that he’s a playmaker, “That was the 9th play he played when he came in on the sideline and caused that fumble for a touchdown.  He has great energy, he plays fast, he’s fearless, so we need to get him in the mix.”

Big plays bring big relief.  You don’t have to be a football guru to notice the difference in this year’s playmakers and the ones from years past.  Blake Bone wowed with a big catch, Braylon Heard made people miss, and AJ Stamps’ made the most athletically impressive play we’ve seen in awhile.  Coach Stoops even got caught up in it on the sidelines, “(I was) Very relieved to know there are some playmakers coming up.”

Ohio is a well coached squad.   Ohio’s coach Frank Solich has been around the game of football for a long time, taking Nebraska to the National Championship in 2001 (he lost to Stoops’ Canes).  At Ohio, they’ve been in five straight bowl games.  You can’t be that successful without teaching great fundamentals, “They’re a team that’s not going to beat themselves. They’re just good and sound.”

Increasing the competition from FCS to the MAC will be more challenging, but he doesn’t expect any of his players to get a big head after one win, “We definitely can’t take anyone for granted.”


Funkhouser: Out of Office

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Dear Readers,

Thank you for e-mailing/calling/faxing/paging our website kentuckysportsradio.com/pop-culture.  We are currently out of the office right now, enjoying the Labor Day holiday in various ways.  CM Tomlin is still trying to figure out how his HydroFlask is this frakkin’ awesome (PS they come in growlers!).

Richmond is, I’m sure, watching the most time-honored Labor Day tradition, WRASSLE on the LAKE  ’14.  This is where a stage is put on inner-tubes and floated on a lake while the audience floats on their own tubes around… the… wait, what?  This isn’t a thing yet?  Richmond… I have a business proposition for you.

Matt Shorr is 100% going to be at [an undisclosed location] where he will undoubtedly be [fiercely guarding his privacy] with his best friends and closest acquaintances [General Grant, A Cat, and a Pizza Place]. He probably doesn’t mind that I’m telling people, right?

Brennan is busy working for you, the people, scoping out Lexington’s hottest club,  Neigh.  Located in the inner circle of the drum circle at Woodland Park this club is the brain-child of Squab Marley, Jah Pigeon.  This club has everything:  Squirtles, Bortles, Jingles, Jangles, the toupee of Donald Trunk–elephant mogul–and Low Blow bath towels.  That’s where, like, a group of midgets in smelting aprons use miniature bellows to dry you off.

SE Shepard is busy trying to talk himself out of drafting all Broncos for his Fantasy Draft on Tuesday night.

And Kalan?  Well, I go on to become on of the most beloved characters in all of Western folklore.  #Lonestar

Anyway, if this is a pop-culture emergency, please press the number of the corresponding emergency below:

1 – Movies

2 – Music

3 – Television

4 – Video Games

5 – Celebs

6 – Sardonic Wit

7 – Holiday News

8 – The Latest in Pogs!

9Lonesome George Death Conspiracy Theories (Link Cannot Be Found)

0 – Which Boxcar Child Are You?

Thanks again for contacting Funkhouser and we’ll see you again tomorrow when we’re back in the office!

Best Regards,

@FunkhouserKSR

 


Today in gross Tennessee fans…

@jbean6utk

@jbean6utk

Remember this picture if you want to avoid overeating at your Labor Day BBQ.


Stoops “very discouraged” by the backup defense Saturday

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Saturday was a feel-good win for the Cats, but Mark Stoops is already bringing them back to Earth, pointing out several areas for improvement, particularly on defense. During his presser this afternoon, Stoops said he was unhappy with several things on defense, especially against the run. “We’re just not striking people, being as violent as we need to be,” Stoops said. “We need to be more precise, more physical at the point of attack.” He was particularly discouraged by the backup defense. “It won’t be a pleasant film session, I can promise you that,” Stoops vowed.

As far as injuries go, wide receiver Alex Montgomery (knee) is running and cutting to try to be back for Saturday, while Jeff Badet (eye) has a doctors appointment Thursday, but Stoops doesn’t think he’ll play. Javess Blue and Braylon Heard both tweaked their ankles on Saturday, and although both feel better today, “Braylon would be a question mark” for Saturday’s game.

Nick Roush will be by with a full recap in a little bit.


Watch Mark Stoops’ preview Ohio on SECSports.com or WatchESPN.com

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It may be Labor Day, but Mark Stoops isn’t taking the day off. Stoops’ weekly press conference is about to start on SECSports.com and WatchESPN. If you have the SECNetwork, click here or on the pic above to watch Stoops talk about Saturday’s game against Ohio. It starts in five minutes.


No big changes in the Week 2 Depth Chart

Photo by Darrell Bird | CatsPause.com

Photo by Darrell Bird | CatsPause.com

The week 2 depth chart is out, and other than Darrian Miller’s return at left tackle, there are no major changes. Regardless, enjoy it below:

Offense

Tight end
85 Steven Borden, 6-3, 246, Sr-1L
80 Ronnie Shields, 6-5, 254, Sr-3L

Left tackle

77 Darrian Miller, 6-5, 292, Sr-3L
68 Nick Haynes, 6-5, 319, Fr-RS

Left guard
75 Zach West, 6-4, 318, Jr-2L
74 Cole Mosier, 6-6, 348, Fr-RS

Center
72 Jon Toth, 6-5, 301, So-1L
57 Zach Myers, 6-3, 287, So-Sq

Right guard
69 Ramsey Meyers, 6-5, 300, Fr-RS
64 Max Godby, 6-4, 298, Sr-1L

Right tackle
70 Jordan Swindle, 6-7, 306, Jr-2L
73 Kyle Meadows, 6-5, 294, Fr-RS

Wide receiver
9 Demarco Robinson, 5-10, 158, Sr-3L
6 Blake Bone, 6-5, 198, Fr-HS

Wide receiver
1 Ryan Timmons, 5-10, 195, So-1L
82 T.V. Williams, 5-10, 160, Fr-HS

Wide receiver
8 Javess Blue, 6-0, 191, Sr-1L
2 Dorian Baker, 6-3, 197, Fr-HS
81 Rashad Cunningham, 6-4, 225, Jr-1L

Wide receiver
87 Joey Herrick, 6-1, 197, Jr-1L
19 Garrett Johnson, 5-11, 176, Fr-HS

Quarterback
14 Patrick Towles, 6-5, 238, So-1L
12 Reese Phillips, 6-2, 218, Fr-RS or 7 Drew Barker, 6-3, 216, Fr-HS

Fullback

39 D.J. Warren, 6-0, 251, Sr-3L
10 Jeff Witthuhn, 6-3, 246, So-Sq

Running back
5 Braylon Heard, 5-11, 189, Jr-Tr
3 Jojo Kemp, 5-10, 194, So-1L

Special teams

Long snapper
59 Kelly Mason, 6-3, 223, Jr-2L

Holder
13 Jared Leet, 6-3, 196, Jr-2L

Kicker
99 Austin MacGinnis, 5-10, 168, Fr-RS

Punter
9 Landon Foster, 6-1, 198, Jr-2L

Kickoff returner 

18 Stanley “Boom” Williams, 5-9, 200, Fr-HS
5 Braylon Heard, 5-11, 189, Jr-Tr

Punt returner
9 Demarco Robinson, 5-10, 158, Sr-3L
1 Ryan Timmons, 5-10, 195, So-1L

Defense

Defensive end
94 Za’Darius Smith, 6-6, 263, Sr-1L
91 Farrington Huguenin, 6-4, 275, Jr-2L

Defensive tackle
90 Melvin Lewis, 6-4, 320, Jr-JC
69 Matt Elam, 6-7, 375, Fr-HS

Defensive tackle

50 Mike Douglas, 6-4, 288, Sr-3L
67 Cory “C.J.” Johnson, 6-3, 299, Jr-JC or 96 Regie Meant, 6-4, 286, Fr-RS

Defensive end/Linebacker
6 Jason Hatcher, 6-3, 242, So-1L
47 Jabari Johnson, 6-1, 276, Jr-1L

Defensive end/Linebacker
2 Alvin “Bud” Dupree, 6-4, 264, Sr-3L
41 TraVaughn Paschal, 6-4, 257, Sr-2L

Middle linebacker
45 Josh Forrest, 6-3, 236, Jr-2L
41 TraVaughn Paschal, 6-4, 257, Sr-2L

Weak-side linebacker
22 Khalid Henderson, 6-1, 228, Jr-2L
33 Ryan Flannigan, 6-2, 225, Jr-JC

Nickelback
24 Blake McClain, 5-11, 194, So-1L
29 Kendall Randolph, 6-0, 168, Fr-HS

Cornerback
3 Fred Tiller, 6-0, 170, Jr-2L
11 J.D. Harmon, 6-2, 201, So-1L

Safety
5 Ashely Lowery, 6-1, 220, Sr-3L
15 Marcus McWilson, 6-0, 210, So-1L

Safety
1 A.J. Stamps, 6-0, 199, Jr-JC
28 Eric Dixon, 5-11, 193, Sr-3L

Cornerback
16 Cody Quinn, 5-10, 172, Jr-2L
21 Nate Willis, 6-0, 168, Sr-1L


See Damien Harris and Mark Stoops hug it out at the Catwalk

There was a very important visitor at Saturday’s Catwalk: 5-star running back Damien Harris. Harris had a front row spot at the Catwalk, and both Mark Stoops and Neal Brown made sure to stop and say hello. In fact, Harris and Stoops shared a very manly hug, as you can see in this video by the Herald-Leader.

Watching Damien watch the Catwalk was a highlight of the pregame show, and you can hear us narrate the whole event on the podcast below. The Catwalk starts around the 55-minute mark. We were a little giddy.

The Cats made a good impression during the game as well, with 234 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns. Harris takes his first official visit to Ohio State this upcoming weekend for the Virginia Tech game, so hopefully the happy memories from Lexington will linger…