Matt, Drew, Ryan, Jared Lorenzen, BTI, Nick Roush and I have turned in our picks →
By Nick Roush on ©11:21 am
The Wildcats are warming up on the Commonwealth Stadium turf, but Thaddeus Snodgrass isn’t one of them. Mark Stoops will confirm Snodgrass’ status after the game, but sources tell KSR that Snodgrass will likely redshirt this season.
Kickoff is coming…
By Andrew Cassady on ©11:15 am
The long, long wait from November 30th, 2013 is almost over and we will see the football team back in action once again today. All signs point to a better product on the field in year two under Coach Stoops with the Cats looking to start the year on a high note against UT-Martin.
The Cats could 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 and show that they still have a long way to go before they are rebuilt into a contender. Against UT-Martin the out come is likely the former but let’s break down the best-case and worst-case scenarios for this season’s debut.
Last year the Skyhawks were bombarded by FBS competition Boise State and Memphis by a combined score of 84-20. Kentucky delivers a similar beating for 2014 as they roll to a 49-7 victory. Patrick Towles looks fantastic by throwing for 3 touchdowns to Ryan Timmons, Steven Borden, and Javess Blue. Mark Stoops gets his back-up QB, Reese Phillips, some reps and he adds a TD of his own late in the game.
The running back corps racks up major yardage with Braylon Heard tallying his first 100 yard game for the Blue and White. Boom Williams showcases his explosiveness by running back a punt while, Jojo, Josh Clemons and Mikel Horton all rack up some yards on good carries.
Za’Darius Smith is once again the nation’s sack leader heading into week two. His old friend, QB Dylan Favre, is never able to get into rhythm as he throws a pick 6 and the team struggles most of the game to get past the 50.
Calling the Cats improved is an understatement.
The Cats look out of sync as they piddle their way to a 21-14 victory. The receivers continue to have issues reeling the ball in along with Towles missing some wide-open guys.
The running backs look good but have issues with ball control as they give up 2 fumbles in the red zone a la Alabama last season. Kentucky gets bit by the injury bug in the first game of the season with a few key players going down so they won’t be able to play against Vandy or Florida in a handful of weeks.
The Cats don’t show the improvements Mark Stoops was expecting.
The Likely Outcome
Against Alabama State last season the Cats rolled to a 48-14 victory. Alabama State appears to be better competition than UT-Martin and the Cats are much improved from last season. It’s a safe bet that Kentucky cruises to an easy win with young playmakers getting some early clips for the highlight reel. The back-ups should get plenty of clock late in the game and the Cats start the season 1-0 for the first time since 2011.
How do you think the Cats are going to look today?
By Andrew Cassady on ©10:30 am
Gameday atmosphere has been a big talking point over the last few seasons around Commonwealth and today we will see what changes the marketing group has made to make things better.
Over on the KSR pregame show the crew was dropping hints that we could see our beloved Hefty Lefty, Jared Lorenzen, involved in today’s game between the third and fourth quarter. So what will this new tradition be?
Stars leading the crowd in the fight song?
Bringing the “Y” to commonwealth?
Whatever it is, everything is pointing to a more involved football Saturday in commonwealth. What do you think this new tradition is going to be?
By Andrew Cassady on ©10:00 am
Ready to see my boys do work on this field today
— Andrew Harrison (@DrewRoc5) August 30, 2014
I think we all are, Andrew.
-John Clay of the Herald Leader has an open invitation to all optimists to jump on the Kentucky bandwagon. Clay points to the amazing turnaround of 1977:
“Often told around these parts is the object lesson of 1977. Kentucky had just lost to Baylor 21-6 in Waco to go 1-1 on the year. Rod Stewart, the team’s best running back, had torn his ACL in the loss. Fran Curci’s team was coming off a 2-8-1 season. While waiting outside the locker room after the game, the Kentucky media corps agreed the Cats wouldn’t win another game all season.
Instead, they did not lose another game.”
-Patrick Towles is ready for his first career start. Towles came to the program as the future of the QB position and while his journey took some detours his time is now. It’s exciting to see him finally be given the reins.
-UT-Martin is focused on getting better for a playoff run this season. The Skyhawks are returning 10 starters from last season’s 7-5 team. Head coach Jason Simpson said ““We’ll have a chance every Saturday that we line up.” Eh, not today bub.
-UK Volleyball opened the home season with a big 3-0 win over Wichita State. The ladies are back in action today as a part of the Bluegrass Battle at 10 am and 8 pm against Butler & Virginia Tech. Gives you plenty of stuff to do before and after the big game.
By Andrew Cassady on ©9:30 am
He’s the number 1 running back in the nation and one of Kentucky’s top targets for 2015. He just so happens to be playing right down the road at Madison Southern. He’s Damien Harris and he’s kicked off the 2015 high school football season with back-to-back big games. Last night the Eagles took on Whitley County in some Class 5a action.
Harris was a beast, going for 257 yards on just 13 carries with two touchdowns. That’s an average of over 19 yards per carry. Last week the super senior went for 123 yards and two touchdowns, on just 7 carries.That game was called at halftime due to weather.
No offense to the fine folks in Willamsburg but Whitley County isn’t exactly the best competition. Last year the Colonels went 1-10 and have now started this year 0-2. Even so, it’s hard to average 19 yards per carry against any team with 11 guys lined up trying to stop you.
All signs point to Harris having a record year down at Mad South. Let’s hope this isn’t the final year we see him suit up in the state of Kentucky. He’s on his way to Lexington for the game today. Show him some love if you see him.
— Damien Harris (@Damien_D1Harris) August 30, 2014
By Nick Roush on ©9:00 am
1. The Cats leading rusher returns. Last year’s offense didn’t WOW too many people, but true freshman Jojo Kemp brought brought the Mojo every time he took the field last season. He finished his first year with 482 yards and 3 touchdowns on 100 carries, becoming the first freshman to lead Kentucky in rushing since his coach Chad Scott did it in 2000.
2. He was a freshmen phenom with a bum ankle. We knew Jojo was playing “banged up” last year, but it was difficult to gauge how “banged up” he was until Neal Brown broke it down in detail earlier this week.
The Cats’ primary run play last season was a middle zone read, requiring the running back to attack the double team before making a cut to the open hole. Unfortunately for Jojo, his cut to the hole was a step slow because his ankle wouldn’t allow him to make the cut in one step, it required two. That extra step can make a HUGE difference in yards, making him an extra step quicker this Fall.
3. He’ll do literally whatever it takes to get on the field. It’s no secret the Cats have a good problem at running back with five suitable playmakers at the position. Jojo isn’t letting that intimidate him one bit. Early in camp he told reporters that he didn’t care what position he had to play, he’d play it to be on the field. He’ll learn to snap and play center or play nickelback on defense, whatever it takes. Luckily I thinkJon Toth and Blake McClain have already locked up those spots.
Gameday BONUS: Jojo makes football an art form. One of Jojo’s hidden passions is his love for art. During down time between classes in the offseason, he’ll often visit the art museum at the Singletary Art Center on campus. I caught Jojo off guard after practice when I asked him why he took such an interest in art. After talking for a few minutes, we decided that the football field was his personal canvas, “I’m like Picasso with the rock in my hands.”
After 273 days, Kentucky football has finally returned.
The KSR crew is sprig and spry this morning, ready to get YOU excited for Mark Stoops’ second season with the Kennedy’s Wildcat Den KSR Tailgate Show. Ryan Lemond, Jared Lorenzen, Donte Key, and Mrs. Tyler Thompson are scouring the tailgate scene around Commonwealth Stadium. Tune into 630 WLAP and 840 WHAS on your ride in before stopping by and saying Hi to the crew.
You can also stream online.
Nine long months have seperated the Kentucky football team and their fanbase. The last time we saw our dear Cats we were finishing a 2-10 season with Stoops hard at work laying the foundation to rebuild the program. Now the team gets the chance to improve and build on last year’s limited successes. All signs point to an improved product on the field. With a tumultous SEC east maybe the Cats will have the opportunity to make some noise.
It all gets started tomorrow as…
The Skyhawks Come To Town
We’ve been talking about this game for weeks and now it’s finally here. Kentucky opened up today as a twenty point favorite over the Skyhawks for tomorrow’s noon kickoff. Kentucky has more talent at every position on the field so the spread could be a little bit low. Dylan Farve and Tony Bell will be doing their best to upset the Cats but Patrick Towles and Bud Dupree are going to make sure that doesn’t happen. What do you think the score will be?
Speaking of the game, there are some
big changes coming to Commonwealth tomorrow. Here’s a bit of what you can expect tomorrow:
- Fans’ choice in music: UK is partnering with four local radio stations to allow fans to vote on songs from four genres–hip hop, pop, rock, and country. The vote’s been going on all week, and the winning songs will be played during timeouts. If you haven’t checked out the list yet, I encourage you to do so. Some of the options are…interesting. I’ll leave it at that.
- Players’ choice in music: Earlier this summer, eight UK players chose songs they want to hear right before kickoff and fans voted for their favorites. Tomorrow, you’ll hear Braylon Heard’s choice of “Who Run It” before the the Cats run it back for a touchdown (hopefully).
- They can play songs and videos between downs now: The SEC changed the rules to allow video, audio and music to be played between downs, which hopefully means we’ll see Za’Darius Smith leading the crowd in some chants on the jumbotrons.
- The mysterious pre-fourth quarter tradition: UK will unveil a new tradition for the break between the third and fourth quarter tomorrow. What will it be? Randall Cobb leading the crowd in the CATS chant? Please???
- In-game score updates – Game scores from across the country will be played on a continuous loop on the ribbon boards during the game so you won’t miss a thing.
- FREE WATER! – Complimentary 10-ounce cups of water will be available to fans at stadium concession stands this season. That means you have no excuse not to rehydrate from your pregame tailgating festivities.
EJ Floreal Earns A Scholarship
Mr. Bouncy himself made headlines today as it was announced he had earned a scholarship to play at the University of Kentucky. EJ walked on last season out of Dunbar and was rewarded for all his hard work in practice with the scholarship. It’s a great story for a great kid with a big time personality. May this scholarships bring about smack-cams and instagrams for years to come.
Diamond Stone Cuts The Cats
Last night, five-star center Diamond Stone trimmed his list to five, and Kentucky did not make the cut. Stone narrowed his list to Maryland, Duke, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, and UConn, dashing dreams of a Malik Newman/Diamond Stone package deal in Lexington.
Matt said on the radio earlier that getting Stone would have been nice but losing him isn’t exactly a disappointment. This class is full of talented big men and Kentucky could be bringing one, or two to Lexington next fall.
The KSR picks for the upcoming year are in! Matt, Drew, Ryan, Jared Lorenzen, BTI, Nick Roush and Mrs. Tyler have turned in their picks for UK’s 2014 football season. Let’s hear yours.
SI profiles Bobby Petrino
Tha Cards are back in action this week against Louisville on Monday night. But it’s been business as usual for Bobby P and the Cardinals since the two reunited earlier this year. SI went in depth and here’s a bit of what they had to say:
But consider this: As SI reported this story, a source with ties to members of the Cardinals’ football program provided information that was then presented to Petrino for confirmation or denial. Just hours after this exchange, Petrino called a staff meeting and, according to the source, who spoke anonymously because he is still employed in athletics, said, “Shut your f—— mouths about things that go on in my building. Things are getting out. Guys are talking. If you’re not happy, get the f— out and leave.”
Check out the full story here: Is Petrino Truly A Changed Man
See you bright and early tomorrow, get to Lexington early as construction could make traffic a mess.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©10:00 pm
If you’re headed to Commonwealth Stadium for tomorrow’s game, there are some changes you need to know about. We’ve detailed them for you here, but if you’d like to know more information, UK Athletics has a handy Gameday Central guide that’s a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about gate changes, traffic, shuttles, parking, etc. Go check it out.
By Corey James on ©8:00 pm
Welcome back friends. Did we get everyone out of the caves? Still missing a few? Eh, it happens. Alright, let’s pop onto the AA and head north for our next stop on this wonderful tour … Kenton County!
Founded in 1840 by land GENEROUSLY donated by my Campbell County, Kenton County is one Kentucky’s only two counties to have two legally recognized county seats in Covington and Independence. Having these two good size cities, along with its proximity to Cincinnati makes Kenton County Kentucky’s third most populous county behind Fayette and Jefferson. Kenton County was named after soldier, frontiersman and all around good guy, Simon Kenton. Simon fought for us in the Revolutionary War and again in the War of 1812 before retiring to his home in Urbana, Ohio. Simon has generously lent his name to many Kentucky landmarks including Simon Kenton High School in Independence, Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge in Maysville and most famously, the Simon Kenton Harvest Festival down in Washington, KY!
Let’s check out both county seats, starting with Independence. Originally known as Crewitt’s Creek, Independence later received its new name after Kenton County received its ‘independence’ from Campbell County. Clever, I know. Now a days, Independence is a city growing faster than most. So fast in fact, Forbes named them the 99th fastest growing city in the nation in 2007. Adding to their accolades, Independence was named the 13th Safest City in Kentucky by Safewise. This makes it the largest community in the top 15. With multiple parks spread out around the city, Independence gives her residents plenty of places to relax. The amphitheater at Memorial Park hosts events throughout the summer including concerts, puppet shows and even a magician. Also, with an abundance of churches, there’s always a festival you can attend. Make sure to catch the Rusty Griswolds at the St. Cecilia tomorrow, the 30th. They’re a northern Kentucky favorite!
Now onto our other county seat which was founded in 1815, Covington. Per the last census, Covington has a little over 40,000 residents making it Kentucky’s 5th most populous city. Situated on the banks of the Ohio, Covington residents and visitors can enjoy many of Covington’s attractions and events. You can catch a show at the Carnegie Visual & Performing Arts Center or the Madison Theater. Or you can check out the many events going on at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. I’ll be checking out Cincy Comicon September 5-7 this year, so long as my Riddler tights are back from the dry cleaners. Looking for an outdoors event instead? We have you covered. Some of northern Kentucky’s best events are held in Covington, including our two favorite German parties, Maifest and Oktoberfest! Since you missed Maifest, come out after Comicon September 5-7 to Mainstrasse Village for some sauerkraut covered bratwursts and a nice, cold doppelbock. Other exciting Covington events include Mardi Gras, First Friday Art Gallery Hop and THE Original Goetta Festival. If you’re looking for other food options, check out Otto’s in Mainstrasse, Keystone Bar & Grill, Amerasia, and Blinkers Tavern, home of the Best Steak of Northern Kentucky award two years running! In need of a drink? Make sure to educate yourself on bourbon and whiskey at the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar on Main Street. That way, you have some game to drop on the ladies once you head to Pachinko’s, Cock and bull or Mulligans. And finally, I’d be doing Kenton County a great disservice if I failed to mention the famous Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club. The LBYC sits on the Ohio and sees all sorts of kinds of folks. In one night you’ll see boaters tie up to party with college kids, professional athletes and, per a few emails I received, the occasional cougar or two. So strap on the flip flops and I’ll meet you down there underneath the neon palm trees!
Finally, there are a few famous Kenton County residents we should recognize. While I think we mentioned him in the Campbell County post, our boy Jared Lorenzen was born in Covington. This puts him along the likes of some pretty important, and random folks. Gail Borden, inventor of condensed milk, lived in Covington. Songwriter Haven Gillespie, co-writer of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” was born in Covington. Great painter Frank Duveneck was born here. He was the realist. (painting joke) The two Kenton County names most of you will know are baseball great David Justice and owner of Roush Fenway Racing, Jack Roush. While playing for the Braves, Indians, Yankees and A’s, David Justice amassed a Rookie of the Year award, 3 All Star appearances, and 2 World Series Championships. After a stint working for Ford, Jack Roush formed Jack Roush Performance Engineering in 1976 and has seen 7 titles as an owner in NASCAR’s top 3 series, including a back to back Sprint Cup titles in 03 and 04.
Well there ya go ladies and gents. The 12th stop of our tour down, which means we’re officially 10% done. We have a lot of counties. Let’s head out next to our western most tip and see how things are going down in Fulton County!
Remember, if you want your county’s favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant or cool town event featured, hit me up at CoreyKSR@gmail.com and we’ll get it on here!