Without a football weekend, there’s no better way to satisfy your crave then by listening →
By Drew Franklin on ©October 07th, 2015 @ 4:36pm
The University of Kentucky and city officials outlined plans for safety and transportation for next week’s Thursday evening game against Auburn. Anything you need to know about parking and transportation for the weekday football game can be found in the release on the UKNow website.
A brief summary:
— All students, main campus employees and UK HealthCare employees should anticipate a longer commute and plan accordingly.
— All vehicles without approved game day parking credentials will need to be gone from Commonwealth Stadium by 7 am Thursday.
— Students and employees who park in areas restricted for game day parking will be accommodated by UK in off-campus parking facilities.
— Three additional lots on campus will close earlier.
— An information line will be available Wednesday and Thursday to answer immediate concerns.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 07th, 2015 @ 4:00pm
FoxSports.com’s The Audible podcast with Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel brought on ESPN’s Brett McMurphy to discuss the possibility of Tom Jurich bolting to Texas in the midst of these hooker allegations in Louisville. It’s a move I predicted as soon as I heard the report and it was a hot topic of discussion on The Audible today.
Jurich was reportedly in the mix when Steve Patterson took the Texas athletic director job 22 months ago. Patterson resigned last month, leaving the Longhorns with an AD opening once again.
The Audible says, “I think that would be a tough hire if you’re going to say: Okay, we botched it with Steve Patterson and now we’re going to take a guy who has got a rogue athletic department going.”
Listen to the clip here.
Jurich and Charlie Strong, together again?
By Drew Franklin on ©October 07th, 2015 @ 3:00pm
On today’s SEC coaches teleconference, Auburn head coach Guz Malzahn said his starting quarterback spot for next week’s Kentucky game is wide open.
Jeremy Johnson, who started the first three games, and Sean White, who started the last two, will have equal opportunities to earn the job during the team’s bye week. Some reports out of Auburn suggest Johnson has performed in practice and will return against UK, but White played well in his two chances after taking over for Johnson. We could see either QB when the Tigers’ offense takes the field for the first time in Commonwealth.
Also from today’s SEC coaches teleconference, Mark Stoops said, “You have to prepare for both, not a whole heck of that offense changes, they’ve been doing a great job offensively there for a long, long time. They’re very creative in what they do, put a lot of pressure on you. It starts with them being physical in running the football and certainly there’s some different options in the quarterback run game with Jeremy as opposed to Sean, both very good players, so game plan wise, quite honestly, doesn’t change a whole heck of a lot. You have to prepare for everything when you’re getting ready to play these guys.”
Regardless of who takes the snaps, the key to beating Auburn will be containing the run. Malzahn relies on the ground game and his plan is similar to what Eastern Kentucky used to build a two-touchdown lead on the Cats last week. Stopping that will be key, not preventing an air threat.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 07th, 2015 @ 2:00pm
The Greater Louisville UK Alumni Club hosted its annual UK Basketball Tipoff Luncheon at the Galt House today. I did not attend for several reasons — one being because I live in Lexington; another being because I’m watching my carbs — but I did have a tape recorder planted in the room for Calipari’s comments to the crowd.
A lot of what he said to the audience was his usual talk of making millionaires and changing families and loving life as Kentucky’s basketball coach, but he also gave us some insight regarding his current team after its first week of fall practice:
“This year’s team, as we speak, we stink,” he admitted. “I said to them two days ago; I said, ‘There’s one really good thing that is happening.’ And they said ‘What’s that, Coach?’ I said, ‘We’re not playing tomorrow, so we’re okay. I’m not going to panic yet.'”
The one positive, it seems, at least at this point, is the consistent play of Tyler Ulis. He’s ahead of the pack in the backcourt in this first stage of the season:
“Tyler Ulis, in three days of practice had 25 assists and three turnovers. He’s really good. My other guards are underwater with that; they have more turnovers than assists. But that’s okay; they are learning.”
It’s not just the new guards who need time to improve. Skal Labissiere, Kentucky’s best NBA prospect, is still far behind what we can (and will) become:
“Skal’s got a ways to go. I’m all over him like I was Karl (Towns) right now. Why would you say I would be harder on him than the other guys? Because he has more. He can be the No. 1 pick, so I’m going to drive him.”
Keep in mind, the team has only held a handful of official practices with Calipari. They are still in the experimenting phase until they find an identity:
“Everything right now is an experiment. I have no idea how we’re going to play offensively. I really don’t know if we’re going to press, how we’re going to press, if we’re going to play zone — I’m throwing things out, looking at it, watching it and seeing what fits this team. That’s what makes this job with the turnover.”
And until they find their groove, they will go as far as Tyler Ulis takes them:
“I’m telling you, early on, we’re going to be ugly. We’ve got to hope Tyler is so good that we get by being ugly.”
Listen to Calipari’s entire talk below. There is some good stuff about Adolph Rupp and the Hall of Fame in there, too. It’s worth 18 minutes of your afternoon.
By Nick Roush on ©October 07th, 2015 @ 1:00pm
Without a football weekend, there’s no better way to satisfy your crave then by listening to the KSR Podcast. Drew Franklin joined Jared Lorenzen, Freddie Maggard and I to create the most ridiculous KSR Football Podcast to date. Of course we talked about the EKU game, but Freddie Maggard’s family is out of town for the week, so he was in rare form. Some of the highlights:
– The Versailles Kroger’s lunch menu
– Freddie’s hygiene habits
– Mr. Maggard’s surprising music choices
– Concussion stories
– And some X’s and O’s that you can’t hear anywhere else.
Subscribe to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or LISTEN HERE.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 07th, 2015 @ 12:30pm
The two Jeffs over at ESPN’s college basketball offices are reporting Skal Labissiere has still not been cleared by the NCAA.
“Not yet,” Labissiere’s guardian, Gerald Hamilton, told ESPN. “We’re just trying to get everything squared away. They are asking a few questions.
“They haven’t cleared him, but we’re sticking with our faith,” he added. “There’s no real concern about anything from the Kentucky compliance people.”
When asked about the specific reason Labissiere has yet to be cleared, Hamilton told ESPN he did not wish to comment. [ESPN]
Calipari has been confident his prized big man will be ready to go for the season. He is speaking at the UK Basketball Tipoff Luncheon today, but it’s unlikely he will address ESPN’s new report.
A UK spokesman told the Courier-Journal: “We don’t confirm eligibility of any of our student-athletes until the first game. Everyone has been practicing.”
By Drew Franklin on ©October 07th, 2015 @ 12:00pm
It’s not a good time to be a fan of the Auburn football program. Not only has the team severely underachieved after entering the season ranked sixth in the country, but the athletic department tried to salvage things with a new hype video titled, “This Is Who We Are.”
Fans are not pleased with the timing of the new video production and its message, released last week. And can you blame them? As the current laughing stock of the SEC and a team lucky to be 3-2 on the year, it’s not the best time to promote “This Is Who We Are.”
The video’s comments section on YouTube erupted with negativity. It has since been wiped clean and removed from the page, but Auburn’s 247Sports site has plenty of complaining.
Here are a few examples:
— “No dumb ass slogans… No piss poor dumb “Hype Videos”… ACTION. I want ACTION. I am freaking sick of all the talk.”
— We should just stop doing this stuff until we are actually good on the field.
— Auburn can take all the “hype videos” along with the big new scoreboard and put it where the sun doesn’t shine. I don’t know about all of you but I’ve seen enough videos and hype about the new video board. that crap doesn’t win football games. Sorry for the rant.
— I’m sick of them also. Sitting in the stands Sat, watching all this fluff. All I could think about is this team is 0-2 in the SEC and we r playing SJS. GEEEZZZZZ.
— Stupid hype video. So tired of these. I am truly concerned with Auburn’s PR / Advertising firm if that is the best that we can come up with. Always been concerned about our AD and his boy Tim Jackson ever since they took over. The obnoxious “Aubietron”, the dated stadium that needs upgrades, the cheesy slogans, the cheesy hype videos. Ready for our alumni donations and TUF money to be re-directed to better use.
Don’t you love a frustrated and exhausted fan base coming into what will be a hostile Commonwealth Stadium next Thursday? Star wide receiver kicked off the team, quarterback controversy, a long fall down the rankings, etc.
Stay right where you are, Auburn.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 07th, 2015 @ 11:30am
Luke Bryan isn’t the only asshole ruining traffic flow in Lexington this week. This morning, a rogue goat wandered onto New Circle Road, interrupting the morning commute.
According to the Central KY Scanner account, the goat kept getting into traffic between Harrodsburg and Versailles on New Circle. It was finally caught shortly before 9 am on Dunkirk Drive, per the Herald-Leader. The chase lasted several hours.
Once it was captured, and embarrassed by the problems it caused, I’m told the intruder had a sheepish grin on its face.
Thank you. I’m here all week.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 07th, 2015 @ 10:00am
On today’s show, the guys are talking about the first week of UK basketball practice and the upcoming game with Auburn on the football field. Plus, a new movie you need to see.
And whoever deleted the first show thread, you are in trouble.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
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By Drew Franklin on ©October 07th, 2015 @ 9:00am
I made a rare trip to the movie theater this week to see The Walk, the new 3-D film based on French high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s walk between the World Trade Center towers back in the 70s. Petit’s story is pretty incredible, but I only coughed up the $29.00 to see the film for its views of New York City and recreation of the Twin Towers. (I’m a little obsessed with New York, in case you hadn’t heard.)
The visuals did not disappoint; they were incredible. Breathtaking in some scenes, which explains why there are reports of some movie-goers experiencing vertigo and even vomiting in the theater. The views from atop the tower were so realistic, my heart raced as Petit, played by Tommy from 3rd Rock, looked over the edge and down to the pavement, almost 1,4000 feet below. I got my money’s worth on the stunning visuals alone.
As for the actual movie, it was good, not great. Gordon-Levitt’s French accent gets a little old as he narrates the entire story. I give it a 6.2 overall and a 9.2 for cinematography. Save your money and watch Man On A Wire on Netflix if you’re only interested in learning about Petit’s death-defying stunt.
Also, there is a brief tribute to the towers in the movie. Between you and me, I might’ve teared up a little bit on that one. I didn’t see it coming when I walked in with my plastic glasses, 64 oz. Coke and bucket of popcorn. It was a nice touch, though, and very moving. Glad I saw it.
Anyway, that’s my take on The Walk. Now let’s hit the morning news…
Kyle Wiltjer named CBS Preseason Player of the Year.
How about that? The former Wildcat earned CBSSports.com’s Preseason Player of the Year honors for college basketball yesterday. A 2012 national champion at Kentucky, Wiltjer is now a senior at Gonzaga, looking to become the second Naismith Player of the Year from John Calipari’s 2011 recruiting class.
Congrats to Kyle on the honor. Once a Cat, always a Cat.
Julius Randle swatted the hell out of this poor kid’s shot.
Randle played a little one-on-one at a Boys & Girls Club in Hawaii yesterday and he didn’t give up the rim in a friendly game of one-on-one.
Watch as he pummels this boy’s shot attempt into the crowd of campers:
This week’s KSR football podcast will be released today.
We recorded our weekly football podcast last night and it was our goofiest, without question. There is still plenty of in-depth football talk from Kentucky’s overtime win on Saturday, but things got out of hand when Freddie Maggard got personal with us. We learned about a side of Freddie no one knew existed. That’s all I will say for now.
Be sure to check it out later today. It’ll be here on the site around 1 o’clock.
ICYMI: Boom Williams is back after “one of the longest weeks of his life.”
Williams said personal, off-the-field issues kept him from being the player Kentucky needed him to be. He has since moved on and put “one of the longest weeks of his life” behind him.
Mark Stoops said, “We ask you to respect his personal issues. As I told you before: If there was a suspension with something off the field with anything, I would’ve told you that. It was an issue with him and it affected him. Those issues that he had, that he shared with me, affected his performance, and it affected the way he acted and what he did.”
Boom’s back and ready for Auburn.
Austin MacGinnis should be fine.
Kentucky’s star kicker left Saturday’s game with an injury but Stoops expects him to be fine. An MRI showed a minor pull, nothing of significance. He is expected to return by the end of the week.
So apparently there is video of Butch Jones punching a player at Tennessee.
That can’t be good.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones was involved in what a source called a “physical altercation” with an offensive lineman during fall camp.
Jones called the allegations “absolutely ridiculous” during his weekly Monday news conference, but a source close to the program said Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved and that the incident was captured on the practice film that day. [GridironNow.com]
We need this story to blow up in a couple weeks, say, oh, right before Halloween weekend.
The Luke Bryan concert was a disaster.
What sounded like the worst idea ever proved to be just that: the worst idea ever. Bryan’s “Farm Tour” stop at Talon Winery shut down Tates Creek Road Tuesday night. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people are still on their way home from the show right now. Last I heard, parking lot traffic was in a standstill as late as 1:30 am last night with an estimated 10,000 people stranded and no end in sight. I hope Luke did a damn good performance of that one song to make up for the cluster**** of a show. (Ed. note: I can’t name a Luke Bryan song.)
KSR radio in an hour…
Grab some breakfast and get ready for two hours of Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond!
By Bryan the Intern on ©October 07th, 2015 @ 8:00am
Ah, the bye week. In past years, this would be the week where UK fans would really begin turning their attention to the basketball season as the UK football team was likely out of bowl contention. But this year, things have changed. UK is sitting at 4-1 with a real shot at getting 5 SEC wins for the first time since the conference expanded in 1992. And the bye week this year comes at a perfect time. UK has guided itself through a grind of games, only tripping against Florida. There is real optimism about what the 2nd half of the schedule will bring. But that 2nd half is more difficult than the first half, so it’s good for UK to get a week of rest before it’s big matchup against Auburn.
Many think a bye week means a team will be more prepared for their next opponent. I would think that would have to be correct. But does that extra week of preparation mean more wins on the schedule? For Kentucky, it depends. If it’s a home game following the bye week, UK has had great success. Road games? Not so much.
2014: WON vs. Vanderbilt 17-7
2014: LOST at Louisville 44-40
2013: LOST vs. Florida 24-7
2013: LOST at Mississippi State 28-22
2012: WON vs. Sanford 34-3
2011: WON vs. Jacksonville State 38-14
2010: LOST at Tennessee 24-14
2009: WON vs. Louisville 31-27
2008: WON vs. Western Kentucky 41-3
2008: LOST at Tennessee 28-10
2007: WON at Vanderbilt 27-20
2006: WON at Mississippi State 34-30
2005: LOST at South Carolina 44-16
2005: LOST at Ole Miss 13-7
2004: WON vs. Indiana 51-32
2004: LOST at Tennessee 37-31
2003: LOST at South Carolina 27-21
2003: LOST at Vanderbilt 27-21
Home Record following bye: 6-1
Road Record following bye: 2-9
Luckily for us, Auburn is a home game. So what do you think? How much impact do you put having a bye week into an advantage for UK, while keeping in mind that Auburn will have the same bye week. Does the home-field advantage come into play here?
By Drew Franklin on ©October 06th, 2015 @ 11:00pm
Kentucky football is on a bye this week, so we have plenty of time to take a breath, rest our tailgating legs, collect our thoughts, and look ahead to the next (little over) half of the season. It has been an up-and-down ride through the first five games of 2015, but I think Big Blue Nation is pretty satisfied, collectively. I know I am, and tonight I would like to share some of my favorite moments and positive opinions from the 4-1 start.
The new Commonwealth Stadium opened with a Boom.
It was a perfect opening to the new Commonwealth Stadium and the 2015 season of Kentucky Wildcats football. Boom Williams took it straight up the gut for a 75-yard rush for a score. Lexington erupted:
“We wanted to score on the first play of the game,” said Williams. “Kind of set the tone and get some momentum going our way. When you believe and visualize something all week, it’s kind of in tune to happen.”
Patrick Towles silenced his critics against Missouri.
Leading up to Kentucky’s home contest with No. 25 Missouri, a large portion of the UK football fan base was stirring up a quarterback controversy. Towles’ 8-for-24, two-interception performance against Florida the week before was heavily scrutinized, and many fans raised doubts he could win in the SEC.
Towles responded with his best game as a Wildcat in the win over the Tigers, UK’s first top-25 win since 2010. He completed 22 of his 27 pass attempts for 249 yards and two touchdowns, plus another score on the ground. There was a pivotal stretch in the game when he completed 11 consecutive passes.
As a huge fan and proponent of Towles, I was not only relieved to see him play well in the biggest game of his career, but happy for him, personally. He solidified his spot as Kentucky’s starting quarterback and proved his biggest critics wrong when his back was against the wall.
Dorian Baker put the team on his back and saved the program.
Is it too far to say Dorian Baker saved the program last weekend against Eastern Kentucky? Not at all. If he doesn’t will the Wildcats to a late, come-from-behind victory, the wheels fall completely off UK football. All of this excitement, gone. Mark Stoops has done an outstanding job getting things moving in the right direction and there is momentum behind the Cats like never before, but a loss to EKU would’ve derailed everything.
So when Dorian Baker hauled in a 50/50 ball on 4th-and-2 in the corner of the end zone, then mauled over EKU defenders for the game-winning score in overtime, it kept the entire ship afloat. Not to mention, it was a hell of a performance, no matter the circumstances.
Prior to the game-tying fade route in regulation, Patrick Towles told his offensive coordinator, “If Dorian has a 1-on-1, I’m going to him.”
Baker said afterward, “There wasn’t a chance I was going to let (the defender) beat me.”
It was a close one, but as I like to say: “Big time players make big time plays in big time games.”
And his second touchdown, the game-winner in overtime, Baker demanded the football. It was his third catch in overtime and he ran through four EKU defenders for the score.
Shannon Dawson said Baker told him, “Gimme the ball.”
The defense has been much better than expected.
I will openly admit I had very little confidence in Kentucky’s defense entering the season. With so much youth and inexperience called on to fill holes on that side of the ball, the defense, I thought, would be what held the Cats back through the first four games.
Boy, was I wrong. It was quite the opposite, actually.
I’ll have another helping of crow as I commend D.J. Eliot and his players for an impressive start to the season. The Cats gave up only 17 points per game in the first three SEC contests and they rank among the best in the nation in red zone defense.
Veterans like J.D. Harmon, Jabari Johnson, Cody Quinn and Khalid Henderson, who many us had given up on, have been vital components of the D all season. You could argue Harmon has been its biggest playmaker, to much surprise.
The preseason talk was Kentucky will have to score a lot of points on offense to make up for what the defense allows. That preseason talk couldn’t have been more inaccurate. The D has come up huge in key moments, and outside of a few winded stretches, has been consistent throughout.
Denzil Ware’s fumble return was the first sign of the new UK football.
When Denzil Ware, playing in only his second college football game, returned a two-point conversion fumble 98 yards for a defensive PAT in Columbia, we knew the tides had turned for Kentucky football.
That is a play that, for centuries, has happened against UK, not for it. And to follow it up with a game-sealing interception by Chris Westry, also in his second game? You mean to tell me we get the big plays now? Get out of here.
Kentucky is 4-1 entering the Auburn game.
Yes, Patrick Towles’ inconsistency is troublesome. Boom Williams’ recent attitude problem is concerning, though it appears to be in the past. Kentucky needed late heroics against Louisiana-Lafayette and Eastern Kentucky, two teams it was supposed to handle rather easily. The D gives up far too many yards on the ground. Play calling can be questionable at times. The list goes on.
However, Kentucky is 4-1 entering the Auburn game. Kentucky is FOUR and ONE entering the Auburn game. Any of us would’ve taken that record through five games if it was offered before the start of the season. All day long.
We can sit here and complain about this and gripe about that, but sitting at 4-1 and 2-1 in the conference is a pretty damn good feeling entering a bye week followed by what was labeled as the biggest game of year. The bowl hopes look promising and the only loss of the year was by a single possesion to one of the four or five best teams in the SEC.
Auburn is more than beatable.
Once the sixth-ranked team in the preseason poll, Auburn is now an unranked and very vulnerable opponent on Kentucky’s schedule. The Thursday night game we labeled as a loss when the schedule was announced is now looking more like a potential win for the Cats. UK will likely be favored.
Auburn just isn’t very good this year, nowhere near what everyone expected. The Tigers don’t have a quarterback, and to make matters worse, it dismissed its star wide receiver today. Only South Carolina and Vanderbilt rank lower in the SEC Power Rankings.
So a win is not out of the question when Kentucky returns to the field for its sixth game. In fact, it’s expected. Take care of business in that one and then there are five wins on the board through six games, a very improbable scenario two months ago.
All things considered, this UK fan is very satisfied through the first leg of the 2015 season.
By Courtney Hessler on ©October 06th, 2015 @ 10:30pm
Wendy’s® BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich and Pulled Pork Cheese Fries feature premium pork shoulder smoked for hours with real hickory chips and topped with your choice of smoky, spicy or sweet barbecue sauce. Try it today on a brioche bun with crunchy slaw or atop our natural-cut cheese fries.
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 Belmont Basketball
— Belmont Basketball (@BelmontMBB) October 6, 2015
Oh, Honey. no.
#9 Rick Maynard
— Rick Maynard (@cheapshot89) October 6, 2015
This explains it all in one very clean picture.
#8 EJ and Blake Shelton
@blakeshelton come to the UK boi!
— Chloe Newlyn (@Chloe_Newlyn) October 6, 2015
University of Kentucky?!! https://t.co/WwRlxn6bF5
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) October 6, 2015
Blake knows wassup Lol https://t.co/3yECweDImf
— EJ Floreal (@Eddie_Bounce24) October 6, 2015
Wait. EJ is a country fan?
#7 John Southworth
— John Southworth (@jwsouthworth) October 6, 2015
That’s exactly what she meant. Exactly.
— BBNmeetup.com (@BBNmeetup) October 5, 2015
I don’t know if I am excited or scared.
#5 Landon Foster
My teacher just asked me if I went to the game Saturday, I said yes, and he said, "Wow, students actually go to football games now?" 😑
— Landon Foster (@BigBlueKick12) October 5, 2015
You should give him some signed memorabilia next time.
#4 Jeff Pile
— Anthony Wireman (@awireman) October 6, 2015
— Jeff Pile (@Jeff_Pile) October 6, 2015
Aw. He must have felt really sorry after those ratings came out.
#3 Harrison Spires
— Harrison Spires (@HarrySpires) October 6, 2015
+1 for Dad.
#2 Paul R Stephens
— Paul R Stephens (@AshlandPaul) October 6, 2015
Maybe Louisville should have taken a page from that. Pizza gives such more happiness than….well…..
#1 Holly Thompson
— Holly Thompson (@hllywd0203) October 5, 2015
So nice of Louisville to teach us something for once.
By Nick Roush on ©October 06th, 2015 @ 10:00pm
I think any logical person had a hunch that the Luke Bryan Concert wasn’t going to go smoothly. The outdoor venue at Talon Winery was postponed because of weather, but a traffic logjam has continued the delay. The show was supposed to start at 7:00, but the traffic forced Bryan to wait an extra two-and-a-half hours before getting the show started. Even with the delay, I’m sure many did not make it in.
With only a two-lane road to the winery, traffic on Tates Creek Road was backed up 8 miles, all the way to Alumni Drive. Let me repeat: ALL THE WAY BACK TO ALUMNI DRIVE. I’ve been in some bad Lexginton traffic jams, but that is a new kind of insanity.
People were just parking their cars and walking to the show.
Those pictures make it look bad, until you see the atrocity from above with Officer Don.
Here’s a look at the traffic back-up on Tates Creek Road from Officer Don in WKYT’s SKYFIRST. We’re told Luke Bryan’s people have just announced they are still holding off the start of the concert for some of those stuck in traffic to get to the venue. . http://bit.ly/1hpuV5l
Posted by WKYT on Tuesday, October 6, 2015