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September 18th, 2019

WATCH: Bud Dupree volunteers at LaRosa Boys and Girls Club

Bud Dupree is one of the most successful former Wildcats currently playing professional football, but he’s also leaving his mark in Pittsburg off the field. His latest project? The outside linebacker recently spent time at the LaRosa Boys and Girls in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

The Boys and Girls club offers after-school programs to children in the area, including workforce development programming, music production and arts programming. For Dupree, it was all about giving back to an organization he’s been involved with for a very long time.

“We had Boys and Girls clubs growing up, and it was always fun to be a part of that,” Dupree said in a video published by the Steelers organization. “So to come out and actually help now and see the progress they’re making is an absolute blessing.”

Dupree was given the honor of cutting the grand-opening ribbon before spending time playing uno, taking selfies and just hanging out with some local kids. He also showed off his “rap skills.” Well, sort of. You can decide that for yourself:

On a more-serious note, it really is awesome to see a former Cat making such a positive influence in his community.

“We just give kids the opportunity to actually see people in the flesh and not just see them on TV, but to see them in the community. It gives them a better perspective on what it takes to make it and be in our shoes,” Dupree said. “And to let some of the kids know that you’ve be in the some similar situations that they’ve been in in their lives. It’s always good to see someone of your caliber being an actual person so you know you can strive for greatness.”

Greatness, indeed.


Kash Daniel responds to ankle-twisting allegations: “Absolutely not”

Kash Daniel and the rest of Kentucky’s defense spoke with media members Wednesday evening, so No. 56 was finally able to officially respond to allegations he purposefully twisted Kyle Trask’s ankle following one of the Gator’s failed two-point conversions last Saturday. Of course, he responded in the most ‘Kash Daniel’ way possible – definitively, and with some grit.

“Do I talk a lot of crap? Absolutely. Do I bump a dude here and there to get underneath his skin and talk while I’m doing it? Absolutely. That’s a part of my game; that’s what I do. But am I out there to deliberately hurt somebody? Absolutely not.”

A video began to surface online Sunday showing an incident between Daniel and Florida’s quarterback, which showed Daniel’s hand near Trask’s foot after the play. The video doesn’t give viewers a clear view of the incident, but it is clear Daniel eventually rips his hand from the pile before jawing with Trask. The two were quickly separated.

Since the allegations started, it’s been hard for Daniel to take the criticism without having the chance to properly respond.

“I’ve kept my mouth shut about it; I’ve been biting my tongue as long as I can.”

As far as the “dirty play” criticisms go, Daniel is hearing none of it.

“That’s something I actually hold close to me. I’m a victim of a dirty play. If you don’t believe me, I’ve got a plate and seven screws in my right ankle to prove that,” Daniel said, referencing an injury he had in high school.

Daniel went on to list some of his lasting injuries from throughout his football career before detailing what he says actually happened with Trask.

“This surgically-repaired hand has two screws in it, [and] if enough weight goes on it, it still hurts like a you-know-what. My hand is caught underneath here, I instantly get stepped on, I’m trying to move shit around, I pull my hand up there last second… I got it stuck under a lineman’s leg with all that weight on it. Then I pulled it free from that, kept moving stuff, kept hitting legs and finally pulled it through. Maybe [Trask] felt something weird – I don’t know. But I’m not out there to twist nobody’s ankle or hurt nobody. End of story.”

And what did the Gators have to say on the field after the incident?

“I heard something [number] 56, and I play with an F-you mentality. When I hear someone say my number, I’m going to turn around and say it right back to them.”

To watch Daniel’s re-enactment of his hand during the incident, check out Eli Gehn’s video for LEX18 below.


Mississippi State quarterback update: Who plays against Kentucky?

Sep 14, 2019; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Garrett Shrader (6) falls after being lofted into the air against the Kansas State Wildcats during the fourth quarter at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Bush – USA TODAY Sports

Another week… Another opportunity for Kentucky to face a backup quarterback? Maybe.

Mississippi State’s senior quarterback Tommy Stevens went down after back-to-back sacks in the second quarter of the Bulldog’s game against Southern Miss two weeks ago. He started for the Bulldogs the following week, but he was pulled from the game in favor of true freshman Garrett Shrader, who also came in for Stevens following the initial injury. Stevens’ shoulder has been “stiffening up” during the games, potentially affecting his passing ability and accuracy.

Bulldogs head coach Joe Moorhead noted Stevens’ health is further along this week than it was before the game against Kansas State last Saturday. Stevens seemed to agree, although he did say he’s “taking it day by day.”

“I don’t know – it’s kinda hard to think about as far as where I was last week. It’s a whole new week,” Stevens told media members in Starkville. “Yeah, I’d say it’s fair – I think I feel better.”

The starting quarterback may not sound 100 percent confident in his response, but his coach hopes he’s able to play a full game against Kentucky this weekend.

“It would be awesome, just from a consistency standpoint,” Moorhead said. “We fell off from a completion percentage standpoint [against Kansas State without Stevens]. There were times where protection broke down on some third-down stuff, too.”

Stevens was pulled from the game last Saturday after several mistakes leading up to the Bulldog’s eventual loss to Kansas State. In the first half, he threw his first interception of the season and later fumbled; in the second half, he missed an open target, then threw another interception. Coach Moorhead subbed in Shrader following the senior’s second turnover. However, that was far from the Bulldog’s original plan, even after Stevens’ Week One injury.

“Tommy [Stevens] was very motivated to play and wanted to come back and help the team… I think he has earned that right as a fifth-year guy that if he is healthy enough to play that we give him the start,” Moorhead said of his decision to start Stevens last week. “He wanted to try it out and see how it went. It just got to the point where we didn’t want to leave him in the game if he wasn’t going to be able to perform at 100 percent. We had to move on.”

Despite “moving on” to Shrader in the second half, the Bulldogs fell to Kansas State, 31-24. Here’s a quick comparison of both QB’s numbers from the game, via ESPN.
“Quite frankly for a true freshman, I think he’s performed at a very high level,” Moorhead said of Shrader. “You don’t want to put it all on a true freshman’s back and have him throw the ball all over the yard. But he rushed the ball for [82] yards and had some nice completions.”

When you look at both teams’ stats from the entire four quarters, it’s hard to believe Mississippi State found a way to lose that game.

However, Shrader isn’t the only backup option for the Bulldogs. Keytaon Thompson also earned reps leading into the Kansas State game, although Coach Moorhead says the junior is still recovering from an upper-body injury suffered during camp. Thompson’s earned two career starts during his time with the Bulldogs, but he lost the preseason quarterback competition to Stevens this season. He entered the transfer portal before ultimately deciding to remain at Mississippi State. Thompson hasn’t appeared in a game so far this season, despite being listed as a co-backup alongside Shrader on the Bulldogs’ depth chart.

As far as the Wildcats are concerned, Mark Stoops doesn’t see a QB change affecting Kentucky’s defense.

There’s really not much difference in what they do and how they call plays, how they run the offense,” Stoops said at his press conference Monday. “There’s really not much difference at all. Both of them are very effective at running the [quarterback] run game that they like to do; both of them are throwing the ball well. It’s set up off of their power run game. Not much has changed.”


@MaggieDavisKSR


There’s still time to sign up for the John Calipari Fantasy Camp

If you’re a diehard Kentucky Basketball fan, the John Calipari Fantasy Camp should be high atop your bucket list. The eighth annual Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience will take place October 18-20 at Rupp Arena, and there are still a handful of spots available.

For more details, check out the flyer and visit JohnCalipariBasketballExperience.com to register. You won’t regret it!


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Can Cats Rebound After Another Devastating Florida Loss?

Here we are again, another year with a loss to Florida that should have been a win.  Another year of what ifs and could have beens and the fanbase questioning if this team has it and if this coaching staff has it.  The good thing is we are used to these emotions.  I counted at least 8 losses to Florida since the SEC expanded that could be considered crippling.  The bad thing is how those teams responded to the losses to Florida hasn’t always been the greatest.  Because we now have to see if this team can quickly rebound against a quality Mississippi State team.  It’s a game that is quite winnable but not a gimme.  And in 7 of the 8 instances below, UK was involved in a game with a spread under 10 in the following week:

1993
Florida 24, Kentucky 20 (Chris Doering Game)
Following Week: Indiana 24, Kentucky 8 (UK was a 7-point underdog)

1998
Florida 51, Kentucky 35 (UK makes it back into rankings, UF knocks them back out)
Following Week: Arkansas 27, Kentucky 20 (UK was a 4-point underdog)

2002
Florida 41, Kentucky 34 (4-0 Cats nearly make improbably comeback)
Following Week: South Carolina 16, Kentucky 12 (UK was a 3.5 point favorite)

2003
Florida 24, Kentucky 21 (Cats blow 18 point lead in 4th quarter)
Following Week: South Carolina 27, Kentucky 21 (UK was an 8.5 point underdog)

2007
Florida 45, Kentucky 37 (College Gameday comes to Lexington)
Following Week: Mississippi State 31, Kentucky 14 (UK was a 13 point favorite)

2014
Florida 36, Kentucky 30 (Refs screw Cats in overtime)
Following Week: Kentucky 17, Vanderbilt 7 (UK was a 16.5 point favorite)

2015
Florida 14, Kentucky 9 (UK offense stalls in chance to beat Gators)
Following Week: Kentucky 21, Missouri 13 (UK was a 2.5 point favorite)

2017
Florida 28, Kentucky 27 (Cats leave receivers open everywhere)
Following Week: Kentucky 24, Eastern Michigan 20 (UK was a 14 point favorite)

So, the bad news first.  UK is just 3-5 overall in the weeks following those terrible Florida losses, and one of the wins was against Eastern Michigan.  Secondly, UK is just 1-7 against the spread in these games.  Now for the positive.  UK has won the last 3 times after crushing Florida losses, all under Stoops.  He has been able to do something Curry, Mumme, and Brooks were not able to do.  Regroup and win.

UK is facing around a touchdown spread this weekend in Starkville.  If the Cats can pull out a win it would be another “bucking the trend” moment in this program’s transformation.  The Florida loss knocked us down a peg.  A win this weekend could immediately get us back.