Kentucky Sports Radio

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October 8th, 2015

KSR Preps Game of the Week: DeSales at CAL

From last year's game, courtesy of The Courier-Journal.

From last year’s game, courtesy of The Courier-Journal.

If I couldn’t preview my alma mater’s biggest game of the year, what’s the point of covering high school football?

The DeSales/CAL game has dramatically changed since former Louisville quarterback, Stefan LaFors, became CAL’s head coach.

The Class 2A District foes used to be nothing more than a formality.  You prayed with ’em, you kicked their ass, and then they gave you Chick Fil-A on your way out the door.  They were annoying, keeping the games within a few touchdowns and giving you compliments during the game, “Nice hit.”  It was always strange, but nonetheless, a fun, routine ass-whooping.  Now it’s a rivalry with statewide implications.

LaFors hates DeSales because even though they’ve won the last two regular-season matchups, CAL always loses in the playoffs.  DeSales hates CAL because until they lost to Fern Creek two weeks ago, CAL was the only team to defeat DeSales in the past two seasons, going 14-1 with back-to-back State Championships.  Fuel is added to the fire when you consider LaFors’ staff is almost entirely former UofL players, with a few that yap like they’re still players.  A fight may or may not have almost broke out during postgame handshakes last season.

Some of the most thrilling high school games I’ve ever seen were between these two over the past few seasons.  It will be no exception tomorrow; the C-J LitRatings put Cal as the #2 team in 2A, DeSales as #1.  DeSales boasts a suffocating defense that swarms to the football, allowing less than 10 points a game.  Their quarterback, Austin Johnson, can run the ball probably more effectively than he can pass it, but he’s best with his leg. Johnson is following in his big brother’s footsteps and will punt for UofL next Fall.

Cal loves to throw the ball around, but they have a freshman quarterback.  Austin Carr has done well under pressure thus far, throwing for over 1,100 yards and 15 TDs with only 6 picks, but this will be the biggest game of his young career.  His primary target is very good; Chad Lewellyn is 6’4″ and learned well from his older brother, who went on to play WR at the Naval Academy.  However, their questionable offensive line will be tested by DeSales’s disruptive pass rush.

Since this game has become a rivalry, there will be major miscues leading to explosive plays.  It will remain close, but CAL cannot slow down the DeSales defense from crushing their young quarterback.  I wouldn’t mind if the Colts took an L, because that would assure a postseason Dub, but this DeSales team had a Bye Week to think about their first loss of the season.  I’m taking DeSales, 28-24, even though there’s a better chance it will be the #Coltsby90.

And just a reminder for all the fine folks wearing District Championship shirts at Christian Academy:


Allow Trey to take it away with the rest of this week’s major high school matchups.  He knows his stuff, after all, he’s taking DeSales to win too. 

Franklin County (6-1) vs Spencer County (7-0)

Friday Night’s showdown of FCHS and SCHS will showcase two of the biggest surprises in 4A. Franklin County suffered their first defeat last week in a 23-0 loss to Collins. The Flyers played in our Game of the Week two Fridays ago. FCHS QB Barrett Sanderson is a terrific game manager and can step up in big scenarios. This will be the toughest game for Spencer County through eight games. The Bears take on Franklin County, Shelby County, and Henry County to end the season. Spencer County is led by a run offense that put up 737 yards on the ground against Bullitt Central. SCHS is 7-0, and this is a statement game to see if they are for real.

Trey’s Pick- Franklin County will prove they are one of the top three teams in 4A with a win over Spencer County.

Nick’s Pick-  The Bears have had an unbelievable run, I don’t think it ends this weekend for Spencer County.

St. Xavier (4-2) vs Manual (6-0)

St. X cannot catch a break with their schedule. Following a 20-15 loss to Trinity, St.X will look to get back to their winning ways against the undefeated Manual. The Crimsons have the second best defense in 6A behind only Male. Manual has pitched three shutouts and have big wins over Central and Fern Creek. Butler put up -46 yards against Manual last week. Desmond Ridder and St. X will look to be the first team to score 20 or more points against Manual this season. Blake Roshkowski will need to have a big game and Ridder will have to find his accuracy if the Tigers want to pull off the upset.

Trey’s Pick- The Tigers are going to get a huge bounce back win over Manual.

Nick’s Pick- After last week’s almost win over Trinity, St. X responds with a win.

Ryle (6-0) vs Cooper (5-2)

Very few teams in the state have the amount of weapons that Ryle has on offense. Tanner Morgan runs the spread offense very well and outdueled Legend Brumbaugh and Lexington Catholic early in the season. Morgan threw for only 38 yards last week against George Rogers Clark, but Collin England and Jake Chisholm picked him up with a combined 362 yards on the ground. Cooper is led by QB Nathan Brown and running back Jaden Jackson. The Jaguars have struggled against high-level competition with losses to Bryan Station and Simon Kenton. This would be a big statement win for Cooper, and an even bigger win for Ryle.

Trey’s Pick- Tanner Morgan is a great QB for Ryle’s offense. He is going to show out and lead Ryle to a 7-0 record.

Nick’s Pick-  Ryle will remained undefeated with a big win over a Northern Kentucky foe.

The Different Degrees of “Surrender Cobra”



Football’s latest and greatest phenomenon to illustrate the agony of defeat is the Surrender Cobra.  It’s a different kind animal, much less deadly than its reptilian cousin but much more humiliating.  The Surrender Cobra has a variety of species within its genus.  During this Bye Week, I’m hear to educate on the different types of Surrender Cobra you need to be aware of entering the Second Half of the season.

When you realize you’re the only one in the office that wore your Halloween costume to work.



When you don’t have a tissue to wipe away your tears.



When it’s so bad you can only use one hand.



When you still have your swag turned on.



When that dude just can’t take a hint.



When it’s not even halftime.



When it won’t stop and you’re still standing in the rain.



When Mom forgets to buy pizza rolls.

When you regret getting that “Dolphins Super Bowl 50 Champs” tattoo.



When you miss a field goal and lose the Iron Bowl on a 109-yard return.

11 Ways to Spend Your Bye Weekend


There are two ways to look at a bye week:

  • Pout that your team’s not playing, or
  • Seize the opportunity to rest and reconnect with the part of your life that doesn’t involve sports.

Although my immediate reaction is to do the former, I’m making an effort to do the latter this weekend. If you are too, here are ten eleven recommendations on how to spend your bye weekend and what you’ll need to make them happen:

1. Put on your sweater and go buy some pumpkins and mums

Few things make me happier than “open window weather.” Seriously, just ask my husband. Last weekend, we didn’t get a taste of fall, we got a taste of late November/early December nastiness, followed by a heat wave here in Nashville that forced me to turn on the AC. Where in the hell is fall, y’all? Fortunately, it looks like it arrives Saturday. So, put on your favorite sweater and head to the farmer’s market or the pumpkin patch and get your fall on. Or, open the windows, sit on the couch with some apple cider and live vicariously through the millions of pictures people will upload of themselves and their families at the pumpkin patch.

  • Mums: $8-$20 each, depending on size
  • Pumpkins: $5-$15 each, depending on size
  • Hot apple cider: $1.50 per cup
  • Instagram opportunities: priceless

2. Read “Breaking Cardinal Rules”


It’s only 104 pages, and although it can be hard to read at times, the parts about Katina and her girls going to the UofL dorm make it a page-turner.

  • E-book: $9.99 on Amazon
  • Butter Lovers Microwave Popcorn: $3.98/12-pack

Or, you can listen to KSR’s dramatic reading for all the best parts:

  • Video: free
  • Paper towels to clean up the drink you’ll spit out when you see Tomlin and Woo’s parts: $0.99/roll

3. Watch Louisville fans meltdown over the prostitute scandal

This morning, Ohio State freshman JaQuan Lyle confirmed the escort allegations surrounding the Louisville basketball program, the first step towards making this nightmare for Cards fans a reality. Things really got interesting this afternoon when an anonymous former Louisville player confirmed there were strippers in the dorm and Rick Pitino told Terry Meiners he considers resigning “taking the cowardly way out.”

If you want to witness the meltdown, visit Inside The Ville, Card Chronicle, Cardinal Authority, or Don’t worry; if taking joy in this makes you a bad person, we’ll party in hell together.

  • Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale: $9.99/6-pack
  • More Butter Lovers Microwave Popcorn (good think you got that 12-pack)

4. Go see “The Martian”

I finished the book last night and cannot wait to see it portrayed on film. Like I said earlier this week, I’m not really into sci-fi, but Andy Weir, the author, found a way to balance science with humor. Considering it’s a book about an astronaut fighting for survival on Mars, it’s really, really funny, mainly because we’re treated to Watney’s internal dialogue. It’ll be interesting to see how director Ridley Scott translates this to the big screen.

5. Rewatch Kentucky’s four wins this season

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

If you just can’t go without a UK football fix, why not do your own midseason review and watch UK’s four wins this season? There have been a lot of highlights, and, yes, a few lowlights. In fact, you have our permission to skip the second half of the Louisiana Lafayette game and the first half of the Eastern game. Instead, focus on Towles’ growing rapport with his receivers, the balanced rushing attack, and a defense that proved us all wrong.

6. Try to actually learn the words to “Grove Street Party”

Like many of you, I can only decipher “I GOT A WHOLE LOTTA MONEY” and “It’s a party, it’s a party, it’s a party.” With another big game coming up and plenty of opportunities to play the song, why don’t we learn the actual wor—YEAAAAH, just kidding. I googled the lyrics. No need to learn them. Let’s just stick with the parts we know, okay? Especially you kiddos out there.

  • “Grove Street Party” on iTunes: $1.29

7. Catch up on other college football

The slate of games is kind of meh this week, but I’ll be watching Tennessee vs. Georgia on CBS at 3:30 p.m. to get my first good look at the imploding Volunteers. Other interesting games on the docket:

  • #10 Oklahoma vs. Texas, ABC, Noon: This will be a massacre, but I can’t turn away from watching Charlie Strong’s train wreck at Texas
  • #13 Northwestern vs. #18 Michigan, BTN, 3:30 p.m.: LOL, just kidding. Go Wildcats though.
  • #7 LSU vs. South Carolina, 3:30 p.m.: It was nice of LSU to host the game since Columbia’s under water, but before we praise the magnanimous Tigers too much, people do realize they get a home game out of it, right? Leonard Fournette will roll.
  • Arkansas at #8 Alabama, 7 p.m., ESPN: I refuse to believe Arkansas is as terrible as they’ve looked and that Alabama is as good as they looked against Georgia. Regardless, Tide will roll.
  • #11 Florida at Missouri, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network: No way Florida keeps this up, right?

If you’re watching at home:

  • More of that Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale: $9.99/6-pack
  • Pizza and/or wings from local chain: $15-$20
  • Watching games without putting on real pants: Priceless

If you’re watching at the bar:

  • Pitcher of beer: $12-$18
  • Dozen wings: $12
  • Chance to laugh at sad Tennessee fans: Priceless

8. Watch the NBA Cats ball in exhibition games


If you’re really desperate for some UK sports and have NBATV, you’re in luck. The network will be airing preseason NBA games throughout the weekend and because former Kentucky players are all over the league, there are ample opportunities to check them out. Here’s a schedule of games on NBATV:

  • Friday, 7 p.m.: New York Knicks @ Washington Wizards (John Wall, Josh Harrellson)
  • Saturday, 8 p.m.: Chicago Bulls @ Minnesota Timberwolves (Karl Towns)
  • Sunday, 1:30 a.m.: LA Clippers (Chuck Hayes) @ Charlotte Hornets (MKG–injured, Aaron Harrison)
  • Sunday, 9:20 p.m.: Haifa @ Los Angeles Lakers (Julius Randle)

Cost? NBATV is part of the premiere sports package on most cable/satellite plans, but really, if you look at it reasonably, it’ll practically pay for itself considering the number of former Cats you’ll watch this season.

9. Clean the house

It’s never fun, but think of the brownie points you’ll earn with your spouse or significant other!

  • Windex: $3.99
  • 409 cleaner: $4.49
  • Your spouse or significant other being cool with you tailgating early Thursday instead of picking up the kids from school: Priceless

10. Watch UK’s practice Sunday night on ESPNU

The weekend isn’t totally devoid of UK sports. On Sunday night from 7-9 p.m., ESPNU will air UK’s basketball practice, giving you your first glance of the 2015-2016 Kentucky Wildcats, most notably the newcomers. According to UK, the practice will include drills, 3-on-3, and 5-on-5 scrimmaging, so, plenty of opportunities to see what Skal, Jamal Murray, Isaiah Briscoe, Isaac Humphries, Charles Matthews, and Mychal Mulder can do. Cal claims his team stinks right now, but for at least two hours on Sunday night, we’ll be the judge of that.

  • ESPNU: Part of most cable/satellite sports packages or FREE with a friend’s cable sign-in
  • Sunday evening beverage: Whatever you’ve got in the house
  • Kentucky basketball on national television in October: Priceless

UPDATE: 11. Keeneland, duh

See what happens when you live outside of Kentucky long enough? The best pastimes slip your mind. How could I forget Keeneland?! You should definitely do that. Save some whiskey sours for me, I’ll be there next Saturday.

  • Admission: $5
  • Burgoo: $5.95
  • Keeneland beer (it’s different there!): $4
  • Whiskey sour: $6.25

How are you spending your bye weekend?

LISTEN to Rick Pitino’s Interview with Terry Meiners

The two weren't as friendly today. (

The two weren’t as friendly today. (

An afternoon of breaking news surrounding the Louisville Sex Scandal was capped off with an interview between Rick Pitino and Terry Meiners on News Radio 840 WHAS.

Even though Terry and Rick are friends, it was not friendly conversation.  Terry asked tough questions, and Pitino answered (most of) them firmly.  Pitino doesn’t plan on stepping down, and he didn’t sound like he was planning on missing any games.  It was a strange interview, but a MUST LISTEN.  It’s one of those interviews that will be talked about for years to come.

I’m sure you have plenty of thoughts.  Feel free to share them in the comments section before Matt shares his on Periscope tonight at 10:00.

Rick Pitino said resigning is the “cowardly way out”


In an interview with Terry Meiners on 840 WHAS this evening, Rick Pitino said he has no plans to resign.

“I don’t know what resigning would accomplish,” he told Meiners. “I think that’s the cowardly way out.”

Pitino insists he knows nothing about what Katina Powell alleges and quitting now wouldn’t help. He wants to stay with his two fifth-year seniors and coach the Louisville Cardinals basketball team, not run away.

“I’m thinking of my 13 players and I’m thinking of my program.”

Pitino also said he doesn’t know why UofL’s President left his name out of today’s statement and that is beyond his control.

Join KSR at the Red vs. Blue Hunger Drive-Thru tomorrow


Yum! Brands will celebrate its 18th anniversary with a Red vs. Blue Hunger “Drive-Thru” benefitting Dare to Care Food Bank tomorrow from 5 am to 5:30 pm.

Bring at least 18 canned goods and you will be entered into a drawing for either UK or UL basketball tickets. Kentucky Sports Radio will be there for tomorrow’s show and to announce the UK ticket winners at noon.

What: Red vs Blue Hunger “Drive-Thru” benefitting Dare to Care Food Bank
Where: Yum! Brands, 1441 Gardiner Lane Louisville, KY 40213
When: Friday, October 9th 5:00 AM – 5:30 PM
GOAL: 18,000 cans (18 cans = Eligible for UK & UL ticket drawing)

We have a new leader for Message Board Comment of the Year


Commenter Dennis Reynolds over at the GYERO board on Rivals used the popular scene from A Few Good Men to mock the scandal going on at Louisville. I’m not a big message boarder, but I can’t imagine there are many submissions out there better than this:

Matt Jones: Coach Pitino, did you order the Whore Red?*

Pitino: You want answers?

Matt Jones: I think I’m entitled to.

Pitino: You want answers?!

Matt Jones: I want the truth!

Pitino: *You can’t handle the truth!*

Pitino: Son, we live in a world that has whores, and those whores have to be bought by coaches with Benjamins. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Drew Franklin? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Rod-Ni, and you curse the McGees. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Mega’s quick trigger, while tragic, probably won games. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, wins games. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that whore, you need me on that whore. We use words like sex, drugs, strippers. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very basketball that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a whore, and have a go. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

Matt Jones: Did you order the Whore Red?

Pitino: I did the job I…

Matt Jones: Did you order the Whore Red?!

Pitino: You’re Goddamn right I did!


Former Louisville player confirms strippers in the dorm


Eric Crawford over at WDRB has more troublesome news for the Louisville basketball program.

You can go ahead and add an unnamed former Cardinal to the growing list of people spilling the beans, along with former recruit Jaquan Lyle. The former player told investigators there were strippers in Billy Minardi Hall on at least one occasion, according to a source. The player did not see any sex take place, but he did see money thrown at the dancers.

While this is only one player talking about a single event in an investigation expected to delve into four years of allegations, it does demonstrate a player acknowledging some of the claims in Powell’s book while taking issue with others. His voice, presumably, would be just one of many in the final report.

This particular player told a university investigator that no sex took place (that he knew of), and that the only money he saw changing hands came in the form of dollar bills thrown at the women in the room, according to the source, who spoke on the condition that the identities of player and source be anonymous. [WDRB]

The door is wide open for more people to come forward.

And they will.

The Cats will wear blue against Auburn (and you should too!)

Kentucky football announced it will wear its blue unis in next week’s game against Auburn. Many fans wondered if this would be the game we see the all black look, but that will have to wait for another time. Let’s just go ahead and assume it’ll be the Tennessee game.

Big Blue Nation, the program asks you to wear your blue to the game, too. It’ll be a Thursday night Blue-Out on national TV.

“And we rock Kentucky blue…”

Sleep Outfitters’ Thursday Recruiting Roundup

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Let’s take a break from watching the Louisville basketball program burn to go over some of the basketball and football recruiting news from the week…


Edrice “Bam” Adebayo will visit Lexington this weekend.

Adebayo, the third-ranked power forward in the 2016 class, will begin his official visit to Kentucky today. John Calipari looks to add one more big man to join Wenyen Gabriel, Sacha Killeya-Jones, Tai Wynyard, Isaac Humphries and potentially a senior Marcus Lee next season, and Adebayo is on the short list of names to take that spot. Harry Giles, Marques Bolden and Jarrett Allen are also options, with Giles being the dream addition.

Wendell Carter may attend Big Blue Madness.

The No. 1 overall player in the 2017 class is considering an appearance at Big Blue Madness next week, he told Cats Illustrated. Carter will definitely attend Duke’s Countdown To Craziness next Saturday, but may sneak into Lexington the night before to check out UK.

Big Blue Madness will be televised live.

In case you missed it earlier, Kentucky basketball’s biggest recruiting event of the year will air live in its entirety on the SEC Network. It will mark the first time Madness has been aired on a national network from start to finish.

Nothing’s changed with Kobi Simmons.

His father told, “There’s no rush, you don’t have to tell anybody a date. If you wake up tomorrow and say this is it, or if you wake up Oct. 3 and say this is it. I don’t want him setting a date because that can make you make a decision that may not be natural.”

With De’Aaron Fox’s recruitment looking positive for Kentucky, Simmons will likely be a take as soon as Cal feels he is losing Malik Monk, if that ever happens. Until then, Simmons will stay in limbo until he gets the call from UK or gets tired of waiting for it.

UK extends scholarship offer to 2017 quarterback Walker Wood of Lexington.

Lafayette High School’s Walker Wood picked up a scholarship offer from the University of Kentucky today. Wood is considered a dual-threat quarterback, ranked No. 23 in his class at that position in the 247Sports Composite Rankings. Wood is a teammate of 2016 commit Landon Young, and Jedrick Willis, one of the top targets in 2017.


Did you buy that mattress yet? What are you waiting for???

Almost Midseason Grades and Miscellaneous Rankings

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Five games in, UK is 4-1. Be truthful, raise your hand if you projected that record. In this week’s ESPN SEC Power Rankings, Kentucky is listed at No. 8. I get it: polls and rankings are subjective, but 4-1 is concrete.

Below are UK Football position grades and various rankings:


Quarterback: B

For the season, Patrick Towles is 96-of-156 good for 61.5 percent, eight passing touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns, and six interceptions.

At times, Towles’ inconsistency has limited UK’s offensive production. 33 percent completion rate against Florida skews season totals, but the Gator defense has proven to be dominant. Other SEC quarterbacks aren’t faring well either.

Overall, the junior has been an offensive catalyst. Kentucky has scored 16 touchdowns. Patrick Towles has directly contributed for 11 of those. For some, this grade will be too high. But his 68 percent total touchdown contribution rate is too high for a C, and his sporadic play doesn’t warrant an A. Strip the name, read above stats and assign a grade. That may help.

Running Back: B-

Through three games, Boom Williams was a top-five SEC running back. His numbers have fallen due to missing the second half against Missouri and not playing against EKU; still, 47 rushes for 351 yards, one touchdown and a 7.3 yards per rush are credible.

JoJo Kemp’s 5.3 yards per rush and two touchdowns have provided situational spark. The power back, Mikel Horton has been effective in screen passes and moving the chains. UK averages 135 yards rushing per game. Take away the 155 lost yards due to sacks, and numbers would be better.

A stat that is not published is blocking efficiency. Blitz pick-up has been improved at times, but lacking at others.

Wide Receiver: A-

Dorian Baker separated himself at the go-to receiver. Other than his 24 catches for an 11.5 average yards per reception and three touchdowns, Baker has punished in downfield blocking.

Garrett Johnson, Blake Bone, and Jeff Badet have also had their flashes of grandeur. Explosion plays are now expected. Combined, the wide receiver corps is deep, fast, and talented. It did have one game (Florida) that it dropped passes at an alarming rate; however, this position’s productivity has only scratched the surface.

Given Mark Stoops’ first-year receiving corps status, talent upgrade alone warrants a passing grade.

Tight End/Fullback: B+ (Blocking); Incomplete (Receiving)

Taco Meat Collins has moved into my upper echelon of UK football player fandom. CJ Conrad has blocked at an SEC senior level and finally had a breakout game against Missouri. Collectively, blocking has been consistent and physical.

But three catches for 55 yards is not what was expected. Simply, tight ends have not been targeted enough to receive a grade.

Offensive Line: C-

Offensive line rotation has been a revolving door of youth. Injuries have also reared their ugly heads. Steady center Jon Toth has anchored and is playing at an All-SEC level. But, the EKU game is too fresh in my mind to grade John Schlarman’s group high.

The Cats are averaging 365 total yards per game. An understandable struggle versus Florida seems more reasonable as the Gators continue to defensively control the conference. Red zone productivity has been excellent. UK is 15-15 inside the 20 and have scored 11 touchdowns in those 15 trips for 73 percent. Allowing 16 sacks for negative 116 yards is a hard statistic to overlook. This group will get better once it settles in on a rotation and heals up during the bye week.




Defensive Line: B

The insertion of CJ Johnson has proven to benefit. Even after missing the Louisiana game due to suspension, Johnson is the team’s second-leading tackler, totaling 37 stops, 3.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks.

Farrington Huguennin has been solid with 22 tackles. Expected strength of the defensive line was nose tackle. Melvin Lewis has racked up 17 tackles, two tackles for loss, and one sack. Regie Meant was improving by the snap, but an early injury versus Missouri has hampered the group’s overall power. At times, UK has gone with only two down defensive linemen which has diminished Melvin Lewis and Matt Elam’s game snaps. Given its level of talent, other than the EKU game, Coach Jimmy Brumbaugh’s unit has overachieved.

Linebackers: A-

Easily the best 2015 surprise. Josh Forrest is playing at an All-SEC level with 49 tackles, three tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and one interception. His weekly improvement is scary and profitable for his NFL future.

Khalid Henderson effectively filled in for the injured Ryan Flannigan and provided consistency along with 30 tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack.

In only two games, Ryan Flannigan’s speed and ability to close on opposing ball carriers have enhanced defensive diversity. Denzil Ware’s development is a weekly highlight. Ware’s two-point conversion against South Carolina was a game-saver. This position has endured suspension and injury but remained reliable. Collectively, the linebacker corps has played above fan and media expectation.

Secondary: B+

Another expected liability, UK’s secondary is limiting opposing offenses to 197 passing yards per game. That number won’t lead conferences statistical categories, but it’s been good enough and much better than expected.

Headline story is the emergence of true freshman Chris Westry. The rookie has excelled. Senior Cody Quinn held onto his starting position after being pushed by several freshmen cornerbacks. JD Harmon has been the group’s playmaker with two interceptions and game-altering tackles.

Safeties have not intercepted a pass, but are leading the secondary in tackles: McWilson with 28, Stamps with 25. The safety pair is stable, which allows DJ Eliot the freedom to dial up creative blitz packages. Nickel backs Blake McClain and Kendall Randolph add an edge. Both are pound for pound two of the better football players on the team.

Special Teams: C

An improvement from 2014’s F.  Prior to EKU, Wildcat kickoff coverage team ranked second in the SEC.

Landon Foster’s punting has not been as effective as expected. Mark Stoops inserted his backup against the Colonels.

All-SEC Austin MacGinnis uncharacteristically missed a field goal and PAT in the opener, but has rebounded before an injury kept him out against Eastern Kentucky.

Kick returner Sihiem King has been a spark, and been close to breaking a kickoff return for six. Overall, the Wildcat special teams have been okau, but could be better. MacGinnis’ return will help. In coverage teams, better players running down the field to make tackles increases the group’s status. Punt and punt return teams have not met expectation.


Inconsistency has haunted the Cats throughout its first five football games. However, in four out of five contests, Kentucky has resiliently found a way to win.  For the first time in program history, UK’s first five games have been decided by eight points or less. More telling, total points scored for the year: Kentucky 130, opponents 109.

In SEC play, margin of winning is 18.6 to 16.3. In non-conference, 37 to 30. This post could have actually been divided into two segments: Grades vs. SEC opponents and Grades vs. Non-Conference Foes. In conference, much higher. Non-conference, could have seen some Ds and Fs. Ebb and Flow.

Top Five Opposing Player Performances

1. DE Noah Spence, EKU
2. DE Alex MaCalister, Florida
3. DE Charles Harris, Missouri
4. ATH Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina
5. S Brian Poole, Florida

Five Most Difficult Games Remaining

1. @ Georgia
2. @ Mississippi State
3. Tennessee
4. Auburn
5. Louisville

SEC Top Five

1. LSU
2. Texas A&M
3. Alabama
4. Florida
5. Ole Miss

UofL President issues statement supporting Tom Jurich

University of Louisville President James Ramsey issued a statement on his basketball program’s scandal this afternoon. In it, he said he fully supports Tom Jurich because Jurich has served as Athletic Director of “an exemplary program” for the last 18 years. Ha!

As we stated last week, when we learned of the allegations toward our men’s basketball team, we immediately hired Chuck Smrt of the Compliance Group to undertake a complete and thorough investigation of the alleged misconduct. Chuck advised us that we should also report these allegations to the NCAA so they could join our investigation.

For the past 18 years, Tom Jurich has served as Athletic Director of an exemplary program at UofL. I fully support Tom as we work to identify the facts in this situation, and that is what we are doing. Tom and I are committed to the values that are fundamental to the success of Cardinal athletics.

As I stated in the recent State of the University address, it is important that the university–all of us–stay focused on our day-to-day work of providing our outstanding student with a world-class education. The investigation of the allegations may take time and we must, as one university, continue doing the work we do to move our university and our community forward.

I can’t take him seriously with that hair.

SEC Network will air Big Blue Madness in its entirety

Good news for fans who were unable to get tickets to Big Blue Madness, which is most of you, I assume.

The SEC Network will air the annual tipoff to the UK men’s and women’s basketball seasons in its entirety this year. It will be the first time Madness will air live from start to finish on a national network.

The two-hour spectacle will also stream live on the WatchESPN app on computers, tables and smartphones. ESPN’s Dave O’Brien, Sean Farnham and Kara Lawson will handle the broadcast for the network.

Big Blue Madness is set for 7 pm next Friday.

Listen to Dick Cady’s interview with KSR


The co-author of Breaking Cardinal Rules was a special guest on Kentucky Sports Radio radio this morning to discuss the book, the allegations and why it should all be believed.

Dick Cady added to Louisville’s awful morning by telling the guys he has seen the actual phone and seen the actual text messages shared in the book. Until now, we had wondered if those screengrabs could’ve been forged, but Cady saying the actual messages exist confirms they are real.

He also said he doesn’t know if Rick Pitino was involved or was aware of anything going on. As Matt pointed out on the show, that suggests Cady is being completely honest and not trying to be sensational to create a story and sell books.

And the highlight of the interview: When asked about Louisville fans doubting his credibility and suggesting the whole thing is made up, Cady said, “That’s poppycock.”

Listen to the entire interview below:

Watch Mark Stoops and Patrick Towles on SEC Film Room

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Kentucky was the feature team on last night’s SEC Film Room on the SEC Network. UK’s head coach and quarterback reviewed the tape from Saturday’s overtime win against Eastern, explaining what went wrong and what changed to escape with a victory.

Watch the clips below:

The episode re-airs today at 2:30 and again at midnight.