If you didn’t watch the game, I’m sorry. After two years of pain and agony →
By Kaan Solagan on ©11:00 pm
Patrick Towles had his coming out party today against the Skyhawks of UT-Martin. Patty Ice led the UK offense to a 59-14 blowout win and had 377 yards on 20-29 passing, and scored 2 TD’s (one in the air, one for 30 yards on the ground) in only 3 quarters of play.
He looked precise throughout the contest and showed his true leadership skills on the field today, bringing pretty exceptional QB play back to Lexington for the first time since Mike Hartline in 2010. My personal favorite moment of the day was seeing Towles almost beat Braylon Heard down the field on his 73-yard TD carry. It displayed the kind of unselfish player and guy he really is, as he lead the Cats to victory today.
After the game in the postgame press conference Towles stated that while today’s win was fun, “there’s a lot more fun to be had.” Well, Pat, let’s have some fun then. Tonight we will celebrate because of Patty Ice. HOORAH!
The Cat Walk was fun
It looked a little empty when KSR first arrived on the scene, but BBN didn’t dissapoint as they filled the Cat Walk to the brim for the UK season-opener. Everyone and their mother was there (literally). We ran the radio show on-sight outside Commonwealth at the Cat Walk this morning, and Tyler and the gang couldn’t have had m0re fun doing it. You could really feel the excitement and energy behind this program at the Cat Walk. It was an awesome day to be a Cats fan.
Damien Harris made an appearance at CWS
The #1 RB in the nation made an appearance at both the Cat Walk and the game today. After a night where he tore up the field himself, he came to watch the Cats do the same. Harris was able to watch the UK offense and ground attack have a coming-out party against the Skyhawks. The Cats ran in 6 TD’s on the ground today, 4 of which coming from Stoops’ new guys, Horton and Heard. Harris even sat with the basketball players in the student section, according to our very own Matt Jones. Come on down…
We found out the 4th quarter tradition
Jared Lorenzen walked out to midfield with members of the UK marching band at the beginning of the 4th quarter to lead the crowd in the BLUE-WHITE chant. It was pretty cool, and it will be a staple at UK football games going forward. In a close game going into the 4th quarter that chant is gonna get rowdy.
This is just another example of how the UK football program is going to ‘Change The Game’. I assume it will be a different ex-UK player, celebrity, or sports star every week. We shall see.
Thaddeus Snodgrass to redshirt
Many people expected Snodgrass to be playing for the Cats this season, but he will be using this year to polish up some skills and get better.
It came as a surprise to many when Snodgrass was spotted not in pads this morning at the game, but it makes sense. There are too many outside WR’s on the roster, and unfortunately the circumstances that he was placed into forced the staff to choose to redshirt him this season.
He came to UK a little behind the other receivers and wasn’t able to ever really catch back up. Nonetheless, this will be a good year for him to bulk up and get better because in the future there is no doubt this kid will be a star for UK football.
Stoops new guys were all that and more
Braylon Heard was unstoppable on the ground, going for 116 yards on 2 carries for 2 TD’s on his first two touches as a Cat. Mikel Horton joined in on the action too, going for 46 yards on 7 carries, and 2 TD’s as well.
Stoops freshman receivers, Dorian Baker, Garrett Johnson, Blake Bone, and T.V. Williams combined for 164 yards in the receiving core, and each one of them looked impressive in their first games as Cats. Blake Bone made two great plays today and was the highlight of all the new receivers.
UK’s new guys combined for a total of 335 of the 656 total yards of offense. That’s half the offensive yards…*STOOOOOOOPS*.
How about A.J. Stamps? When he wasn’t laying big hits, he was catching picks. The free safety played like a grown man today in the UK-opener, and he was the most impressive new player along with Braylon Heard. He had 8 tackles, 1 interception, and 3 huge hits on the day. Welcome, A.J..
I’ll save the rest 0f the defense for a seperate post, but many new guys popped up in big ways for the Cats. Kendall Randolph laid a big hit that resulted in Khalid Henderson’s 89-yard scoop and score. Ryan Flannigan played well today in his first start for the Cats at linebacker. Cory Johnson tried to do his best Za’Darius impression by almost killing Dylan Favre on a hit. It was a big day for the new guys.
UK won the turnover battle
UK forced 3 fumbles, recovered all of them, and had two picks on the day. Here’s the best part though: UK didn’t turn the ball over at all. They started the season off today with a +5 turnover margin, that’s pretty sweet. It was nice seeing a couple interceptions on the day, we haven’t really been able to get accustomed to that over the past 2 years.
Kentucky’s offense moved swiftly behind Towles big day
After the way Towles played today, it’s hard to believe there was ever a QB-competition in the first place. He was hitting receivers with perfect passes all day and he looked great under center for the Cats. If UK would have kept their foot on the gas all game, Towles could have easily thrown for 500 yards. When he wasn’t throwing great passes, the ground attack was churning out plays for big yards. It was a beautiful day for UK on the offensive side of the ball. They didn’t look bad on defense either, though.
No big first weekend upsets
Unless the fighting Jameis Winston’s go down against Oklahoma State later tonight, every team in the Top-25 avoided being upset on college football’s first weekend. Everyone was watching Ohio State get everything but the kitchen sink thrown at them by Navy, but the Midshipmen couldn’t keep it up going into the fourth quarter eventually falling 34-17.
KSR had an awesome day in the press box
Roush, Mrs. Tyler, and I had a great day watching the Cats take down the Skyhawks at Commonwealth. We even had a little dance party while running the live blog in the press box, and I’ve got to tell you Roush has got the moves. KSR loves Kentucky football!
GO CATS! 1-0.
By Caleb Epley on ©9:30 pm
While most of the country’s attention has been focused on football today, our basketball team began its quest for gold in the FIBA World Cup this afternoon against Finland. They were pretty darn impressive. The Americans won by a final score of 114-55 – due in large part to a 29-2 advantage in the second quarter.
The two former Cats on the roster made the most of their limited minutes. Anthony Davis continued his hot play from the squad’s exhibition games – finishing with 17 points and 4 rebounds in only 14 minutes of play. DeMarcus Cousins was also impressive, tallying 9 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds in 16 minutes. On another note, Mason Plumlee pulled down 1 board in 12 minutes. *chuckles*
The team plays Turkey tomorrow at 3:30 PM on ESPN. Keep making us proud.
By Caleb Epley on ©8:00 pm
Jaylen Brown, who some believe is the #1 player in the class of 2015, will be visiting Big Blue Madness on October 17th. According to the source (Desmond Eastmond of the Worldwide Renegades), Brown also plans to visit Kansas’s “Late Night at the Phog,” on October 10th. Jaylen is one of the top targets for the staff in 2015. In the linked article, he speaks about his relationship with Coach Cal and Kenny Payne:
“Coach Cal, Coach Kenny Payne, they’re great coaches,” Brown said. “They hit me up at least once a week. It’s always great hearing from them.”
The 6’6″ forward is also considering UCLA, Georgia, and Georgia Tech. Watch him work:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©6:43 pm
There was a scary moment late in today’s game when a UK cheerleader fell and had to be carried off the field in a stretcher. UK just released a statement saying that the cheerleader, Brooke Gibbs, has been released from the hospital:
Brooke Gibbs, a sophomore on the UK Cheer team, has been treated and released from UK Chandler Hospital following a fall during the 4th quarter of Kentucky Football’s victory over UT Martin. Brooke, her family and the cheer program are appreciative of the efforts and expertise of the athletic trainers, team doctors and paramedics who cared for her at the stadium, as well as the doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital. She has heard of the outpouring of thoughts, prayers and concerns from the Big Blue Nation and can’t wait to get back on the field with her teammates and the football team soon.
We wish Brooke a speedy recovery.
By Caleb Epley on ©6:05 pm
A source has told KSR that JMI Sports reached a deal to take broadcasting rights from IMG one year early:
Source tells KSR that JMI Sports has reached an agreement to take over UK broadcasting rights from IMG a year early. It started today
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) August 30, 2014
UK announced the 15-year, $210 million year in June. Today’s football game was the first broadcast of the JMI era. Not a bad way to start.
For depth on the deal and how it will affect Kentucky, check out Tyler’s post from a couple months back.
By Nick Roush on ©5:30 pm
If you didn’t watch the game, I’m sorry. After two years of pain and agony in the Kentucky Football program, Mark Stoops busted through the locker room door into a new era of fun football. “This is the most fun I’ve had in a football game since November, 2012 probably,” Neal Brown said after the game. Today’s 52-14 victory will have the BBN smiling all week.
The Cats were stopped on their first drive, but once the nerves were gone the momentum could not be stopped. Pat Towles hit Javess Blue in stride 35 yards down the field to set up a JoJo Kemp touchdown. Kemp was quickly one-upped by Braylon Heard, who had 116 yards on only two carries for a pair of touchdowns.
The numbers only get better, finishing with 656 yards of offense. No matter what the haters say, don’t let them take our joy away this glorious Labor Day weekend.
The running backs lived up to the hype
I’d say six touchdowns on the ground is a good day at the office. Braylon’s day was obviously amazing, but you can’t stop there. Jojo had some slick spin moves, even though he only had eight carries. Stanley Williams didn’t make a Boom today, but he received a ton of touches early in the game. Today’s surprise Boomer was Mikel Horton. The power back was stuffed on a 4th down on the first drive but he didn’t let it affect him, finishing with 45 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 7 carries.
Now, we just gotta keep em healthy.
Patty Ice didn’t play like a first-time starter
Patrick Towles made some throws today that the BBN hasn’t seen in awhile. He connected on deep balls to Bone, Blue and Timmons, he ran for a score, and most importantly he made the routine plays. He converted well on 3rd-and-long, but they were so good with routine first down plays that they didn’t NEED to make many big plays on 3rd down.
Pat finished the game 20-29 for 377 yards and a passing touchdown to Blake Bone.
AJ Stamps could not have introduced himself to the BBN any better. His one-handed interception might be the highlight of the season, and it was barely a quarter into the game. When Stamps attacks a play, all you see is a blurry #1 streaking across the turf. He had not one or two big hits, it was more like five. Oh and he led the team in tackles with eight, no big deal.
AJ, you have earned the KSR Stamp of Approval. #Puns
Stoops’ Troops are now turnover experts
Last year the Cats had three interceptions. Today they had two. Finishing the game with 5 takeaways, Mark Stoops’ defense has figured something out, and the Bad Boyz aren’t going to slow down anytime soon. Playing til the whistle blows, Khalid Henderson scooped and went 89-yards for the score.
All that’s left to figure out, is for the fans to Geek when they play “Bad Boys” at Commonwealth.
The new guys did everything and more
You name a new guy that played and I can talk to you about how good they played. Baker and Bone caught passes long and short (Sorry Baker, but the Ghost’s TD and 39 sky-high grab were better). Garrett “Juice” Johnson had a pair of big grabs. Matt Elam stuffed the the line, appropriately making his first tackle with only one arm. Kendall Randolph, probably Stoops’ favorite freshman, forced a fumble and recovered one, hitting the quarterback a couple of times from the nickel spot.
To put it into perspective, the Cats’ new guys combined for five touchdowns and 335 of the 656 total yards of offense.
The Cats were crossed by one of their own
Will Tanner was a UK walk-on wide receiver for the last three years before transferring to UT-Martin to finish his footballing days. He led the Skyhawks in receiving with 4 catches for 61 yards. His catch on 4th and 14 late in the 4th quarter killed the Cats’ shot at their first CWS shutout since 1996.
An abridged injury report
Javess Blue was stellar from the start, but an ankle injury kept him out of the game for close to three quarters, dressed in street clothes for the second half. Ashely Lowery banged up his right hand, Jojo Kemp took some time out for cramps, and Ryan Timmons was banged up for awhile before reentering the game. Braylon Heard only had two carries because he tweaked something too.
The Cats didn’t have the worst injuries: the line judge had to be sidelined for a bit and a UK cheerleader took a rough hit on the sideline late in the game.
By Caleb Epley on ©5:00 pm
Fresh of a monster game against Whitley County (257 yards and 2 touchdowns on 13 carries), number one running back in the country Damien Harris attended UK’s game this afternoon against UT Martin. Apparently, he sat in the student section with members of the basketball team:
Damien Harris sitting with the UK Basketball team in the student section
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) August 30, 2014
Recruit away, boys.
Damien also picked a nice game to attend if he was hoping to catch a glimpse at Kentucky’s rushing attack. UK finished with a whopping 234 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground – certainly not a bad display with the nation’s number one running back in attendance. According to his Twitter, Harris liked what he saw:
— Damien Harris (@Damien_D1Harris) August 30, 2014
Harris would be a huge get for Stoops and co. Come on down, Damien.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©4:50 pm
Braylon Heard met the media after the game wearing a boot on his ankle, but insists he’s fine. “I’m fine, they’ve just got the boot on for precautionary reasons,” Heard said. In fact, he said he could have played in the second half and will be ready to go for next week. “I’ll be fine,” he said.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©4:31 pm
Patrick Towles couldn’t have asked for a better debut. Towles passed for 377 yards and one touchdown, and added in another touchdown on a 30-yard run. I asked Patrick if he expected one of his first touchdowns of the season to come off a run and he said no, but was pleased either way. “I didn’t, but if that’s the way it works, that’s the way it works,” he said. (By the way, Jared Lorenzen predicted that.)
Towles was superb, showing poise under pressure that made his head coach proud. “He was very poised and he made very good decisions,” Stoops said. “He’s been like that for sometime.” Like a true leader, Towles credited his entire unit for a good day. “I was sharp, the whole offense was sharp. The receivers were good, offensive line was good, so it was a big combination,” Towles said. However, like a true perfectionist, he noted a few mistakes. “There were just a couple of simple mistakes that I made and I know that I made them, but I fixed them, which was good.” Nitpicking much?
Towles said that while today’s win was fun, “there’s a lot more fun to be had.” However, for a quarterback that’s patiently waited for his moment and put in the hard work, it’s hard not to bask a bit in the afterglow. “This is a feeling that I haven’t had in a while and I’m glad to have it back,” Towles said, smiling.
By Kaan Solagan on ©4:30 pm
Kentucky football returned to the field today, and they did it in grand fashion. The Wildcats blew UT-Martin out of Commonwealth in a game that was never really a game at all, beating the Skyhawks 59-14. Join us over here at the KSR Compound for the postgame radio show that will be filled with highlights from the day’s events. Our very own Matt Jones will be leading the postgame radio show from New York, so tune into 630 WLAP and 840 WHAS after the game wraps up and we’ll have some fun in store!
You can also stream online.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©4:08 pm
Both Stoops and Neal Brown were happy campers when they met with the media this afternoon. In fact, Neal Brown said that today “is the most fun I’ve had in a football game since November of 2012.” (Same, Neal. Same.)
Brown should be a happy camper. The Cats had 656 yards of total offense and seven offensive touchdowns, an even more impressive feat when you consider how stagnant the offense was last season. In a stat that speaks to what Stoops and staff are doing with the program, the new guys combined for 335 yards and five of those touchdowns.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©3:52 pm
Two of UK’s most impressive touchdowns came from Braylon Heard this afternoon. Heard had only two carries, but he made them count for fourteen points on runs of 73 and 43 yards a piece.
Unfortunately, Heard twisted his ankle on the second run, and had to sit out the rest of the game. Stoops didn’t have an update on the severity of his injury, but said Braylon’s two runs showed off what he can do. “He made a great move on that second one,” Stoops said. “What you saw on those two runs is what we’ve been talking about.”
Neal Brown agreed, joking that Heard “may never want to play. He has the highest per-rush in school history, in the nation, and he may just say, ‘I’m done.’”
Haha, very funny.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©3:35 pm
Football is fun! Whoulda thunk it.
By Kaan Solagan on ©3:26 pm
The Cats rolled over the Skyhawks today at Commonwealth, coming up with a 59-14 win over their obviously weaker FCS-opponent.
Stoops made a point in his Thursday press conference about coming out hot today, and the Cats did just that. They broke out to a 35-0 halftime lead and never looked back. Pat Towles had an impressive 20-29, 370 yard, and 2 TD performance (one on the ground), as well as Braylon Heard going for 116 yards and 2 TD’S on just two carries.
Stick around for some more Cats postgame fun coming soon!