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October 25th, 2014

Boom Williams Out Vs Miss St.

If Kentucky is going to take down Mississippi State then they are going to have to do so without one of the offense’s most explosive playmakers. Boom tweeted out the bad news today:

The reason he is out still hasn’t been disclosed by the team but it stems from the hard hitting collision that took place last week against LSU. Mark Stoops declined to comment on Boom’s status earlier this week but I’d expect to hear an update following the game.

Go Cats!


UK Statistics vs. Dual Threat Quarterbacks in the Recent Past (2009-2014)

Over the past few years UK has had the opportunity to play a handful of Dual-Threat future NFL Quarterbacks in big SEC matchups. From Tebow to Prescott, UK hasn’t fared very well against dual-threat quarterbacks in the recent past. In 5 of the biggest matchups since Tebow’s dual-threat passing attack came to Lexington in 2009, UK has gone 0-5, losing by an average of 21.8 points per game. Here’s some background and the final statistical outcomes of those games.

2009

Tim Tebow, #1 Florida Gators

Passing: 5/10, 103 yards, 1 Touchdown

Rushing: 16 carries, 123 yards, 2 Touchdowns

Tebow torched the Cats early on and this was really never much of a game at all. UK was no match for the top-ranked Gators as they rolled behind Tebow’s dual-threat passing attack until the 3rd quarter when he left Commonwealth after a huge hit by Taylor Wyndham. The Gators rolled past the Cats 41-7 in Lexington.

2010

Cam Newton, #8 Auburn Tigers – 

Passing: 13/21, 210 yards, 1 Interception

Rushing: 28 carries, 198 yards, 4 Touchdowns

Cam Newton came into Commonwealth and broke our hearts, leading his Auburn Tigers to a 37-34 victory on a last-second field goal. Newton didn’t look particularly impressive through the air, but I have never seen a player run as well as he did that one game. Newton absolutely burned UK all game on the ground, racking up almost 200 yards against our defense just on the ground. Besides the 200 yards on the ground, though, UK really didn’t play bad during this game. This was one of UK’s best performances during the 2010 season.

2011

Connor Shaw, #18 South Carolina – 

Passing: 26/39, 311 yards, 4 Touchdowns

Rushing: 15 carries, 42 yards, 0 Touchdowns

UK did a good job of containing Shaw on the run, only allowing 42 yards, but couldn’t contain the aerial attack of the Gamecocks. UK had a very tough day, losing by 51 points in Williams-Brice Stadium. Not a very good performance here against the dual-threat attack, UK lost 54-3.

2012

Connor Shaw, #6 South Carolina – 

Passing: 15/18, 148 yards, 2 Touchdowns

Rushing: 19 carries, 76 yards, 0 Touchdowns

UK got off to a magical start at home, nearly going up 3 scores at halftime. However, Spurrier’s 6th-ranked Gamecocks had different plans for this night, coming out of halftime and scoring 31 unanswered behind Shaw’s dual-threat effort to win 38-17 over Joker’s Cats in Lexington.

2013

Dak Prescott, Mississippi State – 

Passing: 23/34, 268 yards, 2 Touchdowns

Rushing: 16 carries, 33 yards, 0 Touchdowns

Last season UK made an appearance in “Starkvegas” to take on Prescott’s Bulldogs in a matchup of the two worst teams in the SEC. This game was UK’s best shot at their first SEC win since 2011. Prescott didn’t play exceptionally well, granted his team also wasn’t very good, but UK still found a way to lose like they did against every other SEC team they had played the last two years. The Cats fell to Mississippi State 28-22.

2014

UK vs. Mississippi State, 3:30 pm on CBS

Today, we expect to see a much improved Mississippi State team from a year ago, behind Heisman-frontrunner, QB Dak Prescott. While UK has gone nearly winless against big time SEC dual-threat QB’s, today could be different than what the stats lead you to believe. This is easily UK’s best team in the last 3 seasons and the last time we had a decent UK team play a quality SEC dual-threat passing led opponent in Commonwealth, we almost came up with a big time win against Cam Newton and Auburn, the eventual National Champions that season.

Not to take anything away from Dak Prescott because he is one heck of an athlete, but he isn’t Cam Newton on the ground, and almost nobody is. Undefeated Mississippi State has proven themselves with 3-straight wins over Top-10 opponents coming into today. This obviously will be a big challenge, but I don’t think its unreasonable for the Cats to pull out a victory in Commonwealth. I wouldn’t say it’s likely that we win, but if we can play good coverage in the secondary and contain Prescott on the ground, I’d say we’ve got a shot at least.

@kaansoloKSR


Talk Mississippi State on the KSR Pregame Show

Kickoff is just over three hours away so that means it’s time to talk Mississippi State with Matt, Ryan, Drew, and people from all around Commonwealth Stadium. Tune your radio dial to 630 WLAP if you’re in the Lexington area or stream the show online as we get ready to square off with the Bulldogs.

So close to gametime!


Isaiah Briscoe Is Down To Three

Isaiah Briscoe let Adam Zagoria know earlier this week he’d be cutting his list today and now the 6’3 guard has delivered.

Seton Hall and Rutgers have dropped from the top ranked point guard’s list. Briscoe made an official visit to St. John’s last week and the Red Storm are currently leading the crystal ball with 54% of the predictions. Prior to that visit everything seemed to be going in the direction of the Wildcats and today’s cut shows that they are still in the mix for this kid. How could any point guard not want to play for coach call after the the success he’s had over the years with guys like John Wall, Brandon Knight, and Derrick Rose? I think Cal and the Cats will make some moves for this kid before it’s all said and done.

Do you hope Briscoe is next in line to be the floor general for the Cats?


Sights And Signs From The Grounds Of SEC Nation

Mrs. Tyler brought you the sights from the TV screen but KSR writer Nick Roush is live from the scene outside of Commonwealth and sent over some of these photos.

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Looks like SEC Nation had a pretty solid turnout for their first time rolling into Lexington.

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He calls them Meggings.

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Big Blue Elvis is in the building.

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Roush hanging out with Jameis’ prized possession

Looks like a good time at Commonwealth


More pics from “SEC Nation”

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I love this guy who saw the camera and literally picked up his child and ran towards it:

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Tebow’s being a good sport so far, jokes that the last time he was in Lexington, he left on a stretcher, which prompted some “Taylor Wyndham” chants from the crowd:

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“Lou Holtz stealthz Halloween candy”

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A crab in a Jameis Winston jersey:

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Gameday and The Saturday Morning Links

Hopefully everyone in the crowd today is as fired up as our drummer was earlier this year.

-What is it going to take for the Wildcats to take down Mississippi State today? Bud Dupree says “an almost perfect game”. Check out that quote and more in Kyle Tucker’s preview of today’s battle. The quaffed one is taking the Bulldogs 35-24.

-How do you stop Dak Prescott? Well if anyone had the answer then State probably wouldn’t be undefeated right now. Jen Smith of the Herald Leader gives a break down of what Dak has done so well this season and some additional tidbits from the coaching staff.

-If the Cats are going to find a way to stop Dak then Mark Story thinks it’s going to take a monster game from number 2. Last year Bud was key to keeping the Cats in the game, today he will certainly be key if the Cats find a way to win.

-Go behind enemy lines and check out Mississippi State’s SB Nation affiliate For Whom The Cowbell Tolls preview of the game.

-SEC Nation is now live from the purple lot outside of Commonwealth Stadium. Check it out on the SEC Network or make your way over there if you’re in the area.


In news that won’t surprise you…

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…Kentucky Joe is already at the “SEC Nation” set.

The show starts in 20 minutes on SEC Network. From the cut-ins they’ve shown on “College Gameday” so far, it looks like a decent crowd. More pics in a bit.


October 24th, 2014

Tim Couch’s State Touchdown Record Saturday News And Views

When you’re running down a list of the greatest athletes this state has ever produced it won’t take long to get to the name Tim Couch. Couch was a product of the mountains of Leslie County and certainly needs no introduction if you’re reading this website. I’m not here to fill you in on various facts about Kentucky’s best football star. Instead I’m here pay tribute to the Leslie County High School version of said star as one of his KHSAA records fell tonight.

Records are made to be broken and tonight, after nearly twenty years, Tim’s career touchdown record came tumbling down as Elijah Sindelar of Caldwell County threw his 134th touchdown pass. Sindelar you may recall was on Kentucky’s radar for a while before opting to pursue engineering and football at Purdue. I’ve never seen the kid play but he must have a good deal of talent to pass names like Tim Couch (133), Brian Brohm (119), Jared Lorenzen (89), and our own Patrick Towles (72). Best of luck to the kid as he will now be the name that future generations of quarterbacks will be chasing in the record books.

On to the news and views:

Stoops Heads To Horse Country

How does a coach unwind hours before his team hosts the number one team in the nation? He doesn’t. Stoops stayed active on the recruiting trail tonight as he paid a visit to top center in the class of 2016 Drake Jackson. The Woodford County Yellow Jackets were all over West Jessamine midway through the fourth 33-12. Back in September, Jackson confirmed that the Cats were his leader and told the Courier-Journal “I’m not going to commit next week or anything, but they are (in front). They’ve shown a lot of interest, and I’ve shown a lot of interest.

Sounds like Stoops is keeping the interest level high.

The Return of Rich and Woodson

The last time Kentucky took down the number one team in the nation on CBS at 3:30 in the afternoon those two guys pictured above were calling the plays. Tomorrow they will both be on hand once again and I’d bet the house they’ll be the ones accompanying Jared Lorenzen out for the third quarter Blue-White chant.

Ivan Raab Makes It Official

It’s post-Big Blue Madness and we’re still not any closer to how the 2015 class will shake out. After this weekend we could be a bit closer as power forward Ivan Rabb  is on campus. The big man narrowed his list to five today, and according to ESPN, the Cats made the cut, along with Arizona, California, Kansas, and UCLA. Rabb is ranked the second best power forward and the sixth best player in the 2015 class by 247 Sports Composite, but Kentucky hasn’t been considered a major player in his recruitment. Rabb hails from Oakland, California, and most expect him to stay on the West coast. Cal(“ifornia,” no “ipari”) leads in his Crystal Ball with 48% of predictions.

Number One Stunner

The game is finally here. Kentucky has a chance to knock of Mississippi State for the first time in 6 years. The Bulldogs are currently riding the longest win streak in the history of the series at 5 and the Cats will be looking to beat Dan Mullen for the first time. Oh, and there’s just the added bonus of taking down the number one team in the nation!!!

State is ranked first with a legitimate Heisman candidate quarterback under center for the first time in the history of the school. Now Kentucky gets the chance to play spoiler on the Bulldogs and their playoff hopes while also moving up the ladder of the SEC east. Last week’s disappointing loss in Baton Rogue took the wind out of the sails a bit for many fans but tomorrow offers a chance to keep moving forward and secure another pillar win.

The Bulldogs have been playing lights out all season long but they don’t have the same talent gap that was on display against LSU. If the Cat’s can find a way to hurl the ball down field and stop State from doing the same then they may just be in a position to win.

How do you think the Cats are going to fare in tomorrow’s match-up? I got em storming the field.

Go Cats.


What A Difference A Year Makes?

One year ago to the date, October 24th, 2013, the Kentucky Wildcats made the trip to Starkville looking to win their first SEC game in over a year. After a year and a half of ineptitude that saw losses to WKU, forfeits, and too many blowouts to count the Cats showed up ready to fight with the Bulldogs. Mississippi State entered the game 3-3, also looking for their first SEC win of the season and it was one they would be forced to earn. Max Smith played like a capable field general as he went 18/34 for 160 yards. Ryan Timmons displayed why he can be a great playmaker with a 51 yard touchdown burst. Jojo Kemp did well on his carries as he tallied up 63 yards and a touchdown.

The Cats were driving to win the game late but Smith’s pass was high on 4th and 7 from the 30. Mississippi State is bringing everyone from that 28-22 win back. The thing is, we aren’t.

Last year there was no deep ball threat out of Patrick Towles. There was no game changing run ability of Braylon Heard. There was no Boom, Baker or Bone. No Stamps, Forrest, or any of the other players that have emerged this season. There was simply a limited offense and a scrappy defense and it was enough to take the Bulldogs to the brink on their home turf.

Relive last year’s close game with the above highlight’s. Does it inspire you with more confidence ahead of tomorrow’s game or was it a fluke and the Cats are in trouble when the nation’s best team rolls into Commonwealth?


Dakari Johnson once signed a fan’s tooth

The Big Blue Nation can get a little crazy about basketball, and no one knows that better than the players. Ryan Lemond asked some of them about their craziest fan interactions, and Dakari Johnson’s takes the cake. Dakari told Ryan that he once signed a fan’s tooth while in line at the bank. Listen to the story above, along with Devin Booker’s expectations for the Big Blue Nation and Brian Long describing how he signed a baby. Yes, you know UK basketball is truly on another level when Brian Long is autographing babies.

Previous:

What’s your dream foursome in golf?
Who’s the best singer on the team?
What character did you play in a school play?
What’s the biggest fish you’ve ever caught?
Who’s the best NBA2K player on the team?
Who’s the best player you’ve ever played against?
Which coach would you take on a cross-country road trip?
What’s your Coach Cal impersonation?
Who’s the biggest slob on the team?
What celebrity would you take to the CATSPYs?


Scouting Report: Mississippi State Bulldogs

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#1 Mississippi State Bulldogs

2014 Record: 6-0 (3-0 SEC)

Tomorrow, our 5-2 (2-2 SEC) Wildcats will host the number one team in the nation, the Mississippi St. Bulldogs.  It’ll be the second time Mark Stoops faces a #1 team inside of Commonwealth Stadium.  Last year, the Cats hosted the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide, losing 48-7.  This time, Coach Stoops is looking for a much improved performance.  It could be a high scoring barn-burner, or it could be another beat down much like last week.  At the end of the day, it’s still just Mississippi State.  Let’s take a look at some of the players we’ll see on the field.

 

Offense:  Dak Prescott, Dak Prescott, Dak Prescott.  That’s the name you’re going to be hearing all afternoon.  He’s currently the front-runner for the Heisman trophy, and he’s also the main reason why the Bulldogs are number one.  Prescott is the almighty threat when it comes to his playing style at quarterback.  He can choose to either burn your secondary through the air, or he can run it right up the middle past your linebackers.  At the mid-way point of the season, Prescott has thrown for 1,478 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions on 96 of 156 passing.  On the ground, he’s rushed for 576 yards and 8 touchdowns on 106 attempts.

Prescott’s eight rushing touchdowns tie Miss. St.’s leading running back, Josh Robinson.  Robinson has rushed for 689 yards on 98 carries, with 8 touchdowns of his own.  The Bulldogs’ leading receiver is De’Runnya Wilson.  So far, Wilson has caught 19 passes for 319 yards and 6 touchdowns.  

It’s going to be a long day if Kentucky’s defense decides not to show up again.  Both Prescott and Robinson average almost 100 yards rushing per game, so UK’s front seven better be prepared.  Josh Forrestt, Bud Dupree, Za’Darius Smith, and even Matt Elam are going to be crucial to stopping Prescott.  You can’t give him time in the pocket.  Kentucky will need to provide pressure early and often, and contain Dak from running around the ends.

Taking a look at the numbers offensively, Mississippi St. is No. 9 in scoring  (41.8 ppg), No. 12 in rushing (264.3 ypg), and No. 41 in passing (265.3 ypg).

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Defense:  This year’s Mississippi State defense isn’t any better than in years past.  So far this season, the Bulldogs’ best defensive statistic is points allowed per game (20.0 ppg).  That places them 20th in the nation for that category.  Up against rushing attacks, they’re only allowing opposing teams 120.5 yards per game, ranked 25th in the nation.  That’s pretty standard for a top team.  However, their secondary is horrible, statistically speaking.

Mississippi State’s passing defense is ranked 120th nationally, giving up over 300 yards per game.  Are you kidding me?  The nation’s top team, #1 Miss. St., has the 88th best defense overall?  It’s true.

For the Cats, this is a great thing.  Patrick Towles faced a top ten pass defense in Death Valley last week.  Hopefully tomorrow, receivers will have a much better chance of getting open down field.  To have any chance of keeping up with Dak Prescott’s offense, Kentucky has to throw the ball.  Coach Mullen will have his defense prepared for the Wildcat formation, so expect an all-out Air Raid from UK.   I expect Towles to have a big day, as well as DeMarco Robinson, Garrett Johnson, and Ryan Timmons.

 

Prediction:  This is going to be a high scoring game.  Dak Prescott will have his way with Kentucky’s defense early, but much like the South Carolina game, I think Stoops fixes it and Dak will eventually be contained.  Like I said earlier, it’s still just Mississippi State.  There’s no intimidating factor that teams like Alabama or LSU have.  They’re still just our normal SEC West rival.  I honestly think this team is overrated, but Dak Prescott deserves all the credit he’s getting.  He’s definitely playing with Heisman potential, but as a whole team, the Bulldogs are beatable.

Looking back at last year’s match-up, Kentucky was one play away from winning.  Before losing 28-22 in Starkville, Max Smith threw an incomplete pass to Alex Montgomery on 4th and 7 from the Miss. St. 29 yard line .  Had he thrown to a wide-open DeMarco Robinson on the sideline, Kentucky would have snapped their SEC losing streak right there.  But enough of past “what-ifs”.

If Kentucky takes advantage of a terrible Bulldog secondary, they can keep up with Prescott’s high scoring.  This is a very winnable game for UK, but first they need to forget last week and play with some swagger.

So here goes my crazy, optimistic prediction.  Mississippi State plays like Mississippi State.  Cats will win with help from a crazy loud Commonwealth Stadium, 37-34.

 


Malik Newman tweets about the Cats

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2015 combo guard Malik Newman doesn’t talk about his recruitment very often, but last night, he was a chatty Kathy on Twitter, answering several fans’ questions about his recent visit to UK for Big Blue Madness. Check it out:

Of course, Newman says he still hasn’t made up his mind, and he’s expected to wait until the spring to decide. His Crystal Ball sits at 55% UK, 32% Mississippi State, 8% Kansas, and 5% UConn.


Matt Jones will be on The Paul Finebaum Show at 6:10 p.m.

Yesterday, Paul Finebaum called in to KSR to tell us he believes the Cats have a shot at upsetting #1 Mississippi State, and today, Matt’s returning the favor by being a guest on his show. Matt will be live on The Paul Finebaum Show starting at 6:10 p.m. ET on the SEC Network, so tune in to hear the two discuss tomorrow’s game.

Use this thread to talk about it if you wish.


Rich Brooks and Andre Woodson hung out at Keeneland today

@UKCoachBrooks

The two are in town for tomorrow’s big game against #1 Mississippi State and did what every Kentuckian should do on a beautiful fall Friday: enjoy the sights and sounds of Keeneland. In true Brooks fashion, he tweeted about the experience:

Brooks AND Woodson in town for the game? History tells me this is a very good sign.