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October 24th, 2014

Scouting Report: Mississippi State Bulldogs

Mississippi State Image

#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).


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


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


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.

Twisted Sister and Backstreet Boys highlight UK’s Fans’ Choice music options this week

I’m starting to think the folks at UK have been listening to KSR. Among this week’s Fans’ Choice music options are Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” which Matt has been lobbying for UK to play before third downs, and Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back),” which is a nice nod to Kevin Richardson, who attended the South Carolina game.

Here are all of the options:

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Vote for your favorite over at 

Ivan Rabb includes UK in his final five, will take an official visit this weekend

2015 power forward Ivan Rabb 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.

The Courier-Journal’s Steve Jones is reporting that Rabb will take an official visit to Kentucky this weekend. This is the first official visit he’s taken so far.

Work your magic, Cal.’s got practice footage

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Our friends at gave us a Friday afternoon treat by releasing footage from a recent practice. The practice was cut short by a gas leak, which Cal called a gift from “the basketball god,” DeWayne Peevy. LOL.  We can’t embed the video here, but click on the pic or this link to watch it on

Andrew’s dunk at the 1:20 mark is ridiculously impressive, but the highlight for me was when Coach Robic put his nose inside his shirt and asked “What are you two guys doing up in that dark room”. Don’t believe me? Go to the 0:25 mark.

SEC Nation is here


The SEC Nation set is assembled and the crew has started taping segments for the SEC Network. Check out the view from the set with Marcus Spears above. Here’s the bus:


AJ Reed is being interviewed by Kaylee Hartung. He’ll be honored at the baseball team’s Homecoming tailgate tomorrow:


Nick Jourdan took this picture of a release taped to the gates encouraging “proper behavior”:



Pfffft. Whatever. Go, be loud, and bring hilarious signs. Like this one:


KSR asks: What celebrity would you take to the CATSPYs?

KSR’s 2014-2015 basketball previews roll on as we continue to unveil the players’ answers to Ryan Lemond’s ten questions. Next up:

What celebrity would you take to the CATSPYs?

Trey Lyles: Jessica Alba

Dakari Johnson: Iggy Azalea

Marcus Lee: Jessica Alba

Devin Booker: Beyonce

Alex Poythress: Beyonce

Tod Lanter: Jennifer Love Hewitt Jennifer Aniston

Aaron Harrison: Beyonce

Andrew Harrison: Aaron Harrison

Tyler Ulis: Lauren London

Karl Towns: Alicia Keys

Sam Malone: None…he claims he doesn’t know any celebrities

EJ Floreal: Beyonce

Dominique Hawkins: Beyonce

Brian Long: Scarlett Johansson


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?

Next: What’s your craziest fan interaction?

A giant set of Yahtzee dice is on the field at Commonwealth Stadium

UK Athletics says they’re for fans to play with at the Wildcat Refuge tomorrow. Any chance we can get Damien Harris to pose with them tomorrow?

What Shoes Will Kentucky Players Wear This Season?

With the Kentucky equipment staff showing off Kentucky’s new KD7 PE, it sparked my interest on what other shoes we will see Kentucky players wear this upcoming season. Last year proved that we have a lot of sneakerheads on this team, so the possibilities are endless on what shoes we could see. Here are a few that are almost guaranteed:

Air Jordan 11 “Legend Blue”














We saw several players, especially Aaron Harrison, wear the “Gamma Blue”  colorway last season. When these release around Christmas, expect several Wildcats to be sporting these.

Kobe 9 “Brave Blue”

Nike Blog

Nike Blog













If you paid close attention, you may have seen Trey Lyles wearing these at Big Blue Madness. Julius, as well as Willie, wore this model throughout the tournament last year in non-Kentucky colors.

LeBron 12











While no colorways resembling Kentucky have been announced, expect a Kentucky PE just like the KD when the shoe is officially released later this month. The Lebron 11 was Alex’s go-to shoe last year, so I expect him to do the same with the Lebron 12.

Air Jordan 29















This is the newest model from Jordan Brand, and supposedly one of the top performance shoes on the market.

Air Jordan 4 “Columbia”, Air Jordan 7 “French Blue”























Both of these shoes are apart of the “Remasterd” Jordan collection; using more premium materials to make the shoes exactly like the one’s Jordan wore back in the day.

Which shoes are you looking forward to seeing on court this season? What other shoes would you like to see the Kentucky players wear?


Follow me on twitter: @Perk_21KSR

Mississippi State’s latest hype video is actually pretty awesome

Nice touch with the “Breaking Bad” quote. Wish I could hate on that, but I can’t.

Where were you?

…the last time Kentucky beat the #1 team in the country? It was October 13, 2007, and I was in Nashville watching with friends and lots of bourbon. The bars in Five Points still reportedly still remember it.

Let’s relive it with these videos…

The woman’s face at the 0:17 mark is priceless.

Where were you?

What the national media is saying: UK vs. Mississippi State

Kentucky football on Grantland? Why not.

Kentucky football on Grantland? Why not.

Kentucky has quite the challenge in front of them tomorrow in #1 Mississippi State. While Kentucky is markedly improved over last season, Mississippi State is rolling behind one of the best quarterbacks in college football. Do the Cats have a shot? Here’s what the national media is saying…

Grantland: Week 9 College Football Viewing Guide: Sheep May Safely Craze

The game: No. 1 Mississippi State at Kentucky

How to watch: This dog-on-catfight commences in Lexington at 3:30 p.m., with television coverage on CBS.

Story line: Mississippi State football is a force to be reckoned with, which is still fun to think about. And now Kentucky is ascendant! Not to say this is going to turn into some kind of unexpected barn burner, given how the Cats staggered around against LSU last week. Still, not too long ago the thought of expending valuable Saturday viewing hours on either of these teams would’ve been laughable, and now one is set up for a run to the playoffs while the other could emerge as a top-tier team in the disarrayed SEC East before too long. The carousel of progress!

CBS Sports Expert picks:

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ESPN: SEC Viewer’s Guide, Week 9

No. 1 Mississippi State at Kentucky, CBS: What happened to Kentucky? This game was shaping up to be one of the biggest games in program history – a top-25 matchup, a chance to take down the No. 1 team in the country – and then it all fell apart at LSU on Saturday. Losing close is one thing, but the Wildcats were dominated in Death Valley. The good news is that they can still take down No. 1 this weekend as this will be Mississippi State’s first game since taking over the top spot. For the Bulldogs, it’s a chance to prove they’re worthy of No. 1 and it’s another opportunity for Dak Prescott to shine in front of a national audience.

USA Today Week 9 picks:

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Sports Illustrated Week 9 picks:

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ESPN Insider’s Phil Steele:

The No. 1 Bulldogs will be playing their first game in history as the top-ranked team in The Associated Press Top 25 poll. Their 6-0 start has been keyed by QB Dak Prescott, who is clearly among the Heisman favorites with 2,045 total yards and 22 touchdowns, while their defense features a sensational front seven that is allowing just 73 rush yards per game on the road.

On the other side, Kentucky is 5-2 but reeling after losing by 38 points at LSU last week, the same LSU team that Mississippi State led 34-10 in the fourth quarter. Also keep in mind that although Kentucky did pull off a home upset over South Carolina earlier this season, it trailed the Gamecocks by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter — and the Bulldogs are a much better team.

ATS pick: Mississippi State
Score: Mississippi State 38, Kentucky 20

Shock the pundits. Beat State.

Pitt commit taking an official visit to Kentucky this weekend

DaVon Hamilton is a three-star defensive tackle from Pickerington, Ohio that’s committed to Pitt, but according to 247 Sports’ Josh Edwardshe’ll be taking an official visit to Kentucky this weekend. Hamilton, considered the 49th best DT in the 2015 class, gave his verbal commitment to Pitt back in June, but Vince Marrow has managed to get him to Lexington for an official. Hmm…

Current UK commit CJ Conrad will also take his official visit to Kentucky this weekend, along with Damien Harris, who will attend fifth UK game. This won’t be an official visit for Harris, but having him on campus yet again is another great opportunity for the staff. It doesn’t hurt that he’s buddies with CJ Conrad, whom he played alongside at The Opening.

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