There is a handmade sign (presumably made by a UK student) circulating the internet this →
Football Season Coverage
By Drew Franklin on ©September 21st, 2017 @ 11:11am
Kentucky linebacker Courtney Love has been named to the 2017 Allstate Good Works Team, it was announced on Thursday.
Love is one of only 11 FBS college football players named to the list of 22 total players on the team, which shines a spotlight on the stories of selflessness and community service displayed by student-athletes.
Read why Love was selected, via the press release from UK:
Love, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, shows his selflessness by volunteering his time to help others. He leads the team in community service hours and has a passion for mentoring children, especially those living in a one-parent household or children who have parents who are incarcerated. His passion for helping others was derived from his own childhood experiences. At the age of eight, Love ran away from a not-so-healthy relationship with his mother, and as a teenager, was forced to deal with his father being incarcerated for two years. Because of his past, it was a perfect pairing when he found Amachi Central Kentucky. Amachi is a mentoring program that seeks to pair caring, positive adults with children and youth in the Bluegrass who have one or both parents in state or federal prison or are affected by incarceration in some way.
“Since Courtney began mentoring through Amachi, he has exhibited compassion, kindness, leadership, and love,” Amachi specialist Destini Engle said. “Working with him is one of the greatest honors of my life. He has changed and will continue to change so many lives through his story and his mentorship. I cannot think of a more deserving individual for this award.”
Love also has served in a Skype mentoring program with area high school students, and has taken part in many events with the UK Children’s Hospital, Read Across America, and Special Olympics, along with many other service activities.
In May of 2016, Love was chosen to participate in a service/educational trip to Ethiopia where he helped build houses as well as shoe-shining boxes for men to be able to work and provide for their families. He also delivered food to impoverished families and visited with orphans and widows.
Love, who was named to the 2016 SEC Community Service Team, has also been nominated for several other national awards, including the Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Wuerffel Trophy and the Senior CLASS Award just to name a few.
Head coach Mark Stoops said, “I’m so proud of Courtney. He exemplifies everything you’re looking for in a student-athlete. The fact he’s being recognized on a national level doesn’t surprise me because of the way he serves other people. “
Love is the program’s 14th player and the third under Stoops to be named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team in its 26-year history. UK ranks tied for second all-time with Nebraska in award winners behind Georgia.
Love also gets in done in the classroom, having already received his diploma in community and leadership development, and earning 2016 SEC Academic Honor Roll honors.
He’s pretty good at football, too.
By Drew Franklin on ©September 21st, 2017 @ 10:00am
There is a handmade sign (presumably made by a UK student) circulating the internet this week and it is not a good look for Big Blue Nation.
The sign — which was shared on SnapChat but hasn’t been spotted on campus, to my knowledge — reads, “If Hurricane Irma didn’t F(UK) you up, Cats will.”
Needless to say, it’s a little too far out of bounds, given the recent destruction down in Florida.
The photo of the sign made it’s way down to the Gators locker room and many of the Florida players are talking about it on social media. Today, UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart felt the need to address it on Twitter, reminding everyone that UK is accepting donations for hurricane relief at Saturday’s game, and “that’s not us.”
Now I’m not the sign police, nor do I have a lot of room to talk because I’ve been known to throw some insults around myself — but let’s stick to the felony references in our pre-Florida game signage and leave the hurricane stuff aside. I feel like that’s a good middle ground for our Florida zingers: more suspension digs and naked shark huggers; fewer natural disaster jokes.
And on that note, let’s beat Florida.
We’ve officially hit it big time.
Last night, our friends at the Harold Leeder of the New Circle Circular wrote an absolutely hysterical piece on KSR that makes fun of Florida fans. This morning, that Harold Leeder post was featured on the front page of Reddit.
For those who don’t know, Reddit is one of the most popular websites on the internet right now, featuring comments, upvotes/downvotes (likes/dislikes), etc. on any topic imaginable. Sports teams, musicians, news source, etc., all have different subreddits for fans of any subject to tune into.
Here’s the headline, now up to 8534 upvotes and 646 comments at the time of writing this post.
The top two comments on the post just add icing to the cake.
You can read the whole comment thread featuring some pretty priceless stuff here.
In case you missed it, here’s the link to the original KSR article:
Now, who is going to make us a r/KentuckySportsRadio or r/KSR?
By Nick Roush on ©September 20th, 2017 @ 8:00pm
Kentucky has lost to Florida thirty times in a row, but the 2017 Wildcats only need one loss to motivate them to play their best this Saturday.
Last year Kentucky laid an egg at The Swamp. They were dominated from start to finish in the 45-7 loss. After the game, Jordan Jones called out his teammates.
“Sometimes when we’re down, a lot of people on our team just tend to quit and think it’s over, and I don’t think it’s over until it’s actually over,” Jones said. “I think as a whole team we all need to work on fighting back and not giving up and realizing the game’s not over until it’s actually over.”
Derrick Baity echoed that sentiment one year later.
“It hurt, but I feel like we didn’t put up enough fight. We just came in and laid down. It hurt to see your team do that, but I don’t think we have that mentality anymore.”
Since then, Baity said the players have reversed course by buying in completely. He was not afraid to admit that at the time, he had not completely bought in to the coaches’ message. It’s difficult to eloquently describe exactly how the team has changed, but there’s no denying it.
“We were hoping to beat them last year and now we feel like we’re capable of beating them this year,” Baity said. “There’s not one person the field that has that mentality to lose.”
In case the players forgot that feeling, Eli Brown said last year’s embarrassing loss is playing on a loop in the Kentucky weight room as a reminder. The 2017 Kentucky Wildcats will enter Saturday’s game with a much different attitude than the 2016 Kentucky Wildcats.
“This is a different team, different players,” Baity said. “We’re all in.”
KSR’s Free Money listeners are a lot richer after week three of the college football season. After rolling in cash all weekend, Matt and Drew recap their picks, make a few week four selections, and…
— What will Phil brag about this week?
— How do you have more than one pick of the month?
— Drew counted Phil’s record from week three and it was not good.
— How well do they know the location of our nation’s military academies?
— Matt’s early NFL success and his picks of the week.
You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©September 20th, 2017 @ 7:00pm
How many times do we hear Coach Cal say, “We’re every team’s Super Bowl” each year?
This time, the Kentucky football team is on the receiving end of that narrative.
Florida WR Freddie Swain told reporters that Saturday’s game was Kentucky’s version of the Super Bowl.
“That’s probably like their Super Bowl, you know what I’m saying,” Swain said. “If I lost to a team that long, I mean, I’d try to win too. I mean that would be a big win.”
Florida tight ends coach and former Kentucky assistant Greg Nord the two programs just aren’t on the same level right now.
“Where we’re at now, we’re one of the elite programs in the country and they’re not.”
For senior safety Nick Washington, the primary goal is to not be the team that ruins the streak.
“I don’t think many guys are thinking that we’ve had a really long streak going against these guys and we can’t be the team to let the university down or our fans down,” said Washington.
The BBN begs to differ.
As far as Swain’s comments go, do you think he was trying to throw shade at the Wildcats? More importantly, is he wrong?
You’ve seen it a million times on the National Geographic channel. An alligator floating slowly, only the crown of its black head cracks the swamp’s stagnant, reflective surface. Subtle ripples, pulsing from the gator’s gentle tread, are the only things keeping it from being completely undetectable. Nearby, an ignorant water dwelling bird stands at the shoreline trying to catch fish. In a flash, the gator springs to action, clutching the bird in its powerful jaws amidst splashing of black water and blood. This is usually when the sophisticated British narrator chimes in to praise the gator for being a fierce and stealthy hunter, as the alligator swims away with its prey.
That scene makes alligators seem cool, right? Well, they’re not.
What this typical Nat Geo documentary fails to mention is the vile manor by which the gator consumes its meal. It’s a lengthy, disgusting process, which starts by the reptile submerging its prey to the swamps bottom. Then the gator lets osmosis soften the deceased animal, until it is soggy enough for the gator to swallow whole. Imagine a human submerging his or her Cinnamon Toast Crunch in milk, letting it turn to mush, then swiftly eating the whole thing at once. Not only would it be a waste of a delicious bowl of cinnamon sugar goodness, it would also be repulsive, unacceptable dining behavior. That’s what gators are, repulsive beasts with no sense of meal time etiquette.
We’re talking about a creature who prefers to spend its time wallowing in mud water that smells like poop and egg farts. This filthy water is the same place they’ve picked to give birth to their children. Children who will hatch into a childhood filled with nothing but fear of being eaten by the parents who gave them life. That’s right, gators are so weak minded and shameless that they’ll resort to eating their own offspring in times of famine.
Trash such as plastic bottles and even license plates have been found in the stomachs of alligator carcasses. Sure, humans are to blame for this, but just because trash exists in their ecosystem, doesn’t mean they have to eat it. I see trash all the time in my habitat, but I’ve never been inclined to consume it. Other species that live in these swampy environments don’t eat trash. So why do gators eat it? Well, because they’re shameless, prehistoric, imbeciles.
Outside of their stomach churning diet, alligators are reptiles, which means they rely on their surroundings to regulate their body temperature. Seems incredibly indolent if you ask me. Instead of being assertive and regulating their own temperature, like superior, evolved mammals do, they rely on their environment to pick up their slack. Freeloading off the radiant energy from the suns rays giving nothing in return besides enabling the indulgent behavior of the wealthy elite who overpay for gator skin shoes and belts.
American Alligators are some of the oldest extant vertebrates on the planet. They’ve largely remained the same for millions of years. I’ve seen them described as versatile and resilient survivors, virtually unchanged by the arrow of time. If you ask me, those are just nice terms for describing something that is complacent and lazy, an organism unwilling to evolve and leave the squalor they’ve called home for eons. Gators are ok with being disgusting, dirt eating nuisances and should be viewed as such.
I mean, just observe this massive gator move:
What exactly is there to admire here? I can’t decide whether to attribute his glacial pace to his minuscule intelligence or his slothful nature. The thing can’t even take a step without having to think about which leg he’s going to move next. However, I’m sure it is challenging to move with four gallons of trash sloshing around in your stomach. I wonder what’s on the other side of that path…probably his next meal, which is most likely his own kids. Never fear though, by the time he reaches them they’ll likely be his size. What a disgrace.
It’s shocking to me a public university would choose such a nasty animal as the symbol for their athletic program, yet Florida does. In fact, they embrace and cherish, this vile disgusting creature. Their fans cheer and repeatedly clap their arms together, imitating the chomping of the bacteria laced jaws of their favorite reptile, all the while not knowing the disgusting nature of the species they’re imitating. I chuckle at the site of a Florida fan sporting a shirt with the image of a gator head. It’s funny to me because that Florida fan sees an alligator on his shirt, but all I will ever see is mud and trash smeared across his chest.
Gators are gross. Go Cats.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 20th, 2017 @ 4:50pm
If college football was a game of Risk, Kentucky would be a heck of a contender right now.
If you listened to the show this morning, you heard a caller describe the College Football Imperialism Map created on Reddit. Basically, if a team beats another team, they acquire their land, along with the land of the teams that program has beaten this season. So, in Kentucky’s case, Kentucky gets the land closest to them to start with. So far, they have acquired Southern Miss’ land and South Carolina’s land (plus NC State and Missouri). Eastern Kentucky isn’t an FBS team, so they don’t count. Teams keep their land until they get beat, in which case all of their land goes to their opponent.
Here’s a GIF of the season to this point.
Per this bizarre exercise, Kentucky is tied with South Florida for the second most territories and has the fourth most counties/parishes at 153. Saturday’s game vs. Florida is huge for obvious reasons, but with a win, Kentucky would pick up all of Tennessee’s territory that Florida won last week.
Yet another reason to win.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 20th, 2017 @ 4:19pm
Saturday could be a huge day for Garrett Johnson. Not only is the Winter Park, Florida native going up against his home state Gators, he has a chance to pass Randall Cobb on Kentucky’s career receiving list.
Johnson has 1,654 receiving yards over his career at Kentucky, and with seven more, will move to seventh on the list, passing Cobb, who will be inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame this weekend. Juice is averaging 35 receiving yards per game, so I’d say the chances are high he’ll do it. In fact, if he gets over 50 receiving yards, he can move up even higher on the list, passing La’Rod King (1,706 yards) at sixth and maybe even Quentin McCord (1,743) at fifth.
If Johnson channels his breakout performance vs. the Gators his freshman year, it will certainly happen. In 2014, Johnson caught six passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the Swamp. Sadly, it was all for naught as the Cats lost a triple overtime thriller 36-30. Stupid play clock.
Move up the list and break the streak. Let’s do it.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 20th, 2017 @ 2:00pm
According to a biblical prophecy, the world is supposed to end on Saturday, September 23, the same day Kentucky attempts to snap its 30-year losing streak to Florida. Coincidence? I think not.
How many times have you thought to yourself, the streak will never end? That the only way Kentucky would finally beat the Gators is if pigs flew by your window or hell froze over? Years of demoralizing losses will do that to even the most optimistic fan, which makes this prophecy so fitting.
Christian numerologists claim that on Saturday, Planet X — also known as Nibiru — will collide with Earth, causing widespread volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and earthquakes. Given the natural disasters wrecking havoc across the globe in recent weeks, that doesn’t seem so far off from reality. As for Kentucky football’s role in it all, well, just read these verses in Luke 21: 25 to 26…
“25: There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
“’26: Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.’
I mean, I’m no biblical scholar, but let’s break this down:
“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.”
- Kentucky is 3-0 coming off an upset of South Carolina
- Florida could be without nine players, including two top offensive playmakers
- Florida’s offense and defense rank last and second to last in the SEC
- The Gators needed a miracle to beat Tennessee
“On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.”
Sounds to me like the football world coming to grips with Kentucky’s success.
“People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken…Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”
A perfect description of the scene in Kroger Field as Kentucky tries to run the clock out on the final drive of the game. If the Cats are up one score with two minutes let, you KNOW fans will be fainting from terror and a few will clutch their hearts in fear. Should Kentucky finally beat Florida on Saturday, they would be on top of the SEC East standings and have a legitimate shot at going to the SEC Championship, and what is more core-shaking than that?
If the world does end on Saturday, I just hope it happens after the buzzer has sounded and the Cats officially snap the streak. Then, come and take me, God, because I will have reached nirvana.
If it ends just as Austin MacGinnis’ game-winning kick approaches the uprights…well, what would be more Kentucky football than that?
By Nick Roush on ©September 20th, 2017 @ 12:30pm
The Kentucky football team is in uncharted territory.
Entering Saturday’s game against Florida, Kentucky is undefeated. A win would put them at the top of the SEC through four games. While fans dream of seeing their Wildcats atop the SEC East, Florida head coach Jim McElwain believes that dream could become a reality.
“I know you guys take it as coach-speech, but Kentucky’s a team in the driver’s seat because they’re playing at home and they’re undefeated in the East,” McElwain said on today’s SEC teleconference.
That wasn’t the only praise he dished out for the Wildcats.
“Since I’ve been here it’s the most complete team they’ve had. They’re probably playing as good as any team in the SEC. They’re playing with confidence, doing a great job with their quarterback. He knows what to do, how to do it, and they’re really doing a great job on defense forcing you to become one-dimensional.”
McElwain is anxious to see how his team responds on the road after the emotional last-minute victory over Tennessee.
“Really looking forward to kind of seeing a little more about ourselves. Obviously, the early part of our season’s been a little bit of an emotional roller coaster for us, the way last game ended and all that kind of stuff. Now the fun part comes where you’re able to go play at a sold out arena on the road and kind of find out who you are a little bit. Our guys are looking forward to it.”
One player may not have the opportunity to respond on the field right away. Duke Dawson has two interceptions in the Gators’ two games, one for a touchdown, but was sidelined with a concussion against Tennessee. Dawson Tweeted that he’ll be able to play on Saturday but McElwain said, “we’ll see,” if the defensive back can pass concussion protocol.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 20th, 2017 @ 10:30am
Saturday’s going to be an exciting day around Kroger Field. Not only is KSR super-sizing our pregame coverage (noon to kick off), UK is doing its best to make sure the atmosphere around the stadium is great as well. This morning, they announced that country duo Aly-An will perform the pregame concert on the stage in the plaza outside Gate 12 following the Cat Walk, which starts at approximately 5:15 p.m. Bradford BBQ and Mad Mike’s food trucks will be parked next to the concert stage as well.
What is Aly’An? A female country duo comprised of Alyson Burke and Andrea Gross, two Burgin, Kentucky natives that joined forces after competing against each other in local singing competitions for years. Described by the Nashville Music Guide as having “harmonies that blend so well you’d swear they were sisters,” Aly’An has already shared the stage with the likes of John Michael Montgomery, Ben Sollee and Florida Georgia Line. Ryan Lemond is already a fan.
Here’s a sampling of their work:
Today on KSR, powered by Lextran: The Florida game approaches, McDonald’s All-American Game moves to Atlanta
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 20th, 2017 @ 9:00am
A message from our friends at Lextran:
Heading to the game? Hop on the Lextran football shuttle to Kroger Field! Lextran operates shuttle service during every UK home football game from downtown and campus. The service begins three hours prior to kick-off and runs for 30 minutes after the start of the game. Shuttle will pick back up at the beginning of the 4th quarter. Pay $1 each way onboard the bus. Please have exact change! Further details can be found at www.lextran.com!
The Florida game is officially SOLD OUT
At 5 p.m. yesterday, Mitch Barnhart shared the good news: Saturday will be Kentucky’s first sellout since the Thursday night Auburn game in 2015. With a packed house and arguably the best chance to break Florida’s 30-year winning streak in some time, Kroger Field will be nuts.
The team wore the chrome helmets in practice yesterday, the latest indication they wear them on Saturday night:
— KYwildcatsTV (@KYwildcatsTV) September 20, 2017
Mark Stoops will take his turn on the SEC Coaches Teleconfernece
With his team 3-0, I expect an upbeat but focused Stoops on the conference call this afternoon. Nick Roush will be listening in to bring you updates. Speculation continues that the nine suspended Florida players won’t play due to their involvement in a credit card fraud investigation, so surely someone will ask Jim McElwain about it. Check the site around lunch for a recap.
Defensive coordinator Matt House will address reporters later this afternoon. Last night, Eddie Gran, Benny Snell, and Stephen Johnson took their turns at the podium, and if you missed their comments, enjoy the recaps from Nick below:
The CBS Sports Network crew likes the Cats
Get on board, Brian Jones.
ICYMI, the 2018 football schedule was released
Sept. 1 CENTRAL MICHIGAN
Sept. 8 at Florida
Sept. 15 MURRAY STATE
Sept. 22 MISSISSIPPI STATE
Sept. 29 SOUTH CAROLINA
Oct. 6 at Texas A&M
Oct. 13 Open Date
Oct. 20 VANDERBILT
Oct. 27 at Missouri
Nov. 3 GEORGIA
Nov. 10 at Tennessee
Nov. 17 MIDDLE TENNESSEE
Nov. 24 at Louisville
Pencil me in for that trip to College Station on October 6. I’ve only driven by Kyle Field on a trip to cover a basketball game at Reed Arena a few years back and I can’t wait to see a game there.
The McDonald’s All-American Game is moving to Atlanta
After seven years in Chicago, the famous high school all-star game is moving to Atlanta. The event is scheduled for March 28, 2018 at Philips Arena. Rosters won’t be announced for a while, but they’re guaranteed to include most, if not all, of UK’s targets, including Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Immanuel Quickley. Can anybody stop Zion from winning the dunk contest?
Speaking of Zion, a reminder that he’ll be on campus this weekend for his official visit. Something tells me he’ll be front and center to watch John Wall enter the Hall of Fame on Friday night.
Everyone say a little something for Puerto Rico
— Stu Ostro (@StuOstro) September 20, 2017
The island is currently being slammed by Hurricane Maria. Most of my husband’s family is from Puerto Rico, including my father-in-law, who lives on the island half the year. Thankfully, he’s in Tennessee right now, but it’s scary to think what he could go back to once the storm passes.
While you’re at it, say a little something for Mexico City as well. The images coming out after yesterday’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake are horrible. Mother Nature, are you trying to tell us something?
I’m on day three of eating clean and all I can think about is cheese
Someone please tell me it gets better. Also, why the hell am I doing this during football season?
Radio in an hour.
By Drew Franklin on ©September 19th, 2017 @ 11:00pm
It is way too early to be looking ahead to next season, but I’m going to do it anyway since the schedule was released today.
Kentucky Football | 2018 Schedule
vs. Central Michigan
Sept. 1 | Kroger Field
Kentucky will open the 2018 season in Kroger Field against the Chippewas of Central Michigan. A five-win team in 2017, Central Michigan will hope to see a rusty Drew Barker in Barker’s first start for the Wildcats since 2016; but even if that’s the case, the Cats’ defense projects to be one of the best in the nation after all eligible juniors passed on the NFL draft to return for their senior years.
Sept. 8 | Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
With the 30-year streak in the rearview mirror, Florida will be out to get back on the right track and avenge the 10-point loss at Kentucky in 2017. Jim McElwain, sitting on the hottest seat in the SEC, will desperately need a win in the Gators’ first true test of the year.
vs. Murray State
Sept. 15 | Kroger Field
Our younger brothers from the West will step outside the OVC for a trip to Central Kentucky to try to upset the state’s best football program. Senior quarterback Shuler Bentley, the older brother of South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley, will carry on the family legacy of losing to the Cats.
vs. Mississippi State
Sept. 22 | Kroger Field
The annual SEC East-West rivalry returns to Lexington in 2018 after the Bulldogs handed Kentucky its first loss of the 2017 season. But with stud quarterback Nick Fitzgerald gone to the pros, the Dawgs will struggle with QB concerns through the early part of 2018.
vs. South Carolina
Sept. 29 | Kroger Field
South Carolina will come to Lexington on a four-game losing skid to Kentucky, but Heisman hopeful Deebo Samuel and third-year starter Jake Bentley will have the Gamecocks looking poised for a run at the SEC East. However, they may already have two losses on their resume — Georgia and at Vanderbilt — before playing the Cats in Week 5. This one could be an early must-win for the Cocks.
at Texas A&M
Oct. 6 | Kyle Field
Reigning SEC Coach of the Year Mark Stoops will take his Wildcats on the program’s first ever trip to College Station to play the Aggies and new head coach Chip Kelly.
Blue will get in.
Oct. 20 | Kroger Field
How will Vanderbilt look in Derek Mason’s fifth season? Prediction: Good, coming off consecutive bowl appearances.
Oct. 27 | Faurot Field
After an absolutely embarrassing effort in 2017 with zero conference wins, Missouri will suck once again.
Nov. 3 | Kroger Field
Defending SEC East champion Georgia was lucky to beat the Wildcats in Athens in 2017, so Kentucky will be motivated to return the favor in Kroger Field in 2018.
Nov. 10 | Neyland Stadium
The UK-UT rivalry will reach new heights in 2018 when the two programs play in the first ever Stoops Bowl. Mark and his Wildcats will visit older brother Bob and his Volunteers in the 3:30 pm CBS game in Knoxville.
vs. Middle Tennessee State
Nov. 17 | Kroger Field
In the ultimate trap game, Middle Tennessee State, sandwiched between road trips to Tennessee and Louisville on UK’s schedule, will provide an unexpected challenge late in the season. Expect a sluggish start by the Cats after a very emotional Senior Day for the program’s NFL prospects, the most ever from one class.
Nov. 24 | Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
With Lamar Jackson off to the NFL and running the Jacksonville Jaguars offense, the Cardinals will struggle under the guidance of new starting quarterback Jawon Pass, who will throw four interceptions in his debut against Alabama. By the time the Kentucky game rolls around in the regular season finale, Louisville will have five losses on its resume and will be handed a sixth by the visiting Kentucky Wildcats, which entered the game as four-point road favorites having won the last two meetings.
Benny Snell received 32 carries and played 70 snaps against South Carolina. He insists it doesn’t matter, “20 carries, 10 carries, 30 carries, it all feels the same way the next day. The more the merrier.” Even so, Eddie Gran doesn’t want to exhaust his featured running back.
Fans are asking when and where they’ll see Kentucky’s third running back, but Gran just wants to get No. 2 more involved. Sihiem King had just two carries for 15 yards against South Carolina. On two occasions, the Cats were backed up deep and needed Snell’s power to get more cushion.
“Those are a couple series I should’ve put him in and I told him that,” Gran said. “I think for the remainder of the season, 70 snaps is too much [for Benny]. You’ll see Sihiem more whether we create something or we just get him more touches.”
On two third downs they did create something for Sihiem and he took advantage of the opportunity.
“Sihiem can create some big plays and he did,” Mark Stoops said yesterday. “The third-down catch he made was a fantastic play — two third downs, actually — and then on the sweep, he made a great run. Sihiem’s doing some good things. He’s going to get some more opportunities. He’ll definitely be a guy we’ve got to get involved more.”
The two third down passes King caught went for first downs and totaled 18 yards.
“It felt good to get into space and do what I can do,” King said. “It feels good. I’ll do anything to help my team out. I was excited. We converted on that third down and it was a scoring drive.”
King played sparingly entering this season. It took him some time to get comfortable as a part of the regular rotation, but after three games, he’s confident that whenever his number is called, he’ll make the play.
“It’s starting to feel natural to me. It’s starting to come to me. It’s starting to be sort of like a reality to me now.” King added, “I just do what I can do to help the team. Every time I get it I try to make a play. Every time I touch it, I want to make a play.”
By Nick Roush on ©September 19th, 2017 @ 7:30pm
Beloved by the Big Blue Nation, Kentucky fans fell in love with Stephen Johnson and Benny Snell all over again after Kentucky’s fourth consecutive win over South Carolina.
Their play did enough, accounting for 345 of UK’s 353 total yards of offense, but their production isn’t what took the internet by storm. You couldn’t log onto social media without seeing the picture above that came at the end of Johnson’s 24-yard third down run.
“It was the same guy that didn’t shake my hand at first,” Johnson explained, “so when I saw him I kind of got a little petty and stuck my tongue out to him.”
Snell’s viral moment was much more subtle and didn’t get noticed until two days later.
— Josh Edwards (@JEdwar247) September 18, 2017
Did Snell know what he was doing?
“Yes sir. It was following me around the whole time, so I just knew. I didn’t know if it was like the TV or what it was, but I knew somebody was going to see it,” he said with a chuckle.
What could have been their most sensational moment didn’t happen because Stephen dropped Benny’s Wildcat pass.
“I saw it was wide open. I lost it in the light,” Johnson said. “I should have — like I heard all the time — is just catch [it in] the light. I definitely gotta work on that now. We’ll probably end up doing it again at some point.”
Benny couldn’t believe it. “I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness. It was a touchdown. I already know.’ It’s a 100 percent completion rate to me. I’m not worried about what the stats book says.”
For the last two days, Johnson has caught grief from his teammates. He believes Benny deserves a 100 percent completion rate. “Yeah, that was my fault. It was definitely my fault. It was a good pass, so I gotta make it up to him somehow.”
The Packers fell behind early as the Falcons scored 24 first half points on their way to a 34-23 victory. Despite the loss Randall Cobb performed well in the National TV spotlight catching 6 balls for 60 yards. Cobb did injure his shoulder in the loss and is listed as day-to-day for this week. Lets hope this is a minor injury for the former Kentucky legend.
The Bucs scored 26 unanswered points in the 1st half against the Bears on their way to a 29-7 victory. Danny Trevathan recorded 4 tackles in a loss that the Bears would like to put in their rear-view. Chicago will have to rebound quickly as they host the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday.
The Steelers dominated the Vikings as Sam Bradford sat out with a knee injury. Bradford’s absence did not stop Bud Dupree from getting to the quarterback as the former first round pick recorded 2 tackles and 1 sack in the Steelers 26-7 victory. An encouraging performance from Dupree in his first action of the season, he sat out the Steelers opening game with a shoulder injury.
Za’Darius Smith suffered a knee sprain in the Ravens opening win against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Kentucky product was not able to play in Sunday’s game against the Browns. The Ravens have not released a timetable for his return. Even without Smith the Ravens defense continued to show why they are one of the league’s best as they forced 5 turnovers in the team’s 24-10 victory. The Titans got back on track this week after losing their opener, Wesley Woodyard led the defense with 9 tackles including 1.5 for a loss. The 11 year NFL veteran continues to play linebacker at an elite level. The Titans laid it on the Jaguars scoring 31 2nd half points on their way to a 37-16 win.
Avery Williamson also played well as he contributed 4 tackles and a pass deflection in the Titans 37-16 win. This is a huge year for Williamson as he will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. If the Kentucky product continues playing the way he has in his first 3 NFL seasons he should be in line for a major pay day.
Corey Peters, now a 7 year NFL veteran, failed to register a tackle in yesterday’s game but did find a way to pressure the quarterback with one QB hit in the Cardinals 16-13 win against the Indianapolis Colts.
Awesome news, friends. According to Mitch Barnhart, the Kentucky/Florida game is officially SOLD OUT:
It's a sellout! Thank you, #BBN!
— Mitch Barnhart (@UKMitchBarnhart) September 19, 2017
The last time Kentucky football sold out a game? Thursday, October 15, 2015 when the Cats played Auburn. Hopefully this game has a better outcome.
Kentucky football fans, it’s time to prepare for the 2018 season. Get out your calendars to pencil in seven home games at Kroger Field and an eventful SEC road trip. Even though we already knew most of Kentucky’s 2018 opponents, a few unexpected wrinkles have been added.
UK will host instate foe Murray State after a road trip to Gainesville. They’ll take their first trip to Kyle Field to play Texas A&M just before the Bye Week, which will once again fall on the same weekend as Big Blue Madness. Finally, what could be the biggest surprise is the late-season addition of Middle Tennessee State. The Blue Raiders were projected to win Conference-USA this year and will bring a big crowd from Murfreesboro, which is just four hours away from Lexington.
Kentucky’s 2018 Football Schedule
Sept. 1 CENTRAL MICHIGAN
Sept. 8 at Florida
Sept. 15 MURRAY STATE
Sept. 22 MISSISSIPPI STATE
Sept. 29 SOUTH CAROLINA
Oct. 6 at Texas A&M
Oct. 13 Open Date
Oct. 20 VANDERBILT
Oct. 27 at Missouri
Nov. 3 GEORGIA
Nov. 10 at Tennessee
Nov. 17 MIDDLE TENNESSEE
Nov. 24 at Louisville
See the schedules for all 14 SEC schools here.
KSR’s SEC Power Rankings return this week with some drastic changes from a week ago. Those changes are in part because I took over the role as ranker for this one, but also because of some very notable wins (and losses) across the conference.
1. Alabama (3-0)
Beat Colorado State, 41-23; Previous Week: 1
Alabama is in the top spot in the power rankings for one more week before it drops a couple spots next week after a loss at Vanderbilt.
2. Mississippi State (3-0)
Beat LSU, 37-3; Previous Week: 6
Mississippi State jumped all the way up to No. 2 from No. 6 after blowing out LSU, last week’s No. 2, in Starkville.
Nick Fitzgerald is the real deal and will enter the Heisman race if he has another big game this weekend when the Bulldogs travel to Georgia.
3. Georgia (3-0)
Beat Samford, 42-14; Previous Week: 3
Georgia didn’t do much to improve its stock after beating an FCS team (and failing to cover), but 3-0 is 3-0 and that win at Notre Dame is still one of the SEC’s best out-of-conference performances this season.
4. Vanderbilt (3-0)
Beat Kansas State, 14-7; Previous Rank: 10
Vanderbilt? At fourth? Yep. The ‘Dores saw a huge jump in the rankings after upsetting No. 18 Kansas State for the program’s first win over a ranked non-SEC opponent in 71 years. Vandy is now 3-0 for the first time since 2011 with its sights set on Alabama.
Defensive lineman Nifae Lealao said, “Alabama, you’re next.”
— Justin Beasley (@JBeasleyWSMV) September 17, 2017
Easy there, bud.
5. Kentucky (3-0)
Beat South Carolina, 23-13; Previous Rank: 12
Another team with a huge jump up the rankings is Kentucky following its win at South Carolina as a touchdown underdog. The Gamecocks crowd was at its best and Carolina’s captains wouldn’t shake hands before the game, but UK dominated from start to finish — if we consider the ‘start’ as being after the Cats allowed a TD on the first play of the game and then turned it over twice.
6. Florida (1-1)
Beat Tennessee, 26-20; Previous Rank: 8
Did you see that Hail Mary? Wow, what a finish.
7. Tennessee (2-1)
Lost to Florida, 20-26; Previous Rank: 7
Did you see that Hail Mary? Wow, how do you let the receiver get behind you? Idiots.
8. Auburn (2-1)
Beat Mercer, 24-10; Previous Rank: 4
Auburn’s only loss was at Clemson, so its resume still looks good; however, the product Auburn has put on the field for three straight weeks, has not.
9. LSU (2-1)
Lost to Mississippi State, 3-37; Previous Rank: 2
LSU’s loss to Mississippi State was its worst to an unranked opponent since 1943. Coach O is now on the hot seat, and that saddens me.
10. South Carolina (2-1)
Lost to Kentucky, 13-23; Previous Rank: 5
The Deebo Samuel injury is a tough one to swallow. You gotta feel for that guy and the team that will move on without its star player.
11. Arkansas (1-1)
No game; Previous Rank: 9
Arkansas had the week off, so it drops two spots for resting. Want to move up? Beat A&M in Jerry World this weekend.
12. Ole Miss (2-1)
Lost to California, 16-27; Previous Rank: 11
Note to all SEC schools: if you’re going to travel across the country to face a second tier Pac-12 team, don’t lose.
But if you do lose, at least look like you’re capable of playing competitive football.
13. Texas A&M (2-1)
Beat Louisiana-Lafayette, 45-21; Previous Rank: 14
Sure, Texas A&M beat Louisiana-Lafayette by 24; but did you know A&M trailed at the half? Throw in the Aggies’ Week 1 disaster and then a close one against Nicholls in Week 2, and it’s the beginning of the end for Kevin Sumlin. Might as well go ahead and fire him if you ask me.
14. Missouri (1-2)
Lost to Purdue, 35-3; Previous Rank: 13
Missouri is an embarrassment to the league. Can we ship it back to the Big 12 until it remembers how to play football?