John Calipari has his point guard for the Class of 2018. Immanuel Quickley, a five-star →
Football Season Coverage
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 22nd, 2017 @ 10:45pm
Over the years, we’ve heard some epic pep talks from Ryan Lemond, but today’s at Country Boy Brewery takes the cake. To pump up the crowd for the Florida game, Ryan delivered his most intense pep talk ever, getting in fans’ faces, ripping his shirt off and finally, diving into the crowd. Thankfully, it was well-documented:
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) September 22, 2017
— Eric J Redmon #BBN (@eredmon19) September 22, 2017
— Big Blue Roofing (@bigblueroofing) September 22, 2017
Ryan, whose lip was already bleeding, actually scraped/cut his forehead during the dive:
Is there anything Ryan won’t do for KSR and the Cats? The answer is no.
Here are some more shots of what we believe is a record crowd:
Whatever the record was, we broke it. 😳 pic.twitter.com/VYXeTtsXgP
— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) September 22, 2017
You people are crazy. Especially Ryan.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©September 22nd, 2017 @ 9:00pm
As you guys know, one of the biggest campus traditions at the University of Kentucky is the sign making process for big games.
We’ve seen some awful ones spread across the internet for the Florida game, but we wanted to make sure the funny ones got the publicity they deserved.
This afternoon, several KSR members drove through the streets of Lexington to find the best fan signs we could find.
You guys did not disappoint:
As you can see from the top picture referencing the viral image of Florida’s head coach butt naked on top of a shark, Jim McElwain obviously has some questions to answer…
If you haven’t tried the new Chipotle Queso, don’t. Unless you’re a Florida fan.
Two recent “Boogie’s” in the Kentucky program. How many does Florida have? Exactly.
Florida currently has nine players being investigated for felony credit card fraud. Whoops.
Again, felonies and Gators go together like peas and carrots.
As an added bonus, one of our newest writers, Alex Holder, has a buddy that joined the Air Force after his freshman year at Kentucky.
He wanted the BBN to know how he felt about this game, even while serving our country. (NSFW)
Let’s go get this W.
By Drew Franklin on ©September 22nd, 2017 @ 5:49pm
We thought we had a good thing going for tomorrow’s big game, but the NCAA put a stop to it.
Apparently, we are breaking some kind of rule by giving away masks with Stephen Johnson’s face on them. We ordered a truck load of masks to pass out around the tailgates tomorrow afternoon, but the NCAA said that will not be happening.
It’s unfortunate because we were excited about giving fans a souvenir for the day the streak ends. Turns out, we’re in violation of some rule and we’ll have to keep all of these Stephen Johnson faces for ourselves.
I don’t know what we’ll do with them or where we’ll put them. Christmas gifts for our families, maybe?
By Aaron Torres on ©September 22nd, 2017 @ 4:30pm
I may be the resident outsider here at KSR (I know, I know, I’ve started roughly 11 straight articles with the same catchphrase), but you don’t need to be a UK football historian to know that we’ve got an important Saturday coming up for the Kentucky football team. You also don’t need to be a UK football historian to know that it’s been a looooooooong time since UK beat Florida. Like three decades and two different George Bush’s in the White House long, a stretch that spans the entire Spurrier/Zook/Meyer/Muschamp and McElwain eras, and then some. So yeah, it’s been a while.
But while I’d never claim to be a UK football historian, I’ll gladly admit to watching just about as much football as anyone in America on a typical Saturday, and on replays throughout the week. And after watching three straight Saturday’s of college football, and spending plenty of time studying the ancillary stuff that comes with the sport – schedules, recruiting, you name it – I’m ready to tell you one thing: This is the year that Kentucky beats Florida.
Remember, I’m an outsider, and this isn’t some “Kentucky by 60” homer pick straight out of those old Saturday Night Live/Chicago Bears skits. Ending history won’t be easy for Kentucky, and if they’re to snap this streak, it will – like every SEC game – be hard fought and come down to the little things. But unlike most years, Kentucky doesn’t need a prayer and a miracle to compete. As best I can tell, they just need to play their game.
The first and most important thing to consider entering Saturday is something pretty simple, and you don’t need to be a young Nick Saban to see it: This Florida team is awful. I’ve been watching college football for over 20 years now, and I’ve never seen any Florida team as untalented as this one. Don’t get me wrong, they have pieces, specifically on the defensive line, but not only is this not a “vintage” Florida team, I think a legitimate case could be made that they’re the fourth best team in their own state (behind Florida State, Miami and South Florida), and somewhere around the 10th best team in the SEC (if not worse). The fact that they’re somehow ranked in the Top 25 right now is a sports travesty that historians will look back on and scratch their heads about for centuries to come (slight exaggeration), like when the U.S. lost the gold medal to the USSR in the 1972 Olympics, or when John Calipari lost Coach of the Year to Tony Bennett the year Kentucky went undefeated in the regular season. None of it makes sense. Like, at all.
For those of you who haven’t been paying close attention to the Gators, it started in Week 1 against Michigan, when Florida put up just 192 yards of total offense, and where 14 of their 17 points came off pick sixes. But then it went up another level last week. While so much of the focus in Florida’s win over Tennessee was on the final play, what everyone needs to pay attention to is that the Gators had no business even being in that game in the first place.
Florida was once again out-gained and Tennessee also threw two absolutely devastating interceptions. One was on the goal line, on what should have been a simple hand-off for a touchdown, and the other was deep in their own territory which was ultimately returned for a pick-six TD. So in essence, not only did Tennessee give up six points because they couldn’t punch the ball in from the one-yard line, but they also handed Florida 14 points on the pick-six and final play of the game. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that Tennessee could have won that game by three touchdowns and should have won it by double-figures. Yet they lost. As the old saying goes, “It’s great to be a Florida Gator.” Especially when you’re going up against Butch Jones.
Really though this isn’t just about Florida being bad, but – in my opinion – Kentucky being better than most people realize. Again, I’m not going full-fledged homer “We’re making the playoff, baby” mode. But I also believe that – based on what I’ve seen from them, as well as the rest of the SEC – eight wins is absolutely in play. Maybe nine if everything breaks right.
And that South Carolina game really told you everything you needed to know about Kentucky football this year. If you didn’t watch the game and just saw the final score you’d think to yourself, “Oh, what a solid win for Kentucky.” But, if you actually sat down and watched the game you saw something completely different: A game which, after the first few possessions, Kentucky absolutely dominated. Of the Gamecocks 13 points, six came on the first play of the game (literally), and the final seven came late in the fourth quarter when South Carolina basically went to a two-minute drill offense and UK went to a prevent defense. Sure UK was helped by some shoddy special teams from South Carolina, but for the most part they dominated that game in every way a team could.
More than just the final score, you know what impressed me most about that victory though? Kentucky’s poise. Again, they fell down 6-0 after less than a minute of play, and from there, you know what happened next? Kentucky threw an interception and then had a fumble on their next two possessions. The score could have easily been 20-0 after less than five minutes of play.
But instead, Kentucky does what a poised, veteran team that’s been there before does: They stayed calm. They forced a three-and-out (which was followed by a missed field goal) and the next possession forced an interception. Then they slowly went about picking apart South Carolina’s defense with a balance of short passes, runs up the middle and misdirection (right up until the end when Kentucky was trying to milk clock and they went non-stop Wildcat, I actually thought the play-calling was really good). They also played solid defense; take out that opening, 68-yard touchdown pass and they gave up under 300 yards the rest of the game. They also made the biggest plays when they needed to, including a late fourth-and-goal stop. This defense is way better than anyone gives them credit for. Don’t be fooled because of the “Kentucky” on the jersey. They can play with just about anyone.
And ultimately, the more I think about it, the more I realize that might be the reason right there why the national types (which I still consider myself) aren’t picking Kentucky to beat Florida on Saturday is, because, well… it’s Kentucky and Florida. History says Florida should win this game and Kentucky should lose. Except here’s the thing: If you simply took the names off the front of the jerseys and flipped on film of these two teams, who do you think would have the edge? Exactly. The fact that this line opened as Florida favored by five in Vegas and has been bet down to Florida favored by just 2.5 points proves that theory.
In the end, it won’t be easy and it might not be pretty. But for the first time in 31 years, Kentucky will beat Florida on Saturday.
Even an outsider can see it coming.
Aaron Torres is covering football and basketball for KSR this season after four years at Fox Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Aaron_Torres or e-mail at ATorres00@gmail.com. He is also the author of the only book written on the Calipari era, “One and Fun: A Behind the Scenes Look at John Calipari and the 2010 Kentucky Wildcats.”
By Drew Franklin on ©September 22nd, 2017 @ 2:00pm
Believe it or not, there was a time when Kentucky was able to beat Florida in football. It happened in 1986 and four times in six years from 1974 to 1979. You’ll have to go back to 1956 to find a sixth win, but it’s there, according to Google.
This season is the one, though; if not, it may never happen. Kentucky enters the game coming off a confidence-building win at South Carolina in a dominant performance all around. Vegas predicts a close game and many analysts around the country are even picking the Cats to finally take down the Gators for the first time in three decades.
But as history tells us, it won’t be easy.
Let’s revisit that miserable, embarrassing history before we put it behind us forever…
Florida 45, Kentucky 7
September 10, 2016 | Gainesville, FL
The winning streak hit 30 last season with Kentucky’s worst attempt of the Mark Stoops era. Gator QB Luke Del Rio threw for 320 yards, the most against an SEC opponent since 2004; while Kentucky managed only 149 yards of total offense in the entire game.
To make matters worse, it came after UK lost at home to Southern Miss to start the season, so fans were none too pleased with the outcome of the first two games of the season.
Florida 14, Kentucky 9
September 20, 2015 | Lexington, KY
Optimism was high in 2015 as the Cats came into the game with a 2-0 record and the school’s first SEC road win since the Ice Age, with a win at South Carolina one week earlier. Then reality set in as Dorian Baker dropped a pass in the end zone early in the game and the Gators held Kentucky to nine points by forcing five turnovers.
Florida 36, Kentucky 30 (3 OT)
September 13, 2014 | Gainesville, FL
The Gators needed three overtimes on its own field to keep the streak alive in 2014. It also needed a free play on 4th and 7 when down by a touchdown in the first of those three overtimes.
It was the day the streak should’ve ended.
But Florida cheated.
Florida 24, Kentucky 7
September 28, 2013 | Lexington, KY
Florida held the Cats to 172 total yards of offense in 2013’s 27th consecutive victory in the series. Kentucky’s only points came on a 25-yard scamper by kicker Joe Mansour on a fake field goal, which was nice.
Florida 38, Kentucky 0
September 22, 2012 | Gainesville, FL
Morgan Newton threw three interceptions in the second quarter as Kentucky fans pleaded with Joker Phillips through their televisions to save Newton the misery and take him out of the game. Jalen Whitlow was finally given control of the offense in the fourth quarter, but the damage was done and the Cats laid an egg in Gainesville.
Florida 48, Kentucky 10
September 24, 2011 | Lexington, KY
Florida scored three touchdowns in a 4:31 span of the first quarter to demolish what little hope Kentucky had entering the game. Jeff Demps was unstoppable; he rushed for 157 yards and two scores on 10 touches, followed by 105 yards from Chris Rainey. The Gators totaled over 400 yards on the ground in the game.
Florida 48, Kentucky 14
September 25, 2010 | Gainesville, FL
Freshman Trey Burton scored a school-record six touchdowns in Florida’s rout of Kentucky in 2010. Burton was unstoppable in the redzone, scoring on runs of 11, 10, 9, 3 and 7 yards from the Wildcat formation. He also caught a touchdown and would’ve thrown one had Omarius Hines not tripped over his own feet on a 42-yard completion from Burton.
Florida 41, Kentucky 7
September 26, 2009 | Lexington, KY
Ah, the College Gameday/Taylor Wyndham game. UK’s freshman defensive end knocked Tim Tebow out of the game with a vicious hit from the weak side, but not before Tebow threw a TD and ran for two, moving him to second place on the all-time rushing list in the SEC.
Aaron Hernandez caught a touchdown pass and didn’t murder anyone, as far as we know.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 22nd, 2017 @ 12:20pm
Tomorrow, the Cats will attempt to snap their 30-year losing streak to the Gators, and while some jokes about Florida are out of bounds, there are plenty of others to make about Jim McElwain and the fighting Albertas. Here are eight.
1. That picture, even if it’s not him
By now, you’ve surely seen the picture of a man that looks a lot like Jim McElwain laying naked on top of a dead shark. McElwain denies that it’s him, but the resemblance is uncanny.
2. His response to that picture
So, say the guy isn’t McElwain. Fine. At least have some fun with it, right? When Kyle Tucker asked McElwain about the picture at SEC Media Days in July, McElwain could not have sounded more like a stick in the mud:
Found him 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Nwv6NGXQZe
— Bryce Dixon (@dixonbryce) July 20, 2017
Have a laugh, Jim. It’s good for your heart.
3. How they made their mascot a total wuss
An alligator is a great mascot. It’s big, ugly, prehistoric-looking predator that can mess some fools up; that’s why it’s such a shame that Florida’s is a total wuss. My dog is more intimidating than Albert the Gator. Fake Barney and I went into this in-depth on my podcast last month, but could they have made Albert any lamer? He’s got a chunky sweater, a pot belly, and a ball cap on his head. Even his teeth aren’t that scary looking.
And don’t get me started on Alberta. Worst mascot in college football, and that’s saying something when Cal has this creeper:
4. The Two Bits cheer
I get that the Two Bits cheer is a big thing at Florida because it honors Mr. Two Bits, George Edmondson, Jr., a retired insurance salesman who became the team’s unofficial cheerleader. I’m all for traditions, especially those that celebrate a team’s most passionate fans. And I have no doubt that when Mr. Two Bits was in his prime, that cheer was a highlight of most games at Ben Griffin Stadium.
…But the Two Bits cheer is lame now. How do I know it’s lame? Even Kentucky stopped doing it. Not even Steve Spurrier could make it cool last year:
5. That Jim McElwain Belk commercial
You know what? I actually like Tebow now. Hating on him in 2017 is like hating on a puppy; I just can’t do it.
7. All the weird stuff that happens in Florida
I’m not talking about hurricanes or natural disasters or anything like that. I’m talking about the number of truly bizarre news stories that come out of the Sunshine State. Florida is by far first in the country in “SMHeadlines,” to the point that on Twitter, people just use the hashtag #Florida when sharing them and “weird Florida news” is one of the most common searches on Google.
A sampling of the most ridiculous headlines out of Florida over the past year:
- A Woman Twerked On Top Of A Car Going Down The Road
- Miami Lawyer’s Pants Caught On Fire While Defending A Client Accused Of Arson
- Man stabs father for trying to circumcise him
- Man shoots himself. Doesn’t realize it for three days
- Gator hurled through Wendy’s drive-thru window
That’s only scratching the surface.
8. Jim McElwain not understanding how to use sunscreen
I’m sure I’m leaving some out. Leave more in the comments.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 22nd, 2017 @ 11:15am
Florida has been bet down from a four-point favorite to a one-and-a-half point favorite as pundits across the country jump on the Kentucky football bandwagon. The Cats over the Gators is one of the most popular upset picks this weekend. Here’s a rundown of expert picks:
George Schroeder, USA Today: Kentucky
Nov. 15, 1986. That’s the last time Kentucky beat Florida in football. But on Saturday in Lexington, a 30-game losing streak ends as Kentucky finally gets the Gators.
USA Today: 3 Kentucky, 3 Florida
Sam Khan Jr. and Alex Scarborough, ESPN: Kentucky
Khan: I’m impressed with what the Wildcats did last week to South Carolina. The Gators pulled out a dramatic win over Tennessee, but I’m still not impressed with them at this point. I’m taking Kentucky. You saw the Gators up close and personal last week. What do you think?
Scarborough: I think I needed to visit the eye doctor after that game, Sam. It was that hard to watch at times. Those were two of the worst offenses I’ve seen in a long time. The execution was terrible, and I still can’t understand why both coordinators didn’t just get the ball into their playmakers’ hands. Tennessee should be feeding John Kelly and Marquez Callaway way more than they do. The same goes for Florida and Kardarius Toney.
I’m with you. I like Kentucky to break the streak. I just don’t trust Feleipe Franks at this point in his career to read the defense, and we all know that Mark Stoops knows how to call a good defense. I think it will be a close, low-scoring game that Benny Snell ends up deciding late.
CBS Sports: 3 Kentucky, 4 Florida
Barrett Sallee, CBS Sports: Florida
Florida has 30 straight wins over Kentucky, and that streak won’t be broken Saturday night in Lexington. The Gator front four was strong Saturday afternoon against Tennessee, routinely making its way into the Volunteers’ backfield to disrupt plays. Sure, sometimes John Kelly worked magic and something out of nothing, but not enough to get the Vols the win. Cece Jefferson, Jachai Polite and the rest of that crew will live in the Wildcats backfield, force running back Benny Snell and quarterback Stephen Johnsonto make quick decisions and dictate the style of the game. Offensively, Feleipe Franks will get a little bit more of the playbook, which will be enough to lead Florida to a very ugly, one-score win. Pick: Gators: (-3)
Dickie V: Kentucky
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) September 22, 2017
Did you know that the Wildcats are 3-0, including a road win at South Carolina? No, most of America doesn’t know either. And that’s what makes this so attractive for Drew Martin at SportsBookReview.com.
“Florida puts their 30-game winning streak against Kentucky on the line in this SEC East matchup. The Gators come in with a stellar defense combined with a dreadful offense,” he said, “For instance, the Gator defensive backs have produced more touchdowns (3) than the UF offense (2). Head coach Mark Stoops has the Wildcats sitting at 3-0, very much under the national radar. That leaves value in the betting markets. Spot wise it does not get much worse for Florida off of a thrilling victory over rival Tennessee, now heading on the road for a night game in Lexington. Streak ends here, take the home dog.”
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 22nd, 2017 @ 10:30am
Yesterday afternoon, our own Matt Jones went on The Paul Finebaum Show to preview tomorrow’s big game against Florida, and got all the Gators fans watching whipped into a tizzy when he predicted a Kentucky win. If his prediction comes true, what are Kentucky’s chances of winning the SEC East? Tune in below to find out.
Nobody likes a flopper, except Will Muschamp.
South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley attempted to earn an Academy Award nomination during last week’s game against Kentucky. After a play in the second half, Bentley walked by UK’s Josh Allen, then flung himself into the air like a rag doll.
I think this is what they call a flop pic.twitter.com/Steh9kpy9B
— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) September 17, 2017
Some soccer players would be proud of Bentley’s efforts, but one South Carolina fan was not. During Will Muschamp’s weekly call-in show, one fan asked if the coach talked to his quarterback about the play.
“It’s embarrassing to me,” the fan told Muschamp. “It’s not really a good look for us as Gamecocks.”
Muschamp did not seem to have a problem with it.
“If he’s trying to get a 15-yard penalty, then I’m all for it,” Muschamp said. “The guy is a hell of a competitor. If he’s trying to get a 15-yard penalty, let’s do it. The guy competes his [butt] off.”
Get used to it Gamecocks. You’re going to see a lot of this in the future from your wunderkind quarterback.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 22nd, 2017 @ 9:00am
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The Florida game is TOMORROW
We’re almost there, guys. Tomorrow night, the Cats will attempt to break the 30-year losing streak to the Gators, which means, if you’re like me, your nerves are probably already shot. Yesterday, Stoops did not respond well when told his players were already predicting a win over Florida.
“They shouldn’t be saying that,” Stoops said. “We’re going to prepare our butts off to win the game. There’s no guarantees in anything. So I don’t like that, just simply because we’re going to do everything we can to prepare to win this week, and the same next week and the week after. That’s what I care about – preparation.”
In the off chance that you’re not already bouncing off the walls with anticipation for tomorrow’s game, let KyWildcatsTV do their thing:
I mean, that’s better than coffee.
Jordan Jones will NOT play
Jones is still out with that shoulder injury, so it will be up to Eli Brown and Boogie Watson to fill the void as they did last week. By the way, the spread, which started with Florida at -4, is now down to -1.5.
This is a huge football weekend but it’s also a huge basketball recruiting weekend, as five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley is set to announce his decision tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET. He’s down to Kentucky, Kansas, and Miami, but it’s all but certain to be the Cats. We’ll bring you the stream on the site tonight.
— Immanuel Quickley (@IQ_GodSon) September 22, 2017
The timing of Quickley’s announcement couldn’t be more perfect. Not only will it jump start Kentucky’s 2018 class…
Zion’s visit was already huge, but having him on campus the same night his pal Quickley commits? Perfect. Add in John Wall’s Hall of Fame induction and…
Other 2018 recruiting tidbits…
- Calipari visited R.J. Barrett yesterday (2018 No. 1)
- Kentucky not on Simi Shittu’s official visit list
John Wall, Randall Cobb, and other UK greats enter the Hall of Fame
If this weekend wasn’t big enough, six former Wildcats will be inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame:
- Randall Cobb (football)
- Collin Cowgill (baseball)
- Ralph Hacker (broadcaster)
- Sherry Hoover Bordner (cross country/indoor track/outdoor track)
- Sarah Rumely (volleyball)
- John Wall (men’s basketball)
A private induction ceremony will take place tonight and the group will also be recognized during tomorrow’s game.
2018 RB Tyler Markray will join the team as a preferred walk-on
C O M M I T T E D 🌀🏴… BBN pic.twitter.com/uiVy778ZcW
— Ty (@Tymmarkray4) September 21, 2017
The running back out of West Bloomfield, Michigan announced his commitment to Kentucky last night. He’ll join the team as a preferred walk-on next season.
KSR is at Country Boy Brewery in Georgetown
Come on out to 108 Corporate Boulevard in Georgetown for today’s show, which is presented by Red State BBQ. If you’re one of the first 100 fans in line, you’ll get this awesome KSR/Country Boy/Red State BBQ pint glass:
This is a huge, huge weekend, folks, so stay tuned…
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 21st, 2017 @ 10:00pm
If you’ve read this site at all over the past year, you know how much I hate that Jim McElwain Belk commercial. For some reason, the Florida coach’s performance in the 30-second spot makes my blood boil. I get that coaches aren’t actors and 99% of commercials featuring them are cringeworthy, but McElwain is so corny and cheesy in this it makes me want to crawl under a table. While compiling my list of the most mockworthy things about the Gators this afternoon, this ranked right up there with the shark humping picture, and that’s saying something.
If you’ve somehow avoided the commercial in the past year, think carefully before you read this post and watch this video, because once you see it, there’s no going back:
Now, because I will freely admit that I’m obsessed with this, I’m going to break it down into the five most awkward parts.
5. “Let me show you this coat lining”
The whole schtick of the commercial is that Jim McElwain doesn’t know how to dress, so he has to get some help from Belk. Exhibit #1 of his horrible fashion sense: wearing a suit jacket over a golf shirt. Normally, I’d be like, “HARHAR, oh Jim, you crazy! That’s not how you dress for a fancy speaking event!”…but look at his face. Does he want to show off his outfit or take it off?
4. The awkward sleeve pull
The taupe members-only jacket is a big star of this spot, giving McElwain the opportunity to tug down on his sleeve while giving the camera a creepy smile. I just…no.
3. “Built for comfort”
If we were to believe the script, it seems McElwain is making a case for his checkered shirt because it’s comfortable; however…
- 1) That shirt doesn’t even look comfortable. It’s probably made of polyester and doesn’t breathe. A t-shirt or golf shirt would have made much more sense, but you know, Jim’s gotta be ZANY.
- 2) Again, the delivery. What the hell. He’s got innuendo turned up to Ryan Lemond levels. What exactly is built for comfort here, Jim?
2. Creepy head nod
No explanation needed.
1. Brushing the shoulder off
How long do you think he practiced this? I’m going with at least 15 minutes. You obviously can’t tell it from a GIF, but the audible “brush brush” sound effect as he strokes his shoulder is priceless.
I think Mrs. McElwain puts it best:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 21st, 2017 @ 9:00pm
Let me take you back in time, almost 31 years to November 15, 1986, the last time Kentucky beat Florida in a football game. What was happening in the world back then? As a two-year old, I was just learning how to form sentences, but thanks to the Google machine, I can bring you these events that were happening the year the Cats were last victorious over the Gators on the gridiron.
1. Top Gun was the highest grossing film
Fun fact: A Top Gun poster still hangs in my bedroom at my parents’ house.
2. Crocodile Dundee was No. 2
3. Rex Chapman was preparing for his freshman season at Kentucky
As a freshman, Chapman averaged 16 points and was the hero of Kentucky’s 85-51 win over defending National Champions Louisville. Rex had 26 points vs. the Cards on December 27:
4. The world was still reeling from the Challenger explosion
On January 28, 1986, the Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into flight, killing all seven crew members. Tens of thousands of school children were watching live as it happened because teacher Christa McAuliffe was a member of the crew.
5. …and the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
Man, the first half of 1986 was pretty depressing.
6. The Cosby Show was the top TV show
If we had only known then…
7. IBM unveils the PC Convertible, the first laptop computer
Remember this the next time you complain about your laptop being heavy.
8. The week of the game, “Amanda” by Boston was the #1 single on the Billboard charts
9. Billy Gillispie was 27 years old
10. The Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl
It’s been thirty years since Kentucky beat Florida. Before the 2017 Wildcats go for the Gators’ gullet on Saturday night, a member of the last UK team to beat Florida joins The Depth Chart Podcast. Former safety Ron Mack joins the crew at Bennigan’s to share stories from the win. It’s one of the show’s many highlights:
— There was more than one bench-clearing brawl in 1986.
— The similarities between this Kentucky team and the last team to beat Florida.
— Borderline blasphemy from the podcast’s preacher.
— Why the Florida suspensions don’t matter.
— Reasons to be nervous and confident about Saturday’s outcome.
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 Maggie Davis on ©September 21st, 2017 @ 6:45pm
Following the conclusion of practice, Coach Mark Stoops took a few minutes to talk to the press. Here’s what you need to know:
1. This week’s practice was…
“So far so good,” according to Stoops. “It’s been a solid week of practice. A lot of the physical work is in. We had a good mental day today. We’ll clean it up tomorrow and try to put the finishing touches on things.”
The head coach also said the players seem “pretty locked in,” which is always good to hear.
2. Stoops wants confident, not cocky
Following a question about Kentucky players saying they’re going to win this game, Stoops replied: “Who said that?” Obviously, the coach doesn’t want the players to get ahead of themselves; the game can’t be won until time expires on Saturday night.
“They shouldn’t be saying that,” Stoops said. “We’re going to prepare our butts off to win the game. There’s no guarantees in anything. So I don’t like that, just simply because we’re going to do everything we can to prepare to win this week, and the same next week and the week after. That’s what I care about – preparation.
“As I said to the team, I can’t wait to have a sell-out crowd… the players deserve to have that kind of support and everything else, but that’s not going to win the game for us. Playing between the lines is going to win the game. How we prepare through the week is what it’s all about. We’re in no position to be talking or making any predictions. So who did that, huh?”
3. No, Jordan Jones will not play
Unfortunately, Stoops did not surprise us all with news of Jones’ return before Saturday’s game. Because of the shoulder injury that first took him out during the EKU game , the LB will not compete against the Gators. All eyes will be back on Eli Brown to keep up the momentum from the South Carolina victory.
See the rest of what Stoops had to say here:
To the fans attending Saturday’s game, especially those who will be seated near the Florida sideline… McArthur Burnett is a player you will want to keep eyes on.
I don’t say that because Burnett is one of the keys to the Florida defense, because he is not. He hasn’t seen the field all season. But Burnett is one to watch because you never know what he might do on the sideline.
Watch him in action during last week’s game against Tennessee:
More from Florida players and UT students after the game… winds didn't stop these birds from flying. pic.twitter.com/Swni0x6zqK
— FOX Sports Knoxville (@FOXSportsKnox) September 20, 2017
So be careful out there, friends. You could catch a double bird at anytime.
By Nick Roush on ©September 21st, 2017 @ 3:00pm
1. What Makes the Florida Defense Good
The stats are deceiving — Florida is ranked near the the bottom of SEC defensive statistical category –but do not be fooled, Florida has a fantastic defense.
“They’re really good up front,” Eddie Gran said on Tuesday. “They’re really stout at linebacker, have a great secondary. It’s gonna be a a challenge for us. They do a really good job.”
Florida’s surrendered so many yards because they’ve been forced to stay on the field for so long, eventually wearing out late in the game. Kentucky must possess the ball for long periods of time. There’s no gimmicks to having success against this defense.
“We’re gonna have to create some stuff to get some yards whether that be formationally or just coming off and whipping somebody’s tail,” Gran said. “We’re gonna have to finish, we’re gonna have to compete and we’re doing that right now. We’re playing at a high level, meaning our intensity, we’re giving effort. When you do that you have a chance.”
2. The Strengths of the Florida Offense
The Gators are ranked last in the SEC in total offense with just 286 yards per game. Kentucky is taking nothing for granted. Matt House sees plenty of potential on the Florida offense.
“I see a quarterback that really throws good deep balls. They’ve got a couple wideouts that can blow the top off of coverage. They’ve got a couple quick wideouts, and they’ve got the same backs that ran for a bunch of yards on us last year. I think they’re big up front.”
3. Florida’s Best Offensive Threat
Florida has their own version of Lynn Bowden. No. 17 Kadarius Toney is a Wildcat quarterback who primarily plays in the slot. In two games he has just five rushing yards, but he has 67 receiving yards, some of which are accounted for on jet sweeps. Speed is the true freshman’s greatest weapon.
“He’s fast,” House said. “Really fast and they do a good job getting him the ball in open spaces whether it be a screen or jets. They had him at Wildcat quarterback. They do a good job of trying to get him the ball. He’s a good player.”
4. Lightning Can’t Strike Twice
Florida enters Kroger Field after a victory over Tennessee, thanks to one improbable last-second play.
“That can’t be us,” cornerback Derrick Baity said. “That just can’t be us. You know what’s going to happen on the last play. They’re thinking about going into overtime, but you gotta keep everything in front of you.”
If the Hail Mary scenario presents itself this Saturday, it will not be anything new to the Cats. Matt House said each side practices the Hail Mary situation once a week.
5. Defensive Improvements from Game One
Matt House’s simple assertion: “Assignments, guys playing faster and leverage on the football.”
To elaborate, the defense knows what the hell they’re doing. It’s allowing them to play faster and it ensures they are in the right position to make plays on the football.
6. Get Nosy
“The best nose is a fresh nose,” is how Derrick LeBlanc once put it. The ability to rotate eight or nine guys on the D-Line has transformed the UK defensive line into a unit that moves the line of scrimmage.
“We got about eight or nine guys that can definitely play,” Matt Elam said. “You know somebody’s going to be ready to play, so you can give it your all and the next guy’s going to be up. It’s been working.”
Elam and the D-Line are playing with more confidence than ever before and that’s translating into production.
7. Gran’s Script
Did you know offensive coordinator Eddie Gran scripts plays? Me neither. Gran said he’ll script the first 15-20 plays of each game. It gives the offense confidence in what they will be doing and it shows the coaches upstairs how the defense will react.
“A lot of the times it’s maybe giving them different formations maybe that they haven’t seen, maybe different personnel groupings and then that way as we’re charting upstairs, we’re finding out how they’re lining up to certain things.”
As they chart the defense’s response upstairs, they determine what worked well and use that, plus a few things they hadn’t shown, in the second half.
8. All Chrome Everything
For the first time in 2017, Kentucky will rock the Chrome Domes Saturday night. There’s a council of 15 players that will periodically meet with Mark Stoops. Their input helps decide the uniforms. This week the players didn’t pick the chrome, Stoops did.
“I guess he wants to rock the chromes,” Charles Walker said. “I think this week was more of him saying, ‘We’re bringing out these bad boys.’ Everyone likes them. I’m glad we’re wearing them.”
9. Childhood Fandom
I spoke to two guys from the state of Florida and neither grew up cheering for the Gators. Denzil Ware was closer to the panhandle, which made him favor Florida State. Derrick Baity hears crap about the Gators when he returns home, but as a child he was too busy playing outside and watching Dragonball Z to pay attention to football.
Surprisingly, the only childhood Florida fan grew up about three hours from Lexington. Bowling Green native Eli Brown loved the Gators as a child.
10. Vegas likes the Cats
Florida opened as four-point favorites. Three oddsmakers have lowered the line all the way down to 1.5, essentially a pick ’em. That’s gotta be a good thing, right?
Fans hear this same tale each and every year. It’s September and the traditional top dogs in the East don’t look up to the merit of making it to Atlanta. But every season, the ball falls the way of the traditional powers. 2017 may be the best chance for a team that has never been to Atlanta to make it that far. This Saturday may determine if one of the unlikely contenders can actually contend for the East Championship in 2017.
Currently, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Georgia, and Florida are the teams in the East without a conference loss. Even though UGA and Vandy have yet to play a conference game, there is still only one combined loss in that group (Florida lost to Michigan in week one). Missouri is so irrelevant it’s hilarious, Tennessee couldn’t get out of their own way this weekend and South Carolina was exposed against Kentucky. Tennessee still has Alabama and LSU on their schedule, so they might as well be out of the running. So there are essentially four teams with legitimate shots to win the division.
Vanderbilt has the biggest game in recent school history this weekend with Alabama coming into Nashville. While this game does not carry the same weight on the division as UK/Florida, it would be a coming out party if Vandy were to pull the upset. The Dores pack quite the punch on both ends of the ball thanks to the regime of Derek Mason. The odds will forever be in Alabama’s favor, but I expect Vanderbilt to hang around for a good portion of the game. If they were to pull the upset, it would be more of statement that the East is ready to compete with the West rather than a game with big implications on the division standings.
“Alabama, you’re next”
Lol, alright buddy. Go back to the library or something. pic.twitter.com/N3wH7aVUKq
— Barstool Bama (@BarstoolAlabama) September 17, 2017
Georgia will take on the red-hot Mississippi State Bulldogs in a game that has big implications. If UGA wins this, the rest of the East will need to take down the Dogs at some point. Georgia has a very favorable schedule this season with Auburn being their other West opponent later this season. Their only true, difficult road game for the remainder of the year is Tennessee. If Mississippi State beats UGA this weekend, it could put Georgia behind the eight ball a little heading into the thick of SEC play.
Now for the game that could change it all. Florida vs Kentucky could be the game that knocks the season off the rails. In previous years, Kentucky has taken tough losses, never able to reach the plateau of the SEC Championship. The schedule works out in UK’s favor for the first time this season. If the Cats were to beat Florida, they would have a tiebreaker over a team that still has to play at LSU, Vanderbilt, Georgia, and at South Carolina this year. There is a good chance both Kentucky and Florida will finish with the same record, so this game carries a huge amount of weight. The winner will carry the tiebreaker throughout the season and most likely to Atlanta.
The SEC East has been dominated by teams for two years at a time. Since 2011, the same team has repeated as division champs (Georgia, Missouri, Florida). By the law of averages, it is time for a new team to take over atop the SEC East. If you don’t believe in that kind of mojo, maybe look deeper at how 2017 could be the year the East puts a new team in Atlanta this December.
OddsShark.com is a popular website and betting tool for sports bettors who lean on its in-depth look into trends and spreads for advice on college football and the like.
OddsShark.com also provides predictions for each and every game on the board; and while I do not know the success rate of those predictions over time, I pray the prediction for the Kentucky-Florida game is as accurate as Kyle Macy at the foul line.
29.2 – 22.8, Kentucky
Exciting as that may be, how in the world does Kentucky plan to score two tenths of a point?
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.