This morning, I sat down and watched “SEC Inside,” the SEC Network’s behind-the-scenes look at →
Football Season Coverage
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 28th, 2016 @ 9:00am
Greetings, friends, and to these two Kentucky fans on the beach, wow, am I jealous. Although, I guess the temperature is probably going to be about the same here because SUMMER WILL NEVER END. Sigh. At least you’ve got the ocean to jump into when it gets toasty this afternoon. Nice form on those three goggles.
Don’t forget to submit your Fan of the Day photos to KSR’s Facebook Page. Odds are you’ll see them on this very website sometime in the future if you do.
Let’s run through today’s agenda…
1. Missouri still a 5-point favorite
For reasons still unknown to me, Missouri remains a five-point favorite in Saturday’s game in the eyes of Vegas. I get that the game’s in Columbia, but even then, it’s an early kick and Mizzou will be without two of their best players on a defense that was already weak. And they’ve only beaten Eastern Michigan and Delaware State. But hey, keep sleeping on us, Vegas.
2. Stephen Johnson and Ryan Timmons gave back yesterday
If you missed it last night, UK’s quarterback and wide receiver went to UK Hospital on Wednesday night to see 11-year-old Joseph Goins, who is battling bone cancer. Scroll down for more from their heartwarming visit.
3. Calipari says it’s time to renovate the Joe Craft Center
Kentucky’s practice facility was built ten years ago and yesterday, John Calipari said it’s time for a renovation.
“This building is 10 years old, and it’s time. Let’s go through and make it more modern. There are some other ideas that I have. Again, you want to stay the gold standard,” Cal said. “Ten years ago, when this was built, it was unbelievable. It’s still really good.”
Among the planned upgrades: retina scanners!
4. Isaac Humphries and Tai Wynyard are expected to play on Sunday night
It kind of snuck up on us with all the football excitement, but Kentucky’s first exhibition game is Sunday night vs. Clarion, John Calipari’s alma mater. Cal said that he expects both Isaac Humphries and Tai Wynyard, who both sat out recent practices with minor injuries, to play and that Isaac is back to 100%. Hooray!
5. Mychal Mulder continues to impress
We had heard through the grapevine that Mulder’s been the talk of practice so far, which Calipari confirmed yesterday.
“Mychal Mulder has been shooting the pee out of the ball. Really shooting,” Cal said. “He is making every shot right now. If you leave him open, it drives me crazy because we don’t like to give up 3s, but he’s making them.”
It remains to be seen whether Mulder will really be part of Kentucky’s rotation this season, but I’ll be keeping an eye on him on Sunday night.
5. Miss Calipari’s presser?
Watch the entire thing below. Cal was in swaggy form, so it’s well worth some of your time today.
6. Here are the results of our Starting Five ranker
Most of you believe De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Briscoe, Malik Monk, Bam Adebayo and Derek Willis will start on Sunday. Shoutout to the person who wrote Ryan Lemond in as a suggestion, I’m sure he appreciates it.
7. Three KSR Podcasts to get you through your Friday
I taped a new OTT Podcast with Freddie Maggard yesterday to get you even more ready for Saturday’s game vs. Mizzou. Add in the KSR Football Podcast, Freddie’s Depth Chart Podcast, and the radio show and you can listen to KSR all day long. Check the Kentucky Sports Radio podcast feed on iTunes or Podbay to catch up.
8. I have a feeling some of you will recreate this clip from SNL this weekend
9. RIP Vine
Yesterday, Twitter announced they’re discontinuing Vine, the popular video app that launched in 2013. The news prompted millions of people on social media to start sharing their favorite Vines again, including me. Later today, I’ll go through my archives to give you my top ten best Vines. Warning: a lot of them are from the 2014-2015 season, so bring your tissues.
10. Mitch Barnhart will be on KSR today
Tune in to hear UK’s athletic director talk about the upcoming changes to the Joe Craft Center, UK’s new baseball stadium, and how the football and basketball teams are doing these days. That all goes down about an hour from now.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 27th, 2016 @ 11:00pm
This morning, I sat down and watched “SEC Inside,” the SEC Network’s behind-the-scenes look at Kentucky’s win over Mississippi State. I knew it would probably be good because the end of the game was so exciting, but man, what a way to start your day. If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, check SEC Network for a replay, or watch it on YouTube thanks to our friends at UK Basketball Live.
The dramatic voice-over and horse racing metaphors were a bit much, but there were several moments that I felt genuinely portrayed how this team has come together to fight for Mark Stoops. Fourteen of them, in fact.
1. The emergence of Benny Snell
You could argue that this team really started to turn things around when Benny Snell started playing. Snell had zero carries vs. Southern Miss or Florida, and even though he had four touchdowns in Kentucky’s romp over New Mexico State, I think you could argue he really broke out vs. South Carolina. Snell’s go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter helped the Cats knock out the Gamecocks, and “SEC Inside” honored that big moment with some glorious slow-mo footage of Benny bouncing off runners and into the end zone. They also showed his big touchdown vs. Mississippi State, and this montage of him yelling afterwards is great:
“You try arm tackling that guy, you’re gonna bounce off those thighs.”
2. “Go get your damn respect”
One of Stoops’ latest talking points is the importance of game week prep (it’s the new “gotta get back to fundamentals”) and “SEC Inside” featured a look inside the team meeting room at the training center the Wednesday before the Mississippi State game.
“People have been kicking dirt on you for a while, right? Go get your damn respect. Take care of business today. Prepare today to take care of Saturday.”
3. The chemistry between Stephen Johnson and Jeff Badet
Jeff Badet had his breakout game vs. Mississippi State with a season-high seven catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns, thanks in part to his budding rapport with Stephen Johnson. “SEC Inside” touched on that in their footage of Kentucky’s game prep last week.
4. Stoops’ pregame pep talk
We’ve heard about Mark Stoops’ pregame pep talks, but they never fail to get me riled up.
5. JoJo Kemp with the American flag
Almost as good as Matt Elam with the Kentucky flag.
6. The shirtless kid punching
Remember how cold it was that night? This kid is a beast.
7. Stephen Johnson’s hurdle in slow mo
Never gets old.
8. “Play with some damn urgency. Let’s go!”
After Mississippi State scored to go up 24-20, Mark Stoops came over to the sideline and screamed, “Play with some damn urgency, let’s go!” before giving his defense the death stare:
9. The guy in the Jared Lorenzen costume somehow made the cut
You may remember this Jared Lorenzen superfan from “SEC Nation” last year and this year. I loved that they showed him at an especially dramatic and pivotal moment, right after Jeff Badet’s touchdown to put UK up 27-24. Sadly, they did not show his fake stomach.
10. “IT’S GOOD!!!!”
11. The team running on the field and putting MacGinnis on their shoulders
12. Boom crying
I talked about this on my podcast with Freddie today, but if you don’t tear up a little watching Boom Williams cry after the game, you don’t fully appreciate what he’s gone through. Boom essentially quit the team last year and was part of the “locker room divide” that haunted that squad, had a major elbow injury and surgery, and then his sister died over the summer. That’s a lot for anyone to deal with, but a 19-20 year old kid? Watching him let all of his emotions out to Austin MacGinnis and Mark Stoops gave me all the feels.
13. Stoops’ victory walk
He certainly earned it.
14. And his postgame speech
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 27, 2016
Now, let’s go beat Missouri and make some more memories.
By Nick Roush on ©October 27th, 2016 @ 10:00pm
Joseph Goins doesn’t have it easy, but his day was made when he saw Stephen Johnson and Ryan Timmons walk through his hospital door.
After finishing practice, Johnson joined Timmons to see the 11-year old from his hometown who’s battling bone cancer at UK Hospital. “He enjoyed every minute of it, ” his father James said on Facebook. “By you all doing that it put a smile on his face and I think it boosted his spirits up. So again thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.”
Just like these Wildcats, keep fighting till the battle is won, Joseph.
KSR Preps Game of the Week
Belfry (8-1) vs. Johnson Central (9-0)
The High School Football season has flown by as the last week of the regular season has already arrived. Most teams already know their round 1 opponent so this week will be used to gain momentum and fine tune the small details heading into the playoffs.
Two of the best teams in the state face off this week as Johnson Central hosts the defending 3A state champions, Belfry. These teams are very similar in their offensive and defensive philosophies, with both utilizing the triple option extremely effectively due to disciplined offensive lines and balanced backfields.
Johnson Central has rolled through its schedule this season outscoring their 9 opponents by an impressive score of 407-85. Johnson Central averages 330 rushing yards per game while racking up 2,971 total rushing yards through 9 games.
Sophomore running back Joe Jackson leads the Golden Eagles with 1,186 yards and 17 touchdowns on just 93 carries. Senior fullback Gunner Slone has added 363 yards and 4 touchdowns on 65 carries. Johnson Central rarely passes the ball but Senior Geordan Blanton has caught 9 passes for 302 yards and 7 touchdowns averaging 33.6 yards a catch.
Belfry’s only blemish to their 2016 season is a tough 45-20 loss to Knoxville Catholic,TN. Since that loss the Pirates have outscored their 4 opponents 180-21 including a big 35-21 win against West Virginia’s #4 ranked team, Cabell Midland.
Belfry is the highest scoring team in class 3A averaging over 40 points a game while only allowing 14 points per game. The Pirates are lead by 6’5 300 pound guard Cole Bentley, a Louisville commit, and 6’7 309 pound senior tackle Austin Dotson who is committed to UK. The impact that these two have on each and every game that Belfry plays in is immeasurable.
I expect senior quarterback Noah Corbett to have a major impact on this game, he must remain patient in his reads while also having the confidence to make a big play happen when it is there.
Much of this game will be determined by the coaching staff’s of both teams as they must decide weather they want to rest any of their starters in preparation for the playoffs.
Personally I am excited to experience the atmosphere at Johnson Central tomorrow night and hope for a competitive contest.
Eli’s Pick – This one could really go either way as both teams have secured home field advantage in the playoffs. Pride is on the line tomorrow night in Paintsville, and I just can’t pick against the defending state champions, I’ll take Belfry 24-10.
Other Notable Games
Scott County (7-2) vs. Covington Catholic (7-2)
Head Coach Eddie Eviston is enjoying an impressive season in his second year as the head guy at Cov Cath. The Colonels hope to gain major momentum heading into the playoffs by picking up a win against 6A powerhouse Scott County.
Tates Creek (5-4) vs. Ashland Blazer (6-3)
Ashland saw its 6 game winning streak snapped last week by Johnson Central in a 43-6 beating. Who knows if Ashland will play their starters this week after last year’s game against Tates Creek when they lost two of their best players to season ending injuries. Tates Creek is hoping to bounce back after a pounding last week at the hands of Walker Wood and Lafayette.
Bowling Green (9-0) vs. McCracken County (7-2)
Bowling Green has been unstoppable this season as they’ve outscored their opponents 444-61 and have pitched shutouts in 5 of their last 6 games. Many are expecting another blowout win tomorrow night for BG but junior quarterback Cash Jones hopes to continue his impressive season and lead McCracken County to a huge upset against the state’s best.
Follow me on Twitter @EMitchKSR for updates from Johnson Central.
By Nick Roush on ©October 27th, 2016 @ 9:00pm
After Austin MacGinnis nailed a 51-yard field goal to give the Kentucky Wildcats a victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs, emotions cascaded across the Commonwealth. Celebrations from Pikeville to Paducah probably took most away from the TV. It was probably for the best.
After a series of questions, sideline reporter Quint Kessenich asked MacGinnis to “show me how you did it.” Instead of “What was going through your mind when the kick was in the air?” or “Did you have confidence it was going in?” Kessenich became the holder and asked him to demonstrate the kick again.
It wasn’t as awkward as Billy G telling Jeannine Edwards “that’s really a bad question,” but it’s close. Luckily, MacGinnis was a good sport.
By Nick Roush on ©October 27th, 2016 @ 7:00pm
Mark Stoops didn’t have too much to say, but he did discuss the changes in protocol that will occur with the early kickoff and how his players have embraced playing in hostile road environments.
On this week’s episode of The OTT Podcast, I brought in my good friend Freddie Maggard to talk football as Kentucky heads to Columbia for a crucial showdown with Missouri. You’ve heard Freddie on at least two other podcasts this week, but tune in to this one to hear me turn the questions on him. Highlights include…
— Why he’s had to take a step back from football coverage the past two weeks
— How “SEC Inside” made him and Jen cry
— His take on criticism of Stephen Johnson and Mark Stoops
— Scenarios for Kentucky’s remaining games
— If Kentucky goes to the Music City Bowl, will he come to Nashville?
We now have TWO sponsors on The OTT: The Bluegrass Box and BluegrassMonkey.com. The Bluegrass Box is quarterly subscription and gift box that curates high quality, handmade products from local makers around Kentucky. To try it out, go to www.thebluegrassbox.com and use the “TYLER” promo code for 10% off your first subscription order!
After you’re done there, visit BluegrassMonkey.com to check out their selection of high end women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories at an affordable cost. Visit them online at BlueGrassMonkey.com and use the promo code OTT10 for 10% off.
Some of you may understand the saying, “slop the hogs”. This rural phrase refers to feeding domesticated boars. Hey; I love pork chops, bacon, and ham sandwiches as much as anyone but in this case I’m referencing the Kentucky football offensive game plan. Stay with me on this:
Sustained Long Offensive Possessions
Time of Possession (ToP)
— ToP in UK’s four wins: New Mexico State 34:12, South Carolina 32:40, Vanderbilt 32:44, and Mississippi State 32:53.
— ToP in UK’s three losses: Southern Miss 19:28, Florida 22:34, and Alabama 30:12.
— The Cat’s offensive identity lies within its power running game. A byproduct of such philosophy is exceeding opponent’s time of possession. For Kentucky to win in Columbia, Missouri its final ToP must exceed 34 minutes.
— Missouri leads the SEC by averaging 505 total yards per game.
— The Tigers run 80 offensive plays and 34.9 points per game.
— Mizzou opponent time of possession average: 35:59.
The most efficient manner to counter a high flying and scoring offense is to keep it on the sidelines. How can Eddie Gran accomplish this?
Completion percentage over 60%
— Stephen Johnson is completing 56.1% of his passes. He will need to add to this number in order to lead his team to a win over Missouri. This especially applies to passes thrown on 3rd down. 3rd down completions extend offensive drives.
— Johnson has missed sure completions or passes with a high likelihood of completion. This calamity can be attributed to mechanical flaws during delivery and can/must be improved.
— Missouri allows 220 passing yards per game. Opponents completion percentage: 53%.
Rush for over 275 yards
— In four wins Kentucky rushed for: New Mexico State 381 yards, South Carolina 216, Vanderbilt 258, and Mississippi State 262. Average: 279.2 yards per game.
— In three losses: Southern Miss 96, Florida 94, and Alabama 72. Average: 87.3 yards per game.
No offensive turnovers
— Stephen Johnson has 7 fumbles in 5 games. Boom Williams and Stephen Johnson’s fumbles that led to scoops and scores flipped momentum in favor of opponents.
— A clean turnover game leads to an increase in time of possession.
— Turnovers in four wins: New Mexico State 4, South Carolina 1, Vanderbilt 2, Mississippi State 2. Average: 2.25 per game.
— Turnovers in three losses: Southern Miss 3, Florida 4, Alabama 2. Average: 3.
Two, 100 yard rushers
— Benny Snell is averaging 67 yards per game; Boom Williams 91.3.
— Mizzou surrendered over 300 rush yards to Middle Tennessee State last Saturday. RB I’Tavius Mathers: 28 carries, 215 yards, 3 TD’s.
— The Tigers will be without the services of its leading tackler, defensive captain and middle linebacker Michael Sherer. Also, starting DT Terry Beckner Jr will not play due to a knee injury.
Convert 52% or higher on 3rd down
— Missouri opponents are converting 42% on 3rd down.
— Kentucky is converting 35% on 3rd down.
— Requires an increase of 17% of its 3rd down conversions. Of all the categories that will increase the S.L.O.P. factor, increasing 3rd down conversion percentage will be UK’s biggest challenge.
— Conversion percentage in four wins: New Mexico State 50%, South Carolina 30%, Vanderbilt 26%, Mississippi State 40%. Average: 36.5%.
— Conversion percentage in three losses: Southern Miss 33%, Florida 33%, Alabama 35%. Average: 33.6%
No pre-snap penalties
— False starts, illegal procedure, and formation penalties are drive killers.
Defensive Winning Factors
Courtney Love finishes the game with 8 or more total tackles.
— Missouri offense’s extraordinarily widened splits will put pressure on inside linebackers Courtney Love and Jordan Jones to succeed in one-on-one situations.
— Jones has totaled 67 total tackles (9.5 per game); 47 solo. Courtney Love has accumulated 39 total tackles (5.8 per game); 17 solo.
Limit Missouri to less than 200 rush yards.
— Tigers averaging 200 rush yards per game; 285 passing. It hurts opposing defenses with a dangerous 1-2 RB punch much like Kentucky.
— RB Damarea Crockett: 83 carries, 546 yards, 7 TD’s, 78 ypg.
— RB Ish Witter 102 carries, 469 yards, 3 TD’s, 65.7 ypg.
— OC Josh Heupel will spread out the Wildcat defense with formations and run straight at the interior of the line-of-scrimmage.
— Can’t miss open field tackles as there will be a plethora of opportunities.
— Limit pass catcher’s yards after catch.
Lessen Mizzou’s 3rd down conversion percentage from 41% to 35.
— How can a defense lessen an opponent’s 3rd down conversion percentage? Limit 1st down yards.
— This may read crazy, but for UK to win it has to force the game into the hands of the SEC’s 2nd leading passer QB Drew Lock.
Lots of moving parts. Remember S.L.O.P., 3rd down, and Love.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 27th, 2016 @ 12:45pm
Mizzou is pitching Saturday’s home game against Kentucky as a “Gold Rush” by encouraging its fans to wear gold from head to toe.
So the Tigers will break out the gold uniforms on the field, right?
Well, no. They’re wearing black jerseys with gold pants. Don’t worry, I don’t understand it either.
— Mizzou Football (@MizzouFootball) October 27, 2016
Some Gold Rush, huh?
“Show Me My Opponent” is back once more and for the first time with bowl eligibility in sight. Last week’s somewhat controversial SMMO guided the Wildcats to a win over Mississippi State as six-point underdogs. This one, I hope, will lead them to victory in Columbia for the fourth win in conference play. Let’s go.
UNIVERSITY of MISSOURI
The University of Missouri is a lovely Big 12 school in the Midwestern United States that somehow snuck its way into the Southeastern Conference in 2012.
A public land-grant research university in Columbia, Mo., its research includes studies such as the one that made news just recently, when university researchers purposely blinded and killed six adorable beagle puppies. The university said the killings were necessary to find the effects of topical hyaluronic acid to heal eye damage in dogs.
Aside from first-degree puppy-murdering, the University of Missouri, which is simply known as “Mizzou,” might be kind of racist. Just ask the university president and chancellor, who each resigned last November, following strikes and protests over racism.
More fun Mizzou and Columbia facts:
— The University of Missouri was the first university in Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase. Jefferson’s original tombstone is located on Mizzou’s campus.
— The entire Mizzou campus is maintained as a botanical garden. (A botanical garden is an establishment where plants are grown for display to the public and often for scientific study.)
— Columbia was an early stagecoach stop on the Oregon Trail. It was outside Columbia where Mary died of dysentery and you were snakebitten while hunting buffalo. You should’ve been the doctor!
— It is illegal to dry clothes on a line in Columbia. Antennas are also illegal.
MISSOURI TRADITIONS AND STUFF
— The tradition of homecoming was said to have begun at Missouri. As the story goes, it began in 1911 when former athletic director Chester Brewer called for alumni to “come home” for the annual football game against Kansas. Today it is the university’s most-cherished tradition.
— Truman the Tiger, Mizzou’s beloved mascot, is named after Harry S Truman, the 33rd president of the United States, who was from Independence, Missouri.
— Founded in 1908, Missouri’s School of Journalism was the first of its kind in the United States, and the first in the world behind the Ecole Superieure de Journalisme in Paris, France.
— On campus, students rub a statue of former governor David R. Francis prior to taking a test. It is believed that when a student rubs David R. Francis’ nose they’ll get an A on their next exam. The nose has been replaced several times due to this tradition’s popularity.
— At a staggering nine-feet wide, Mizzou has the biggest bass drum in college football:
NOTABLE MISSOURI PEOPLE
Brad Pitt: Hollywood actor and producer; father to Maddox, Zahara, Shiloh, Pax, Knox and Vivienne Pitt-Jolie; two-time People Magazine‘s “Most Sexiest Man Alive” winner; dropped out of Mizzou and moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting career, two weeks before his graduation
Jon Hamm: Don Draper from AMC’s Mad Men; avid St. Louis Cardinals fan; Salon.com‘s “Sexiest Man Living” in 2007; 1993 Mizzou graduate with a bachelor’s in English
Sheryl Crow: She put your picture away; wondered where you’ve been; she can’t look at you, while lyin’ next to him; received a bachelor’s degree in music composition, performance, and education, and later awarded honorary doctorate
Sam Walton: Founder of Wal-Mart; one of Time‘s “100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century”; the richest person in the United States from 1982 to 1988; voted “permanent president” of his 1940 Missouri class, whatever that means
Pat Forde: John Calipari hater; Rick Pitino apologist and bestie; major has-been in sports journalism
INSTAGRAM SCOUTING REPORT
Sooooooo… We should go to Missouri, right?
SO WHO’S THE HEAD COACH?
The head coach of the Missouri Tigers football team is…
(Hang on. I need to Google it.)
Barry Odom. It is someone named Barry Odom.
According to his Wikipedia page, Odom is a former Missouri linebacker from 1996-99 and defensive coordinator in 2015. He was also on the Tiger staff in some form from 2003 to 2011, before serving as Memphis’ defensive coordinator from 2012-14.
Odom replaced Gary Pinkel this past offseason after Pinkel retired due to health related issues following 15 seasons in Columbia.
Odom also looks like the Before picture in Bosley Hair Restoration commercials.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
|#30 | MICHAEL SCHERER | LB | Senior (RS)
Suffered torn ACL against Middle Tennessee State — out for the season.
|#79 | TERRY BECKNER JR. | DT | Sophomore
Suffered torn ACL against Middle Tennessee State — out for the season.
|#3 | DREW LOCK | QB | Sophomore
Missouri quarterback Drew Lock currently ranks third in the conference in passing with 1,995 yards through the air, with a second-best 16 touchdowns.
The product of Lee’s Summit, Mo. — which, if you’re ever there and get a sweet tooth, go to Custard’s Last Stand for a concrete — played in all 12 games as a true freshman last season, including starts in the final eight games of the year. #MatyMaukProblems
I completely lost my train of thought thinking about those concretes.
LAST TIME WE MET
Kentucky gots its first conference win over Missouri last season in Commonwealth Stadium. Missouri had won the three previous meetings since joining the SEC’s East Division in 2012.
Patrick Towles threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns against the 25th-ranked Tigers to end Kentucky’s 18-game losing streak to ranked opponents. It was also UK’s first win over a ranked opponent in five years.
Towles’ 22-for-27 night was a follow-up to the worst of his career, against Florida, one week earlier.
Here’s the deal. Missouri is better than its 2-5 overall record states. It has one of the SEC’s top offenses, powered by a good quarterback in Lock and a dangerous young running back in Damarea Crockett.
But Kentucky’s found a way to win ball games, and that’s exactly what will happen Saturday afternoon. Kentucky will win the ball game, as it has done in its last four winnable games, because Alabama does not count. Nick Saban’s team is too good for college football.
So here’s how it’ll go down: Boom Williams, JoJo Kemp and Benny Snell will combine for 250+ yards rushing on the ground, which will keep Kentucky in control of the clock and of the game. Missouri will score some points, but its inability to stop the run will be the difference maker. Stephen Johnson will do just enough at quarterback and he WILL NOT FUMBLE in his fifth victory as the Cats’ QB.
After the game, the handful of Kentucky fans that made the trip for an 11 am local time kickoff will terrorize the streets of Columbia. C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS! will ring out on Broadway, or wherever people go in that town.
Then, those same Kentucky fans who celebrated long into the night on the Tigers’ home turf, will make the seemingly never-ending drive across the empty state of Missouri, back into the Bluegrass. But they’ll do it with a smile, knowing their team is going bowling.
Cats win. Bowl ticket punched (unofficially).
Andrew Eaton joined Nick and Freddie to discuss Saturday’s buzzer-beating win over the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. Looking ahead to Missouri, Nick and Freddie did a little role-playing before taking your questions. Some highlights:
— KSR Skull Session:
Lamar Dave Barry Odom vs. Mark Stoops.
— Freddie explains exactly how the RPO works.
— Why does Vegas have Mizzou as the favorite?
— A behind the scenes story about MacGinnis’ game-winning kick.
By Nick Roush on ©October 26th, 2016 @ 7:30pm
1. The Cats are Not Content
A win on Saturday would essentially lock up a bowl birth Kentucky, needing only a win over the Governors of Austin Peay to reach postseason play. Sitting at second in the SEC East, it’s unfamiliar territory…kind of. Last year the Cats were 4-2, two years ago they were 5-1, but still didn’t reach a bowl game.
This team knows they cannot become complacent. Derrick Baity described the vibe in the locker room. “Stay on the pace we’re at. Don’t slack off. We’ve got another big week. We’ve been in spots like this before,” Baity said. “We don’t want history to repeat itself.”
2. Mizzou has a Baby Boom
Benny Snell is arguably the best freshman running back in the SEC. Missouri’s Damarea Crockett will not readily concede the debate. Crockett has the most rushing yards of any freshman in the SEC with 546. D.J. Elliot could do nothing but praise him after today’s practice.
“He’s a hard runner. He’s fast. He’s a lot like Boom,” Eliot said. “It’s a guy that we have to keep contained. We have to play well, we have to tackle well, and be in good body position to get him on the ground and not get juked.”
3. Nothing’s Changed for Austin MacGinnis
Since MacGinnis become the Commonwealth’s hero, not much has changed outside of a few more media appearances. “Same old, same old. I’m here to kick the football so that’s what I did,” MacGinnis said. “It’s cool to get the win. That’s really what matters most. All the other stuff is just side effect, but getting the W is the biggest thing.”
4. Getting Up Early is No Problem
Even though they have yet to experience a noon kickoff this season, the players are prepared. Every person I’ve talked to the last two days actually seemed to prefer starting early.
You can’t trust Jeff Badet: he’s a morning person. The earlier the better. Derrick Baity said he gets anxious waiting around all day for the night game to start. Josh Allen had the best logic: “I really don’t sleep now before a game cause I’m so excited. Afternoon, night game, It’s all the same. I’m going to wake up and ball.”
We got a little carried away in this week’s podcast podcast, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy the extra 20 minutes of entertainment. We break down the wild win against Mississippi State and how Kentucky matches up with Mizzou. Highlights include:
— What it was like inside the press box.
— Things aren’t always what the seem in the two-minute drill.
— Wishing Charles Walker a Happy Birthday.
— Franko’s over-the-top Tennessee attire.
— Does anybody wear a shmedium shirts better than Tim Couch?
— A preview of the next 30 for 30: The Cumberland Redskins Harlan County Championship.
— Jared’s scariest moment on a football field.
Saturday’s game in Columbia may be an early one, but Missouri’s pulling out all the stops, calling for a “Gold Rush.” For those of you not versed in sports promotional lingo, that means they want all of their fans to wear the color gold.
So, if you go, don’t wear gold. Wear blue.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 26th, 2016 @ 2:00pm
1. Practice has been good this week
“We’ve had a good week of practice so far. I was proud of our team this past week in finding a way to win and showing some toughness and some resiliency vs. Mississippi State, but there’s a lot of things we can do better and need to get corrected before we travel to Missouri.”
2. But, the team must get its energy back up for Saturday, especially with the early kickoff
“Mentally, that’s always the challenge win or lose, getting right back to work on Monday and having a strong mindset throughout the week. We constantly talk to our players about paying the price during the week. Everybody wants to win on Saturday, but much of the game is won throughout the week in our preparation, so we challenged them on Monday and Tuesday. I think we need to get our energy back up. Everybody at this point in the season is banged up and bruised, but we need to have great energy throughout the rest of the week in our preparation. We better be waking up and ready to play with an early start and an early kickoff on Saturday.”
3. Stephen Johnson is improving each week
“I think he’s getting better each and every week, more comfortable. Any quarterback is going to go through some ups and downs and I think with him and the experience that he has and that he’s gaining this season, it’s only helping him.”
4. Jon Toth is Iron Man
“I think Jon is a guy that’s extremely consistent and our offensive line has done some very good things this year and we’ve run the ball very effectively on a lot of people and he’s the guy that’s in there, he’s the Iron Man. He’s played almost every snap we’ve played this season. We’re rotating guard, we’re rotating tackles, but Jon is the one constant. Any success we’ve had has a lot to do with what Jon’s doing.”
I know Freddie Maggard will agree.
5. Mizzou freshman running back Damarea Crockett is a bigger Boom Williams
“I just see very good player, a guy that is very explosive and reminds me of Boom and some of our guys, but he’s big. I think he’s around 220 lbs.,” Stoops said. “He’s got a great future, he’s having a great year.”
6. Junior and seniors are “starting to grow up a little bit.”
“We only had eight seniors heading in to this year. I put three senior walk-ons on scholarship, so basically, we had eight guys heading into the year on scholarship. That does present a bit of a challenge. I think you’re starting to see our team grow up a little bit. Those guys, we wouldn’t have been able to win some close games and tough games without their leadership and I think it’s also saying something about our other guys. We have a really good junior class and sophomore class with a bunch of guys that are playing in those groups that are starting to grow up a little bit.”