Football Season Coverage
The game time for Kentucky’s regular season finale at Louisville was announced Monday afternoon and it’s a night game for the first time in a long time.
Normally a nooner, this year the Cats and Cards will kick off at 7 p.m. on November 24. The game will be televised on ESPN 2.
It’s the Mark Stoops-Lorenzo Ward coaching showdown we’ve all been waiting for. Cats and Cards. Governor’s Cup. Let’s go.
You might’ve noticed Dorian Baker was absent from the Kentucky sideline down in Knoxville on Saturday. Turns out, Baker was suffering a suspension and did not make the trip.
“He was suspended for that game,” Stoops said, when asked for Baker’s whereabouts during UK’s loss. “He’ll be back this week.”
Stoops did not shed any light on the reason for the wide receiver’s suspension. But no matter the reason behind the punishment, it’s very disappointing for a fifth-year senior to be missing games toward the end of his career.
By KSR on ©November 12th, 2018 @ 10:00am
UK superfan Beatty London was Kentucky’s good luck charm at Florida and then at Missouri earlier this season, so he went down to Tennessee to see if he had any more luck for the Cats. Unfortunately, his luck ran out as the Cats were unable to beat the Vols. Here’s his story from the trip.
The writing was on the wall…
Thursday night before the Tennessee game, I met a UK football staff member and his friends at KSBar. He was giving me 3 tickets to the game. Earlier in the week I had sent a text message to two UK Football coaches that said something like: “Hey Coach, this tough loss in no way changes the fact that this is still an amazing season and I look forward to my 1st trip to Neyland Stadium to watch the CATS whoop UT.”
Unfortunately neither of those coaches responded so I was excited to get some scoop about the CATS from a “man on the inside.” I congratulated the staff member about Wandale and he told me how Wandale and his friends were scrambling at the last minute to reshoot his video so that it would show UK instead of Nebraska. He also hinted to some very promising news of a future recruit that he really didn’t want to let the word get out because he wanted the kid to have his moment. I couldn’t help but notice that he looked exhausted and one of his friends said, “This is the first time in a while I’ve seen you off work before 10 pm.” Even though he was noticeably tired, I had to ask him about the morale of the team after the Georgia loss so I said,
“Has the team bounced back from the Georgia loss? Are they focused and ready to beat Tennessee?”
He replied with the usual “coach’s answer” saying yes the team was ready but his body language told a different story. I know that no SEC team should be overlooked but I didn’t get the feeling that he or the staff was confident about the game. I made the remark “this could be the first time we beat Florida, Tennessee, and Louisville in the same year” and he quickly replied “Let’s hope so” while at the same time knocking on the wooden dinner table. Hmmm? Oh well, I shrugged it off because I knew how happy he was to have a break from work.
I left Lexington at 11 am with my stepson Jordan and his friend Keola. Due to 40 degree weather and the fact that I didn’t have a parking pass, I decided to attend the Knoxville UK Alumni Club pre-game event at Scruffy City Hall in Market Square and take a $10 shuttle to the game. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make the Cat Walk so I convinced my good friend Jason (who I’ve known since middle school) and his wife to go. They had a parking pass and were spending the whole weekend in Knoxville. Market Square in downtown Knoxville is a neat cluster of shops, a park, restaurants, and bars. There was a farmer’s market closing up when we arrived at 1:30 pm and fans of both teams were enjoying the atmosphere. Scruffy City Hall was an interesting place. It had a small bar upstairs with a patio and downstairs there was another small bar and eating area, and in the very back was a stage that had theatre style balcony seating. I asked some KY fans about the pizza and they said it was thin crust and delicious. I was hungry and eager to get something in my stomach before drinking. I asked the boys if they wanted pizza and instead they chose Subway which was just across from us. I didn’t mind because instead of paying for drinks I could now pour my Blanton’s (that was tucked away under blankets in my clear UK Bag) in a fountain cup. The line was long, the wait was long, but my footlong Spicy Italian and brown water more than made up for it!
Off to the shuttle…
We arrived at the stadium at 3:04 pm. Remember the scene in the movie Gladiator when Russell Crowe and his legion of gladiators first rolled up to the Coliseum? That’s how I felt when I first saw Neyland Stadium. I saved the last shot of Blanton’s for my friend Jason and immediately asked him “How was the Cat Walk?” He was kind of disappointed and explained how the set up could have been better. He told me how most of the UK fans were at the top of the hill when 5 busses pulled in and drove down the hill. The first 3 busses had the players but unfortunately were the farthest from the fans. The last two busses had boosters and VIP so most of the players exiting the bus went straight into the stadium and didn’t really interact or acknowledge the fans. I asked my stepson to take a pic of us before we went in. A drunk UK fan stumbled up and put his arm around me and tried to get in the picture. I convinced him he wasn’t appreciated. I was proud to see so many UK fans make the trip. We were ready to end the losing streak at Neyland Stadium. The game wasn’t a sell out but there had to be at least 85,000 in attendance. Our seats were in the UK section directly behind the UK Band and to the side of the end zone. Jason and his wife sat front row, in Tennessee territory, directly behind the same end zone. We located each other rather easily. I made a game prediction of 14-0 hoping UK’s defense would shut Tennessee out so I wouldn’t have to listen to them sing Rocky Top. When it comes to sound systems, Tennessee probably has the biggest set of speakers in the nation, as you could feel the bass when they played music. The sun started to shine on our section and the 40 degree weather didn’t feel that cold after all.
It turns out I was sitting in front of one of the UK defensive coaches’ sons. I didn’t ask who his dad was but I heard one of his friend’s say ” Your dad is screaming at the defense.” I enjoyed talking about the game with those young fellas. Beside me were some VIPs and Boosters who had field passes and other friends of the UK staff member who gave me tickets. I knew Tennessee was desperate for a win and since their coach just left Alabama, he would have that team motivated with the right mind state. I didn’t mind hearing Rocky Top after their opening field goal as I told the people around me “as long as we don’t give up any touchdowns.”
The second quarter was much more disheartening. We were trying to figure out why the guys were playing so flat. Even though we weren’t in contention for the SEC championship, I was hoping the guys would continue to have the “MIND STATE OF A CHAMPION.” After Tennessee scored their first touchdown, one of the friends of the UK staff member told me that the team didn’t have good body language at the Cat Walk and they didn’t look hyped up for the game. His friend beside him echoed the same sentiment which made me wonder if the CATS were really ready to compete.
I was dumfounded that we didn’t target CJ Conrad in the first half. One of the same guys said that he was talking to CJ recently and Conrad had made a comment like “I asked the coaches to start looking for me more.” I agreed with the statement wholeheartedly. I mean the kid is going to be a big time draft pick, looking for him at least once or twice in the first half seems like a no brainer.
Tennessee’s touchdown to end the half shocked me. We weren’t looking like the #12 team in the nation at all. Down 17 points at halftime I decided to go meet up with my friend Jason and talk about the game.
This felt different than Missouri. Tennessee fans were much rowdier and much louder. I knew I couldn’t lose faith but I just couldn’t understand why we couldn’t put up any points in the first half. I know Stoops tried to downplay the losing streak but it is what it is. I know for a fact the team was thinking about the Florida streak before that game because every time I would see a player on campus and mention that I wanted to witness the streak end, their eyes would light up and they would get hype. How could that be too much pressure? We have too many seniors on this team and we are the #12 team in the country. The streak coupled with this amazing season we are having should be enough motivation to come out fired up. I was puzzled to say the least. While waiting on Jason, a girl from my high school recognized me and we shared our concern for the game but both assured each other UK would pull through. I struck up a conversation with another cat fan nearby. She told me that she and her hubby had been season ticket holders since 1985. We both shared our displeasure of the first half performance. She said that they had been to every game this year and that she wanted the football team to have success more than basketball. I agreed with her, after all, the basketball team has a long history of success, but we have to really relish football seasons like this because they have been so rare. By this time Jason shows up and tells me how he can’t believe our defensive backs didn’t try to knock the ball down instead of trying to intercept that last touchdown before halftime. He was sitting in Tennessee section and was becoming annoyed by all the trash talkers. I asked the lady what her name was, in which she replied “Pam” and I introduced myself as Beatty. With a big smile on her face she says “Beatty from the KSR articles?” I said yes ma’am as she expressed her gratitude for me sharing my fan experiences. We hugged and I asked Jason to take a pic of us and her husband John. Pam then asked me if I wanted some bourbon and since I wasn’t in any position to say no, I went to the nearest concession, got a cup, and her husband whipped out a flask. Boy do I love my fellow Wildcat fans!
Fueled up and ready for the start of the second half, I started telling the fans around me “the defense will get some turnovers, we’re going to be fine but we need to play with urgency.” I started yelling some of the same things from the Florida game “WHAT’S IN YOUR HEART KENTUCKY?, YOU GOT TO BELIEVE!!” I knew Stoops would get the troops motivated and make adjustments. I began to reiterate that we have to get Conrad involved in the game. It was now or never. I wanted so badly to beat Tennessee at their stadium. Everyone around me was fired up. I would wait for the stadium to quiet down and I would scream at the ref “Tennessee is holding #41 on every play!” Unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Tennessee’s running back broke down our sideline for a huge gain. Josh Allen got held and the boys behind me pointed out that some one else on our defense was held or blocked in the back. We looked up at the replay and were disgusted, two holds right in front of the referees! That run set up Tennessee’s third touchdown. Some UK fans started leaving. The teams body language was worsening. I can take losing, but being blown out as the #12 team in the country just didn’t make sense. I felt like the refs were serving up some good home cooking but that’s no excuse for not being able to score. Can we at least make the game respectable? And sure enough, at the end of the third… we scored!
The guys behind me said “You called it, they went to Conrad.” I thought to myself, “Stevie Wonder could see we needed to be using Conrad more.”
Once the fourth quarter started, I knew the defense was due a turnover, so I started screaming “Strip the ball, FUMBLE, TURNOVER!” I was praying that the defense would score or Lynn Bowden would run one back. We were running out of options and more importantly out of time. We didn’t capitalize on the two fumble recoveries and after Gunnar threw the last interception I told the boys it’s time to leave.
As we were walking out I watched Tennessee down the ball and let time run out. I didn’t even bother to find the same gate we entered because it was too difficult to fight the crowd so I followed the mob to the nearest exit. I heard a UT fan tell his girlfriend, “That’s the best game of the season.” I told the boys we may have to walk back because I couldn’t find the shuttle pick up after exiting on the other side of the stadium. It was dark and I couldn’t tell which way was downtown so I asked a nearby group of Tennessee fans and told them where I was parked. They told me I was headed in the right direction and to follow them. One of the guys in the group was listening to a Tennessee postgame show on his phone when he paused and gave me clear directions. I thanked him and then a girl in their group says to me, “You mean you aren’t going out to celebrate?” I thought to myself “Ha,Ha” then she says “Im just joking, we don’t win too often.” I told her it’s all good and me and the boys headed back. Later I called Jason and he said Tennessee fans were talking trash calling us a basketball school and bringing up the Duke game. I was glad he was with his wife Sunny because he isn’t the type to back down but I knew she wouldn’t let him get too worked up. I thanked him for meeting up with us at the game and told him to enjoy the rest of his weekend. I was eager to hear Matt’s postgame show and hear the fan reactions. Matt said something that really hit home when he talked about a great team doesn’t lose that game but a really good team, even if they lose, shouldn’t get dominated and that’s what was so frustrating.
I’m still proud of Kentucky Football and what the future holds… I’m just mad I can’t get this damn Rocky Top song out of my head at the moment. ?
Well, that wasn’t any fun.
A week after the tough loss to Georgia, UK was facing a schedule with three opponents they were clearly better than to close the season. If the Wildcats were able to win out, they were going to have double-digit victories and be in the top 10 heading to a New Year’s Six Bowl. It was a going to be a monumental achievement for this program.
That is out the window now.
On Saturday at Neyland Stadium, the Wildcats were outhustled, outschemed, and outwilled by an inferior Tennessee football team. The game played out like so many UK-UT games have in the past, but this year should’ve been different. The Wildcats were allowing explosive plays that they haven’t given up all season and the offense remained in a total funk. It was an all systems failure.
This result continues a brutal five-game stretch for the Wildcats. After scoring at least 24 points in each game to start the season, UK has only produced seven offensive touchdowns in the last 22 quarters. That is embarrassing, incompetent, and should not be tolerated.
Yesterday in Knoxville, the Wildcats collected just 262 total yards (77 rushing, 185 passing) on 73 plays. That’s good for 3.6 yards per play. Only the performance against against Texas A&M was worse for the Wildcats.
Once again, when Kentucky was able to put drives together they had a horrible time finishing them with scores. The Wildcats crossed midfield multiple times and only came away with seven points. On their first scoring possession of the day, a dropped snap and dropped pass forced a makeable field goal into a 51-yard attempt. Chance Poore missed and Kentucky went scoreless. This set the tone for the game.
Little mistakes continue to hamper the offense, but their inability to create explosive gives this group no room for error. The Wildcats are a run first team and every opponent they’ve face outside of Vanderbilt in this stretch has been totally able to shut down that ground attack. I think it’s fair to wonder if the guys upfront are being hampered by injuries or if UK’s style of play has just worn them down.
When you aren’t able to block at the point of attack that makes life very difficult for your quarterback. In only his fourth career road start, it was a very inconsistent day for Terry Wilson. The junior college transfer completed over 60% of his passes for the eighth time this season but the completions are not going anywhere. For the seventh time this year, Wilson’s yards per attempt average was under seven yards and that’s just not going to get the job done.
Wilson was constantly under pressure in the ballgame and was sacked five times. UK’s offensive line was incompetent all game long and they made life really difficult for the young quarterback. After running for at least 50 yards in four of the first seven games, the quarterback run has totally been eliminated by defenses in the last three. Taking away Wilson’s running ability eliminates a significant alternate weapon to Benny Snell.
Speaking of the junior tailback, it was a rough afternoon for UK’s star offensive player. It was clear that the gameplan was to get him rolling early, but Tennessee did a great job in keeping him contained. In the first quarter, the Vols stuffed Benny Snell on a third and short.
The junior from Ohio collected 81 yards on 20 carries. If you take out the Vanderbilt game, he hasn’t recorded over 100 yards since rumbling through Mississippi State. If you’re looking for the biggest reason this offense is struggling look no further. UK’s identity is to pound the rock with Benny Snell and teams have totally eliminated it. Kentucky does not have a counterpunch in its arsenal and it is severely holding back this football team.
At receiver, the same issues are showing up. We saw bad drops on Saturday and this is now becoming a trend for this year’s offense. Outside of Lynn Bowden (six catches, 57 yards) no one is able to consistently create separation. UK is desperately looking for answers. In the last two games we’ve seen Zy’aire Hughes and Ahmad Wagner both receiving snaps and vertical targets in the passing game. Dorian Baker was nowhere to be found yesterday and the coaching staff is still unable to create plays for C.J. Conrad on a consistent basis.
It’s easy for us to say that UK needs to pass more but the coaches and players on this end need to produce when their number is called.
With the offense struggling like it did, Kentucky would need another flawless performance by its defense. Matt House’s unit was able to come through on the road at both Texas A&M and Mizzou to give the Wildcats a chance to win it in the fourth quarter. They were unable to do the same at Tennessee.
The Vols put up 412 yards (215 rushing, 197 passing) on 60 plays for a 6.9 yards per play average. That yardage total was the highest output in an SEC game this season for Tennessee. The one thing UK couldn’t allow was explosive plays and UT got a ton of them on Saturday.
After being one of the best defenses in the country at limiting big plays, both Georgia and Tennessee have been able find them against Kentucky the last two weeks. In the air is where the Vols did most of their damage.
Jarrett Guarantano only threw the football 20 times but they were effective. The redshirt sophomore completed sixty percent of his attempts and averaged just under 10 yards per throw. The biggest one occurred right as the second quarter expired to put UT up an insurmountable three scores.
The Vols were able to consistently create separation vertically down the field. Things improved for the Wildcats when Darius West returned in the second half, but Tennessee’s wide receivers outplayed UK’s secondary. However, this wasn’t the most disappointing part of the performance.
Tennessee entered the game as the worst rushing offense in the SEC and their yards per carry averaged ranked 117th in the FBS. A week after being exposed by Georgia on the ground, the Wildcats weren’t able to iron out their issues in just one week.
The Vols ran for 215 yards and averaged 5.4 yards per carry. Tennessee was able to get UK’s front moving horizontally and the running backs were quick enough to burst through the line of scrimmage and consistently come away with productive gains. At times, UK was able to produce tackles for loss but they weren’t enough to prevent Tennessee from having one of their most productive rushing performances of the season.
The Wildcats did make some solid adjustments in the second half and were able to keep it close enough for their offense to have plenty of chances to mount a comeback. But for the second week in a row, UK gave up over 20 points and six yards per play. Neither of those happened in the first eight weeks of the season. After carrying the offense for most of the season, it could be that this group is starting to wear down.
If you’re looking for some positives, UK had some young guys really perform well. Chris Oats looks like he belongs and he’s going to be a star at linebacker for this defense. He deserves more playing time. Marquan McCall also contributed and it’s clear he can be a dominant force at nose. UK will be losing a lot of this year’s defense but there is definitely young talent waiting for their turn.
Saturday was another disappointing performance for Dean Hood’s unit.
Max Duffy has been excellent all season and he boomed a 50-plus yard punt out of the endzone when UK desperately needed it. However, when his punts are returnable, UK’s coverage team is getting shredded. Another big return this week gave Tennessee great starting field position and this resulted in a field goal. With the way UK plays, they cannot afford to give up short fields.
The kicking woes continue for the Wildcats as Chance Poore missed his first career kicks. The first one came from 51 yards and had the leg but was just wide. The next was from 30 yards and was blocked. On the kick it appeared that the ball came out extremely low and that cannot happen. If UK makes it, then it becomes a two score game in the fourth quarter.
For the season, the Wildcats are now just 5-for-11 on field goal attempts and there’s been quite a few occasions where Mark Stoops has decided not to kick because of UK’s place kicking issues. We’ve talked ad nauseam about UK’s inability to finish drives and kicking field goals has a lot to do with it. UK is reeling from the loss of Austin MacGinnis and not having a reliable kicker is just another thing hurting this offense.
Before we go into the obvious offensive issues that need to be pointed out, I think it’s only fair to point out each level’s ineffectiveness on Saturday. The defense allowed the worst rushing offense in the SEC to roll up over 200 yards and the secondary consistently got beat vertically down the field. The pass rush had a very difficult time getting home and it was blatantly obvious that this defense missed Darius West in the first half. In the kicking game, UK’s punt coverage still is giving up far too many big returns and the place kicking issues are wasting solid drives the offense puts together.
But at the end of the day, you cannot score just a touchdown and expect to keep it close against anyone. This was the third time this season that an SEC opponent has limited Kentucky’s offense to just one offensive touchdown. That is inexcusable and must be fixed.
This may be rock bottom.
The Wildcats need to get through the season but once this year is over, Mark Stoops is going to have to make a difficult decision. Under Eddie Gran’s watch, the offense has declined in production each season. The passing game has been nowhere to be found and without an all-time great place kicker this group doesn’t have someone to bail them out when things are going bad.
At Cincinnati, Eddie Gran and Darin Hinshaw utilized an offense that went with tempo and threw the ball around the yard. Balance was key but scoring was never an issue. UC put up over 30 points per game each season with Gran. At Kentucky, however, Mark Stoops has made it clear he wants an offense to limit possessions, be physical, and put his defense in good spots. They are doing that but you have to score points too.
This style of play may have wasted what could’ve been an all-time great season for UK and I think its fair to take a step back and consider adjusting the offensive philosophy.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©November 11th, 2018 @ 8:07pm
How about a Yahtzee for the Big Blue Nation on this beautiful Sunday evening?
Former Kentucky receiver and current JUCO product JaVonte Richardson has announced he will return to Kentucky next season.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound wideout initially left Lexington last spring due to academic issues, where he enrolled at Iowa Western Community College to get his grades back in order. This season at Iowa Western, Richardson has racked up 305 yards and three touchdowns in just six games.
247 Sports ranks Richardson as the No. 2 JUCO wide receiver and No. 17 overall prospect in the country. Rivals.com also lists Richardson as a four-star prospect.
With the commitment, Kentucky’s 2019 class moves up to No. 25 on Rivals.com. According to Justin Rowland, the newest Wildcat will arrive in January and will have three years to play three.
Here was his announcement on Twitter:
— JaVonte Richardson (@JIGGOCHO_) November 12, 2018
Watch his most recent JUCO highlights:
Welcome back, Mr. Richardson!
By Jack Pilgrim on ©November 11th, 2018 @ 6:31pm
Vegas has spoken, and despite Kentucky’s disappointing effort in Knoxville yesterday, they like the Cats by two scores against Middle Tennessee State.
The opening line has been released, with Kentucky opening as a 14-point favorite over the Blue Raiders of MTSU.
BetOnline also picked the Cats to win by 14, while Opening likes Kentucky by 14 1/2.
What do you guys think? Fair?
CJ Conrad. The name alone is enough to get the BBN fired up, especially this season. The senior tightend has star potential, and it’s very likely he could find himself playing on Sundays in the coming years. But for now, No. 87 is struggling to even get his number called at Kentucky.
Against Tennessee, Conrad caught the ball just two times, both of which were huge receptions for the Wildcats. He may have only recorded two touches, but he finished with 39 yards – his catches were for 19 and 20 yards each. One resulted in Kentucky’s only touchdown of the night. But clearly, two touches weren’t enough to satisfy Conrad, and it certainly wasn’t enough to secure a Kentucky victory.
“It’s very frustrating, especially being one of the leaders on the offense,” Conrad said of the team’s performance against the Vols. “We don’t want to have the results we’ve been having… We’ve been trying extremely hard to find something that’s going to work for this offense.”
They haven’t found that yet. Although the Cats’ offense seemed to be clicking in the first half of the season, that hasn’t been the case lately.
For the third time in the past five games, Kentucky failed to reach 300 yards of offense. Last night, the Cats finished with 262 yards, which is actually impressive when you realize they had just 68 yards in the first half.
“We’re just really killing ourselves offensively right now,” Conrad said. “On offense, you need all 11 guys to be on the same page. All it takes is one guy [on a different page] and the play doesn’t work, and we’ve been having a lot of that lately.”
Last night marked the last time Kentucky’s seniors would ever compete in an regular season SEC game. The loss was a bitter way to end a season with some of the more-celebrated victories of the past decades, worsened by the fact these seniors have been through so much throughout their time as Wildcats. Conrad called the Tennessee defeat “obviously not the way [he] wanted to go out.”
“We’re going to have to have a meeting. I know some of the older guys are extremely frustrated right now, myself included, because this is our last go-around here and you don’t want to end it like it was tonight,” Conrad said after the game. “We’re going to have to pull it together, have a meeting Monday and address the team about what we need to do to not let this happen again. But you can only talk so much – we have to do it.”
They’ll have to do it, indeed. Middle Tennessee State should not be a formidable opponent, but Kentucky is in no position to overlook their competition at this point in the season. The Cats have plenty to work on in practice this week, and maybe it needs to start with figuring out how to get CJ Conrad more involved. The hopes of a 10-2 season are dead, but the idea of a special year is still very much alive. They just have to find a way to get there.
As expected, the AP voters were not fond of the Kentucky Wildcats this week.
In their latest week-12 update, Kentucky fell to No. 20 in the AP Poll, an eight-spot drop.
Alabama (No. 1), Georgia (No. 5), LSU (No. 10), Florida (No. 15), and Mississippi State (No. 25) round out the SEC representatives in the top-25.
Here’s the entire poll:
The College Football Playoff Poll will be released Tuesday night.
Being fired is embarrassing.
Being fired while your weekly television show is on the air? Now that’s just brutal.
Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports broke the news this morning that Louisville had fired Bobby Petrino, effective immediately. It wasn’t a surprise, as the Cards are currently 2-8 and haven’t won a game in seven consecutive tries. At least 20 players have already requested transfer paperwork, they’ve lost recruits, the fans have given up, etc. The timing was absolutely necessary.
But man, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and seeing that announcement on the bottom ticker with Bobby’s emotionless face in the background is just beautiful. The show is recorded prior to the official airing, but the point remains: He is “Coach Bobby Petrino” no longer.
UofL radio host Drew Deener also reports each of Petrino’s three family members have also been let go.
His son Nick was the team’s quarterbacks coach, his son-in-law L.D. Scott was the defensive line coach, and his other son-in-law Ryan Beard was the safeties coach.
Multiple sources indicate that the 3 family members (Scott, Petrino and Beard) are out immediately as well.
— Drew Deener (@Drew_Deener) November 11, 2018
In case there was any doubt, college football insider Brett McMurphy also confirmed today that Louisville will focus on Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm in their upcoming coaching search.
Louisville AD Vince Tyra on firing Bobby Petrino: “I did not have the confidence that it was going to happen next season without a change & it needs to start happening now.” Source told @WatchStadium Purdue’s Jeff Brohm, a UL grad, is “clear cut No. 1 choice” of Cards
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 11, 2018
KSR’s Matt Jones reports that while Louisville will make a hard push for the UofL graduate, it’s not a done-deal Brohm accepts the offer.
“I am told it is far from certain he takes the job,” he said. “But in the end, it’s hard for me to see him turning down his hometown and home school.”
On that note, I’ll just leave this right here…
After being nice to Kentucky last week, the coaches did no favors to the Cats this time around.
Following a disappointing 24-7 loss to Tennessee, Kentucky dropped nine spots in the Coaches Poll to No. 21.
It was the biggest drop of any team this week.
Alabama held strong at No. 1, while Georgia (No. 5), LSU (No. 10), Florida (No. 16), and Mississippi State (No. 23) rounded out the SEC representatives in the top-25.
Take a look at the entire poll below:
The loss was so bad that 5-5 Tennessee actually got a vote. Sheesh.
The AP Poll will be released at 2:00 p.m., while the College Football Playoff Poll will be released on Tuesday evening.
By Sam Gormley on ©November 11th, 2018 @ 12:00pm
Your Kentucky Wildcats will try to get back on the winning track for Senior Night at home on Saturday against Middle Tennessee State.
Last week, we learned that the game would kick off at 12pm, but the channel the game was on was listed as TBD. This morning, we learned that the game will be aired on the SEC Network’s Alternate Channel.
For most, this means you will only be able to stream the game online via Watch ESPN. This is a little disappointing for the game to be placed on this channel. Not that there would be any sort of “National Spotlight” on the game anyways, it does take any chance of the average fan getting the chance to watch Kentucky play their final home game of the 2018 season.
Tickets for the game are still available and you can get them by clicking here. If you haven’t made a trip Lexington to watch a game this season, this is your perfect opportunity to do so.
Kentucky will honor their seniors before the game and these players have built the foundation for the future of Kentucky football, they have earned a good crowd!
The final domino of Scandal-U has officially fallen.
According to Pat Forde or Yahoo! Sports, Louisville has fired head coach Bobby Petrino, effective immediately.
Breaking: Louisville has fired Bobby Petrino, effective immediately. Story to come on @YahooSports
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) November 11, 2018
There is no update on who will take over as interim coach.
After starting the year 2-8 with current players and recruits dropping left and right, Louisville had no other option but to front the $14.1 million buyout. The Cards have lost seven consecutive games, and things aren’t getting better anytime soon.
End of an era.
Well, this past week has really stunk. Just eight days ago, Kentucky football was preparing to take on Georgia for a chance to play for the SEC Championship and we were three days away from one of the most hyped seasons of Kentucky Basketball tipping off against Duke.
Now, where are we? Football lost to Georgia in a game where no one was necessarily upset with how they played, Georgia was just the better team, and was embarrassed yesterday by Tennessee. Basketball got run off the floor by Duke and barely survived against Southern Illinois Friday night.
We must now move on. Sure, Kentucky winning 10 games in the regular season in football would have been amazing. At this point though, the Cats have to stop worrying about what the final win total could be and instead worry about the next team on the schedule.
Middle Tennessee State comes into town on Saturday. On paper, Kentucky is hands down better than the Blue Raiders. My big worry is that we will see what always seemingly happens with Mark Stoops teams and they will play down to their opponent. My worry is that if they do that, they could be possibly on their way to a third straight loss.
The Blue Raiders will enter Saturday’s game with a 7-3 record. They were blown out on the road against Vanderbilt and Georgia and lost a close game to Florida International. If you look squarely at that, you have to feel confident about your chances if you’re Kentucky.
Since that loss to FIU, Middle has won 4 straight games rather easily. The key in most of those games? Senior quarterback Brent Stockstill. He has passed for just under 2,300 yards and 21 touchdowns on the year. The son of the head coach, Stockstill is a polished passer who has been a four-year starter. With a guy who has seen that much football, he is not one you want to let stay in the game because he can beat you with his arm.
This is a game Kentucky should win and should win easily, but we could easily have said the same about the game against Tennessee. Benny Snell and the defense have carried this team all year long and I think it is starting to just wear them down.
This is where Eddie Gran is going to have to get creative. We seemingly always have said all year long that the offense needs to run through the hands of #26. Gran seemed to take that literally in the first half of yesterday’s game especially. It seemed that if Snell wasn’t touching the ball; it was Terry Wilson finding a way to get it in the hands of Lynn Bowden. Don’t get me wrong, getting the ball in the hands of your playmakers is a great plan for success, for a team to be successful, they must have a multi-dimensional offense, especially in the SEC. It is no secret that this isn’t happening right now. It must be more than Snell/Bowden.
How do they fix it against Middle? Well, MTSU is giving up 242 yards/game on the ground, but Tennessee was giving up a similar number. It is no secret that Snell is going to get the ball, but I really want to see more play action calls. A fake run by #26 should open up the field for a player like CJ Conrad to make catches in space. Get other people the ball if you want to be successful.
Overall, this team still should go 9-3 and that is incredible. There is no way I would have believed that would have actually happened at the beginning of the season, but here we are. The worst part about all of this, no matter how the Cats finish, part of me will still feel disappointed even with a 9-win regular season. How crazy is that?