Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Main

LIVE: Watch the Cat Walk down in Starkville

Tune in to see the Cats enter Davis Wade Stadium for today’s game against the Dawgs:


Mississippi State Will Play Without Important Starters

Scout

While Kentucky used the Bye Week to get healthy, Mississippi State is limping into today’s homecoming game.

Olivia Harlan, the SEC Network sideline reporter for today’s game, reports the Bulldogs will be without left tackle Martinas Rankin, reserve right guard Michael Story and wide receiver Keith Mixon.

Mixon is one of State’s best receivers.  He is second on the team in receptions with 16 and first in receiving yards with 238.  Rankin is a future NFL first round pick at left tackle.  In his absence, Miss. State will charge two freshmen with the task of stopping Josh Allen and Denzil Ware.  Good luck with that.


Todd Grantham, We Meet Again

Garry Jones | AP

Remember when Kentucky had 581 yards of offense and scored 41 points as a 27-point underdog to beat Lamar Jackson and Louisville on their home field?  You can thank Todd Grantham for that.

The former Louisville defensive coordinator was already at odds with Bobby Petrino.  Eddie Gran’s trip to the woodshed with Grantham certainly expedited the ending of his tenure at UofL.

Grantham left Louisville, but he can’t escape Kentucky.

Now the leader of Mississippi State’s defense, Grantham’s aggressive scheme has been successful through the first half of his first season in Starkville.  State is currently ranked third in the SEC total defense (298.3 ypg) and second in passing defense (155 ypg).

“They’re disruptive,” Mark Stoops said earlier this week.  “Todd does a great job.  They’re multiple.  They’ve always been athletic; just big and long and got good-looking players.  They’re very disruptive, and again, I think Todd Grantham does a great job keeping you off balance.”

Grantham keeps offenses off-balance by blitzing their pants off.  It makes his defenses susceptible to big plays (see: last year’s UofL game), but it also creates havoc in the backfield, which should lead to more sacks and tackles for loss.

Surprisingly, that’s not the case this year.  State is tied for last in the SEC in sacks with just ten, and they’re 12th in tackles for loss with 32.  Still, Eddie Gran plans on seeing a stingy defense this afternoon.

“They’re really good, they fly around and they’re physical,” Gran said on Tuesday.  “Those kids know where to go.  They’re playing hard.  I think they’re first in the country at not giving up first downs, the least amount of first downs.  You look at their statistics and they’re stingy.”

They’re stingy, but they look a lot like the Louisville team the Cats torched a year ago.  Don’t take it from me, take it from Gran.

“It is a lot the same.  He’s not going to change overnight just because he’s got different guys.  Their personnel matches a lot with what Louisville was.”

The Cats will go on the road as heavy underdogs (now up to 13) to face an aggressive Todd Grantham defense and a Heisman-worthy dual-threat quarterback.  If you think it sounds a lot like last year’s UofL game, you’re right.  If you think the Cats are prepared to win another big one on the road, you’re right.


What Uniforms Kentucky will Wear vs. Miss. State, Brought to you by Anthem Medicaid

What Uniforms Kentucky will Wear vs. Miss. State, Brought to you by Anthem Medicaid

Message from today’s sponsor:

Now is the time to find the health insurance plan that is just right for you. Anthem has been around for nearly 80 years in Kentucky. Anthem Medicaid serves members in all 120 counties in Kentucky. The benefits of Anthem Medicaid are endless: coverage for all ages, no copays, free eyeglasses for children and adults, the only Medicaid plan offering adults both glasses or contacts every year, free over the counter medicines with a prescription, and so many other benefits. Open enrollment runs from October 16 to December 15. To choose Anthem Medicaid call 855-306-8959 or visit benefind.ky.gov.


Kentucky is going the classic route in today’s game against Mississippi State. The Cats will sport white jerseys, blue pants and matte blue helmets in today’s game.

@UKFootball

Three and a half hours until kickoff. Go Cats.


@MaggieDavisKSR


Don’t miss the Bell Theater Fall and Winter Concert Series!

Main Street Pineville and Bell County Tourism are happy to bring music to our Gem City with the Bell Theater Fall and Winter Concert Series! It kicks off with southern rock stalwarts The Steel Woods on October 28th (don’t worry, we’ll have a community tailgate and the UK/UT game played on a large inflatable screen outside at Main Street Park just beside the theater). After that we have Kentucky songwriting legend Chris Knight on December 15th (with opening support from George Molton) and wrapping up with not one but TWO of the best up-and-coming Americana artists on planet earth in John Moreland and Colter Wall on January 12th. Tickets and info at http://www.thecityofpineville.com/belltheater.

Come check out beautiful downtown Pineville, with eateries like Sauced Craft Pizza, Pasta & Salad, Flocoe On The Square, and Gem City Cakes to name a few. Also, make sure to check out Council Chamber Cigars and Ol’ Bootleggers Spirit Shoppe. Rooms and cabins available in nearby Pine Mountain State Resort Park, which also has some of the best hiking trails and views in the entire Commonwealth. Middlesboro, KY also has several hotels and bed and breakfasts as well. Bell County is also home to the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, and offers great attractions like the Pine Mountain Zipline and Canopy Tour, trout streams, places to kayak, horseback ride, off-road trails, 70,000 acres of public hunting, over 100 miles of hiking trails, museums, and much more! For more information on things to do in Bell County, check out www.bellcountytourism.com.


Five Things You Need to Know about Nick Fitzgerald

MARVIN GENTRY/USA TODAY SPORTS

My goal for this post was not to do the quarterback of each team. However, it seems that for each of Kentucky’s opponents this season, the quarterback is their best and most unique player.

So here are five IMPORTANT things you need to know about Mississippi State’s junior quarterback…

He owns record for most 100-yard rushing games by a QB in the SEC in a single-season

Fitzgerald broke the the single-season league record for 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback with eight in 2015. He rushed for over 100 yards against South Carolina (195), Massachusetts (110), Kentucky (107), Samford (119), Texas A&M (182), Arkansas (131), Ole Miss (258) and Miami (132).

In his 258-yard rushing game against Ole Miss, Fitzgerald averaged 18.5 yards per rush.

He was born in Germany

Fitzgerald was born in Germany because his father served in the Air Force. He lived in Florida and Illinois before settling down in Georgia when Fitzgerald was about 8 years old.

He grew up a Georgia fan

Fitzgerald grew up outside of Savannah, Georgia rooting for the Georgia Bulldogs. His childhood room was decorated red, black and white with Georgia logos everywhere. He grew up going to games at Sanford Stadium. Fitzgerald’s uncle, Charles Pledger, played cornerback for the Dawgs from 1990-93.

Fitzgerald wanted to play at Georgia, but he never received a scholarship offer.

He and his center have a weird relationship 

The video can speak for itself.

He got very angry with Mississippi State’s campus parking

SEC quarterbacks, they’re just like us. They hate parking on college campuses like everyone else in the world.

No one gets to park where you want on a college campus, unless you’re Coach Calipari.

Go Cats.


SEC Storylines of Week 8: Butch’s Last Game?

SEC Storylines of Week 8: Butch’s Last Game?

The college football season gets another week older, and many eyes will be focused on the SEC. Here is a rundown of the key storylines to watch for around the conference as Kentucky travels to Mississippi State.

1. When will Tennessee Do What Needs to be Done?

Alright, it’s time for Tennessee to make the tough call that no athletic program likes to make. Butch Jones is truly a first-class person all the way, but he just doesn’t need to be the head coach of the Volunteers anymore.

The fact of the matter is that Tennessee was expected to have a nice season in a struggling SEC East division this year. However, they have lost three of their SEC games so far while managing to accumulate just 2 touchdowns in those contests.

So, what about their three nonconference wins? Well, one was a win against Indiana State, one was a double overtime victory over Georgia Tech, and the other was a four-point victory over Massachusetts. In summary, the Volunteers don’t have a single convincing win this season over a FBS team.

Tennessee travels to Tuscaloosa Saturday where they will most likely receive a thumping at the hands of the Crimson Tide. Barring any surprises, this appears to be “Butch’s Last Stand.”

If he somehow isn’t fired after Staurday’s loss, then it may very well be the Kentucky game which gets Jones fired. How fun that would be.

2. Damien Harris Is on His Way to Super-Stardom

As if Alabama even needed one of their 20 something future NFL players to elevate their game to the next level this season, Damien Harris has did just that.

Harris is third in rushing yardage in the SEC and second in rushing touchdowns all while averaging an absurd 9.19 yards per carry. The scary part is he has carried the ball only 68 times in 7 games.

Obviously, it’s hard to get a ton of carries when you have a monster like Bo Scarborough behind you. However, Harris is earning that right year by year. In three seasons, his yards per carry have increased from 3.4 to 7.2 to his current 9.19 average.

In comparison, Scarborough is only averaging 4.99 yards a carry. While that is respectable, he has earned more carries so far in the season. Of course, Scarborough serves a valuable purpose as his huge frame wears down defenses gradually.

But Harris has reached the next level in his game, and it’s time to make him the true leader in the backfield so he can make more plays like this:

3. How Good Is Auburn?

This question really is hard to answer. Just a week ago the Tigers had moved into the top 10 rankings as they appeared to pose an actual threat to win the SEC.

But then unranked LSU defeated Auburn in demoralizing fashion last weekend as Auburn only mounted 64 total yards of offense in the second half.

This week the Tigers have a winnable game with their matchup against Arkansas even if it is on the road. Quarterback Jarrett Stidham has simply been a mixed bag this season as he has failed to truly make a superstar-type impact.

To put it simply, Auburn must defeat Razorbacks in convincing fashion to try and retain some of the hype they had going into last weekend.

With the third ranked Georgia Bulldogs and the Crimson Tide left on their schedule, the Tigers need to find their identity fast or they could be in for a disappointing season.

4. Shea Patterson: A Diamond in a Dumpster Fire

It’s no secret that Ole Miss has been very disappointing this season. Their self-imposed postseason ban has put a damper on their season, and the Rebels rank near the bottom of the SEC West.

Despite their rough start, Shea Patterson has been unquestionably the best quarterback in all the SEC this season. He ranks first in the conference in completion percentage, yards, yards per attempt, and touchdowns.

His last two performances show that he is just starting to warm up as he burned Vanderbilt and Auburn for almost 700 passing yards and a TD-INT ration of 6-0.

The quick defense of the LSU Tigers presents a very difficult challenge for young Patterson this weekend, but Ole Miss is undefeated at home this season. While a victory could be too much to ask for of the Rebels, Patterson might be able to make a little magic happen in Oxford.

5. A Week of Rest

Overall, five SEC teams are on a bye this week with four of those teams being from the SEC East. The likes of Florida, Vanderbilt, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas A&M will be getting some valuable rest in the middle of the season on Saturday.

From here until Conference Championship week, there won’t be single week where this many SEC teams will be on bye weeks.

For some of these teams, this bye week is much needed. Vanderbilt has lost four straight games and Georgia and Florida get two full weeks to prepare for their huge matchup next week.

It is crucial for Kentucky to pick up a victory this week over Mississippi State while most of the East division is resting. Also, the Wildcats are coming off a bye week their selves so they should be well prepared for the Bulldogs.

Stephen Johnson’s game at quarterback has been slowly improving all season long, and it will be interesting to see how we play after a bye week. He might be able to make plays like this:


Prepare for Gameday in Starkville with DRAFT

A message from our friends at DRAFT:

DRAFT is the only place where you can play in daily fantasy football snake drafts for real money!

The average draft takes under five minutes, so you’re in and out in no time. Just pick 5 players and cheer for them in real-time as you watch the winnings rack up.

For a limited time, our readers will receive a FREE $3 Entry with first deposit. But you have to use the promo code ‘KSR’. That’s right – play a real money game for free just by using the promo code ‘KSR’!

Just search DRAFT in your app store or go to playdraft.com/ksr. Come play free right now with promo code ‘KSR.

There’s a reason DRAFT is the highest rated fantasy football app on Android and iOS. Join now and claim your free entry!


Bowl Eligibility is on the Line

This feels weird.  In the seventh game of the season, Kentucky can become bowl eligible.  What used to be the most coveted prize for Kentucky fans just a year ago, is now just another stepping stone for greater long-term goals.

It will not come easy.  More than 60,000 cowbell-clad Bulldog fans will pack Davis Wade Stadium for homecoming.  With a physical running quarterback at the helm, Nick Fitzgerald, Kentucky must be at their best to win the fifth out of their last six road games.

No Water

I learned my lesson two years ago: never stay in Starkville.  The amenities in Tupelo aren’t much better.  I arrived in Tupelo to find a boil water advisory in effect after e. coli was discovered in the system.

I do not want your pity.  I am fine.  I can drink from a water bottle with no problem, but it might be a problem for the Kentucky football team managers.  The team stays in Tupelo every year.  It can’t be easy keeping a hundred guys hydrated for an SEC football game without running water.

The Schedule

  • 1:00 — The KSR Pregame Show begins on 630 WLAP
  • 1:50 — The Cat Walk outside of gates G and H
  • 2:00 — Countdown to Kickoff with Freddie Maggard and Christi Thomas
  • 4:00 — Kickoff on the SEC Network

How to Watch/Listen

Taylor Zarzour, Andre Ware and Olivia Harlan are on the call for the SEC Network.  If you haven’t memorized where to find America’s favorite television channel…

  • Cable: 516, 517
  • AT&T UVerse: 607, 1607
  • DirecTV: 611
  • Dish: 408

If you’re stuck on the road and can’t watch, there are multiple ways to listen to Leach and Piecoro.

  • AM: 840 WHAS, 630 WLAP
  • FM: 98.1 WBUL
  • Satellite: XM-191 and Sirius-145
  • Online: iHeart Radio

ESPN is Thinking Long Term

Even if Kentucky doesn’t get win No. 6 today, the Cats have a more than 50 percent chance to reach eight wins according to ESPN’s FPI.

How Bout that Blue-White Game?

I like Kentucky’s next basketball team, but I like even more that right now it’s just a side-show for the football team.  For those who skipped the side-show, peep the highlights.

One More Reason to Make Fun of Grayson Allen

College Football Schedule

  • Noon: No. 10 Oklahoma State at Texas on ABC
  • Noon: Iowa at Northwestern on ESPN2
  • Noon: Louisville at Florida State on ESPN
  • 3:30: Tennessee at No. 1 Alabama on CBS
  • 3:30: Syracuse at No. 8 Miami on ESPN
  • 7:15: No. 24 LSU at Ole Miss on ESPN
  • 7:30: No. 19 Michigan at No. 2 Penn State on ABC
  • 7:30: No. 11 USC at No. 13 Notre Dame on NBC
  • 7:30: No. 21 Auburn at Arkansas on SEC Network
  • 10:45: Colorado at No. 15 Washington State on ESPN

High School Football Scores

  • Ashland Blazer 21, Johnson Central 18
  • Bryan Station 20, Dunbar 18
  • Danville 44, LCA 28
  • Bowling Green 43, South Warren 7
  • Highlands 47, Greenwood 35
  • Male 27, Manual 20
  • Scott County 48, PRP 21
  • Southern 26, Iroquois 21
  • Willamsburg 40, Lynn Camp 32
  • Bell County 49, Jackson County 12
  • South Laurel 33, Lincoln County 27

Ten immediate reactions from the Blue-White Scrimmage

Ten immediate reactions from the Blue-White Scrimmage

We saw a quick preview of the team during Big Blue Madness, but tonight was our first in-depth look at the 2017-18 Wildcats.

Kentucky held their annual Blue-White scrimmage tonight, producing a lot of good things to be excited about, and some bad to keep an eye on.

Here are my ten immediate reactions from the scrimmage:

This team is a work in progress

The potential is there for a big run in March, but don’t expect this team to be world-beaters from game one.

Spacing issues, careless passes, and missed shots at the basket were just a few of the glaring problems we saw in the Blue-White scrimmage.

But that is expected this early in a season, especially for a team this young.

For as many SportsCenter Top 10 highlight plays we see early, there may be just as many head-scratchers.

What shooting concerns?

One of the biggest knocks on this team going into the season was their inability to shoot from beyond the arc.

Tonight at the Blue-White game, however, they flipped that narrative.

The Wildcats knocked down 13 total threes, finishing roughly 45% on the night.

Quade Green hit a few contested jumpers, Kevin Knox hit several jumpers, Diallo, Calipari, Gabriel, etc.

Kentucky has two guys 6’9 or taller that can knock down threes on a consistent basis. PJ Washington can knock them down from mid-range, and an occasional three. Even Sacha Killeya-Jones knocked one down for good measure.

They’re not an elite team from deep, but they’ll hit a whole lot of them.

Speaking of shooting…

Jonny David hit a three

If Kentucky needs a spark of the bench, Jonny freaking David is your guy.

That is all that needs to be said on the matter.

Kevin Knox is a different breed of basketball player

Coach Cal said Knox made a big step up in the days leading up to UK Media Day, and it was easy to see tonight.

At the half, the star freshman finished with 18 points in 20 minutes of action, and then finished the day with 22 points and seven rebounds.

He opened the game with a beautiful mid-range jumper, followed it up with a big rebound on the opposite end, and immediately took off with the ball. Two plays later, he ripped Gilgeous-Alexander, and took it coast-to-coast for a bucket in transition.

Oh yeah, and then he dunked all over multiple defenders. And then he threw down a nasty putback dunk.

Knox just does everything right, and I think he’s easily the best player on the team right now.

He’s a hybrid if I’ve ever seen one.

Hamidou Diallo is a freak athlete, but you already knew that

On one occasion in the first half, the backboard shook for 30 seconds following a nasty dunk by Diallo.

And then he did it again. And again.

If Diallo finds an open lane on a fast break, be prepared to be on the receiving end of a facial.

Aside from disgusting dunks and ridiculous length, Diallo knocked down a contested three, along with some impressive shots around the rim.

I do believe Diallo will have a bad tendency of forcing things at times this year, but he’s going to be a dynamic scorer in Calipari’s offense.

Wenyen Gabriel is a completely different player

There were times last year Gabriel looked so uncomfortable on the floor, and if he wasn’t in a shooting rhythm, he really struggled.

Now, the sophomore has his feet under him and looks like a stud.

He can still catch-and-shoot, but his game is far more developed. He’s comfortable with the ball in his hands and driving to the basket. When contact comes, he doesn’t get thrown around like a rag doll like he used to. He can grab a rebound and just go, and you don’t feel like it’s a turnover waiting to happen.

Calipari said Gabriel is one of the best three players on the team, and I think he’s right. If he can produce 19 points and four boards on a consistent basis, the Wildcats will be just fine.

PJ Washington is a bully

His teammates call him Charles Barkley, and it’s for good reason. This kid is a force on both ends of the floor.

Jonny David tried guarding him in the paint on one play, which ended about as you’d expect. Quade Green found himself matched up with Washington in the post, and the big man absolutely dominated on him.

Washington finds the mismatch and takes advantage. He’s a bull, and there won’t be many people in the country able to slow him down.

Oh, and he can shoot from mid-range. Really well.

He’ll be a fan-favorite from day one.

Quade Green is not Tyler Ulis… yet.

Green finished with 18 points, seven assists, and four turnovers, highlighting both the positive and negative that came with his performance.

He started the game with several sloppy passes, and got the ball ripped from him once or twice. And when he made a mistake, he let himself know about it.

After finding his groove, he looked like the floor general we all expected him to be. He was loud, directed traffic, and found the open man more often than not. He showed the ability to knock down shots from all over the floor, including some contested buckets at the rim.

The game came so simply to Ulis, and it’ll get that way with Green in the future. But those expecting the second coming of arguably the greatest point guard in Kentucky history will be a bit disappointed early on.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t afraid of anyone

Throughout the game, Gilgeous-Alexander took the ball straight to the rack and went right at whoever was in his way. He didn’t shy away from the contact, he embraced it, and it paid off in a huge way.

On defense, his length showed, jumping the passing lanes and deflecting (or stealing) balls throughout the contest.

Similar to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist when he was here, SGA is going to do it all for the Wildcats this season.

Nick Richards is a defensive force

Anthony Davis, Nerlens Noel, Willie Cauley-Stein, Nick Richards. The freshman out of New York is next in line.

With a final statline of 10 points, 13 rebounds, and eight blocks, it’s impossible to not get excited about UK’s newest center.

Richards swatted away eight shots, and altered even more. When he wasn’t in position to defend, he was a couple feet above the rim to grab the rebound. He has that aspect of his game down to a science.

That being said…… Kenny Payne needs to be in the gym all day and night working on his offensive game.

When Richards puts the ball on the ground, defenders immediately swarm to him. He fumbles the ball around, and forces uncomfortable shots up under pressure. Even on some alley-oop attempts or hard passes thrown to him under the basket, he has a hard time controlling the ball.

He’ll miss a ton of shots and turn the ball over in the paint early in the year, but make up for it on the other end.


They’re raw, and they made a lot of mistakes, but I love my team.


WATCH: Kevin Knox, Nick Richards, and PJ Washington talk following Blue-White Scrimmage

Kevin Knox finished with 22 points and seven rebounds.

PJ Washington finished with 21 points, five rebounds, and three assists.

Nick Richards finished with 10 points, 13 rebounds, and eight blocks in a near triple-double.

These three balled out, and they each talked to the media following the scrimmage to talk about their performances.

Check them out:

Go. Big. Blue.


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

McDowell


The one and only Big Mick is a meaty masterpiece in its own right. Composed of two quarter-pound patties* of never-fresh, frozen, mostly beef raised close to the processing plant. Only McDowell’s has the frosted beef and processed cheese to give you a major reason for the afternoon trip to the secret bathroom only you and Debra know about on the 9th floor that is under construction.


You can be a part of McDowell’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.

If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.

#10 Derek Harper

That’ll be scary…

#9 Vince

The perfect one.

#8 Shawn Napier

#PrayforChester

#7 Montuckan

BURN

#6 Austin Flannery

I may or may not have cried…

#5 Aaron Current

He loves his free clothes.

#4 Earned Not Given

Now we just need one of Matt…

#3 Jay Lawless

I think we’re milking these jokes too much.

#2 Fake Ryan Lemond

NIGHTMARES

#1 Jeff

Key word: ALMOST


WATCH: Highlights from the 2017 Blue-White game

WATCH: Highlights from the 2017 Blue-White game

The 2017 edition of Kentucky’s Blue-White game is in the books and you can relive all of the top plays in this highlight package from our friends at Kentucky Wildcats TV.

Enjoy:


WATCH: John Calipari’s post-scrimmage interview with SEC Network

WATCH: John Calipari’s post-scrimmage interview with SEC Network

What did John Calipari think of his team? Let him tell you in this interview from the SEC Network broadcast after the game.


Cramping was one of the stars in the Blue-White game

Cramping was one of the stars in the Blue-White game

One of the main takeaways from Friday night’s Blue-White scrimmage was the team’s conditioning — or lack thereof. To be fair, the sides were thin with Jarred Vanderbilt and Jemarl Baker sitting out with injuries, but it was clear the players aren’t ready to play 30+ minutes in games just yet.

Leg cramps took center stage as the game moved along. First it was Quade Green with cramps; then it was Hamidou Diallo; then Nick Richards; and then on and on and on. John Calipari noted that when one guy went down with cramps, another was quick to grab his leg and hit the deck.

We have a team full of guys that can play 20 minutes,” Calipari said in his postgame comments. “Hopefully we have 10 guys that can play because there’s nobody that can play more than 20 minutes right now.”

So how will Cal fix this problem with the season right around the corner?

“We’re practicing twice tomorrow,” he said.


Dominique Hawkins has signed overseas contract in Denmark

While 27 former Wildcats get their NBA seasons underway, one is packing his bags and heading overseas.

According to his agency, Dominique Hawkins has signed an overseas contract with Denmark’s Horsens IC.

You can read the rest of the release here.

Best of luck to Hawkins in his new professional basketball journey!