It is that time again…KSR is looking for NEW WRITERS to join our team. This →
It is that time again…KSR is looking for NEW WRITERS to join our team. This used to be an annual ritual, but in recent years due to the size of our staff, we have not done it as often. But with what we expect to be a HUGE year in UK basketball and some growth of the site coming in 2015, it is time once again for us to reach out and add new faces. As in years past, we are looking to add some college students who want to get experience and write about UK sports, while seeing if a career in sports media is for them. But in addition, for the first time in a few years, we are also looking for non-college students who simply want to write about UK sports as a side hobby. This is how all of the full-time writers at KSR got their start and we want to give others the opportunity to get on board.
This year we are looking specifically for three types of writers:
Over the years, we have had a strong group of college writers, many of whom have moved on to do great things. Since we started our college program, we have had a number of our people go on to full time jobs in sports media, receive internships with organizations such as ESPN, CBS Sports, GQ and the Nashville Predators and many more. It is time to add a new group here. If you are a college student and you are interested in covering UK sports, we would like you to apply. When applying, include which sports you would be most interested in covering and any particularized knowledge you might have on a subject (whether it is a sport, recruiting, inside information, etc). We will give slight priority to students who attend UK or a college very close by (such as Transy, EKU, Centre, etc), but if the writing is good enough, we will look at other schools as well (we have had writers from Vandy, Yale, Davidson, etc too). If you are interested, please just include in your application email (along with the other things listed below) the Subject heading “COLLEGE STUDENT”.
Non-College Student Writers
KSR was built by, first the group of my friends and I that started this site now nearly a decade ago, and then afterwards, people in other careers who did this as a hobby and made the transition into writing full time. Writers from me, to Thomas Beisner to Drew Franklin to Tyler Thompson to BTI, etc have started doing this as a side project for fun and have made it a career. In addition, writers ranging from Bomani Jones to Chris Tomlin to Andrew McCarthy, etc have made this a part of their writing career and now write in many other forums as well. For the past three years, we have not added any non-student additions, but it is now time once again. What we are looking for is simple…creative, smart, funny, good writers with KSR sensibilities who love UK sports. If that is you, then this is the place. A love for UK sports is crucial, but you also need to know how to navigate the internet looking for great content, how to write at a creative level AND HAVE THE TIME to devote to doing it well. What this site needs more than anything is 2-3 really good writers who can meet the standard of KSR at its best. This is what we are looking for now. If it is your thing and you excel, you might end up changing careers…or you might simply have a great time doing something you love on the side. Either way, we hope it is as enjoyable for you as it has been fo rus. If this is what you are looking for, then put in your subject line “KSR WRITER”
We launched the KSR pop-culture site “Funkhouser” last year and have seen tremendous growth over the last 12 months. We have six really strong writers and some of our most read content has come from them. Beginning in 2015, this site will be part of a potential major project we are undertaking and we would like to add another 3-4 writers to the equation. The standard for this is high…we want you to know the pop culture area you represent (whether its movies, music, tv, politics, the arts or whatever) backwards and forwards, while also being a really good writer. Our current staff is full of intelligent people who write very interesting things. We want to add to that list. If you are someone that this applies to, put “FUNKHOUSER” in the subject line of your email.
So there it is…the THREE types of KSR Writers we are looking for. The benefits of writing for us are (we believe) many…you get a chance to cover cool events, the college students have been a part of the John Calipari Fantasy Camp and are credentialed to UK sporting events. Our regular writers are often assigned projects (something that will be happening MUCH more) that allows them the ability to go and see exciting events and cover sports in ways they have never before. In short, it is fun and we hope you are interested. To apply, here is what you need to do. To the email address below, send these things:
1. A Statement with who you are, where you are from and why you want to write
2. A Resume of some form…just so we know your background
3. A Writing sample of your best work, preferably of the type you want to do for KSR
4. Your schedule so we know how much time you can devote
EMAIL to KSRAPPLICATIONS@Gmail.com
That is it. Our goal is to continue this as the best place to follow Kentucky athletics on the internet. This will only increase but we want to do what made us successful to begin with…get real UK fans doing what they love. WE are excited for the opportunity and look forward to reading your applications. The deadline is Tuesday, September 16. Good luck
Let me start by saying that I don’t know if these words can sum up tonight’s game. The emotional roller coaster can only be compared to an NCAA Tournament game. The Cats had many “classic” UK plays, but they also made plays that you’ve never seen someone in a Kentucky uniform make (see: Boom Williams). Here’s my best effort to summarize the closest thing to a moral victory you can get.
Nothing could phase Patrick Towles
Patrick Towles didn’t play like it was only his third start. The offense didn’t move the ball well in the first half, but Pat kept chuckin’. He had two passes intercepted off drops/tips, but he kept chuckin’. He was harassed by the Florida blitz, but more often than not, they came up empty-handed. After Vernon Hargreaves picked him off, he maintained faith in his wide receivers and kept throwing it Hargreaves’ way.
Needing a scoring drive to extend the game late in the 4th quarter, Pat was put in the worst situation ever. 3rd and 16, ball on the UK 1 yard line, in front of the student section. He rifled a first down to Garrett Johnson on what would have been an impossible play a year ago.
Even though they nearly pulled off the impossible, it isn’t good enough for Towles.
“That’s old Kentucky, four or five years ago, that’s not now. We expect to win every game we play. We got off the plane expecting to win and ready to play,” Pat said. “Losing sucks. It’s awful. I hate it. It’s not something that will become a habit.”
Pat finished the game 24-45 for 369 yards, 3 TDs and 3 interceptions. It isn’t the most glamorous stat line, but only Tim Couch and Jared Lorenzen have thrown for 300 yards in the Swamp.
Austin MacGinnis might become the Aaron Harrison of the football team
The start to MacGinnis’ career had been a weird one, tying a UK record with a 53-yarder but failing to hit a few chip shots. Today The Big Mac played larger than life.
His first three field goals tied the game. He was constantly in a high pressure situation, but none was bigger than his 51-yarder to tie it with 3:52 in the 4th quarter. He nailed a 46-yarder to tie it, but was forced to rekick it from 51 after the Cats failed to snap the ball in time. No problem for MacGinnis. The ball’s trajectory had everyone thinking it was a miss, but the wind blew the ball right off the inside of the upright.
Even though he missed a 41-yarder in the third OT, the BBN can rest easy knowing the redshirt freshmen has plenty more opportunities to win games for Kentucky in the future.
The defense was great
After watching Mark Stoops play a base ‘vanilla’ defense for two weeks, he brought out all of the tricks against Florida. Trusting in his secondary, Stoops’ man blitz put the heat on Driskell all night. The cornerback blitzes went untouched for most of the game, but they were always .0005 seconds away from making the sack. They only managed to get 2 sacks and an interception, but Driskell will be feeling the pain tomorrow morning.
It’s hard to describe a defensive effort as ‘great’ when the opposing team has 532 yards of offense, but this D bent, and rarely broke. Matt Jones (29 carries, 156 yards, 1 TD) was a brute that not many SEC teams will have an answer for. When they needed an answer, they found it, forcing Florida to go 5-17 on 3rd down. Exhausted late in the game, Florida could have put a fork in the Cats with a touchdown. After a 3rd and 2 stop, the Gators missed the field goal with 9:02 left, giving Patrick Towles a chance for the win.
It’s going to be fun watching Vandy try to score on this defense.
The receivers were ALMOST perfect
As stated previously, Garrett Johnson had one of the best games by a freshmen wide receiver ever. Johnson’s 154 yards were the most by a UK receiver since Randall Cobb in 2010. Dorian Baker and Blake Bone were fearless against Vernon Hargreaves, arguably the best CB in the nation, combing for 72 yards on 6 catches. The freshmen also got some help from Old Man ‘Marco. Demarco Robinson had probably his game in blue, finishing with 5 catches for 63 yards.
You’ve probably heard that ALMOST only counts in horsehoes and hand grenades. Ryan Timmons wishes he could go back to change that almost. With less than a minute on the clock, Towles threw a beautiful pass down the middle of the field to Timmons that would have put the Cats in Gator territory. Instead, Timmons tipped it, and Florida intercepted it.
A few different plays and it’s our game
The Timmons play is brutal to replay, but it got much worse on defense.
Up 10-6, a pass hit Fred Tiller right in the numbers. Dropping an interception hurts, but it’s even worse when it bounces right into the receivers’ hands. The play went for 30+ yards and the Gators scored two plays later. Instead of 17-6 Kentucky, it was 10-13 Florida.
It only got worse from there. The fateful 4th and 1 that will haunt Stoops’ dreams happened after two DBs bumped into one another.
Another play here, another play there, and Kentucky wins the game. It’s a sad and sometimes redundant story, but tonight’s game has injected even more confidence into the program.
If there’s one thing we learned tonight: these Cats will not quit ‘Til the Battle is Won.
JoJo Kemp’s comments about beating Florida took off like wildfire today, to the point that someone at Florida put them on a poster and hung it in the Gators’ locker room. You can look at this a number of ways. On one hand, it’s never good to give the other team bulletin board material, but at the same time, what does it say about Florida that they’ve beaten us 27 times in a row and still use JoJo’s comments as motivation? As someone pointed out on Twitter today, when has UK football ever created bulletin board material for the other team?
While the outcome of the game will decide whether JoJo’s comments are epic or an epic fail, it got me thinking about the great moments in Kentucky trash talk history. Here are just a few I can remember…
March 1999: Jamaal Magloire to Wally Szczerbiak
Magloire loved to talk trash, and couldn’t resist getting into Wally Szczerbiak’s head when the Cats played Miami in the 1999 Midwest Regional. After UK won, Magloire told reporters what he told Wally. “I told him it was my world. I told him it’s Jamaal’s world and he’s just a small fry living in it.”
And then he ran over the mascot:
October 2006: Dicky Lyons, Jr. guarantees, then delivers, a win over Mississippi State
If UK football has had one famous trash talker over its history, it’s Dicky Lyons, Jr. Back in 2006, Lyons guaranteed a victory over Mississippi State in a press conference, and a week later, had a career game to help the Cats beat the Bulldogs 34-31 in Starkville. Lyons had eight catches for 117 yards and one touchdown, which was an incredible one-handed grab at the back of the endzone:
Lyons later said that while Rich Brooks was mad and made him run a lot of gassers after practice, the other players joined him because they respected his confidence.
February 2010: DeMarcus Cousins to Mississippi State: “Call Me”
After Mississippi State fans found his cell phone number and left several nasty voicemails, DeMarcus Cousins did most of his talking on the court, putting up 19 points and 14 rebounds against the Bulldogs in Starkville. However, Boogie being Boogie, he couldn’t help but flash the “Call me” sign to the crowd after a big dunk.
March 2011: Anthony Davis to Chane Behanan and Wayne Blackshear: “You all lost to Morehead State”
Chane Behanan, Wayne Blackshear, Marquis Teague and Anthony Davis filmed a video during the 2011 McDonald’s All-American Game, and it’s pretty much 10 minutes of non-stop trash talk. However, Davis won the day when he grabbed the mic and told Wayne and Chane “You all lost to Morehead State,” a zinger that rendered the Louisville signees speechless. Even they had to laugh at that one.
March 2011: DeAndre Liggins to West Virginia “Do the John Wall now!”
We all remember UK’s loss to West Virginia back in 2010. It was awful. DeAndre Liggins definitely remembers it, and didn’t miss out on the opportunity to get a little revenge when the Cats beat the Mountaineers in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. That’s just one of Liggins’ many trash talking moments, which include his trademark line of “Don’t do it,” his non-stop banter with Scotty Hopson, and this rant we can only see against UNC in the Elite Eight:
November 2011: Tennessee’s Da’Rick Rogers: “Now we have to go beat Kentucky — like we always do.”
Tennessee wide receiver Da’Rick Rodgers was so cocky after the Vols beat Vandy (!) that he told reporters, “Now we have to go beat Kentucky — like we always do.” No word on how Rodgers felt after Kentucky snapped the 26-game losing streak against UT the next week…with a wide receiver at QB.
August 2012: High schooler talks trash to John Wall, gets schooled
Back in 2012, Tyrek Coger was considered the 60th best center in ESPN’s 2013 rankings, and talked some major smack to John Wall, who challenged him to a game of one-on-one. The results are priceless.
March 2013: Marshall Henderson to the fake Ryan Harrow account
Remember that time Marshall Henderson, notorious trash talker, talked trash to a fake Ryan Harrow account? Someone impersonating Harrow provoked Marshall on Twitter, and Marshall responded because he’s Marshall. He’s deleted the tweets since, but he told (fake) Harrow to “HA get to the tournament bitch before you talk shit to a #BOSS, howd that NIT go? HAHAHAHAHA” and “talkin shit … please tell him to take that NIT ass to the back of the bus LOL, you bout to get cut #bum.”
Wow. While Marshall had a point about that whole NIT thing, it’s worth pointing out that he ended his career 0-3 against the Cats.
June 2013: Dorian Hendrix and Mikel Horton roast Louisville about not getting Mike Edwards
In June 2013, safety Mike Edwards chose Kentucky over several schools, including Louisville, which led to Edwards’ fellow 2014 UK commits Dorian Hendrix and Mikel Horton engaging in their first smack talk session with the Cards:
Louisville thought they had him hahhha…….. Sike #BBN
— Dorian Hendrix (@D_Hendrix14) June 10, 2013
Screw Louisville we got that boy @M__Edwards6
— AD#4 (@mikelhorton1) June 10, 2013
Well, if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Mark Stoops’ recruits, it’s that they’re not shy. Also, while JoJo’s comments weren’t exactly wise, if the Cats do win on Saturday, he’ll be a Kentucky football legend.
Believe it or not, there was a time when Kentucky was able to beat Florida in football. It happened in 1986 and three times in four years in 1976-79. You’ll have to go back to 1956 to find a sixth win, but it’s there, according to Google.
This season, Kentucky is sitting comfortably on a 27-game losing steak to the Gators, the longest of its kind in college football. Many of you weren’t even born when the streak began, while those of you who were have consumed entirely too much bourbon to remember it. To you veteran UK football fans, the annual Florida game calls for a 1.75 L these days; it’s the only way we get through it anymore.
With your young and/or fuzzy UK football memories in mind, tonight I would like to revisit the last 27 meetings between our beloved Wildcats and those untouchable Gators from the Swamp. My thought process is, if we cram 27 years of suck into our brains tonight, maybe, just maybe, it will reverse the curse and end Florida’s unprecedented dominance of the series this Saturday.
I mean, #WhyNot?
Florida 24, Kentucky 7
September 28, 2013 | Lexington, KY
Florida held the Cats to 172 total yards of offense in last year’s 27th consecutive victory in Commonwealth Stadium. Kentucky’s only points came on a 25-yard scamper by kicker Joe Mansour on a fake field goal.
Florida 38, Kentucky 0
September 22, 2012 | Gainesville, FL
Morgan Newton threw three interceptions in the second quarter as Kentucky fans pleaded with Joker Phillips through their televisions to save Newton the misery and take him out of the game. Jalen Whitlow was finally given control of the offense in the fourth quarter, but the damage was done and the Cats laid an egg in Gainesville, UK’s last trip to the Swamp.
Florida 48, Kentucky 10
September 24, 2011 | Lexington, KY
Florida scored three touchdowns in a 4:31 span of the first quarter to demolish what little hope Kentucky had entering the game. Jeff Demps was unstoppable; he rushed for 157 yards and two scores on 10 touches, followed by 105 yards from Chris Rainey. The Gators totaled over 400 yards on the ground in the game.
Florida 48, Kentucky 14
September 25, 2010 | Gainesville, FL
Freshman Trey Burton scored a school-record six touchdowns in Florida’s rout of Kentucky in 2010. Burton was unstoppable in the redzone, scoring on runs of 11, 10, 9, 3 and 7 yards from the Wildcat formation. He also caught a touchdown and would’ve thrown one had Omarius Hines not tripped over his own feet on a 42-yard completion from Burton.
Florida 41, Kentucky 7
September 26, 2009 | Lexington, KY
Ah, the Taylor Wyndham game. UK’s freshman defensive end knocked Tim Tebow out of the game with a vicious hit from the weak side, but not before Tebow threw a TD and ran for two, moving him to second place on the all-time rushing list in the SEC.
Aaron Hernandez caught a touchdown pass and didn’t murder anyone, as far as we know.
Florida 63, Kentucky 5
October 25, 2008 | Gainesville, FL
63 points, people. Sixty. Three. Points. Florida led 42-3 at the half before switching to cruise control to close out the game. We got to see the rare Will Fidler-to-Aaron Boyd connection on UK’s final drive, which summarizes what kind of day it was in the Swamp.
Florida 45, Kentucky 37
October 20, 2007 | Lexington, KY
ESPN’s College GameDay came to town to see if the Wildcats were for real after defeating No. 1 LSU the week before, four weeks after upsetting No. 9 Louisville. The Cats were ranked eighth in the country (for real) and sitting at 6-1 on the season with No. 14 Florida and sophomore Tim Tebow up next. Unfortunately, 414 yards and five touchdowns from Andre Woodson wasn’t enough to outscore the Gators. The Cats led in total yards and time of possession, and never committed a turnover, but still fell short in the end, 45-37.
Florida 26, Kentucky 7
September 23, 2006 | Gainesville, FL
Andre Woodson and the Kentucky offense crossed the 50-yard line on its first five possessions in 2006, and had only one touchdown and zero field goals to show for it at the half. Still, the Cats managed to hold a lead with two minutes remaining in the second quarter as thoughts of an upset began to dance in our heads. Those thoughts were short-lived, though, as Florida regained the lead before the break and held UK scoreless in the second half.
Florida 49, Kentucky 28
September 24, 2005 | Lexington, KY
Kentucky won the second half of the 2005 meeting, 21-0. The problem was, Florida won the first half, 49-7.
Urban Meyer had to reinsert his starters late in the game after UK backup quarterback Curtis Pulley scored two TDs in the fourth quarter and almost added a third on fourth down from inside the 10 with five minutes remaining.
Curtis Pulley, there’s a name.
Florida 20, Kentucky 3
September 25, 2004 | Gainesville, FL
Ciatrick Fason’s career-high 210 yards rushing and two touchdowns were enough to give the Gators a 20-3 win against Kentucky. 89,741 people showed up to watch the game, despite a hurricane moving in from the coast. Kickoff was moved up seven hours to beat the storm.
Florida 24, Kentucky 21
September 27, 2003 | Lexington, KY
Up 21-3 entering the fourth quarter, freshman Chris Leak, starting in his first career game at quarterback, led a Florida comeback that was assisted by the biggest mistake of Jared Lorenzen’s career. Lorenzen was trying to avoid a sack when he threw an ill-advised, no-look pass directly into the hands of Florida defensive back Johnny Lamar, who took it 35 yards to set up the game-winning, one-yard touchdown run by Ron Carthon.
After the game, Rich Brooks said, “That’s about as tough as it gets.”
Florida 41, Kentucky 34
September 28, 2002 | Gainesville, FL
A 100-yard kickoff return touchdown and a 49-yard punt return touchdown from Derek Abney kept Kentucky in the game, but it was Florida that prevailed in the end. After trailing 19-0 at the half, UK scored four touchdowns to take the lead late in third quarter. The lead would not hold, though, as Florida took it home, 41-34.
“Moral victories don’t get you into bowls,” Jared Lorenzen said afterward. “They don’t get you into BCS polls. It makes you feel good for about three hours, and that’s it.”
Florida 44, Kentucky 10
September 22, 2001 | Lexington, KY
A young Shane Boyd gave it a shot in 2010, but he and the Kentucky offense were no match for Rex Grossman. Grossman threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns before handing the reins over to his backup, Brock Berlin. Berlin added another 95 yards and one more score.
Florida 59, Kentucky 31
September 22, 2000 | Gainesville, FL
Led by Jared Lorenzen, the UK offense racked up over 500 yards of total offense in the 2000 meeting for the most yards on the Florida Gators in Steve Spurrier’s ten years as head coach. Though the offensive production was outstanding, UK never held a lead in the game and lost by four touchdowns. Lorenzen chucked the ball 59 times.
Florida 38, Kentucky 10
September 25, 1999 | Lexington, KY
Hal Mumme’s “Air Raid” offense was anything but that in 1999 when Florida tallied its lowest point total against Kentucky in six years. Dusty Bonner played his worst game as a Wildcat and UK found the end zone only once to lose to the Gators, an annual tradition.
Florida 51, Kentucky 35
September 26, 1998 | Gainesville, FL
Tim Couch broke Kentucky’s record for career passing yards in the 1998 game with the help of a 74-yard pass and a school-record 97-yard bomb to Craig Yeast. However, Couch’s attempt to defeat Florida in his final shot fell short thanks to two interceptions in the fourth quarter.
Florida 55, Kentucky 28
September 27, 1997 | Lexington, KY
First-year head coach Hal Mumme had the Kentucky offense firing on all cylinders in its first three games in 1997, but the Wildcats bit off more than they could chew in Steve Spurrier and No. 1 Florida in Week 4. Spurrier was not about to lose at his own game and his team racked up a 28-0 lead after one quarter to remind UK how high-scoring offenses run.
Florida 65, Kentucky 0
September 28, 1996 | Gainesville, FL
Kentucky ALMOST got the win in 1996, Billy Curry’s final season.
Florida won, 65-0.
Florida 42, Kentucky 7
September 9, 1995 | Lexington, KY
With a loss to Florida in 1995, a 12th consecutive loss to the Gators, Kentucky earned sole possession of the longest losing streak in college football. The Cats lost the final 11 games of the season in 1994 and dropped the first two in 1995. The losing streak ended the next week against Indiana, but the losing streak to Florida was just picking up steam.
Florida 73, Kentucky 7
September 28, 1994 | Gainesville, FL
UK allowed 73 points in 1994, the highest total by a Kentucky opponent since 1905.
“It was just no contest,” Bill Curry said after the game. “It was a disaster at every turn.”
Florida 24, Kentucky 20
September 11, 1993 | Lexington, KY
Of all the losses in the current streak, this one might sting the most. Kentucky led, 20-17, with eight seconds left in the game. Florida had the ball on third down at the UK 28-yard line, in need of miracle. Then Danny Wuerffel, who combined for seven interceptions in the game with fellow UF quarterback Terry Dean, hit an open Chris Doering on a post pattern in the back of the end zone. Ballgame.
Florida 35, Kentucky 19
September 13, 1992 | Gainesville, FL
Florida brought out a dog to catch frisbees at halftime, the highlight of the day for Kentucky fans at Florida Field.
Florida 35, Kentucky 26
November 16, 1991 | Gainesville, FL
Back before the streak was a streak, Kentucky played close games with Florida. This one, the 1991 battle, was a one possession game in the fourth quarter. Man, those were the days.
Florida 47, Kentucky 15
November 17, 1990 | Lexington, KY
The final scoreboard of the 1990 clash had the look of a more modern Kentucky-Florida game. The Gators rolled from start to finish, powered by SEC Player of the Year Shane Matthews and first-year Florida head coach Steve Spurrier. Spurrier was named SEC Coach of the Year in his first season in Gainesville.
A junior Freddie Maggard was under center for Kentucky.
Florida 38, Kentucky 28
November 18, 1989 | Gainesville, FL
Jerry Claiborne lost the final road game of his coaching career at Florida in 1989. His team entered the game having won four out of five, but Florida was in the early stages of building the nation’s largest winning streak between annual rivals.
Florida had a pretty decent running back named Emmitt Smith.
Florida 24, Kentucky 19
November 12, 1988 | Lexington, KY
1988, the year the streak became a streak. We were so young, so naive. Little did we know, Kentucky was in for over two more decades of defeats at the hands of the Gators, at least.
Florida 27, Kentucky 14
November 14, 1987 | Gainesville, FL
The game that started 27 years of lopsided hell.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©10:35 am
Well, here’s some interesting news: according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, John Calipari is planning an “unprecedented” two-day NBA scouting combine on UK’s campus for October 11-12. Sources tell Wojnarowski that Cal has invited officials of 30 NBA teams to Lexington to watch the 2014-2015 UK team “do everything from run full-court five-on-five and NBA-style pick-and-roll sets to individual skill work.”
Not only will the event give his players plenty of exposure, it will allow Calipari to shut off his practices during the season. It’s also a great opportunity to show off for recruits who may plan to visit (cough, Malik Newman, cough). As one executive jokingly put it to Woj, “We’re just there as B-roll for his recruiting videos.”
I feel like a broken record, but is there anything Calipari won’t think of? Unreal.
The fall recruiting period begins tomorrow, which means coaches can begin doing in-home visits. Calipari’s jet is fired and up and ready to go as he criss-crosses the country to do some major groundwork in the 2015 class. Here’s his schedule for the next few weeks:
Tuesday, September 9: Malik Newman (Jackson, MS), Jaylen Brown (Marietta, GA)
Thursday, September 11: Brandon Ingram (Kinston, NC)
Friday, September 12: Charles Matthews (Chicago, IL)
Saturday, September 13: Stephen Zimmerman (Las Vegas, NV)
Wednesday, September 17: Carlton Bragg (Cleveland, OH)
Thursday, September 18: Isaiah Briscoe (Newark, NJ)
To get ready for the onslaught of recruiting news, let’s refresh our memories on where UK stands with the 2015 class. Grab a piece of red velvet cake and settle in…
6’5″, 175 lbs.
Chicago, Illinois (Saint Rita)
Top247: No. 60 overall, No. 19 SG
247 Composite: No. 48 overall, No. 14 SG
Rivals: No. 56 overall
ESPN: No. 30 overall, No. 7 SG
Scout: No. 61 overall, No. 20 SG
Committed to Kentucky on February 26, 2014
Matthews has taken a major dip in the recruiting rankings since committing to UK in February, in part because of injuries he’s been battling during the summer and spring, and in part because scouts now feel his production and consistency isn’t as high enough to merit an elite ranking. He’s still got the frame to be a big-time player, but needs to add strength and work on his jumper in his senior season.
Top247: No. 4 overall, No. 1 SG
247 Composite: No. 3 overall, No. 1 SG
Rivals: No. 3 overall
ESPN: No. 3 overall, No. 1 SG
Scout: No. 10 overall, No. 1 SG
Newman wasn’t quite as dominant on the summer circuit as many expected him to be, but he’s still the best scorer in the class. Newman can play either point guard or shooting guard, and creates his own shot better than anyone in the class. He’s notoriously tight-lipped about his recruitment, and Calipari will see him tomorrow. So far, he’s only scheduled one official visit: to Texas A&M on October 11. Just that latest weird move in a weird recruitment.
6’7″, 220 lbs.
Alpharetta, Georgia (Wheeler)
Top247: No. 2 overall, No. 2 SF
247 Composite: No. 2 overall, No. 2 SF
Rivals: No. 2 overall
ESPN: No. 8 overall, No. 1 SF
Scout: No. 1 overall, No. 1 SF
Jaylen Brown has surged in the recruiting rankings thanks to an impressive summer. Scout now considers him the best player in the class, and Kentucky’s chances at landing him look better now that he’ll likely wait until the spring to decide. Calipari will visit Brown and Malik Newman first this week, which shows you where both players are on his wish-list.
Other notable offers: UCLA, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Kansas
6’8″, 180 lbs.
Kinston, North Carolina (Kinston)
Top247: No. 11 overall, No. 4 SF
247 Composite: No. 17 overall, No. 4 SF
Rivals: No. 18 overall
ESPN: No. 12 overall, No. 2 SF
Scout: No. 25 overall, No. 6 SF
Ingram got an offer from Kentucky in July during the summer recruiting period. He’s a long wing with impressive shooting skills and range. Many think he’ll stay close to home at either UNC or Duke, but Kentucky is a major player in his recruitment, along with Kansas. Calipari will see him this week, and Ingram will take an official visit to UK for Big Blue Madness.
Other notable offers: Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, NC State, UCLA
Top247: No. 30 overall, No. 5 SF
247 Composite: No. 36 overall, No. 6 SF
Rivals: No. 41 overall
ESPN: No. 27 overall, No. 4 SF
Scout: No. 65 overall, No. 12 SF
Jones has dipped in the rankings this summer, and now, it looks like a two-horse race between UConn and Syracuse for his services. In fact, Jones’ only in-home visit will be with Kevin Ollie and UConn on Wednesday.
Top247: No. 16 overall, No. 4 PF
247 Composite: No. 14 overall, No. 5 PF
Rivals: No. 14
ESPN: No. 14 overall, No. 7 PF
Scout: No. 11 overall, No. 3 PF
Bragg recently trimmed his list to five, surprising many by eliminating Ohio State. So far, Kansas and Illinois have recruited him the hardest, but he’s scheduled to host Calipari on September 17.
Final five: Kentucky, Kansas, Illinois, Arizona, UCLA
6’9″, 210 lbs.
Centereach, New York (Our Savior New American)
Top247: No. 3 overall, No. 1 PF
247 Composite: No. 6 overall, No. 2 PF
Rivals: No. 6 overall
ESPN: No. 7 overall, No. 4 PF
Scout: No. 7 overall, No. 3 C
Diallo got an offer from Kentucky once Slice Rohrssen joined the staff, and because the two are so close, UK is now one of the frontrunners for the 6’9″ Mali native. Diallo is considered the best rebounder and post defender in the 2015 class, and he’s already set up official visits to Kansas, Iowa State, and St. John’s for the fall. Diallo took his official visit to Kentucky in late June.
Other notable offers: Kansas, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Iowa State, St. John’s
6’10″, 230 lbs.
Rice Lake, Wisconsin (Rice Lake)
Top247: No. 18 overall, No. 5 PF
247 Composite: No. 9 overall, No. 4 PF
Rivals: No. 17 overall
ESPN: No. 5 overall, No. 3 PF
Scout: No. 6 overall, No. 2 C
At first glance, Ellenson may not seem like a typical Calipari recruit, but he’s got elite shooting skills, range, and his athletic ability is off the charts. Ellenson picked up an offer from Kentucky over the summer, and although UK recently made his top three, he’s expected to commit to Marquette in the coming weeks.
6’10″, 200 lbs.
Memphis, Tennesee (Evangelical Christian)
Top247: No. 13 overall, No. 2 C
247 Composite: No. 7 overall, No. 2 C
Rivals: No. 6 overall, No. 2 PF
ESPN: No. 4 overall
Scout: No. 3 overall, No. 1 C
Labissiere’s recruitment has taken an odd turn in recent weeks, with a recent report suggesting Skal may be home schooled for his senior season amid eligibility concerns. The Haiti native was adopted by Gerald Hamilton, who has been calling the shots in his recruitment so far, and they’ve even discussed the possibility of playing overseas for one season, ala Emmanuel Mudiay. However, Skal did take an official visit to North Carolina this past weekend and loved it, so who knows. Memphis is considered a heavy favorite.
Final six: Kentucky Memphis, North Carolina, Tennessee, Baylor, Georgetown
7’0″, 220 lbs.
Locust Grove, Georgia (Monteverde Academy, FL)
Top247: No. 48 overall, No. 10 C
247 Composite: No. 49 overall, No. 11 C
Rivals: No. 48 overall
ESPN: No. 36 overall, No. 8 C
Scout: No. 75 overall, No. 18 C
Moore is the latest 2015 recruit to pick up an offer from Kentucky, and has already had an in-home visit with assistant coach Kenny Payne. The 7-footer likens himself to Willie Cauley-Stein on the court, and like Willie was at his age, he is raw with tremendous upside. Moore was scheduled to take an official visit to Kentucky a few weeks ago, but had to cancel. Right now, the only official visits he has scheduled are to Wake Forrest and Illinois.
6’9″, 205 lbs.
Oakland, California (Bishop O’Dowd)
Top247: No. 10 overall, No. 2 PF
247 Composite: No. 5 overall, No. 1 PF
Rivals: No. 7 overall
ESPN: No. 1 overall, No. 1 PF
Scout: No. 5 overall, No. 1 PF
Kentucky may be falling out of the picture for Rabb, who will likely stay on the West Coast. Rabb plays for the Oakland Soldiers AAU team, which has sent several players to Arizona over the past few years, Not surprisingly, Arizona is considered his favorite right now.
6’8″, 275 lbs.
Fort Wayne, Indiana (Homestead)
Top247: No. 17 overall, No. 3 C
247 Composite: No. 15 overall, No. 4 C
Rivals: No. 16 overall
ESPN: No. 17 overall, No. 5 C
Scout: No. 8 overall, No. 4 C
Swanigan picked up an offer from Kentucky in late July after an impressive run at the Peach Jam. He’s a classic low post player with great upside, and Slice Rohrssen developed a good relationship with him while at Pitt. For a guy his size, he has surprisingly good shooting range. Right now, Michigan State is his favorite, but UK has other priorities at center.
7’0″, 230 lbs.
Las Vegas, Nevada (Bishop Gorman)
Top247: No. 22 overall, No. 4 C
247 Composite: No. 12 overall, No. 3 C
Rivals: No. 10 overall
ESPN: No. 6 overall, No. 2 C
Scout: No. 14 overall, No. 6 C
Zimmerman was one of the first players in the 2015 class to get an offer from Kentucky, and he’s still very high on Calipari’s wish-list. Many believe it will be hard to get Zimmerman away from the West Coast, but he continues to speak highly of the Cats and his relationship with Calipari, who will visit him on Saturday. Zimmerman will come see the Cats for Big Blue Madness.
Other notable offers: Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, North Carolina, UCLA, UNLV
ON THE RADAR
Top247: No. 6 overall, No. 1 PG
247 Composite: No. 10 overall, No. 1 PG
Rivals: No. 9 overall
ESPN: No. 20 overall, No. 5 PG
Scout: No. 15 overall, No. 3 PG
Briscoe doesn’t have an offer from Kentucky and didn’t include the Cats in his top five (Arizona, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova), but all of that may change with word that Kentucky will do an in-home visit with him on September 18. 247 Sports considers him the best point guard in the class, although he’s listed as a shooting guard by other services. Could bringing Briscoe back in the picture be Cal’s response to losing Blakeney to Louisville?
Who will be the next to cross over into the “Committed” column?
After two weeks of “cupcakes” the Cats will be thrown into the SEC meat grinder at the Swamp this Saturday. Mark Stoops has liked the energy during the first two weeks and expects it to carry over into Week 3, “I hope they’re excited to play, I imagine they will be. That’s been our identity all year.”
The next step for Stoops’ Troops is maintaining that energy for 60 minutes:
“I thought we really started fast, that was good to see. I believe defensively we started with them having to punt their first four possessions. And offensively starting with two (scores) it was a good start. Obviously we need to finish better. We need to finish the games, finish the drives, we can’t be leaving points out there as we step up the competition in the SEC.”
Last week the Cats left too many points on the board. With first and goal from the 2-yard line, the offense exited the field without any points. Unacceptable.
A big part of the problem was in the trenches. The Cats gave up five sacks, which Stoops attributes to their youth, “A couple of guys went in there; things were moving fast. They were blitzing and changing things up and some of the younger guys, Kyle Meadows in particular, struggled a little bit and that’s from a lack of experience.”
Defensively, Stoops was proud of his team’s play, except their inability to finish sacks. Stoops expects that to improve with game reps, but they have no time to waste against a balanced Florida attack.
Without Brent Pease calling plays, Florida’s offense has improved dramatically. With a powerful Matt Jones at running back and speed at wide receiver on the outside, their balanced attack will keep Stoops and Eliot up at night. “That’s always what stresses a defensive coordinator,” Stoops said. “The best offenses are the ones that are balanced that make you play with numbers and then hurt you on the outside.”
The 2014 football season has been encouraging thus far, but like most of the BBN, Mark Stoops is ready to see how his team matches up against a powerful opponent.
“I’m anxious. I want to have a great week of preparation by our coaches and our players. I want us just as excited to go down there and play as we were in the first two games at home. And I think it’ll be interesting to see how our young players respond and how they go play. It’s a measuring stick for us.”
It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t that bad either.
After scoring on their first two drives, the Kentucky offense moved the ball well but left a ton of points on the board, going only 2-4 in the red zone. The slow second half of offense left a bad taste in the mouths of many fans, so I’m going to start with the bad before ending on a high note.
Patrick Towles was sacked five times. Let me type that once more. Patrick Towles was sacked five times by a MAC defensive line. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Guys, this is the SEC. Florida’s front line is going to be exponentially better than Ohio’s, AND WE CAN’T LET PAT GET HURT! One reason the Cats were so unsuccessful in the red zone was because the offensive line was at a stalemate inside the 5-yard line. You’re SEC big boys, it’s time to wear your big boy pants.
After not letting Towles get touched last week, something was off. Zach West was out of the lineup, but Darrian Miller returned. What the explanation is, we will not know until Stoops’ Monday morning press conference.
Steven Borden dropped 6 points. I hate calling him out because nothing hurts more than dropping a touchdown, but it couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Cats had eaten up a good amount of clock and were looking for the kill shot, but the ball went through Borden’s fingertips on 3rd and short. Austin MacGinnis missed the field goal try the following play, keeping the Cats to only 3 points in the second half.
Austin MacGinnis had a weird day. I feel bad calling his day bad, because he did tie a school record. But it was probably the weirdest day I’ve ever seen for a kicker.
He started the game with an easy miss on a 28-yard chip shot. It was pretty damn ugly. 8 minutes later, Stoops called his number again. With only 2 minutes til half and the ball spotted at the 36-yard line, MacGinnis tied Doug Pelphrey’s UK record with a 53-yard boot. MacGinnis followed it up with another make, but finished with a miss from 35 yards out. Mark Stoops said after the game that he wasn’t worried, but WOW that was weird.
The Dline couldn’t bring the QBs to the ground. We were worried about Ohio’s dual-threat Derrius Vick, but he was benched early on. The other guy, JD Sprague, was even more elusive, sliding away from multiple tacklers at once. Containment was less of a problem than bringing the guy to the ground. Ryan Flannigan and Jason Hatcher finally got to the QB in the 4th quarter, but I expected to be more impressed with UK’s DLine at this point in the season.
Patrick Towles is a running fool. We knew he had ice in his veins, but who knew that he had wheels? Not including the sacks, Towles had 17 carries for 89 yards. The wheels started turning after he took some heat on 3rd and long before scrambling 10+ yards for the first down. He even split out at receiver for a few plays, motioning into a Wildcat formation with Jojo Kemp taking the snaps. Pat’s fast, but he should stick to throwing passes, not catching them.
Kentucky has ZERO turnovers in two games. You can’t ask for a better stat than that. “It’s most important, probably. If you just want to look at stats, that’s a good one to start with,” Stoops said after the game. The defense isn’t letting teams get off easy either, with Khalid Henderson scooping a fumble making the Cats +6 on the year. +6 will be Top 5 in the country once everything shakes out.
Ryan Timmons is really good. Last week’s money-making route was the 6-yard hitch to Steven Borden in the slot. Today it was the 5-yard out to Ryan Timmons. 4 of his 10 catches were on the quick route. He never found the end zone but I won’t be mad about 10 catches for 95 yards.
Ohio didn’t score in the first half. It was the first time the Cats have held consecutive opponents scoreless in the first half since 1988.
The Cats ran 83 plays of offense today, the most since Neal Brown took over.
Baker and Bone continue to show flashes of greatness. These two never disappoint me. Dorian Baker’s over the shoulder grab (top) was the best looking play of the day, even though he also grabbed a touchdown. A close second was the hit he made on a poor Bobcat. With his QB scrambling, Baker peeled his ears back and put the linebacker on the ground. Bone received a hit that was just as bad as the one Baker delivered. On a critical 3rd and long, Bone caught a pass over the middle right at the sticks. The hit took the wind out of him and left him lying on the turf for a few minutes. Less than five plays later the Cats were in the end zone. That’s how you #ChangetheGame right there.
Boom earned his nickname. Neal Brown refused to call Stanley Williams Jr. “Boom” until he made a big play in Commonwealth Stadium under the bright lights. I think Stanley’s 53-yard touchdown is enough to earn the BOOM.
John Calipari was so impressed with Bill Gatton’s $20 million gift to the university today that he invited Gatton to speak to the team and get his picture taken. Cal just tweeted the pic, and said Gatton “may be the most knowledgable UK basketball fan there is.”
We love Bill, but the big news from this picture are the Cats’ new uniforms….check out the differences between the unis above and the ones pictured at the Fantasy Camp a few weeks ago:
The most noticeable difference is the new design on the side of the shorts and no blue outline on the tops. Personally, I’m just happy all the numbers are the same font.
By C.M. Tomlin on ©11:00 am
There’s been a lot of talk of “cordcutters” lately — folks who’ve forgone a reliance on cable altogether — as a glut of online services have begun to capture the market with premium and original content. While my two cents is that cordcutting’s not a wise choice yet (there has still yet to be a truly reliable and comprehensive cordcutters’ application which will deliver streamed content for live events like all sports, live awards shows or live network content), these applications surely are worth supplementing your cable service with for the time being. Which one, though? Of the big three — Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime — Funkhouser looks at the candidates to help you determine where you should head in your search to break free from the clutches of Time Warner.
Strengths: Original content, children’s fare, documentaries, some movies
Weaknesses: Mainstream movie selections
Price: Streaming-only plans start at $7.99/month
The Breakdown: Look, if you think you’re going to be watching a lot of movies on Netflix, you’re going to be really disappointed the first time you start scrolling through Netflix’s offerings. You certainly won’t be the first person not to understand why every movie available on DVD isn’t available on Netflix Streaming. For that, you’re going to need a plan which offers you physical DVDs by mail as well. Netflix’s streaming choices for top-notch movies are actually rather woeful — two of the more high profile movie additions for September, case in point, are Flubber and Crocodile Dundee — and if you’re like me, you’ll spend a lot of time scrolling through the options for something that sounds good. Horror movie fans are relegated to the schlockiest of the schlocky (Return to Horror High, Paranormal Asylum), thriller fans are subject to less-than-stunning Reindeer Games and Single White Female and some of the top action titles include Jack Reacher and Olympus Has Fallen. In short, a lot of movies you’ve probably heard of but few you actually care to watch or care to watch again.
Where Netflix does excel, however, is in its children’s content and documentary categories. Recent strong docs like Dear Zachary and Jiro Dreams of Sushi denote Netflix’s dedication to finding good doc content and there’s a lot of good to be found here. Likewise, a separate lockable “kids’ screen” of Netflix choices allows parents to let a youngster command Netflix him-or-herself without a parent having to worry about little Tommy happening upon The Lair of the White Worm. Kids’ stuff includes a big bunch of Disney content (shows and animated films, as per a smart negotiation between Netflix and Disney) as well as series from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. and recent children’s movies like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
You really can’t go wrong with Netflix’s TV offerings, either, as those include Walking Dead and Breaking Bad as well as Netflix’s original content like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and the most recent season of Arrested Development. Is Netflix skimping on its cinematic content in order to sink money into original programming? Probably. The result is that Netflix, originally designed to be an online moviehouse, has become a stronger hub for television content.
Bottom Line: If you’re enticed by Netflix’s original content (and you should be, it’s pretty strong) and like to binge-watch bigger-name TV series, Netflix is a great option. For movies, Netflix’s truly good pickings are slim these days unless you like the occasional strong indie you missed or enjoy documentaries. You’re not going to be watching this summer’s new Godzilla or Planet of the Apes there anytime soon, if ever.
Strengths: TV. In a big, big way. Major network programming quickly and a crazy huge British television library.
Weaknesses: Lackluster movie offerings and disappointing original content.
The Breakdown: The major advantage to a Hulu Subscription is up-to-the-minute television content, which makes Hulu the real go-to for cord cutters who aren’t ready to completely go off the grid yet and wait months to catch up on things. Solid relationships with NBC, ABC, FOX, Comedy Central and more allow Hulu users to watch daily shows like The Daily Show, Colbert Report, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and more the very morning after they air and weekly hits like Modern Family, Parks & Rec and Once Upon a Time next-day; this cuts down on the lag time for those who prefer to be in-the-know. Full libraries of classic shows like The Cosby Show, Cheers, Taxi and the entire run of Saturday Night Live also turn Hulu into a great encyclopedia of television as well. Ever wondered if ALF holds up? Catch an episode on Hulu and learn that it doesn’t.
For anglophiles, it should be noted that Hulu also offers an insane package of shows from the United Kingdom. Doctor Who, Rev, That Mitchell & Webb Look, Orphan Black and Hollyoaks are all here waiting to be discovered by American viewers who want something different and new (a number of Asian and Indian properties are available as well, though I can’t speak to the strength of those).
Hulu’s biggest asset is the in-roads it has made with the major networks, making it the most comprehensive choice for fans of current TV — you’ll rarely be disappointed that what you’re looking for isn’t there, because chances are strong that it will be.
Bottom Line: Those who like to relax with TV before bed or during dinner — and don’t have the time nor attention span to turn on a full-length movie or attention-demanding TV Drama — will find a lot to love at Hulu. If Netflix’s caliber of movies (for a movie service) isn’t great, it’s precisely the opposite for Hulu; Hulu’s caliber of television programs is higher than you’d think, yielding a lot to take in, discover and revisit at the touch of a button.
Strengths: HBO programming available free to Prime subscribers, great library of new-to-DVD films.
Weaknesses: Only decent television and movie offerings to Prime subscribers.
Price: Price varies per-movie or show, Prime subscribers get some access for free (limited).
The Breakdown: For those with more expendable income who don’t mind picking & choosing (& paying top dollar) for their online content, Amazon Instant is a strong option — but you will be paying for it. Example: Amazing Spider-Man 2 released on DVD in late August and is already available for rent at $4.99; it’s like a personal Redbox.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member there are some decent options available as well, including but not limited to Workaholics, Drunk History, Degrassi and a host of current HBO shows like Boardwalk Empire and True Blood.
Next-day TV is also available but at a premium, usually around three dollars a pop. That can add up for those wanting to binge-watch or even keep up with their favorite shows.
Bottom Line: If watching your favorite TV shows one at-a-time and at cost is something that doesn’t bother you, Amazon is at least a trusty way to do that. You’re going to end up paying for it, though.
My Two Cents: For what it’s worth, and as a subscriber to all three of the big cordcutting services, Hulu offers the biggest advantage; for what your’e paying for (television shows) it delivers in spades, offering next-day access to solid content. As a former big fan of Netflix, Hulu has replaced it as a daily part of my life. Netflix’s House of Cards and Orange is the New Black are definitely worth watching, but only if there’s additional content there appealing enough to you to justify the price of admission. Amazon Instant’s great for rounding up with the rest of the stuff you can’t find on either Hulu or Netflix and don’t mind paying for. If you’re thinking about cordcutting entirely, however, it might be worth waiting until network streaming apps are lined up.
We’ve analyzed how the team did on the field Saturday, now it’s time to turn our attention to the gameday atmosphere, which the UK Marketing Department has worked very hard to improve. How did they fare? Here are my grades.
There is no more polarizing topic than music. I don’t envy the UK Marketing Department with this task, because you truly can’t please everybody, especially with a crowd that spans all ages and musical preferences. I thought the music was VERY MUCH improved on Saturday, with a nice mix of hip-hop, rock, and even a little country. Braylon Heard won the Kickoff Playoff bracket this summer, and his “Who Run It” selection proved to be particularly appropriate. Drew Franklin’s “Into the Jungle” played while the team ran out on to the field, and Jared Lorenzen’s “Hells Bells” had an appearance as well. The two songs they played most often were “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Turn Down for What,” but UK’s partnership with local radio stations for the “Fans Choice” selections made sure there was some variety. From what I remember, the winners were Lee Brice’s “Parking Lot Party” (country), The Black Keys’ “Gold on the Ceiling” (rock), Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” (pop), and the aforementioned “Turn Down For What” (hip-hop). Some songs, like “Bang on the drum all day,” seems to have a permanent spot on the playlist, but I was happy to hear some old school hip-hop like Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It,” which got Team KSR dancing in the press box. Kudos to the UK Marketing staff for listening to the fans and giving fans the music they want.
I also enjoyed how they played “Bad Boys” when the defense took the field, and “Here Comes the BOOM!” when Boom Williams was back to return kicks. Nice touch.
The SEC changed the rules to allow music and videos to be played between downs, which KyWildcatsTV capitalized on, creating videos featuring different players telling the fans to get up and cheer. Here are the ones I remember: Patrick Towles cueing up the Air Raid siren pregame; Steven Borden doing his dad and Ric Flair’s trademark “WOOOO!”; and Bud Dupree telling fans to get on their feet for a third down. The intro video was awesome too, and after it played, they showed Mark Stoops and the team bust through the locker room doors, which gave me chills.
Mandatory Boring Stuff: A+
Remember all those boring in-game introductions of the science department or math department we had to sit through? Earlier this summer, Nathan Schwake hinted that that those introductions are part of an agreement between the athletic department and the university, therefore, they’re pretty much mandatory. However, the marketing department wisely moved the introductions to the pregame festivities this year, a win-win for all parties involved. Happy for the Joe Schmo from the Ag School on his prize-winning pesticide, but I’m even happier that I don’t have to politely clap for it during a big defensive series.
Fourth quarter tradition: B-
UK debuted a new tradition between the third and fourth quarter on Saturday: Jared Lorenzen walked to midfield with the UK drum line behind him and led the crowd in a Blue/White cheer. Each week, a different famous UK alum or fan will have the honors, and considering it was the first time they did it on Saturday, I thought it went okay. As with anything new, it took the crowd a few minutes to catch on and figure out what was going on, but once the Blue/White cheer got rolling, it was cool. I like the effort, but I do think there is room for improvement. Maybe in addition to the drum line, a video can introduce the guest of honor each week? For those of you who keep calling it lame, let’s hear your suggestions. The marketing department is in listening mode right now, so speak up.
Literally, incomplete. The announced attendance was 50,398, which is still well below the current capacity of 62,093. I know it was early, hot, and a holiday weekend, but come on, people. Aside from the UT-Martin section, the lower bowl was mostly full, but the upper corners were bare. Given the excitement surrounding the program right now, I expected more. Hopefully, UK’s impressive performance will inspire more people to come see them take on a tougher opponent this Saturday.
Student section: B+
We’ve given the student section a lot of grief over the years, but they showed up in force on Saturday, filling their section for at least the first half. The basketball team came out to enjoy the game and invited Damien Harris to come join them, which caused the nation’s best running back to geek just a little. In the second half, the section thinned out considerably, but so did the whole stadium. Keep it up, kids.
Wildcat Pushup Form: C
It was hotter than all get out at Commonwealth on Saturday and the Wildcat had a LOT of pushups to do in a very heavy costume, but I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed in his form. Committing to the one-handed pushup early on was a mistake, and by the Cats’ third touchdown, the Wildcat was basically just bobbing his head. Later on, he got smart and went back to the standard two-handed pushup and did much better. I was in the press box Saturday, so I wasn’t able to do the pushups along with him, but I’ll be watching from home Saturday, so hopefully there’s some muscle memory left from all those pushups I had to do during the Bahamas trip.
I feel like I’ve watched the Catwalk grow up over the years. When UK first played Western at LP Field in 2011, the Catwalk was pretty much only players’ families and the loyalest of fans, and the gathering couldn’t have gotten the team that excited. Now, it’s one of the program’s best traditions, and a can’t-miss event before the game. Za’Darius Smith, aka Mr. Catwalk, said it’s one of the reasons he chose to come back to Kentucky instead of going to the NFL Draft, and in fitting fashion, he brought up the rear Saturday, holding Baby Z in his arms. It was very smart of UK to make sure Damien Harris had a front row spot, and he had to be impressed by love flowing between the players and the fans. The crowd could have been a little bigger for the Catwalk on Saturday, but hey, it was 9:45 in the morning. I’ll let this one slide.
Overall grade: B+
So far, so good. What changes would you suggest for next week?
Keep it simple, stupid. After breaking down the film, Coach Stoops found many areas needing improvement on the defensive side of the ball, “Anytime you go 8-9 possessions with 150 yards and zero points, you’ll take it, but there were still some things we need to get a lot better at.”
Part of it is simple fundamentals, “Just not striking people, being as violent as we need to be.” The biggest mistakes occurred when players were trying to do too much. Bud and Za’Darius were anxious to get that first sack, but trying too hard kept them from making that big play.
“I saw a couple instances where they were trying to do too much. And that’s bound to happen when you’ve got guys that want to be playmakers. They want to do what they can do, and that’s make big plays, but you have to do that within the scheme.“
AJ Stamps does things you can’t teach. In his first game as a Wildcat, AJ Stamps showed the BBN his versatile playmaking ability. He’s comfortable making big plays in the air and coming up for the big hit on the run. His decision-making ability gives him an advantage that you can’t teach.
“I think what impresses me most is that comfort level, the instincts he has,” Stoops said. “Sitting there when you have to read in a run/pass conflict, and you’re darn near 100% on when you’re ‘pulling the pin’ and playing the run or pass. Those things are very difficult to coach, all of those little minute little points.”
Stoops wasn’t pleased with 2nd D, except for one guy. After holding UT-Martin to next to nothing for 3 quarters, Stoops was upset on how much offense was allowed late in the game. One guy that didn’t disappoint was Kendall Randolph.
Stoops has not been able to use depth in the secondary, but Randolph brings explosive energy every time he takes the field. It didn’t take long for him to prove that he’s a playmaker, “That was the 9th play he played when he came in on the sideline and caused that fumble for a touchdown. He has great energy, he plays fast, he’s fearless, so we need to get him in the mix.”
Big plays bring big relief. You don’t have to be a football guru to notice the difference in this year’s playmakers and the ones from years past. Blake Bone wowed with a big catch, Braylon Heard made people miss, and AJ Stamps’ made the most athletically impressive play we’ve seen in awhile. Coach Stoops even got caught up in it on the sidelines, “(I was) Very relieved to know there are some playmakers coming up.”
Ohio is a well coached squad. Ohio’s coach Frank Solich has been around the game of football for a long time, taking Nebraska to the National Championship in 2001 (he lost to Stoops’ Canes). At Ohio, they’ve been in five straight bowl games. You can’t be that successful without teaching great fundamentals, “They’re a team that’s not going to beat themselves. They’re just good and sound.”
Increasing the competition from FCS to the MAC will be more challenging, but he doesn’t expect any of his players to get a big head after one win, “We definitely can’t take anyone for granted.”
If you didn’t watch the game, I’m sorry. After two years of pain and agony in the Kentucky Football program, Mark Stoops busted through the locker room door into a new era of fun football. “This is the most fun I’ve had in a football game since November, 2012 probably,” Neal Brown said after the game. Today’s 52-14 victory will have the BBN smiling all week.
The Cats were stopped on their first drive, but once the nerves were gone the momentum could not be stopped. Pat Towles hit Javess Blue in stride 35 yards down the field to set up a JoJo Kemp touchdown. Kemp was quickly one-upped by Braylon Heard, who had 116 yards on only two carries for a pair of touchdowns.
The numbers only get better, finishing with 656 yards of offense. No matter what the haters say, don’t let them take our joy away this glorious Labor Day weekend.
The running backs lived up to the hype
I’d say six touchdowns on the ground is a good day at the office. Braylon’s day was obviously amazing, but you can’t stop there. Jojo had some slick spin moves, even though he only had eight carries. Stanley Williams didn’t make a Boom today, but he received a ton of touches early in the game. Today’s surprise Boomer was Mikel Horton. The power back was stuffed on a 4th down on the first drive but he didn’t let it affect him, finishing with 45 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 7 carries.
Now, we just gotta keep em healthy.
Patty Ice didn’t play like a first-time starter
Patrick Towles made some throws today that the BBN hasn’t seen in awhile. He connected on deep balls to Bone, Blue and Timmons, he ran for a score, and most importantly he made the routine plays. He converted well on 3rd-and-long, but they were so good with routine first down plays that they didn’t NEED to make many big plays on 3rd down.
Pat finished the game 20-29 for 377 yards and a passing touchdown to Blake Bone.
AJ Stamps could not have introduced himself to the BBN any better. His one-handed interception might be the highlight of the season, and it was barely a quarter into the game. When Stamps attacks a play, all you see is a blurry #1 streaking across the turf. He had not one or two big hits, it was more like five. Oh and he led the team in tackles with eight, no big deal.
AJ, you have earned the KSR Stamp of Approval. #Puns
Stoops’ Troops are now turnover experts
Last year the Cats had three interceptions. Today they had two. Finishing the game with 5 takeaways, Mark Stoops’ defense has figured something out, and the Bad Boyz aren’t going to slow down anytime soon. Playing til the whistle blows, Khalid Henderson scooped and went 89-yards for the score.
All that’s left to figure out, is for the fans to Geek when they play “Bad Boys” at Commonwealth.
The new guys did everything and more
You name a new guy that played and I can talk to you about how good they played. Baker and Bone caught passes long and short (Sorry Baker, but the Ghost’s TD and 39 sky-high grab were better). Garrett “Juice” Johnson had a pair of big grabs. Matt Elam stuffed the the line, appropriately making his first tackle with only one arm. Kendall Randolph, probably Stoops’ favorite freshman, forced a fumble and recovered one, hitting the quarterback a couple of times from the nickel spot.
To put it into perspective, the Cats’ new guys combined for five touchdowns and 335 of the 656 total yards of offense.
The Cats were crossed by one of their own
Will Tanner was a UK walk-on wide receiver for the last three years before transferring to UT-Martin to finish his footballing days. He led the Skyhawks in receiving with 4 catches for 61 yards. His catch on 4th and 14 late in the 4th quarter killed the Cats’ shot at their first CWS shutout since 1996.
An abridged injury report
Javess Blue was stellar from the start, but an ankle injury kept him out of the game for close to three quarters, dressed in street clothes for the second half. Ashely Lowery banged up his right hand, Jojo Kemp took some time out for cramps, and Ryan Timmons was banged up for awhile before reentering the game. Braylon Heard only had two carries because he tweaked something too.
The Cats didn’t have the worst injuries: the line judge had to be sidelined for a bit and a UK cheerleader took a rough hit on the sideline late in the game.
(Ed. Note: The Emmys were last night, and the Funkhouser crew was on hand to soak it all in. Below are, in their opinions, the most impressionable moments and issues of the night.)
Brennan English on Twitter Rage:
My favorite part of the Emmys: Twitter rage.
The reaction of Twitter to any major pop culture phenomena is always good for some menial entertainment , particularly whilst watching the unwatchable—awards ceremonies. Last night was no exception, and my hand-selected cross-section of the Internet did not disappoint in agreeing with me on the worst Emmy winners and snubs. Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory bring in jillions of dollars, viewers and Emmys, but the Internet thinks these programs are long past their due date; why can’t the rest of the world see things our way? Well, because for Emmy voters, what’s old is oftentimes just good enough, with the exception of Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She clearly isn’t old as she cannot age. So Orange is the New Black, Amy Poehler, even Tatiana Maslany — you may get your turn one of these days; it took The Sopranos five seasons to win the big one. Regardless, Billy Eichner and the critics of Twitter and Tumblr will be here to implode on your behalf.
Mrs. Tyler Thompson on Ricky Gervais:
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) August 26, 2014
I’ve been a fan of Ricky Gervais since he starred in the British version of The Office, and his sarcastic twist on the Brits’ self-deprecating humor was really on display last night when he lost the Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy Series to Jim Parsons…again. Gervais tweeted a selfie of his loser face afterwards and later while presenting the award for Best Writing for a Variety Special–”the big one,” he quipped–he gave his acceptance speech anyways. “Ha, ha, I won. I knew I would because I’m the best actor. Better than those other actors — Parsons, Cheadle, H. Macy, Joey from Friends and Louis from Louie, spelled slightly differently.” Gervais also hammed it up when Jimmy Kimmel teased that instead of a movie star face, Gervais had a “television face.” Well, actually, “a Netflix face.” That last one was really hit home since Gervais appeared in a Netflix commercial that aired during the Emmys, spoofing Kevin Spacey in House of Cards and an inmate in Orange is the New Black.
It’s a shame Ricky didn’t win the Emmy, but he’s a much funnier loser.
S.E. Shepherd on the Cran-Stache
Look, this year’s Emmy’s telecast was pretty terrible. Seth Meyers was completely serviceable as host, but his general non-offensiveness went a long way to remind audiences that these award shows are way more fun when they’re hosted by a loose canon. And many of the winners were retreads from recent editions of the Emmys. But the one thing that elevated the telecast from forgettable to Tweet-worthy was a lone line of upper-lip hair on the face of one of the best TV actors ever – Bryan Cranston. Looking like a waiter at a sleazy French restaurant in the 1940s, Cranston unleashed upon the world his greatest creation to date: The Cran-stache. It was sublime in its simplicity, and I’m thankful I was among the millions that had the pleasure of basking in its glory. LONG LIVE THE CRAN-STACHE!
C.M. Tomlin on the Step-Aside Host and a Nefarious Conspiracy
For all we make of how difficult and judged being a major awards-show host is, let’s face it: it’s gotta be pretty easy. A good monologue and you can coast through the rest of the night. Seth Meyers did a perfectly fine job leading the Emmy charge last night (“Tonight we are all Crazy Eyes”) but, more interestingly, he pulled a maneuver he’s completely accustomed to from his SNL days: ceding the spotlight to those who may possibly upstage him. He introduced Jimmy Kimmel in the first twenty minutes and Kimmel proceeded to deliver a mini-Emmy monologue and pseudo-roast of Matthew McConaughey (“he traded his TV for a conch shell full of weed!”) that legitimately competed with Meyers’. Later he would team up to let national treasure Billy Eichner drag him around New York City upstaging him at every turn and bring out buddy Andy Samberg to steal a Game of Thrones bit. These moves — to share the spotlight when the night could have been dominated by him — fit Meyers’ general M.O.; as head writer for SNL and the program’s Weekend Update anchor, he knows when to share a joke with a colleague. It worked, but overall left Meyers feeling a little in the wings at the end of the night with his lineup of special guests stealing the show.
Awards-wise the big Networks made damn sure that everyone knows cable isn’t getting too big for its britches by taking home best comedy (Modern Family), Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy (Ty Burrell for Modern Family), Best Actress in a Drama (Julianna Marguilies for The Good Wife) and Best Actor in a Comedy (Jim Parsons for Big Bang Theory). I don’t want to sound too conspiracy-theory-guy, but this was Burrell’s second win, Parsons’ fourth Emmy and Modern Family’s fifth consecutive win. While I do believe that both Burrell and Parsons both play sitcom characters who are among the best in television comedy over the last twenty years, it seems a little excessive. And while Modern Family is a consistently solid show, I’m not sure it deserved a fifth consecutive Emmy (that’s a Best Comedy Emmy EVERY YEAR it’s been on the air) for a season that was arguably its weakest yet. Is this the signal that the major networks still run the show? Surely there were stronger overall comedies in 2013-14 — it all reeks of a “not so fast, cable” move from Emmy voters affiliated with more mainstream television.
Richmond Bramblet on a Generally Succcessful Evening
The Emmys were perhaps one of the most entertaining awards shows in recent memory. Seth Meyers handled the hosting duties with ease, and he and his writers came up with fresh bits. Granted, when I first turned it on he was playing “For A Dollar” with Billy Eichner, which will get me every time. The 8:30-9:00 slot was jam packed with comedy, including a Tim Watley reference, and the next two hours flew by because it all seemed new. Speeches weren’t long and drawn out, except I’m not really sure what Jim Parson’s “you can’t account for taste” speech was about. Seth played to his strengths and used his funny friends to make the night a success. Also, Weird Al makes everything better. Get to typing, George…
Kalan Kucera on An Alternate Universe McConaughey Win
“All right to the tres power, hombres. Man, y’all are beautiful. All these awards man, I just… it makes a man feel blessed to know that people connect so much with his work. It makes a man feel blessed to know he’s a man. Or at least to think of himself as one. To know that if he’s a man, and not some shapeless entity, floating through the aether of time on some journey, a journey that doesn’t seem to have any purpose or… or meaning, or he doesn’t even know what it is that he is. Maybe he just thinks that Lone Star beer tastes good, but maybe that beer doesn’t exist. Maybe it’s a figment, man, not of his imagination, but maybe of some greater being’s mind. Maybe, he’s not an entity, but a neuron in the neural pathways of God man. But if he’s a man and if Lone Star exists then it’s just fiiiiinne and dandy my friends.
I don’t want to accept this award for me, man. I want to accept this award on behalf of all of the better versions of myself that I haven’t even met. All those versions of me in the infinite copies of the Universe man. The ones like, helping kids and stuff. He’s not an actor, he doesn’t get all of these awards and accolades and the praises of his fellow man for the exceptional work he does. But I see him and I nod, slightly, in his direction with respect and honor, the way all McConaugheys in every plain of reality ought to be treated. That’s because, we’re all McConaugheys in our own way. Maybe not a successful one, but that don’t mean that it ain’t true or that it is. We’re just a bunch of neurons, so how could we even know, you know what I’m sayin’?
Wow, I just blew my mind. Before I go though, I’d like to thank all of the other nominees. Cranston, you are what you are and what you aren’t man, and I respect that. Jon Hamm. Jon Hamm. Kevin Spacey. Dig your name. Jeff Daniels, I can’t wait to meet ya. Woody, oh, woody. Marty. Good ol’ Marty Hart. The adventures we had man. This award is yours man, in the Universe where you’re me and I’m a Mexican ballplayer man. And I can’t wait to see you in that World mi amigo. I just can’t thank all of you and all of me enough for this heartfelt outpouring man. Who knows what words are about to come out of my mouth, but what else can I say but Alright, Alright, Alright?”
Aaron Flener on Not Watching At All:
The most interesting part of the Emmy’s, to me, is seeing the people who play the characters I love on their show looking NOTHING like the characters they play on their show. Two examples:
1. Aaron Paul looked entirely too drug free and happy for my liking.
2. Jon Hamm didn’t look like he had a beard on his face, his beard looked like it had eyeballs and nostrils.
I would say more but I only watched the show for around 5 minutes.