By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 17th, 2018 @ 8:00pm
The Kentucky Wildcat football team will participate in their second official scrimmage of fall camp tomorrow morning, where we’ll (hopefully) hear much better news than last week.
Following their first scrimmage, head coach Mark Stoops ripped both sides of the football for a mediocre performance, saying the whole team was just “average” at this point. For how talented they are as a team and how high Stoops’ expectations are for this season, it just fell flat.
So what headlines can fans expect to find tomorrow?
Is a starting quarterback named?
The question of the hour may have an answer following Kentucky’s second scrimmage tomorrow morning. If not, there should be a whole lot more clarity about the situation.
In the team’s open practice after Fan Day a few weeks back, both quarterbacks looked solid and capable of starting. That in itself was a relief. Terry Wilson had the arm strength and accuracy to complete deep balls, while Gunnar Hoak struggled a bit in that department. Hoak also seemed to get flustered when the pocket collapsed, while Wilson thrived.
In the short and medium game, Hoak was a bit more efficient and had solid chemistry with the slot receivers and tight ends. Hoak threw a tight spiral and the redshirt sophomore was able to fit the ball into tiny holes in the defense.
I was impressed with both, but came away thinking Wilson may have the slight lead in the competition. This week, however, Matt Jones said on the radio show he had been hearing whispers that Hoak was the current favorite to lead the Wildcat offense onto the field week one and it may be announced on Monday.
Stoops may not officially declare the starter tomorrow morning, but he may announce who is taking the majority of first-team reps right now. Or he’ll keep quiet about it. Who knows.
Did the offense take a step forward?
After last weekend’s scrimmage, everyone got criticized by Mark Stoops in his press conference. Quarterbacks, receivers, and the unit’s playmakers in general.
“I thought it was just not good enough today,” Stoops said. “Not a good enough scrimmage. I really was disappointed, to be honest with you. The overall scrimmage, just in general, I felt like it was a bit flat. I expected more out of these guys across the board. I felt like we were just sloppy. We had some pre-snap penalties that hurt some drives offensively. We had some drops. Late in the scrimmage, we put the ball on the ground.
“I don’t feel like anybody has stepped up on the offense to make a spectacular play,” he continued. “Wide receivers, again, I just feel like we’re very average there right now. We have nobody stepping up and making great individual plays for them. But I think the quarterbacks are a part of that as well. I think they’ve been inconsistent.”
Since then, walk-on offensive players David Bouvier and Zach Johnson did enough in practice to earn scholarships. KSR had heard Bouvier was one of the most dominant practice players both last year and to kick off this season, and a scholarship was likely coming. He’ll be a major player for the Cats on special teams and out of the slot this season.
We’ve also seen a bit of swagger from the official UK Football Twitter account, with them showing off different videos of gorgeous throws and catches, among other highlights.
Benny Snell sat out with an injury last week, so his return should help get things moving again.
Is the defensive hype justified?
With a handful of potential draft picks and preseason SEC All-Americans, it’s no secret the Kentucky defense is expected to be special this season.
In Kentucky’s open practice, they looked the part both physically and in terms of on-field success. Mike Edwards was a ball hawk, Derrick Baity and Chris Westry disrupted numerous balls on the outside, and Kash Daniel was a vocal leader in the middle. The defensive line was massive, and their collective first-step was a massive improvement from last season. They looked like a legitimate SEC defense.
And that’s why it was a shock when Stoops said he didn’t like what he saw from the defense last week.
“Defensively, just average. Felt like it was just average across the board. I didn’t really see exceptional play from either side. I just felt like it was good enough to be average today. Really not what we’re looking for,” he said.
Kash Daniel agreed, saying the performance from his unit was unacceptable.
“It was average at best,” Daniel said. “From looking at both sides of the ball, there were some good spurts here and there on the offense and the defensive side of the ball. But overall it was average. If we want to get where we need to be then today is not acceptable.”
So will they live up to their hype tomorrow morning, or should fans ease up on the defensive excitement going into the year?
The first few words out of Stoops’ mouth tomorrow should be very, very telling.
Bad practices happen, but the team can’t afford back-to-back mediocre scrimmages with the season right around the corner.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 17th, 2018 @ 5:30pm
Kentucky basketball is hogging all of the attention after its absolute dominance in the Bahamas a week ago. The upcoming season is the first thing UK fans think about when they wake up in the morning and the last thing they think about when they go to bed at night. Some even sleep in Tyler Herro pajamas.
But the basketball team has since gone home to their families and Big Blue Madness is two long months away, so it’s time we do our best to put basketball aside for moment. It’s not easy because they looked so awesome, but it must be done.
Because it’s football season.
Tomorrow, Mark Stoops’ football team will hold its second Saturday scrimmage of fall camp and it’s very important things go well. Stoops was very disappointed in the first scrimmage, so his Cats need to come out energetic and enthusiastic in Round 2 tomorrow.
And maybe even more important than that: the team needs to find its quarterback. Right now it is a fight between Gunnar Hoak and Terry Wilson, and if one of the two can shine in tomorrow’s scrimmage, they’ll be in position to earn the job (maybe by next week). With little time between now and the first game of the year, the battle will be won in the days ahead.
I know we all want to keep talking about Sophomore Nick Richards and Tyler Herro and the Duke game that’s being billed as the best season opener of all time and all the other exciting things about basketball, but we have some exciting football right in front of our faces. The football season is upon us and it too has the potential to be special.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 17th, 2018 @ 4:17pm
We still don’t know which quarterback we’ll see when Kentucky takes the field for the first time in a couple of weeks.
But we do have a quarterback we’d like to see four or five years from now.
Apparently, there is a high school quarterback in Texas named General Booty. General Booty is listed as a pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2021, which makes him a high school sophomore this upcoming season. Booty is a third generation football player, so the lineage is there for success. His father, Abram Booty, caught eight touchdown passes at LSU from 1997-2000.
I admittedly know nothing else about General Booty or how well he plays the quarterback position. But with a name like General Booty, Kentucky should give him a call simply for the awesome name.
Watch his freshman year highlights:
By Drew Franklin on ©August 17th, 2018 @ 3:27pm
You have to appreciate Bobby Petrino’s confidence. You also have to be concerned about his team’s safety.
While looking ahead to the Cardinals’ opening game at Alabama earlier today, Petrino told the audience at the Louisville kickoff luncheon, “I believe we’re gonna go beat ’em. And we will go beat ’em.”
Bobby Petrino at UofL Luncheon ending his remarks on the Alabama game:
"I believe we're gonna go beat em. And we will go beat em"
— Jason Anderson (@J680Anderson) August 17, 2018
So you know how insane Petrino’s comment is, Alabama opened as a 26-point favorite when the line was released earlier this year. There has been some movement each direction, but it’s still 26 points at most sports books today. (Only Kentucky can overcome that kind of line… at Louisville.)
Once Nick Saban gets wind of Petrino’s comments (and I’m sure he has already), this will go straight to the Alabama bulletin board.
Good luck with that, Louisville.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 17th, 2018 @ 3:00pm
Our first attempt at a restaurant got a much-appreciated plug from Kentucky.com today as we step inside the two-week mark from our grand opening. (August 30!)
You can read the shoutout here to find out more about our exciting adventure into a new realm. It’s weird sending you over to another site for information I can just give you myself, but they were kind enough to tell our story so please go give it a read when you get a chance.
For a little more than what you’ll find over there, here are some pictures of what I’m looking at right now.
It’s almost here!
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 17th, 2018 @ 2:00pm
The basketball team has the week off before returning to school for classes next week. While cruising Twitter for news this morning, I stumbled upon these pictures of Keldon Johnson reading to second graders at South Hill Elementary in his hometown in Virginia:
Mrs. B. Callahan's 2nd-grade class had a special guest reader today. Keldon Johnson, a freshman shooting guard at the University of Kentucky, stopped by on his last week before reporting to school. Best of luck Keldon! We know you’ll do great things! @KentuckyMBB #BigBlueBahamas pic.twitter.com/gVruPnw0io
— Michele Icenhour (@MIcenhour8) August 16, 2018
For someone who’s such a killer on the court, Keldon sure is a softie off it. Good on ya, kid.
This sounds like a great excuse to watch Keldon’s highlights from the Bahamas again:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 17th, 2018 @ 1:15pm
With the season opener just a few weeks away, pundits across the nation are doling out their college football predictions. This morning, The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel published his SEC preview, in which he predicts Kentucky will tie with South Carolina for third in the SEC East with a 4-4 conference record, 7-5 overall.
Mark Stoops has elevated Kentucky to where it can reasonably expect to reach .500 in conference play — but that might be its ceiling. RB Benny Snell is a great player to build around as the Wildcats break in a new quarterback, but the defense likely will be average at best.
Mandel doesn’t specify which four SEC games he believes Kentucky will win, but here’s the schedule so you can guess at home:
- September 1: Central Michigan
- September 8: at Florida
- September 15: Murray State
- September 22: Mississippi State
- September 29: South Carolina
- October 6: at Texas A&M
- October 20: Vanderbilt
- October 27: at Missouri
- November 3: Georgia
- November 10: at Tennessee
- November 17: Middle Tennessee State
- November 24: at Louisville
Vanderbilt, South Carolina, at Tennessee, and at Missouri is my guess. Mandel’s colleague Bruce Feldman was slightly more pessimistic in his preview, predicting the Cats to go 3-5 in the SEC, 6-6 overall. I guess nobody thinks we’re beating Louisville.
Here’s my question: do you agree with Mandel that .500 in the SEC is Kentucky’s ceiling?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 17th, 2018 @ 12:27pm
The time has come, my friends. The NCAA March Madness Twitter account just posted the poll to determine who wins its All-Time Starting Five Tournament, Kentucky or Florida. How Florida got to the finals is beyond me, but here are the starting fives for each squad:
- John Wall
- Tony Delk
- Tayshaun Prince
- Anthony Davis
- DeMarcus Cousins
- Erving Walker
- Bradley Beal
- Chandler Parsons
- Al Horford
- Joakim Noah
And the poll for you to dominate:
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) August 17, 2018
Kentucky has an early lead, 62% to 38%, but the poll will be up for two days, so tell your friends.
Here’s how the Cats got to the finals:
ICYMI last night, TJ Walker broke down how the bracket really should have gone:
Vote, vote, vote.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 17th, 2018 @ 12:00pm
The Rupp Arena surplus auction is happening right now under the Jefferson Street Bridge, and photos are trickling out via Twitter. Check out these pictures from LEX18’s Claire Crouch of pieces of the original Rupp Arena floor and signage featuring past UK greats:
The auction is about to get underway! Pretty good crowd of people hoping to snag some pieces of Rupp’s history (including original floor panels) to make room for the renovations at the convention center. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/tPmpRC5lY1
— Claire Crouch (@clairecrouch) August 17, 2018
And a toilet:
Among other things on the auction block today – this toilet. Could be a good conversation piece! pic.twitter.com/6O2ICcXVH3
— Claire Crouch (@clairecrouch) August 17, 2018
Kyle Macy is there. Think he gets a discount?
— Claire Crouch (@clairecrouch) August 17, 2018
The first person to buy a piece of the floor? KSR’s favorite live blog sponsor, State Farm Agent Tiffany Thacker:
The first 4’x8’ piece of the original Rupp Arena floor sold at auction this morning for $1500.00 to Tiffany Thacker who said she literally wasn’t planning on buying anything. @heraldleader pic.twitter.com/CFBAtk0yJn
— Charles Bertram (@cbertramHL) August 17, 2018
Tiffany, don’t go too crazy. We’ve got a whole season of live blogs ahead.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 17th, 2018 @ 11:00am
TripAdvisor released its list of the top burgers in each state based on customer reviews. Which burger in Kentucky reigns supreme? According to TripAdvisor users, the burgers from Mad Mike’s Burger and Fries in Newport, Kentucky.
TripAdvisor’s list accounts for ration and quality of the burger reviews compared to overall ratings, as well as quality and quantity of reviews received in the past year. Featured restaurants have a minimum of 4 out of 5 bubbles, 100 reviews, and 10 locations or less.
What makes Mad Mike’s burgers special? According to their website, they’re 100% black Angus Beef and made fresh to order. They look really good and all, but does it bother anyone else that they appear to be an Ohio chain?
Regardless, KSBar and Grille’s coming for that crown next year.