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October 19th, 2014

Williamson, Woodyard Having a Great Day for the Titans

NFL.com

NFL.com

While the football mood around the Bluegrass might be a bit on the glum side of things this afternoon, two former Cats are putting together monster performances down in Nashville. Linebackers Avery Williamson and Wesley Woodyard have both forced turnovers for the Tennessee Titans in their game against the Redskins today. Williamson started things off by forcing and recovering a fumble and Woodyard grabbed a pick in the second quarter.

The Titans currently trail 13-10.

Cats.

@WilderTreadKSR


Boom Williams Tweeting, Staying Positive

After last night’s scary collision in which Stanley “Boom” Williams laid motionless on the ground of Death Valley for what seemed like hours, to see the freshman running back tweeting this morning is definitely a sight for sore eyes. Stoops didn’t too concern about Williams’ head injury last night (possible concussion) so fingers crossed he’ll be healthy and ready to go next Saturday.


Stephen Zimmerman’s Mom Had a Great Weekend

 

H/T @VegasBBallMom

H/T @VegasBBallMom

As Kentucky hosted a ton of recruits this weekend for Big Blue Madness, none were bigger (literally) than 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman. As you probably know, Zimmerman is a 5-star recruit from the Class of 2015 also weighing offers from Arizona, UCLA, Kansas and Indiana. His mother, Lori, has publicly displayed her affection for the Cats many times over Twitter (painting her nails for the Cats) and with her son in Lexington, it seems clear via social media that Lori is firmly a member of Big Blue Nation…take a look…

 

If those tweets weren’t enough, Lori just recently followed @DrunkCoachCal and @JohnRobicsHair. I think in this case it’s safe to say: momma knows best.

@WilderTreadKSR


Jorts is a Dad!

@BigJorts55

@BigJorts55

This weekend former Kentucky favorite Josh Harrellson, better known as Jorts, welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. Congrats to Jorts and his fiancee. Can’t wait to see baby Arianna wearing her KY blue.

@WilderTreadKSR


Just How Bad Were Special Teams…

mad stoops

Well to put it simply, they were very bad. From the opening kickoff LSU dismantled the Wildcats and made them look utterly foolish on routine kickoff and punt returns. One could argue that special teams were the determining factor in last night’s loss, as they immediately took out all the wind in Kentucky’s sails and never even gave the Cats a fighting chance. Oh, and let’s not forget that LSU special teams coach Bradley Dale Peveto was part of Stoops’ coaching staff just last year. The SEC Network sure didn’t. Let’s take a second to see just how much of a breakdown there really was.

-Game opening kickoff: Kentucky attempts a fake onside kick to confuse LSU’s return team but the Tigers don’t bite. LSU RB Terrence Magee said it himself: ““They came out and tried to trick us. We kind of expected it, and they expected us to switch to another look, which we didn’t. We were prepared for it.” Of course you were. Magee took that kickoff for 49 yards, and don’t forget an extra 15 was tacked on for face-mask penalty. So there ya go, LSU starts the game on the Kentucky 29 yard line before the first offensive snap.

-5:47 in the 1st Quarter: 67 yard punt return for a touchdown by Tre’Davious White. With the Cats punting out of nearly their own end-zone the Tigers capitalized on poor spacing and execution by Kentucky to take it to the house and make the score 17-0 in the blink of an eye.

-Near the end of the first half Kentucky was basically just trying to lick it’s wounds and get into the locker room as LSU had just scored another touchdown (although the SEC Network suffered from a power outage when that happened so I’m not sure it ever actually happened). The Tigers kicked the ball off with less an a minute remaining and instead of you know, returning the kickoff, the Wildcats watch the ball sail right by them as LSU storms down the field to fall on the ball. Seriously, in what world does that happen? Ever? The Tigers used the good field position to knock in an easy field goal cause, why not?

Add in a few field goals and Peveto’s bunch were the stars of the game for the Bayou Bengals. Oh, and to add insult to injury, this was just after LSU’s special teams squad had a horrendous game last week in Florida allowing a punt return for a touchdown, over 160 return yards and missing an extra point. Seems to me like they re-grouped pretty well.

Kentucky will hope to do the same as they can’t make things any easier for the top ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs than they already are. Coach Naivar, we’re looking at you.

@WilderTreadKSR


Rich Brooks Carried Off the Field in Oregon

H/T @BruceEly

H/T @BruceEly

Former Kentucky football coach Rich Brooks went back to his previous stomping grounds at the University of Oregon last night for homecoming and had a ball. Brooks and other members of the 1989 Independence Bowl winning Duck team celebrated the 25th anniversary of Oregon’s first post-season game in 26 years. After the present-day Ducks took care of Washington 45-20, Brooks was lifted up in the air on someone’s shoulders. Please tell me, is anyone in the entire world having a better retirement than Ole Papa Brooks?

@WilderTreadKSR


Sunday Morning Links

links

After an energetic and star-studded Friday night at Big Blue Madness, Saturday night…sucked. The Cats got shellacked and out special-teamed by the Bayou Bengals in Baton Rouge and Coach Stoops & Co. have little time to pick up the pieces as the number one ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs travel to Lexington next week.

Let’s get to the links.

-For the first time this season Kentucky will have to respond to true adversity. With the schedule not getting any easier, where do they go from here? John Clay takes a look at what went wrong and what the future holds for the Cats.

-Blowouts were a common theme yesterday in the SEC, with Bama crushing Texas A&M 59-0, Ole Miss destroying Tennessee 34-3, and LSU taking down Kentucky 41-3. No one’s seat is hotter than Will Muschamp’s at Florida however as the Gators fell at home to Missouri 42-13, and the Tigers didn’t even gain 200 yards of offense. Saturday Down South reports that Muschamp is a dead man walking.

-Florida State survives again by the skin of their teeth as they held on to defeat Notre Dame 31-27. ESPN takes a look at how Jameis Winston just seems to find a way to win.

-Drake’s appearance at Big Blue Madness Friday night has gotten tons of media attention, but not necessarily for the best reasons (air-balling a three pointer). MTV takes a look at the best and worst moments of Drake’s visit to Lexington.

-The Kentucky men’s soccer team is rollin’. The Cats took the pitch and defeated 9th ranked New Mexico last night 1-0 and are now on a six game unbeaten streak. With a 3-0-2 record in Conference USA (the SEC doesn’t sponsor men’s soccer) UK is first place in the league and looking to bring a regular season championship home to Lexington. Read about the exciting win here.

@WilderTreadKSR


October 18th, 2014

Special teams were less than special in UK’s 41-3 loss in Baton Rouge

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Kentucky had a shot, we thought. It’ll be a close game, they said. That was certainly not the case once the ball was kicked. The Wildcats went down to Death Valley and were handed a whoopin’ from the SEC West to the tune of 41-3 and a 200+ difference in total yards. LSU was faster, more physical and dominant from the start as Big Blue Nation’s high hopes were crushed early and often throughout the night. Let’s chat about it below and then forget it ever happened, mmkay?

 

It was over when it started.

Kentucky all but handed the game over on the opening kickoff by allowing a 49-yard return and tacking on another 15 with a face mask call. The long return was made possible by sloppy coverage from UK; the Cats faked an onside kick and were left with a mess of a formation running down field to chase the returner. The poor kick coverage set LSU up at the UK 26-yard line and the Tigers found the end zone six plays later, aided by another 15-yard penalty: roughing the passer on Za’Darius Smith.

Special teams didn’t improve from there.

After a quick three-and-out on Kentucky’s first offensive possession, LSU returned a punt 17 yards to begin its second drive at midfield. That possession ended in a field goal, although the Cats were lucky it wasn’t a touchdown. Anthony Jennings overthrew his open fullback on third-and-goal, a blessing for Kentucky, before we all realized it was over.

Oh we’re not done.

Not even two minutes later, Kentucky sent its punt team back to the field after a second three-and-out. LSU’s Tre’Davious White fielded the punt at his own 33-yard line and took it 67 yards for another score. Check out the poor spacing and then guess which direction White ran with the ball. I’ll give you a hint: he ran to his right, where there was a ton of open space.

spacing

17-0 halfway through the first quarter, not good. And that’s all on you, special teams.

The final minutes of the first half were atrocious. 

Kentucky’s defense settled in and forced three consecutive punts before the wheels fell completely off before the half. Down 17-3 with two minutes left and eyes on the locker room, UK did the unthinkable and gave up 10 more points in the final 56 seconds of the second quarter. The least crushing of the two scores came on a 32-yard pass to Travin Dural for a touchdown, while fans at home were left in the dark due to ‘a power outage’ on the SEC Network. (Thanks for that by the way.)

Then an inexcusable mistake on the ensuing kickoff gave the ball right back to LSU and calling it inexcusable doesn’t scratch the surface of how bad it really was. LSU kicked the ball off and Kentucky watched it bounce around and into the arms of the kicking team. Just watch:

HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?

Craig Navair should sit far, far, far away from Mark Stoops on the team plane.

Kentucky’s special teams coach wasn’t a popular man on the sideline, or back in Kentucky tonight. Several fans are calling for his job while criticism of his backward hat seems to be universal. One KSR live blogger said he was dressed like a bartender at Two Keys, which is pretty spot on. He may be working there on Sunday if Mark Stoops wants to make a statement. Naivar’s guys were bad.

Bradley Dale Peveto stuck it to his old team.

Naivar’s counterpart across the way, Bradley Dale Peveto, had his unit ready to play against Kentucky. LSU’s special teams coach was on Stoops’ staff in Lexington a year ago and left for the Bayou, his “special place,” in the offseason.

He gave us a good ‘Mic’d Up’ last fall.

Towles wasn’t great, but his offensive line wasn’t making life easier.

LSU pressured Patty Ice all night long and sent him scrambling for hope on several plays. He finished 19-of-36 for 146 yards, a respectable line considering the circumstances. He was under attack all night long.

Towles likely would’ve had a TD on the board if not for a Ryan Timmons goof in the second quarter. Facing third down and an LSU blitz, Towles lobbed the ball up to Timmons but UK’s leading receiver never looked up to find it. It fell to the ground right in front of his face with nothing but grass between him and the end zone. It was a huge missed opportunity when the Cats were still in the ballgame.

Boom Williams likely suffered a concussion and the SEC Network should be ashamed of Brent Musberger and Jesse Palmer.

Boom took a couple of hits on a kickoff return and didn’t get up after the whistle. It was a scary moment at the time as his teammates took a knee and looked on from the sideline. The stadium was silent, fans were concerned, but Musberger and Palmer were giggling and cracking up over some story about Les Miles’ family on the broadcast. It wasn’t the time to be cutting up when a player was motionless on the field.

LSU rushed for over 300 yards.

Yeesh. That’ll do it. The LSU backs averaged six yards per carry, led by Terrence Magee’s 127 yards on nine touches.

Kentucky only managed to pick up 71 yards on the ground, 100 fewer rushing yards than LSU allows per game.

What it means…

A 38-point loss is quite a gut punch, but the season is far from over. Sitting at 5-2 on the year, Kentucky has five games to earn a bowl bid and make some noise in the SEC. Tonight’s game, plus Florida’s disaster against Missouri, gave us a better understanding of how good Kentucky really is, and though they may not be an SEC contender, they can still win some of the remaining games. It’s all in how they bounce back after getting embarrassed and I can’t imagine Mark Stoops letting his team roll over for dead. He’ll do his best to put this behind them and get ready for No. 1 Mississippi State next Saturday in Commonwealth.

Go Cats.


Who up? Postgame show time.

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Still up? Put on your armbands, refill that glass and let’s talk about what just happened on the KSR Postgame Show. It’s about to begin on 630 WLAP and 840 WHAS.  You can also tune in via the iHeartRadio app right here.

Something tells me we may talk about that guy.


Towles: “We were kind of riding high and got punched in the gut.”

© Crystal LoGiudice

© Crystal LoGiudice

Patrick Towles grew up a Kentucky football fan, and, appropriately, he spoke for all of us after the game. “You get humbled super fast in this league,” Towles told reporters. “We were kind of riding high and got punched in the gut.”

What was the worst thing about this loss? “There were about 40 of them.” Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Where do the Cats go from here? Back to Lexington to face #1 Mississippi State. What did Towles tell his teammates? “Stay up and strap up, because we’ve got the #1 team in the land coming in.”


I think Mark Stoops wanted him to pick up the ball

Yeah, he definitely wanted him to pick up the ball.


Boom Williams has a head injury, is cleared to return to Lexington with the team

Mark Zerof

Mark Zerof

One of the scariest moments of the night came when Boom Williams was knocked out after a helmet-to-helmet hit on a kickoff return. Boom was down for several minutes, and finally was able to get to the sideline with assistance. Mark Stoops said that Boom has a head injury, but has been cleared to fly home with the team.

Nick was on the sidelines in the second half and says that Boom spent the entire time on the bench with ice on his neck and a towel over his head. When someone asked Boom if he was okay, Boom said, “I’m good” and brightened up a bit. So that’s good.


Stoops: “We will not let one game define us”

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There’s no nice way to put it: the Cats were flat out awful tonight. And Mark Stoops knows it. “There’s not a whole heck of a lot to say,” Stoops told reporters after the game. “They really took it to us from the opening kickoff.” Despite all of the mistakes (and oh, were there a lot), Stoops is determined to move past this: “We will not let one game define us.” 

It may sound as empty as that bourbon bottle in your hand right now, but UK is still 5-2 with plenty of games to go. While LSU simply manhandled the Cats tonight, the future is still bright. “That is a physical football team,” Stoops said of LSU. “It’s what we’d like to look like one day.”


LSU 41, UK 3

 

lsuukbox

 

Man, that’s awful. Look at this instead:

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Cats lose in Baton Rouge

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It wasn’t a good night.  Kentucky falls to LSU 41-3.

The sun will rise tomorrow, and Mississippi State will be coming to Lexington in 6 days.  A lot to fix this week, but it can be done. Remember 2006?  Lost to LSU 49-0, then UK went on to win 11 of their next 12 games.  Don’t give up!

Stay tuned for more post-game coverage.