Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
September 26th, 2016

Nick Saban recruited Mark Stoops to Michigan State back in the day

saban-stoops

Did you know Nick Saban once recruited Mark Stoops? Me neither. At today’s press conference, Mark Stoops told the story of how a young Nick Saban recruited Stoops to Michigan State when he was a defensive backs coach in the mid 1980’s.

“I admire an awful lot about Coach Saban. It’s hard to define all of those things, but anybody that’s in this business, the coaching profession is built on respect. I have great respect for what he’s done and how disciplined he is and the work ethic that he has, but I always think he does things right. He does things with class, he treats people the right way. How can you not admire that? It goes way back to the days he recruited me out of high school. He was the position coach, the recruiting area coach, that recruited me to Michigan State.”

“I was not a very good player, first of all. I got recruited by Iowa, my visits were Iowa and Ohio State. My two brothers had played at Iowa, so I visited Iowa, I visited Ohio State, and I knew if I didn’t go to Ohio State, I would go to Iowa because of the relationships I had with those coaches and I wasn’t going to go anywhere else. So, I canceled my visit to Michigan State.”

“That call didn’t go very well,” Stoops said to several laughs. “I was really young and naive and I had no clue. I knew I wasn’t a great player or anything like that, so I couldn’t believe — he made it very difficult for me. I remember getting off the phone and going, ‘wow.’ But he was very persuasive and very good. I’ve always had great respect for Coach.”

That wasn’t the only great Saban story that Stoops had to share. His uncle Bob was a head coach at an inner city school in Youngstown, Ohio, and, one day, Saban stopped by to do some recruiting, and afterwards, they went out for some refreshments.

“He and my uncle Bob were at an establishment after recruiting one day in the spring,” Stoops said. “My uncle was the head coach at an inner city school in Youngstown and Coach Saban and my uncle were out and — Coach will tell this story better than me — They were talking X’s and O’s and got so wrapped up in the X’s and O’s they had no idea someone came and robbed the place at gunpoint.

Stoops said he didn’t believe the story — “I always thought my uncle was a little full of it” — until he heard Saban confirm it during one of his radio shows.

Must have been one hell of a conversation they were having.

UPDATE: At his press conference, Nick Saban was asked about recruiting Stoops back in the day and had this response:

“Mark was a really good player. We tried to get him, but we didn’t. Hayden Fry had that family locked up.”


Denzil Ware named SEC Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week

@UKFootball

@UKFootball

Congratulations to Denzil Ware, who was just named SEC Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week alongside Tennessee’s Derek Barnett. Ware had five tackles, including two quarterback sacks, in UK’s win over South Carolina, and helped the defense limit the Gamecocks to a season low 10 points on 3 of 13 third down conversions.

Ware’s two sacks combined for a -21 yards and came at crucial moments. With South Carolina in UK territory, threatening to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, Ware sacked the quarterback for a 19-yard loss on fourth down; it turned out to be USC’s final offensive play of the game.

“I really feel like he played his best football of the year,” Stoops said of Ware at today’s press conference. “We needed him to step up and he did.”

Congrats, Denzil. Keep it up.


LIVE: Mark Stoops’ weekly press conference


Here’s your Pre-Alabama Depth Chart

This week’s depth chart was just released, and there aren’t any huge changes. It is worth noting that Cole Mosier is still listed as the starting left tackle ahead of Landon Young despite missing the last two games with injury. Similarly, Dorian Baker is also listed as a starter even though he’s missed every game this season with hamstring issues. Benny Snell is still listed third at running back, but is now at the top of the depth chart at kickoff return.

OFFENSE

Quarterback

15 Stephen Johnson II (6-2, 183, Jr.)
12 Gunnar Hoak (6-4, 200, Fr.)
14 Luke Wright (6-4, 206, So.)

Running Back

18 Boom Williams (5-9, 196, Jr.)
3 Jojo Kemp (5-10, 200, Sr.)
26 Benny Snell (5-11, 220, Fr.)

Wide Receiver

13 Jeff Badet (6-0, 180, Jr.)
19 Kayaune Ross (6-6, 225, So.)
OR 6 Blake Bone (6-5, 213, Jr.)

Wide Receiver

2 Dorian Baker (6-3, 208, Jr.)
80 Tavin Richardson (6-3, 216, RFr.)
82 Jabari Greenwood (6-3, 195, RFr.)

Wide Receiver

9 Garrett Johnson (5-11, 175, Jr.)
88 Charles Walker (5-11, 203, Jr.)

Wide Receiver

1 Ryan Timmons (5-10, 198, Sr.)
31 David Bouvier (5-9, 171, So.)

Tight End

87 C.J. Conrad (6-5, 245, So.)
85 Greg Hart (6-5, 245, Jr.)

Fullback

48 Will Tom Collins (5-11, 241, Sr.)
49 Tanner Fink (6-2, 251, Sr.)

Left Tackle

74 Cole Mosier (6-6, 335, Jr.)
67 Landon Young (6-7, 305, Fr.)

Left Guard

68 Nick Haynes (6-3, 316, Jr.)
71 Logan Stenberg (6-6, 318, RFr.)

Center

72 Jon Toth (6-5, 310, Sr.)
65 Jervontius Stallings (6-3, 318, So.)

Right Guard

69 Ramsey Meyers (6-4, 305, Jr.)
64 George Asafo-Adjei (6-5, 315, So.)

Right Tackle

73 Kyle Meadows (6-5, 300, Jr.)
64 George Asafo-Adjei (6-5, 315, So.)

DEFENSE

Defensive Tackle

99 Adrian Middleton (6-3, 303, So.)
98 Tymere Dubose (6-5, 320, So.)

Nose Guard

69 Matt Elam (6-7, 360, Jr.)
77 Naquez Pringle (6-3, 320, Jr.)

Defensive End

94 Courtney Miggins (6-5, 285, Sr.)
92 Alvonte Bell (6-5, 260, Jr.)

Defensive End/Outside Linebacker

35 Denzil Ware (6-2, 255, So.)
44 De’Niro Laster (6-4, 241, Jr.)

Strongside Linebacker

41 Josh Allen (6-5, 230, So.)
47 Jordan Bonner (6-5, 220, So.)

Middle Linebacker

51 Courtney Love (6-2, 242, Jr.)
56 Kash Daniel (6-1, 241, Fr.)

Weakside Linebacker

34 Jordan Jones (6-2, 220, So.)
32 Eli Brown (6-2, 215, RFr.)

Nickelback

24 Blake McClain (5-11, 200, Sr.)
5 Kendall Randolph (6-0, 182, Jr.)

Cornerback

29 Derrick Baity (6-3, 182, So.)
3 Jordan Griffin (6-0, 177, Fr.)
OR 9 Davonte Robinson (6-2, 187, Fr.)

Strong Safety

27 Mike Edwards (6-0, 200, So.)
5 Kendall Randolph (6-0, 182, Jr.)

Free Safety

24 Blake McClain (5-11, 200, Sr.)
OR 15 Marcus McWilson (6-0, 210, Sr.)

Cornerback

21 Chris Westry (6-4, 195, So.)
11 J.D. Harmon (6-2, 200, Sr.)

SPECIALISTS

Kicker

99 Austin MacGinnis (5-10, 180, Jr.)
95 Miles Butler (5-9, 171, So.)

Punter

86 Grant McKinnis (6-1, 210, Fr.)
OR 93 Bryan Kirshe (6-0, 150, So.)

Long Snapper

42 Tristan Yeomans, PS (6-2, 290, So-JC)
53 Blake Best, FG, PAT (6-1, 246, Fr-RS)

Punt Return

88 Charles Walker (5-11, 203, Jr.)
1 Ryan Timmons (5-10, 198, Sr.)

Kickoff Return

26 Benny Snell (5-11, 220, Fr.)
22 Sihiem King (5-9, 172, So.)

Holder

42 Tristan Yeomans, PS (6-2, 290, So-JC)
86 Grant McKinnis (6-1, 210, Fr.)


Benny Snell accomplishes what no other true freshman at UK has since 2000

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

Man, it’s nice to be able to reflect on a win, isn’t it? As I look back on my favorite parts of Saturday’s victory, I keep coming back to Benny Snell. The freshman running back had a game-high 16 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown vs. South Carolina. Almost all of those yards came on a touchdown drive at the start of the fourth quarter when Snell carried the ball on nine of the eleven plays and ran it in out of the Wildcat formation for the score.

Saturday’s was just the latest impressive performance for Snell, who has 33 carries for 209 yards and five touchdowns over the last two games for an average of 6.3 yards per carry. That’s the most rushing yards in back-to-back games by a true freshman since Chad Scott had 211 against Mississippi State and Vanderbilt in 2000.

Benny, who didn’t get any carries vs. Southern Miss or Florida, says he wants the offense to keep feeding him.

“I wanted them to keep feeding me. There’s no doubt at all. Every time I look for the signal, I want them to give me the ball. It don’t matter if we run it five times straight and the defense knows we’re running the ball, I’m going to get every yard I can regardless.”

My favorite thing about Benny? Look how hard it is to take him down.

As Brent Musburger said, “That rascal moves the whole pile!”.


Recapping a big win over South Carolina (Monday Show Thread)

benny-boom

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Monday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, Matt, Ryan, and Drew will recap Kentucky’s big win over South Carolina, what it means heading forward, and discuss a little TV show that starts tonight. Tune in for all of that and much more.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

affiliate-list


Arnold Palmer’s Monday Morning Wakeup

From David Bowie to Prince to Pat Summitt and Muhammad Ali, 2016 has already been a rough year for celebrity deaths. Then came last night’s news that Arnold Palmer passed away at the age of 87. Palmer won 92 tournaments and seven majors during his career, but his legacy will be bringing golf to the masses. Palmer popularized the sport in the 1950’s and 60’s much in the way Tiger Woods did in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. People my generation or younger will always remember Palmer as the grandfatherly type who opened each Masters alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, but in his prime, there was no one cooler than “The King.” He was the sport’s first superstar, moving golf from the country club to the mainstream, becoming a popular pitchman, spokesman, and ambassador. Palmer flew his own plane and had his own drink; simply put, he made golf cool.

I could never do Palmer justice, so, on a sad morning, I’ll let ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi do it:

Now, here’s what you can see on KSR today…

Mark Stoops will address the media at noon

After a rough week of rumors and criticism, Mark Stoops has to feel a little bit better about life today. Saturday’s win over South Carolina was the most critical of his career, and, even though Kentucky will likely get slaughtered at Alabama this weekend, there are reasons for optimism for the rest of the season. The defense turned in their best performance of the season, the running game looked excellent vs. a good South Carolina defense, and Stephen Johnson is managing in Drew Barker’s absence. Check the site at noon for a live stream of the press conference and a bit later for Nick’s recap.

Can’t wait that long? A new depth chart drops around 11 a.m. Maybe it will give us some clarity on injuries (Cole Mosier, Dorian Baker). Maybe not.

Alabama favored by 34.5

The line opened at 31 yesterday and has already moved to 34.5. After watching Nick Saban take no mercy on his alma mater Kent State in Saturday’s 48-0 win, honestly, that sounds about right.

If you missed it in the post directly below this one, Richmond native Damien Harris tweeted (then deleted) that this weekend’s game will be “personal”:

dh-tweet

Why punch down, Damien?

It’s NBA Media Day

Players report to training camp today, which means we’ll see lots of pictures and quotes of our former Cats in their new homes. John Calipari being John Calipari, he couldn’t help but get a humble brag in last night:

I can’t wait until Coach K joins Twitter to tweet something similar later today.

Jacob Tamme and the Falcons take on the Saints

Not interested in tonight’s presidential debate? Flip over to ESPN to watch Jacob Tamme and the Atlanta Falcons take on the New Orleans Saints at 8:30 p.m. Tamme’s making Boyle County proud so far this season, with 11 catches for 126 yards and one touchdown. Something tells me Monday Night Football will be way more civilized than what goes down between Trump and Hilary tonight.

Happy trails to Charles Osgood

Unlike many CBS “Sunday Morning” fans, I did not grow up watching the program (we were an NBC news household); however, at some point in my adulthood, watching it became a thing. Maybe it’s because the show’s 90 minutes of soft-spoken features were soothing for the occasional hangover or I enjoyed seeing what bowtie Charles Osgood would sport each week, but “Sunday Morning” is now as part of my Sunday routine as my extra big green coffee cup and setting my fantasy football lineup. So, it was with a sad heart that I tuned in yesterday morning to watch Osgood’s final show. After 22 years as host, Osgood is retiring, a well-deserved move for the 83-year-old Emmy and Peabody Award winner. As I learned during his farewell show, Osgood’s path into the sunset includes a gorgeous villa in the south of France, but I will be sad not to tune in to see him deliver the news of the week, more often than not in verse. Watching “Sunday Morning” is a healthy dose of perspective to help reset me for the week. Osgood, Jane Pauley, Mo Rocca, Lee Cowan, Nancy Giles, David Edelstein, and the CBS writing staff put together some of the most fascinating features in news today, a refreshing break from the hyperbolic 24/7 CNN/Fox News/MSNBC news cycle. Pauley was named the show’s new host, and although I can’t wait to see what spin she puts on it, Sunday mornings just won’t be the same without Charlie and his bowties.

If you missed Osgood’s farewell show, click here to watch it in its entirety. See you on the radio, Charlie.

“Hey Kentucky” premieres tonight

We’re all excited for Matt’s new venture, so if you’re in the Lexington area, tune in to LEX18 at 7:30 p.m. to see it for yourself. The show will also be available online after it’s over. Later on, I’ll share some of the test episodes Matt did last week to get you ready.

Radio in an hour…


Damien Harris tweeted and deleted message about UK game

Alabama running back Damien Harris has had Saturday’s game circled on his calendar since the schedule came out. The former No. 1 player in the state of Kentucky will go against his home state school and the runner-up in his recruitment, and it’s “personal,” he says.

dh-tweet

Harris quickly deleted the tweet after he sent it last night, but the message was sent and received in the Bluegrass. This week is personal.

(And Alabama is a 31-point favorite.)


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Monday Morning Playcalling Breakdown (South Carolina)

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

1st Down
Pass: 5-9, 35 yards, 1 sack for -13 yards

Run: 22 rushes for 121 yards (5.5), 1 TD

Combined Season Statistics
Pass: 20-30, 314 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 3 sacks for -23 yards (1 fumble lost)
Run: 85 rushes for 513 yards (6.0 ypc), 2 TD

RECAP: After starting 4-4 on 1st down, Stephen Johnson completed just 1 of his final 5 passes in this scenario.  So UK went completely to the ground game, especially in the 4th quarter.  And Benny Snell was awesome, clinching the game with his touchdown and final rushes on the last drive of the game.  There is no doubt that UK is going to lean on the run game on 1st down this season, running 85 running plays compared to just 33 in the passing game.
————————————————————————————————————–

2nd Down and Long (6 yards or more)
Pass: 3-6, 54 yards, 1 sack for -7 yards

Run: 9 rushes for 88 yards (9.8 ypc), 1 TD

Combined Season Statistics
Pass: 10-20, 221 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, 5 sacks for -28 yards (1 fumble lost)
Run: 30 rushes for 197 yards (6.6 ypc)

RECAP: Johnson had a couple nice completions but the running attack was once again the story.  Almost 10 yards per carry, the Boom touchdown, and several nice Johnson scrambles that either gained 1st downs or put UK in manageable 3rd down positions.

2nd Down and Short (5 yards or less)
Pass: No Plays

Run: 5 rushes for 21 yards (4.2 ypc)

Combined Season Statistics
Pass: 4-5, 107 yards, 1 TD, 1 sack for -5 yards (1 fumble lost)
Run: 15 rushes for 82 yards (5.5 ypc), 1 TD

RECAP: Only 5 plays the entire game in this scenario and UK didn’t do a whole lot with them.  But just further proof that running the ball was the key to the game.
—————————————————————————————————————

3rd Down and Long (6 yards or more)
Pass: 3-4, 47 yards, 1 INT, 2 sacks for -14 yards (converted 2 of 6)

Run: 3 rushes for 13 yards (4.3 ypc) (converted 1 of 3)

Combined Season Statistics
Pass: 13-23, 168 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT, 4 sacks for -35 yards (converted 7 of 27)
Run: 4 rushes for 15 yards (3.8 ypc) (converted 1 of 4)

RECAP: A little better in converting these tough plays here but the still just 3-9 overall.  Johnson also used his legs to try and make some things happen, which is a nice addition.  The Cats now have some options here so I expect these overall numbers will get better as the season progresses.

3rd Down and Short (5 yards or less)
Pass: No Plays

Run: 4 rushes for 5 yards (1.3 ypc) (converted 1 of 4)

Combined Season Statistics
Pass: 0-2 (converted 0 of 2)
Run: 11 rushes for 62 yards (5.6 ypc) (converted 8 of 11)

RECAP: On the negative side, this is the 1st time all year UK’s rushing attack wasn’t good in a 3rd and short scenario.  Before this game, they were 7-7 for the season.  Just 1 for 4 against South Carolina.  UK can’t go backwards in these scenarios.


September 25th, 2016

South Carolina victory was bigger than a tick in the win column

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

After an ugly 0-2 start to the season, a good chunk of the BBN felt the need to jump off the Stoops train, calling for his termination and protesting the remainder of the season. There was little to be optimistic about.

The New Mexico State win was pretty on the offensive side of the ball, but an atrocious outing on defense, on top of the first two games, made many (most) call UK’s defense one of the worst in the entire nation. On College GameDay yesterday morning, Lee Corso emphasized the Wildcats may have the “worst defense in the history of football.” Ouch.

South Carolina was a must win, just to give optimism for the remainder of the season more than anything. They weren’t the strongest of SEC foes, but they were respectable, and carried a whole lot more weight than victories against teams like NMSU. UK went in with a two-game win streak against the Gamecocks, and a victory would push them back to .500.

It didn’t matter how it happened, it didn’t matter how ugly it was or how slow the game was, UK just had to come out on top in the end. And that’s exactly what they did.

Media had positive things to write about rather than negative. UK wasn’t the laughingstock of college football for the first time in five games. The victory itself was nice.

But after the game, it was different. There was a resurgence of the fan base, more than any other typical victory. The team, coaches, and fans were all desperate for this one, and it felt like an abundance of pressure, especially for Stoops, was (slightly) lifted.

This game gave fans a spark of hope. The defense that has been heavily criticized in the first quarter of the season managed to find a few niches to hang on to going forward. The offense converted on South Carolina’s mistakes, chipped time away off the clock, and produced long drives to give the defense much needed rest. There were key aspects on both sides of the ball for fans to look forward to, maybe not against Alabama, but against the other mortal teams on the docket for the the remainder of the year.

UK found their go-to guys on offense

As far as individual efforts go, Boom Williams and Benny Snell take the co-offensive MVPs on the day. UK has finally found a reliable one-two punch on the ground. We all knew Boom’s ability. The kid is elusive, has unbelievable vision to cut through blockers and find even the smallest of gaps to bounce through, and hits a third and fourth gear that not many can catch. He’s a superstar, and will likely go down in history as one of the best backs UK has ever had.

Beyond Boom, Kentucky has struggled to find a reliable back. Jojo Kemp has had his moments, especially in his time in the WildKemp as the Gamecock killer. Mikel Horton has shown flashes, Siheim King as well, but UK needed something more. That something ended up being true freshman Benny Snell.

Snell dominated last week against New Mexico State, rushing for four touchdowns and 136 yards on the ground. He quickly became a fan favorite, but most limited their expectations for the future due to the quality of opponent being so low. When Benny Snell got the call in the second half against South Carolina, he (literally) put the team on his back and carried them to the finish line. He’s a bulldozer, has an incredible first step, and his legs just never stop churning for the extra yard. He’s the power back Kentucky hasn’t had in who knows how many years, and man is it great to finally find one. After just two games on the field, he leads the SEC in touchdown runs with five, and has accumulated over 200 yards on the ground. Oh yeah, and we’ll still have him for three more years.

With Drew Barker out for an extended period of time, Stephen Johnson could use all the help he can get from other weapons to keep the offense’s production up. Luckily for him, UK found them.

Defense got off the field on third down

We’ll start with this: talent has never been the “problem” with the defense. I said it at the beginning of the season, and I stand by my word four games later, this is the most talent that has ever been on a Kentucky roster at any given time. That’s what has made this season such a disappointment.

That being said, that talent was finally put to light tonight, and they played up to their potential. They played with swagger and heart, and it immediately transformed the look of the defense.

Denzil Ware and Jordan Jones absolutely dominated on the field. Each of them flew around and made some huge hits on crucial downs. Towards the end of the game, when UK would give up the big play in most years, these two helped get the defense off the field with some terrific pass rushes and tackles in the backfield. The staff wanted heart out of the defense, they got it out of Ware and Jones.

USC went after Derrick Baity a good bit, and the young corner delivered. He made a few mistakes, but more than made up for it with lockdown coverage and a few pass breakups throughout the game. Solid outing from the entire secondary.

The DL also made a great push on the QB, something we have rarely seen thus far in the season. Josh Allen played out of his mind, and lived up to the hype as Jason Hatcher’s replacement this offseason.

As a team, UK limited the Gamecocks to just 3-13 on third down, a statistic that just doesn’t even seem possible given the past few weeks. USC accumulated just 177 yards passing, a season low, and just 16 first downs on offense. The Wildcats also sacked the quarterback four times, a season high.

Swaggy defense=good defense.

Special teams did their part

Let’s just take a minute to salute the entire special teams unit yesterday. We saw some bombs by Grant McKinnis to pin USC back near their own end zone, including one 53-yard boot. Austin MacGinniss sent some kickoffs back for touchbacks, and those that weren’t, the kickoff team laid the wood on some big hits to force the Gamecocks into long drives. UK got saved with a flag when USC returned a punt for a TD, but other than that slip up, the entire unit was solid. For a team that was so atrocious in this area in recent history (thanks backwards hat guy), they’ve been fairly consistent this season.

Team morale started high, finished higher

I won’t go into anything in particular, but I was really surprised with how well the team came out and fought last night, considering the garbage being thrown around throughout the morning and into the pregame coverage. In most cases, ugly “things” being discussed spark divide in locker rooms, player tension, etc., and I truthfully thought it would set the team back, at least slightly.

UK instead went in there, dismissed what was being said behind closed doors and stood behind their coach, and managed to get the job done. After the game, many of the players, Matt Elam in particular, went to social media to defend their coach and teammates.

It’s hard not to stand behind a coach that will rip a new one in a referee in support of his players:

 

Stoops still has a lot of work to be done, but he earned a hell of a lot of respect from me yesterday in the way he carried himself during the game and with the media following the victory.

Speaking of the head ball coach:

Stoops easily coached his best game of the season, possibly career

Give credit where credit is due: In a very possible “win-or-go-home” game for Stoops, he showed his ability as a coach, and really made some impressive calls out there. I’m not willing to say this was his best all-around coaching effort, but this one was up there. Pull off performances like this every week, Stoops keeps his job for the long haul, and I’m not sure anyone would be upset by it.

Outside of Stoops, Eddie Gran did a fantastic job as a game manager. The offense didn’t put up impeccable numbers, but against a fairly stout Carolina defense, they more than held their own. At times, there wasn’t anything the Gamecocks could do to stop UK’s offensive attack, and I put that solely on Gran’s ability. I think Kentucky finally found their guy in Eddie Gran.

I’ll openly admit it, I’m not a DJ Eliot fan, haven’t been for two years now, but he did a solid job last night as well. The called blitzes worked, the 4-3 switches stopped the run, and (aside from a few ugly plays) the team tackled fairly well. Denzil Ware said following the defense’s success had everything to do with motivation, but I’ll tip my hat to Eliot as well. Nice work.

Overall, it was a great team win, and there is a good bit to be optimistic about going forward. The term “must win” gets thrown around far too often, but this was without a doubt the perfect example of it. It wasn’t the prettiest, the team made a few costly mistakes, but they got the job done and came out on top.

 

Four more. Please.

 

@JackPilgrimKSR


UK Men’s Soccer knocks off #21 New Mexico

 

(@UKMensSoccer Twitter)

(@UKMensSoccer Twitter)

After a thriller of a matchup last season, UK and New Mexico played in another tight match this season, with the Wildcats coming out on top, 1-0. Last year, it took over 108 minutes for the only goal of the game to be scored, when Stefan Stojkovic gave the Cats the 2OT victory. This season, while the score was the same, UK found the back of the net much earlier.

Noah Hutchins scored his third goal of the season just over five minutes into the game on the assist from Charlie Reymann.

This win takes UK’s record to 5-2-1 on the year, and 1-1-0 in Conference USA. Tonight was definitely a big win going forward in conference play for the Wildcats. Hopefully, they can keep this momentum going in their games against Lipscomb and Charlotte later this week.

Take a minute and watch the highlights and post-game interview with sophomore goalkeeper Stuart Ford courtesy of KYWildcatsTV:

 

 


Lexington’s dancing cop will put a smile on your face

lex-pd

The Lexington Police Department has a dancing cop and he was caught on video while directing traffic on Tates Creek Road over the weekend.

Watch as Officer BJ Blank puts some enthusiasm (and moves) into his job in one of those videos that’ll make you smile no matter your mood:


Cats in the NFL: Week 3 Edition

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Since Wesley Woodyard was elected into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame this weekend, let’s start with his and Avery Williamson’s game for the Titans. Tennessee fell to the Oakland Raiders by the score of 17-10. Woodyard accumulated 3 tackles, while Williamson racked up 9 tackles and had an interception as well.

Randall Cobb had his least productive week of this short season today against the Lions. Despite the fact that the Packers put up 34 points, Cobb only managed one catch for 33 yards.

Za’Darius Smith is still struggling to rack up big numbers for the Ravens in his second year out of Lexington. Today he recorded 3 tackles, equaling his total from Weeks 1 and 2 combined. His three tackles were enough to help Baltimore pick up the W in Jacksonville over the Jags.

Corey Peters had two tackles for the Cardinals today in their loss to the Buffalo Bills, in one of the more surprising results from today’s slate of games.

Jacob Tamme and the Atlanta Falcons take on the New Orleans Saints tomorrow night in Monday Night Football. Tamme has had two solid games this season, so he’ll look to continue to rack up the yards in Week 3. (Or at least I hope so, for my fantasy football team’s sake)


Can we keep the Boom and Snell 1-2 punch, please?

benny-boom

Boom Williams and Benny Snell were the show last night, there’s no denying it.

Boom started us off. With 50 yards in 10 carries in the first half and then the go-ahead TD in the third quarter.

We knew what we were getting with Boom going into the season. We knew that he was explosive and had the power and speed to make the big plays.  Once he finds a hole, he’s gone. There’s no stopping him.

Against New Mexico State last week Boom rushed for 181 yards with 1 TD, taking a slight backseat to Snell in his breakout performance.

Boom is like a starting pitcher. You send him out in the beginning of the game to get things going. You trust him go out and get the job done.

On the other hand, Benny Snell is your closer. He’s who you bring in if you get in trouble, or just need to secure a win. He’s can power through anyone and has the ability to seemingly move mountains or, in this case, an entire defensive line.

And that’s exactly what happened last night. Boom got us started off with some big carries and brought us home, but it was Snell who brought home the win with the game-winning touchdown in the opening of the forth quarter.

On that drive, Snell rushed the ball on every snap moving the team down the field for 65 yards. On the last play, Snell took the ball out of the Wildcat, broke a tackle at the 5-yard line and was home free for the end-zone.

Together the two rushed for 200 yards, Boom with 123 and Snell with 77. Going forward, Eddie Gran has almost no choice but to keep the 1-2 punch, opener and closer combo of Boom and Snell – maybe adding JoJo Kemp into the mix as he continues to make his way back. Whatever he does, he just needs to keep that combo moving.

#BoomSnell2016


The Reds Report: September 25

votto

USA TODAY-Sports

usa-today-9197670-0The Cincinnati Reds season is quickly coming to an end. After today’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers the club has just seven games remaining. The past week was a struggle, and it was a reminder to all fans of the issues that have plagued this team in 2016. Earlier in the week, the Reds were swept by the Chicago Cubs by a combined score of 20-5. The Reds were able to bounce back and take two out of three from the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend.

Let’s get to this week’s Reds Report.

1. It’s hard to write or even think about baseball today without thinking of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez. News broke early Sunday morning that the twenty-four-year-old was killed in a boating accident. On the field, Fernandez was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. His stuff was electric, and he always displayed an infectious joy. Details remain sparse, but this is one of the most significant tragedies to hit MLB in some time.

Jeff Passan wrote about Fernandez’s climb from Cuban immigrant to major league superstar in an article entitled “The American Dream.” C. Trent Rosecrans looked at several Reds players who had strong ties to Fernandez, and how they were handling the news.

There is no easy way to transition from this story to the normal events of a week in baseball. Jose Fernandez will be missed.

2. The Reds kept setting records this week. As you can imagine, they weren’t the good kind of records.

3. One of the biggest questions facing the Cincinnati Reds in 2017 is what to do with Jesse Winker. There was a time when Winker was considered to be the Reds left fielder of the future. However, the emergence of other options have left that conclusion in doubt. Zach Buchanan took some time this week to ask “Where does Jesse Winker fit in?

4. Another major question for the Reds as this season concludes is what to do with Brandon Phillips. 2017 will be the final year of Phillips’ six-year contract, and it’s likely Cincinnati could try and move him in the offseason. The team attempted to trade Phillips prior to the 2016 season, but he vetoed a trade to Washington. Phillips has put together a nice second-half at the plate, and it’s possible a team could look at him as a short term upgrade with an expiring contract. Mark Sheldon of MLB.com broke down Cincinnati’s in-house options if they move BP.

5. In sports, success is usually defined by wins and losses. Yet each year there are a handful of teams clearly out of contention from the beginning of the season. Most analysts put the Reds in this category prior to the season. Does the fact that the Reds weren’t going to win a title mean they couldn’t succeed this year? Over at Red Reporter, I took some time to assess whether or not the 2016 Reds season could be called a success. Specifically, did the Reds take the necessary steps to upgrade the roster and get closer to contention?

6. One thing is for sure. The future looks bright with Jose Peraza in the Reds lineup. The twenty-two-year-old rookie hit his third home run of the season against Milwaukee this weekend. For the season, Peraza is now hitting .330/.354/.425.

To close out the season the Reds will play four in St. Louis, followed by a three game series with the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park. As of Sunday afternoon the Cardinals were half a game back of a Wild Card spot. Cincinnati has the opportunity to play spoiler for their division rival in the early part of the week.

You can follow the Reds all season long, and Eric’s other writing, at Red Reporter.