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September 23rd, 2018

What makes this UK team different? “We love each other.”

Kentucky’s win over Mississippi State opened the doors for a special 2018 season.  Mark Stoops already feels like they have a special team.

“I love this team, because of the way they prepare and go about their business,” Stoops said. “We talked all week, it was going to start again in the trenches, physical, the more physical team was going to win. We talked all week about winning your one-on-one matchups wherever they were going to be…and that’s what we did.

“Arguably one of the most complete games since I’ve been here in just appreciating the team’s approach. There’s nothing cocky about this team, but they absolutely expected to play like this and that’s the way they prepared and that’s the way they’re going about their business and that’s what I love about this team.”

Kentucky’s defense was dominant.  When they got three and outs, it fueled the offense to fight for extra yards.

“I think they feed off each other,” said offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.  “They love each other.  There really is a nice chemistry there.

C.J. Conrad has never been a part of a team like this.

“This team is the closest team I’ve ever been a part of.  We all love each other.  Offense, defense, special teams, everyone loves each other.  You can really see it out there.  Everyone plays for each other.”

Kash Daniel can see it too.  It’s not just about the starters either.  This team is special because of the guys like Josh Allen, and the guys farther back in the depth chart like Tyrell Ajian.

“The camaraderie.  The trust love and believe in every single guy,” Daniel said. “I mean, you look at what Ty (Ajian) did tonight.  he hasn’t gotten his a lot.  He hasn’t gotten a lot of reps, but when his name was called on, he came in and made one of the biggest plays of the game.  That just shows you that everybody — it doesn’t matter if you’re a starter, second string, no matter what — if your number gets called, be ready to play.  Ty came up huge for us and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

The Wildcats are playing for each other and it’s producing unprecedented results.

“We play real football now.  We’re here,” Josh Allen said.  “We want to let everyone know we’re not going anywhere.”


A Freshman is Responsible for the Cats’ Game-Changing Defensive Play

“Third and long, Fitzgerald drops back to pass, he’s under pressure, he let’s it fly and it sails high into the hands of…Tyrell Ajian?”

The defensive play of the game was made by somebody you probably forgot was on the Kentucky football team.  Redshirt freshman safety Tyrell Ajian broke just in time for the ball to fall right into his lap.

Ajian was highly-touted four-star recruit in the 2017 recruiting class, but has played primarily in a special teams role early in the season.  He did not expect to play significant snaps today until recently.

“I actually found out earlier yesterday,” Ajian said.  “I didn’t know all week.”

Ajian was playing for the injured Jordan Griffin in certain packages that required an extra defensive back.  He was in the right place at the right time in the fourth quarter on a third and long.

“I just kind of broke on the receiver. The ball sailed high and I didn’t have a choice but to catch it.”

After he caught the ball, he had plenty of green grass in front of him.  Ajian earned enough yards to pave the way for Benny Snell to break away for a 36-yard touchdown run on the following play and put the game out of reach.

To upset the No. 14 team in the country, Kentucky need to make a few big plays.  They got one of the biggest from an unlikely source.


WATCH: Watch what Kentucky Players have to say after a Fun Night at Kroger Field

Photo by UK Athletics

Listen to what Kentucky players and coaches had to say about Kentucky’s 28-7 victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Head Coach Mark Stoops and Junior running back Benny Snell

Junior linebacker Kash Daniel

Senior cornerback Mike Edwards

Senior linebacker Josh Allen

Senior linebacker Jordan Jones

Sophomore quarterback Terry Wilson

True freshman safety Tyrell Ajian

Junior DT Calvin Taylor

Senior Tight End C.J. Conrad

Offensive Coordinator Eddie Gran


College Gameday has some Explaining to do

Once again, College Gameday has some explaining to do. For the 2nd time in just four weeks, the entire panel of College Gameday picked Kentucky’s opponent to beat them. In fact, Lee Corso said Mississippi State would win easily. Lee Corso also said Mississippi State would win big. Here’s the proof:

Desmond Howard even went as far as to say that Mississippi State’s defense would shut down Benny Snell. By the way, Benny Snell ran for 165 yards and had four touchdowns. We have the receipts for those, as well:

Well, Kentucky players are tired of the disrespect.

Kash Daniel thinks that the Gameday crew needs to get a new gig because apparently, they aren’t too good at picking teams.

Kash even said it stays in the back of his mind that teams always pick Kentucky to lose no matter what, just because it’s Kentucky football. And for Lee Corso, who said it was going to be an easy win for the Bulldogs tonight, in the words of Kash Daniel, “Lee it wasn’t an easy win tonight brother. It was an easy win for us though.”

Not only was Kash upset, but his running mate, Jordan ones, is questing what else does Kentucky have to do to get the respect from College Gameday and the rest of the country?

“I saw this picture on ESPN, and everybody picked Mississippi State. Same when we played Florida, and we keep proving people wrong, so I don’t know what else we have to prove. It’s a long season, and we’re not done yet.”

After the Florida game, Rece Davis came out and apologized to the BBN saying he would never disrespect Kentucky again, but what about the rest of the Gameday crew? Who knows if they will apologize, but one thing has been sure throughout the first four weeks; These Cats keep proving people wrong.

Hey, @OldTakesExposed do your thing.


Kash Daniel calls Kylin Hill out while eating chicken sandwich

Earlier this week, Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill laughed at Benny Snell online; tonight, Hill had only 19 yards on three carries to Benny’s 165 yards and four touchdowns, which Kash Daniel couldn’t help but call out after Kentucky’s 28-7 win.

“That’s a lot of talk from a guy who probably rushed 14 yards tonight,” Kash said, chomping on his chicken sandwich. “Just saying.”

Kash had seven tackles and one quarterback hurry tonight, further proof he’s a folk superhero. This clip is the Eastern Kentucky version of Kermit sipping tea.

Enjoy Kash in all his glory below:


Let’s not forget about the two big pass plays

We’re all busy high-fiving our friends and hugging complete strangers over the play of Benny Snell and the awesomeness of the Kentucky defense. But let’s not get two caught up in Benny and the D without celebrating the two catches that paved the way for Kentucky’s first two scores.

First, Terry Wilson hit Dorian Baker down the sideline for a 23-yard completion that set up the Cats’ first touchdown. Baker hauled in the tough grab while tip-toeing toward the goal line at the pylon. At first it was ruled incomplete, but it was clearly a catch at the one-yard line:

Coach Stoops said, “That was a big catch. It was really good to see that from Dorian and Terry to get that down to him and Dorian to come down with it and huge play. At that point we were losing 7-0 I think that was the only one we scored before half. That was a really big play. Nice catch by Dorian, good throw, and that was a big point as well.”

Then on the first drive of the second half, CJ Conrad earned an early nomination for Catch of the Year on this 23-yard reception. Like Baker’s, it set up a Benny Snell score on the ground.

The passing attack didn’t do a lot in Saturday’s win. It did enough, though.


Three-Star Quarterback Celebrates Win by Committing to Kentucky

@iam_maniiii

After winning a game against the No. 14 team in the country, Mark Stoops’ staff is celebrating with a game of Yahtzee!

Shortly after he saw Kentucky defeat Mississippi State from the Kroger Field stands, Amani Gilmore committed to Kentucky.

A three-star prospect from Amite, Louisiana, the pro-style quarterback was recruited by Michael Smith.  Gilmore is the 17th member of UK’s 2019 recruiting class and the second quarterback.  Some of his best work:

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September 22nd, 2018

TRANSCRIPT: Mark Stoops after the Mississippi State win

MARK STOOPS: Like to start just by saying what a special night on all fronts, truly a great night. I want to start by thanking the Big Blue Nation. That is what I’m talking about when I say it takes all of us. They made a difference, the fans made a difference, the students made a difference. Greatly appreciate the support. The team — I told you all along that I love this team, because of the way they prepare and go about their business. We talked all week, it was going to start again in the trenches, physical, the more physical team was going to win. We talked all week about winning your one-on-one matchups wherever they were going to be. And then situational football, two minute drives, third down, red zone, critical series. And that’s what we did. Arguably one of the most complete games since I’ve been here in just appreciating the team’s approach. And there’s nothing cocky about this team, but they absolutely expected to play like this and that’s the way they prepared and that’s the way they’re going about their business and that’s what I love about this team. The last thing I would like to say is, I’m glad we played good for Marco and the Shemwell family. We’re going to bring this game ball to them tomorrow for Marco and the Shemwell family and I’m so glad that we played well in honor of him and that family.

Q. I asked you Thursday if this was a chance to disprove all that talk in the off-season and you did that tonight. What did you think of that performance tonight?
MARK STOOPS: Without a doubt they played a very good football game. I didn’t really have time to even look at all the total yardage and all that, all I know is we played good.

(Laughter.)

So I really appreciate the effort, I thought Coach House and the defensive coaches and of course Coach Gran and the offensive coaches, the coaches have done great job of preparing this team and the players just believe in each other and play hard and they have got a competitive edge about them and really executed and played very good. I’ll be honest with you, we weren’t, we were not overly complex tonight on defense, we had a great plan, but it was simple. They played, our players played and they made it good and played exceptionally hard and executed and did some really good things.

Q. You said earlier this week you would have to play with a lot of numbers against their rushing attack. It didn’t feel like you needed to with Josh, how good was he tonight.
MARK STOOPS: He is a dominant football player. From watching the sideline, for me, I agree with you. I was making sure we were being able to rush him as much we could because it seemed like he was unstoppable. But he did a really good job in coverage and he was so big and long he was disruptive in the pass game as well. He’s a dynamic player and he was very hard to block tonight. He’s a great football player. The great thing about him is he is so happy for the team. It’s not — he’s going to get his and he’s doing what he has to do, but it’s about the team and having success and that’s the way all these guys are.

Q. Talk about Benny.
MARK STOOPS: He was amazing as well. What did he have? I don’t even know.

Q. Four touchdowns.
MARK STOOPS: Oh, that’s it?

(Laughter.)

No, he just, he’s Benny. He really is. He’ll be the first one to credit the physicality of the offensive line but he has a determination about him and a toughness and vision. And he’s Benny. He’s done — he doesn’t surprise me because once again he’s a dominant football player and he deserves the credit that he gets as well. I’m sorry, I cut somebody off back here.

Q. How much do you love when opposing teams come out and say Benny can’t run on them?
MARK STOOPS: We shouldn’t need that motivation, but Benny, he’ll use anything to motivate him. And that’s a good thing. He’s always ready, that’s the beautiful thing about Benny, he may get a little fired up — and he’s fun for you guys because he might get talking little bit, but that’s okay, y’all need to get some sound bites as well, I realize that. But that’s just Benny. He’s going to play hard no matter what. He really is. I think his high school coach or whoever said that best, he would run over his mother and that’s probably true, whoever gets in front of him he’s going to run hard.

Q. Talk about the secondary with the redshirt freshman.
MARK STOOPS: It was a big play. Davonte Robinson got quality snaps tonight as well and Ty’s (Tyrell Ajian) interception was big. He’s played — that’s him. He has really good ball skills and so it was really good for him to get significant action and make a critical play for us.

Q. Did Jordan Griffin play today?
MARK STOOPS: No.

Q. Do you expect him back?
MARK STOOPS: I do.

Q. Talk about that catch by C.J. Conrad.
MARK STOOPS: Great catch. Great play. Critical moment in the game and it was really nice to see him go up in traffic in a competitive situation and come down with the ball.

Q. Nick Fitzgerald was limited in the second half, I think he had about 145 yards in the first half between throwing and running, what was the key there, outside of maybe Josh disrupting him and keeping him in the pocket or whatnot?
MARK STOOPS: It was great team defense. We really did a nice job — like I said, we weren’t overly complex but we had some good things for him and our players did a nice job of disguising and were really on point with them looking and changing and they want to know what you’re in a lot and our players really did a nice job of having confidence in their disguises and when to come down and when to get movements and then it comes down to just tackling and covering and — but Coach House had a good plan and the guys executed and played exceptionally hard. When we had them in predictable pass — again that’s where the fans make a big difference — that’s, you know, again, I just greatly appreciate it, but we need it like that. That’s what we do. That’s what we play in the SEC, that’s the environment we’re supposed to play in. And it makes a difference. Because when they’re loud and the offensive line can’t hear the snap count like that, it’s very hard to block Josh. And that’s where it makes a difference.

Q. You had another one of those situations late in the second right before the half where you guys were able to go up and did you think about last time at Mississippi State where that was sort of you said that was the turning point last season?
MARK STOOPS: Well, what about three minutes left? When we had to punt? Or when we scored? Yeah. But we had two situations there. We did punt on the one, but then I thought it was huge that our defense — I believe we got a three and out — but we got it back pretty quick there and then we went down and scored, if I’m not mistaken. But, yeah, that’s huge, it’s a big big deal. I would have rather done it with three minutes left, but it was good to still get it done.

Q. In the process of doing this thing over time what was it like tonight just watching your guys dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball against maybe the one of more physical teams in the SEC this year?
MARK STOOPS: Yeah, without a doubt they are one of the more physical teams and I think that says a lot about our team and again our coaching staff and Corey Edmond and Coach Mark Hill and our strength staff and D-Mac (Deonte Mack)and Jon (Hall) and those guys, they work hard and they worked hard for years. That’s what we’re going to keep on doing. It’s a credit for our players for buying in and doing the dirty work when nobody’s watching and over time. That was one of my messages on Monday. I don’t like getting into all these messages that I tell you about with the team or whatever, but I talked a lot about Monday and about some other things about you reap what you sew and sooner or later you’re going to get paid and you’re going to benefit from that. And you don’t know when. It’s later, then you don’t know when that time is, but you got to keep on working and keep on doing it and eventually you’re going to get paid many times over. So our team is working very hard and in a lot of ways when people don’t see it.

(more…)


WATCH: Highlight reel from Kentucky-Mississippi State

I assume you watched the game, but why not relive all of the fun in this highlight video recap from Kentucky Wildcats TV? It’s three minutes of Kentucky beating Mississippi State’s brains in. Why wouldn’t you watch it?