Hey, friends, I want you to meet someone. Bill Lawrence. He’s from Tennessee and he survived five lonely days in the woods with muddy water, earthworms, and a can of dip. Lawrence went out squirrel hunting with a couple buddies in Tennessee’ Meeman Shelby Forest state park a couple weeks ago and he got separated from the group when he went off on his own to bust a cap in a furry rodent. He got lost along the way and spent five days alone in the 13,000 acre state park. The news report says he eventually made it to a road on day 5, but collapsed while suffering from dehydration and severe insect bites. When Lawrence set out on this journey, all he had was a shotgun, 15 shells (which ran out), two bottles of water, a flashlight, a can of insect spray, a squirrel call and a can of dipping tobacco. Today, he can add the Tuesday News and Views to that list. Let’s go…
— Mondays at UK mean Monday afternoon press conferences with Joker Phillips. This week’s edition was one none of us wanted to have because it followed a loss to Louisville. “We’ve got to get better, especially offensively,” he said as he opened up the press conference. Field position was a point of emphasis in discussing “getting better” and what went wrong against the Cards. “We started on the 20 or less seven out of our 12 drives, and that’s hard, especially for an offense that’s struggling,” he said. “We got to do a better job at getting field position. A lot of that has to do with our kicking game and getting people stopped on defense.”
— Joker again praised the defense for how they played against Louisville, but he addressed the need to improve in the secondary. The team keeps getting beat on deep balls as opponents are just throwing over the top of the defense. The D, especially the front seven, has played well on a shorter field and Kentucky hasn’t allowed a red zone touchdown all season. UK has held its opponent to a field goal on four of the five red zone possessions this season.
— The offensive line has been the biggest disappointment of the season but Phillips isn’t concerned. He should be, though, because Newton was sacked six times against Louisville and Florida is even bigger and faster. The Florida pass rush isn’t the only element to fear, either. The Gators only give up 30 yards on the ground. Kentucky rushed for 35 on Saturday.
— He said the defense is going to have to keep carrying the team while the offense figures it out, similar to how it was in 2008. “In 2008, we won our first three games. The way we won our first three games is not turning it over and creating turnovers,” he said. “Right now we’re even in the turnover margin. That’s the huge difference. You can’t turn the ball over when you’re struggling offensively and put your defense in some tough situations. That’s what we’ve done.”
— “We’re 2-1. Not 0-3.” While that’s true, it’s hard to stay positive, especially after watching Western Kentucky lose to Indiana State 44-16 in Bowling Green while Central Michigan lost to Western Michigan, 44-14. Kentucky trailed to both of those teams before losing to Louisville at home. It’s a 2-1 record but not a pretty one.
— The game time for the October 1st game against LSU was announced on Monday. The Cats and Tigers will kick off 12:21 ET on the SEC Network. It’s the first time in over five years that LSU will host a game before noon local time. LSU usually schedules all of its games at night, a tradition for Tiger football. CBS is televising an SEC double-header that Saturday with Auburn at South Carolina and Alabama at Florida. The SEC television contract says no other conference games can be televised while those two are on. The early morning kickoff officially ruined any hope of a trip to LSU for me that weekend.
— We also learned the date for Champions Classic tickets on Monday. Tickets for the Kentucky-Kansas game in Madison Square Garden will go on sale on October 6. However, if you want to go ahead and lock up your tickets, Kansas is already selling them on its website. You can only purchase them by price level so I assume Kansas is just selling whatever they expect to get. I bought five and I’m hoping the KU ticket office doesn’t see my Kentucky address and put me in a corner somewhere. I just want to be close to Samantha.
— The recruitment of Perry Ellis is coming to an end. Ellis will announce his college destination at 2:45 PM on Wednesday at a press conference from his high school. His mother hinted at this last week when the four schools her son is considering stopped by the Ellis home in Kansas. Coach Cal, who visited Friday night, was the last of the four in-home visits so his recruiting pitch is the freshest on Perry’s mind. Although it’ll be hard to pull the 6-foot-8 forward out of Kansas. He’s also considering Kansas, Kansas State, and Wichita State — all in-state schools.
— Perry Ellis isn’t the only recruit nearing a decision, Archie Goodwin could also be committing soon. Goodwin tweeted, “It’s getting close to decision time” on Monday night. Earlier in the day, he announced that he is no longer considering Kansas and UConn. That leaves Arkansas, Kentucky, and Memphis for Scout.com’s third best shooting guard. It has been Arkansas vs. Kentucky from the beginning so look for it to be one of those two in the end.
— Coach Cal is also chasing after Gary Harris, the young man ranked one spot ahead of Archie Goodwin on Scout.com’s rankings. Calipari made an in-home visit with Harris on Monday night in Fishers, Indiana. He’s a name we haven’t heard a lot about, so it’s interesting to hear that Calipari is making a hard push to recruit him to Kentucky. Does this mean Cal isn’t so confident in landing Archie Goodwin? Possibly. Let’s hope not, though. Goodwin has long been a priority for Kentucky’s 2012 class and Harris hasn’t show much interest in the Cats. Earlier in the summer, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard listed his top five and UK wasn’t even in the mix. He named Indiana, Michigan State, Louisville, Notre Dame and Purdue as his favorites.
— The Roast of Charlie Sheen on Comedy Central. Watch it.
— The Big East is falling apart and it looks like the ACC passed on Louisville. There is a very small chance the Cardinals end up in the SEC but it’s very, very unlikely. That means baby bro will probably be teaming up with the Big East/Big 12 leftovers. Do any of you feel bad for them? Of course you don’t. Conference realignment is one big cluster-you-know-what.
— That’s all. I’ll leave you with this video I grabbed from Monday night football. It’s pretty hilarious…