All eyes tonight were on Kenny Hill, Johnny Manziel’s replacement under center at Texas A&M. Under the bright lights of college football’s first big game of the season, Kenny Hill stepped into Johnny Football’s shoes by breaking Manziel’s Texas A&M single-game records for completions and passing yards. Hill went 44-60 for 511 yards and three TDs in his debut as a starting QB, snapping No. 9 South Carolina’s 18-game home winning streak, which was the longest in the nation. The Aggies’ 680 total yards was the most South Carolina has ever allowed in its history. Hill joins Kentucky’s Tim Couch in the SEC record books by becoming the third QB, along with Eli Manning, to complete 40 passes in a game. Let’s consider ourselves lucky that the Cats won’t face the Aggies this year.
Now, on to the UK news and views of the day …
— Before we head into another academic year, take a look back at the year that was in UK sports (and Rifle) courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV:
(At about the 3:24 mark, Ryan Lemond makes an appearance)
— Kentucky announced the addition of two new basketball staff members. Joel Justus was added to the staff as the team’s director of analytics.
According to UK, Justus’ main responsibilities will include analyzing player and team performance by utilizing various stats and data to help develop efficient strategies through video. Justus comes to UK after serving as the head coach at Davidson Day High School in Davidson, N.C., since 2012. In both years at the helm, he guided the Patriots to the Elite Eight in the state tournament.
The other addition to the staff is Robert Harris, the Cats’ new assistant strength and conditioning coach. Harris previously held the same role at Arkansas and worked with the Bengals for three years.
— At the time of this posting, kickoff at Commonwealth Stadium against UT Martin is less than 37 hours away. Click here for the highlights from Mark Stoops’ Thursday press conference:
— If you’re going to the game Saturday, get there early. Mitch Barnhart, Eli Capilouto, and Lexington mayor Jim Gray held a press conference to discuss the gameday changes at Commonwealth Stadium for this season. Click here for more details from TT.
— Bruce Pearl pulled in another big recruit. Trayvon Reed, a former Maryland signee, committed to Auburn. Reed is considered the ninth best center in the 2014 class by 247 Sports Composite. It’s the fourth commitment Pearl has received since his recruiting ban ended Sunday at midnight. His 2015 class is shaping up very well.
— Bobby Petrino was named to a top-10 national list today.
— Last but certainly not least, Happy Birthday to Matt, who was serenaded by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, Kentucky Joe and Fake Barney on the air today.
A variety of special guests also called in to give their predictions for the football season. If you haven’t listened yet, you’ll definitely want to check out the podcast. And of course, tune in tomorrow at 10 a.m. for the last regular KSR radio show before the season kicks off Saturday. Go Cats.