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

Today on KSR: Targeting prevails as Cats fall late to Gators

Well, that happened. I sit here early on Sunday morning still trying to fully process what happened last night. Kentucky was up 21-10 at the start of the fourth quarter, with a fourth-and-two at the Florida 40. Despite Florida just losing their starting quarterback to injury, Mark Stoops went for it, but the Cats were stopped short. From that point on… well, you know what happened.

Before we get to the downside to the night, we have to start with a major positive piece of news that was overshadowed by game prep yesterday:

Terrence Clarke commits to KENTUCKY


See? Yesterday didn’t completely suck. The Cats received a commitment from top-three prospect Terrence Clarke. The Boston native is currently a member of the class of 2021, but all signs point to him reclassifying to join next year’s class. He is the highest-ranked recruit for Calipari since De’Aaron Fox and the first top-five recruit since Skal Labissiere.

Clarke has drawn comparisons to former NBA player Tracy McGrady with his skills as an athletic wing. Evan Daniels has said he is the best shooter in high school right now, regardless of class.

For more on Clarke and everything you need to know about him, you can find out more by clicking here.

If you were curious about how Calipari celebrated the big commitment…

Now onto the sadness that was last night’s game.

Targeting is the Worst

I mean does anything else really even need to be said? There were three targeting calls in the game, two on Kentucky and one on Florida. Should all three have been a penalty? At least two I can see an argument, but NONE of the three should have resulted in an ejection.

This rule must be changed. Even the Florida player who was ejected did not deserve to be. There was obviously no malcontent in that hit, and the ejection just makes it that much worse.

After the game, Mark Stoops said, “I can’t, you know — I can’t win in this situation… Well, you know, it could be called an awful lot. You know, to have a game decided in that moment, when a guy — what am I supposed to tell my — my guys are fighting, clawing, scrambling, trying to get them down and giving everything they got, and you get that called.”

TJ Carter’s ejection in the fourth quarter was especially poor. What was going to be a third and long for Florida turned into a first down and helped move the ball closer to what turned out to be the go-ahead score:

The first targeting call was on Yusuf Corker, which resulted in a key ejection to an already depleted secondary. I’ll just refer back to my tweet from last night on targeting. I will never be for it resulting in an ejection unless it’s just blatantly dirty. Most fans can agree when that happens.

Ahmad Wagner is the real deal

Ahmad Wagner really is incredible. There is no other way to put it. Last night, he again drew multiple pass interference calls against him, but also made one of the best catches in recent UK history.

Before we watch the video, I have to give a ton of props to KSR’s official photographer Dr. Mike. I mean look at that picture?!?! That is just fantastic!

The touchdown catch he pulled in though was nothing short of spectacular:

Steve Levy and I had the same reaction when I was watching live. At first, there was a sense of disappointment that he had dropped the ball… then utter disbelief when we found out that he actually pulled it down. I’m still trying to figure out how he pulled that off.

Sawyer Smith played well

Sawyer Smith made his first start as a Kentucky Wildcat last night and showed a lot of promise. The graduate transfer finished 23-35 for 267 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. After fumbling a snap on the opening drive, Smith started the game off a perfect 9-9.

When you look at his performance, I think there is a lot to be happy about, especially in the first half. The turning point in the game came on his interception thrown in the red zone that Florida returned for 70+ yards. On that play, Smith made the tackle and came up holding his right wrist a little gingerly. From that point on, his throws didn’t seem to have the same “snap” that they did early on in the game.

During the first half though, I think that Smith made a lot of fans exhale a major sigh of relief. He truly did look like an SEC quarterback and will hopefully rebound from a rough fourth quarter next week at Mississippi State.

Injuries continue to amass

The injury bug continued to bite the Cats during last night’s game, as multiple players had to leave the field. As I mentioned, Smith did come up favoring the wrist, but there haven’t been any signs from him or the staff showing it is anything to be worried about long term.

Other players that left the game with injury were Quinton Bohanna and Taj Dodson (who came in for the ejected Yusuf Corker).

In addition to that, Phil Hoskins, who was to make his first start after missing the first two games due to suspension, was helped off the field during warmups. After the game last night, Mark Stoops said that, “He must have just got his foot planted. It’s a shame. I hope it’s nothing too serious.”

We will probably know more in the coming days on the status of each of those players, but for a defense that is already going to be down TJ Carter in the first half next week, there needs to be some major finger crossing to make sure these injuries aren’t too serious.

Other Scores from the SEC

© Vasha Hunt | USATSI

In other SEC action yesterday:

  • (3) Georgia 55-0 over Arkansas State
  • Kansas State 31-24 over Mississippi State
  • Tennessee upsets Chattanooga 45-0
  • (2) Alabama 47-23 over South Carolina
  • Ole Miss 40-29 over SE Louisiana
  • Arkansas 55-34 over Colorado State
  • (8) Auburn 55-16 over Kent State
  • (16) Texas A&M 66-3 over Lamar
  • (4) LSU 65-14 over Northwestern State
  • Missouri 50-0 over SE Missouri State

Other games of note:

  • (6) Ohio State 51-10 over Indiana
  • (13) Penn State 17-10 over Pitt
  • Temple 20-17 over (21) Maryland
  • (19) Iowa 18-17 over Iowa State
  • (1) Clemson 41-6 over Syracuse

NFL Schedule for the Day

Let’s go Bengals!

There’s the news you need to know to start the day. The sun has come up, and we are moving on to another day. Beat Mississippi State.

Article written by Sam Gormley

Follow me on Twitter @GormleyKSR; "The Whitest Man in the World"-JRock

12 Comments for Today on KSR: Targeting prevails as Cats fall late to Gators

  1. BluKudzu
    10:17 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    Accept it for what it is. They are the number 9 team in the country and we are not.

  2. bigblue98
    10:18 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    Get a kicker – ridiculous in this day and age that can’t hit 35 yarder. Smith was serviceable – four turnovers will not win any games, but understand he was thrust into action and should get better each week with more experience. #26 needs to play up on the receiver. He plays 9-10 yards off and starts back pedaling as soon as the snap occurs. There is no way he can defend a pass unless the receiver is running a fly pattern. Last, Smoke needs to be the primary back. The faster this change is made the more success they will have.

    • Bluehender
      10:44 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

      The targeting rule definitely needs to be changed, Wagner needs more passes thrown his way, Smith will get better. Conservative play calling late hurt us. Florida played inspired football on both sides after their leader went down, much like we played in the first half for Terry Wilson. Franks injury seemed to take the wind out of our sails, for some reason. We fought hard, they pulled it out, on to the next game..Go Cats!!

    • Bluehender
      11:01 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

      My statement was not meant as a reply to what you said..

    • StillBP
      11:05 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

      Florida’s kicker missed one too. They were supposed to beat us, according to Vegas, according to the polls and according to almost everyone else who gets paid to talk football. But some of you were convinced all those people were wrong and we were under rated while FL was over rated. Just accept that the professionals were right, low of you were wrong. We blew a lot of things and lost a game we were supposed to lose. Learn from mistakes and move on with a still pretty good team. Still have a chance for a 10 win season.

    • StillBP
      11:06 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

      *lots of you were wrong, not ‘low of you’

  3. letsroll76
    10:29 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    Mitch needs to allow beer , except they need to give it away free just like football team does.

  4. eyebleedblue
    10:36 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    Sawyer Smith did not play well.

    Protecting the ball is the QBs number one responsibility. Terry would’ve been much more poised in that 4th quarter and proved it all last season in close games. 2 of Smith’s picks were just awful throws.

    • Trueblue44
      10:58 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

      False. He did play well. One interception was all on him, the other happened when Bowden broke off his route. Can’t possibly know who’s at fault there but 1 week with the 1s, against Florida in prime time, I’ll take it

  5. drew_123
    10:37 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    Playing not to lose prevails in 4th quarter, rinse, repeat. *
    There, fixed it for you.

  6. Trueblue44
    10:56 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    The sneaky “Tennessee upsets Chattanooga” was hilariously slid in there, well done