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Football Season Coverage

Eddie Gran explains why AJ Rose keeps getting the nod over Kavosiey Smoke

There are a lot of ‘why?’s’ following yet another heartbreaking loss to the Florida Gators Saturday night. Why go conservative, why were those two calls targeting, why does Kentucky insist on running a Wildcat on fourth & one? So on and so forth.

But the biggest ‘why’, at least for me, is why is AJ Rose still getting the bulk of the carries over Kavosiey Smoke?

Through three games, Smoke leads the Kentucky rushing attack with 251 yards; however, Rose still leads the team in carries by 13. Now, Smoke did get a bump in production this Saturday, nearly doubling his carries on the season which was aided by five carries on the next-to-last series. But it still seemed like Gran was forcing Rose into the mix with 14 carries on the night and giving the nod to Rose in key situations.

This post isn’t a slight to Rose. In fact, Rose brings great things to the table, including blocking, receiving out of the backfield and keeping the defense honest. But when it comes to SOLEY picking up yards on the ground, it just hasn’t worked for Rose so far this season.

This season, Rose is averaging 4.1 yards per carry compared to Smoke’s 7.4. So, it had to be asked: Why is A.J Rose still getting high volume carries out of the backfield?

Is it because of seniority and AJ deserves it? Is it because his versatility keeps the defense honest? Is it his blocking? The BBN wants answers. Here’s what Eddie Gran gave us:

“They’ve both been productive. Smoke gets the longer runs. Some of that’s been because you know we’ve worn them down. Sometimes it’s been there after three series, sometimes it’s been after four series. A lot of the time it happens like that, because of the way it works out. Sometimes there are holes when the other guy is in. We go and watch that every week.”

I, for one, am an Eddie Gran supporter, but I just can’t find a way to wrap my head around the  ‘a lot of the time it happens like that, because of the way it works out‘ as an explanation for Rose still getting nearly 16 carries a game compared to Smoke’s 11.

The proof is in the pudding, and Smoke has clearly been the leading back out of that backfield through a quarter of the season. It seemed like Kentucky trusted Smoke down the stretch last night, and maybe they will make that adjustment going forward this season.

WATCH: Postgame Reactions after the heartbreaking loss to the Gators

Here’s what a few of Kentucky’s players and coaches had to say after the Cats’ 29-21 loss to Florida Saturday night.

*Kash Daniel, Lynn Bowden, and Kavosiey Smoke we not made available.*

Sawyer Smith

Eddie Gran

A.J. Rose

Drake Jackson

Ahmad Wagner

Jordan Wright

Kordell Looney

Brad White

Calvin Taylor

Brandin Echols

For more, you can check out the KSR Digital Youtube page.

One Florida Player Didn’t Forget Kash Daniel’s Celebration in the Swamp

If you are a sad Kentucky football fan like I am this morning, viewer discretion is advised for this post.

After the Cats toppled the Gators a little over a year ago, Kash Daniel embraced his wrestling moniker with the famous Stone Cold Steve Austin bottle smash celebration.

“That’s the Bottom Line because Kash Money said so!”


The Kentuckian’s celebration went national, and it became a rallying cry for Cats fans across the BBN. We saw it everywhere.

The Florida players apparently also saw it everywhere, and this year, when the game’s outcome was different, one Gator made sure to remind Daniel of post-game celebration. Check out No. 66

Ugh. Losing sucks.

LIVE: Mark Stoops on Kentucky’s loss to Florida

Mark Stoops is about to address reporters following Kentucky’s 29-21 loss to Florida. Tune in below courtesy of KyWildcatsTV:

Silent Guard Halftime Report: Kentucky 14, Florida 7

Silent Guard Halftime Report: Kentucky 14, Florida 7

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Through one half in Lexington, your University of Kentucky Wildcats lead the Florida Gators, 14-7. Sawyer Smith has played well in his first start so far, and he and the UK offense will get the ball to start the second half.

Go Cats.

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5 Things You Need to Know About Florida, presented by State Farm agent Lance Taylor

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It’s GAMEDAY!!!  Kentucky fans have had this game circled on their calendars for a long time and the wait is finally over!  Let’s dive right in to 5 Things You Need to Know About the Florida Gators.

 1)  Florida has Injuries too

  • All of #BBN’s focus has been on Terry Wilson’s injury, but Kentucky isn’t the only team entering this evening’s game with major injuries.  The Gators will be without Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney and starting Cornerback C.J. Henderson.  Toney left the last game with a left arm injury while Henderson suffered a left ankle sprain.  Through just 5 quarters of play before sustaining his injury, Kadarius Toney caught 3 balls for 72 yards and a touchdown.  He is a versatile playmaker, a la Lynn Bowden, who was used as a Wildcat QB, rusher, and obviously at receiver.  C.J. Henderson is coming off a very good 2018 season where he collected 38 tackles including 3 sacks and 5 tackles for loss to go along with 2 INTs and 2 forced fumbles.  You hate to see injuries to anybody, but these injuries will lighten the load slightly on UK’s secondary and should free up the receiving corps a little bit as well.

2)  Battle of the Trenches    

(Photo: © Dale Zanine | USA TODAY Sports)

  • The Florida defense lived in the Miami backfield during their Week 0 win over the Hurricanes.  UF totaled 10 sacks and 15 tackles for loss and followed it up with 5 more sacks and 11 tackles behind the line of scrimmage against UT-Martin.  Todd Grantham’s defense is aggressive and will be looking to force Sawyer Smith into some hurried decisions in his first SEC contest.  Jabari Zuniga and Louisville transfer Jonathan Greenard have led the way off the edge for the Gators.  Luckily, for the ‘Cats, the offensive line is probably our biggest strength and will be up for the challenge.  On the other side of the ball, Florida has had to completely revamp their offensive line.  They have really struggled in the run game so far this year and Kentucky’s pass rush should be able to create some havoc in the pocket for Feleipe Franks.

 3)  Weak Rushing Attack

  • Preseason All-SEC selection Lamical Perine has struggled out of the gate this season gaining only 94 yards on his 20 carries.  Quaterback Feleipe Franks is actually the second leading rusher on the team so far with 45 net yards on the ground.  Dameon Pierce & Malik Davis will likely see some carriers as well, but expect Kentucky’s defense to be able to shut down the Gators rushing attack.  In terms of net rushing yards, the ‘Cats have out gained Florida 415 to 281 on the ground.

 4)  Feleipe Franks

 Feleipe Franks has been a pretty polarizing figure under center since getting the starting job in Gainsville.  After an outstanding high school career, Franks has now started 23 games at Quarterback for the Gators.  A season ago he threw 24 touchdowns with just 6 interceptions, but did struggle in the loss to Kentucky completing just 17 of 38 passing attempts for 232 yards and a pick.  Coming off a 25 for 27 performance against UT-Martin, the Redshirt Junior is completing nearly 80% of his passes on the season with 4 touchdowns to 2 interceptions.  Franks will take some shots deep and has shown that he can keep plays alive with his feet as well.  Florida does have a talented receiving corps, even with the absence of Kadarius Toney so there certainly are weapons available downfield for Franks to try and connect with.

5)  Looking for Big Plays

 What Florida has lacked in the rushing attack so far this season they have made up for with several huge plays through the air.  Through just 2 games, Feleipe Franks has been able to connect on plays of over 60 yards with 3 different Gator receivers.  He has hit another for 35 yards and still another two targets for gains of over 20 yards.  Kentucky’s young secondary will have to step up to limit explosive plays this evening in order to have a chance to pull the upset.



LOOK: Tim Couch, Andre Woodson, Stephen Johnson, and Terry Wilson pose for picture together

LOOK: Tim Couch, Andre Woodson, Stephen Johnson, and Terry Wilson pose for picture together

The big names are pouring into Lexington for Kentucky’s massive matchup against No. 9 Florida this evening, but you’d be hard-pressed to find four individuals with the level of star power in one picture right now than the one shown above.

This morning, former Kentucky stars Tim Couch, Andre Woodson, and Stephen Johnson joined injured Wildcat quarterback Terry Wilson at the set of SEC Nation and posed for a photo together.

For those keeping track at home, that image alone has combined for 24,386 passing yards and 189 touchdowns in a Kentucky uniform.

Not too shabby.


Mississippi State falls to Kansas State 31-24

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State will be coming off of a loss when Kentucky comes to town next weekend.

This afternoon, the MSU Bulldogs fell to Kansas State by a final score of 31-24 at Davis Wade Stadium.

In the loss, Mississippi State actually managed more total yards (352-269), passing yards (151-123), rushing yards (201-146), first downs (21-17), and won the time of possession (33:05-26:55).

So where did the Bulldogs go wrong?

Despite finding success offensively as a whole, MSU threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball once. In fact, Bulldogs starting quarterback Tommy Stevens was benched in the third quarter following his second thrown interception.

From there, Stevens was replaced by quarterback Garrett Shrader with 11:21 remaining in the third and closed out the game. Shrader managed just 51 yards on 4-12 passing, though he did add 82 yards and a touchdown on ten rushing attempts.

Stevens threw for 100 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions on 7-15 passing.

On a positive note for MSU, star running back Kylin Hill did manage 111 yards on 24 carries.

Kentucky will take on Mississippi State at 4:00 p.m. ET in Starkville next Saturday.