Good morning and happy Friday, BBN!
In case you didn’t get the chance to see last night’s Thursday Night Football game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans, let me be the first to tell you that former Kentucky superstar Josh Allen is still a pretty good football player.
Like, really freaking good.
In a 20-7 victory over the Titans, Allen recorded four tackles (three solo), three QB hits, two sacks, and one forced fumble, joining a Jacksonville pass rush that combined for a whopping nine sacks and 12 tackles for loss.
Allen’s first sack came on a third and nine with Tennessee pushing into field goal territory. On the crucial down, Allen shot into former top-ten draft selection and All-Pro right tackle Jack Conklin, tossed him aside in the backfield, and managed the clutch strip sack on Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Mariota ultimately recovered the loose ball near midfield, but it was Allen that forced Tennessee well out of field goal range and into a punt.
Jags' Josh Allen, who led all FBS edge defenders in pass-rush grade a year ago, jacks up Titans' Jack Conklin on his way to a strip-sack. pic.twitter.com/MgVMKdij9w
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) September 20, 2019
While Allen’s second sack wasn’t as highlight-worthy – he wasn’t even credited with the sack initially – the slow-motion replay showed just how much of a force the former Wildcat is and will be as his NFL career progresses.
Once again, Allen found Conklin at the line of scrimmage, but continued to push him back into the pocket, ultimately forcing Mariota to trip over the former No. 8 draft selection in 2016 and secure the sack.
Der 7th Overall Pick des 2019er Draft (Josh Allen) schiebt den 8th Overall Pick des 2016er Draft (Jack Conklin) nach hinten und bringt damit den 2nd Overall Pick des 2015er Draft (Marcus Mariota) zu Fall. SACK Jaguars! #DUUUVAL #TENvsJAX #ENDZN #ranNFL pic.twitter.com/nXsYKc38Pw
— René Bugner (Rainbowcave) (@RNBWCV) September 20, 2019
Allen was also in the backfield on several other occasions, including another play on the quarterback that probably should have at least given him another half-sack, but I suppose two will do.
Following his big week three performance, Allen is now up to 10 total tackles (six solo), three tackles for loss, two sacks, and one forced fumble in three games. ESPN now has the former Wildcat projected to finish the season with 53 total tackles (32 solo), 10.7 sacks, and five forced fumbles.
For those keeping track at home, the all-time record for rookie sacks is 14.5 (Jevon Kearse, Tennessee, 1999). I’m not saying, I’m just saying.
Kash Daniel will play
Following his controversial extra-curricular play on Florida quarterback Kyle Trask this past weekend, there was a bit of speculation on whether or not Kash Daniel would be available to play against Mississippi State on Saturday.
During a media opportunity on Thursday evening, Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops announced that after discussing the incident with the SEC, all parties involved decided that no punishment was necessary for the Wildcat linebacker.
“I addressed those issues with the league office,” Stoops said. “He’ll be out there Saturday.”
That being said, regardless of what may or may not have happened and Daniel’s playing status for Saturday, Stoops also made it clear that his team understands that the idea of intentionally hurting an opponent is unacceptable and will not happen moving forward.
“In general, nobody’s going to intentionally hurt anybody though,” he said. “It’s not going to happen on our team.”
Jacob Tamme is LIVID about the targeting penalty
While we were all frustrated with the targeting penalties that forced Kentucky’s Yusuf Corker and TJ Carter out of the game against Florida on Saturday, former Wildcat tight end Jacob Tamme topped us all on Thursday morning.
Tamme called in to Tom Leach’s radio show, The Leach Report, Thursday morning to share his unfiltered thoughts about the rule as a whole and why there is a need for immediate change.
“Something has to be done about that targeting call,” Tamme told Leach, “and I’m not sure that I’m going to be the one to do anything about it, but if we get enough people talking about it, the conversation has to be had.”
“Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of different ways we could’ve won that game, so I’m not blaming the loss on the officials necessarily, although I do think both calls were bad,” he continued. “I think the T.J. Carter call was, ultimately, really detrimental. But the call itself — when you have a call that you cannot make consistently, the consequence cannot be as severe as it is right now.”
Preach, Jacob. Preach.
Kentucky is on the recruiting trail
On Thursday morning, Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne drove out to Bardstown at 6:00 a.m. to watch four-star forward JJ Traynor work out.
Afterward, Bardstown head coach and former Louisville basketball player Boo Brewer posted a picture with his former UofL teammate on Twitter, thanking Payne for getting up early to see his star player in action.
Wanted to say Thanks to Coach Kenny Payne and The @KentuckyMBB for coming to watch 6am workout today
Keep grinding @JJTraynor20 #TigerPride #WEonAMISSION #WEareBardstown #BBN #Kentuckybasketball pic.twitter.com/UVIcqwDDLv
— James Boo Brewer (@coachboobrewer) September 19, 2019
A source close to the Bardstown program told KSR that Payne called John Calipari during the workout and told him he needed to come watch Traynor in person soon, adding that they felt an offer could come sooner rather than later.
This one will be one to watch closely…
Speaking of Coach Cal, Adam Zagoria’s report of the Kentucky head coach visiting five-star forward Isaiah Jackson on Tuesday evening slipped through the cracks a bit, but it’s rather significant.
In an interview with Zagoria, Jackson’s father, Wesley Jackson, said things went very well during the trip and his son is still a top priority for the Kentucky coaching staff.
“Cal came to the high school yesterday,” Jackson said. “The visit went well. He said he just wanted him to know personally Isaiah is an important piece to his recruitment.”
Jackson joins 2020 five-star forwards Isaiah Todd and Greg Brown, along with four-star forward Cliff Omoruyi, as Kentucky’s top options in the frontcourt for next season. Should he ultimately decide to go to college, top-ten prospect Makur Maker would also likely become a major priority for the UK coaching staff. If Traynor continues to see his stock spike once his senior season begins, you’ll certainly have to throw him in as a serious target moving forward, as well.
KSR in an hour
Matt Jones, Ryan Lemond, and Shannon the Dude will be live on your airwaves from 10 a.m. to noon to talk about all of the latest in the world of UK Athletics and what’s going on around the state.
You won’t want to miss it.