If you’re unfamiliar with Tyler Murphy, you’re about to be very familiar with him, very soon. Murphy is Florida’s new starting quarterback who will be taking snaps this weekend against Kentucky, thanks to a season-ending injury to Jeff Driskel. It will be Murphy’s first career start for the Gators after his breakout performance in the 31-17 win over Tennessee in Gainesville. He was 8-for-14 for 134 yards and one touchdown through the air with another 84 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
A former two-star recruit and Temple commit, Murphy is the type of quarterback Kentucky would like to see under center for the opposing team. He hadn’t thrown a pass in a football game since his senior season of high school in 2009 — except one failed two-point conversion attempt — until he entered the game for the injured Driskel last weekend. Though he’s incredibly athletic at quarterback, a Kentucky nightmare, his inexperience will, hopefully, be exploited in his first road contest in Commonwealth Stadium.
So bring the noise, Big Blue Nation, and maybe he’ll do this again:
Keep your eyes on the News and Views…
Mark Stoops held a press conference luncheon on Monday because the media was hungry and it’s the week of the Florida game. Stoops, ready to get back to work, acknowledged the great challenge ahead in the Florida Gators, a team he saw the last three years at Florida State. Stoops said he knows quite a few players on the Florida roster and that they’re a physical, well-coached group. “They’re very good defensively, as good as maybe anyone we’ll play this year,” he said. “Offensively, same thing.”
With the Monday media opportunity came a new depth chart for the game and the first spot that jumped off the page was Max Smith OR Jalen Whitlow at quarterback. Stoops said Smith will practice Monday afternoon with a “pitch count” and they’ll evaluate him from there. The staff believes he will be able to go by Saturday after they ease him back into action throughout the week.
At running back, freshman JoJo Kemp jumped up to the top of the rotation alongside Raymond Sanders. Stoops said they’re getting Kemp more touches, and in some meaningful reps. It’s much deserved, too, after his play over the last two weeks.
Also, Josh Forrest is ahead of Kory Brown at strongside linebacker. Expect to see a lot of Dupree and Hatcher standing up on the end, though.
Florida opened up as a 13.5-point favorite out in Las Vegas. Gambling can ruin lives.
Some big news from college basketball recruiting… Trey Lyles announced he is down to two schools, Kentucky and Louisville. Lyles already took his official visit to Louisville earlier this month and he’ll be at Big Blue Madness for his official to Kentucky. His plan is to make a commitment in the spring, but the UK staff is very confident with where they currently stand, and with that Madness visit still ahead, I wouldn’t be shocked if he decides a little earlier than expected. I’ve been hearing for months it’ll be UK and nothing has given me a reason to think otherwise now.
The current UK basketball players practiced for over an hour with the coaches in the Craft Center on Monday. Teams can start practicing 20 hours per week beginning Friday, but they’re still allowed a little time for instruction now. CoachCal.com’s Eric Lindsey has a full report from practice here. I’ll give you the highlights of his report below:
“Play fast, think slow.”
Lindsey says this is the early theme in practice this year. Calipari wants them to play fast, but slow it down mentally so they can make sounds decisions.”Keep going fast. Do not slow down. Your mind will catch up,” he tells them.
Marcus Lee is making plays.
“Many jaw-dropping highlights,” Lindsey wrote. He called Lee an athletic freak who jumps like a pogo stick, runs like a deer, and throws down dunks with authority.
Derek Willis isn’t backing down.
There are a lot of guys in front of him, but that’s not keeping Derek Willis from giving it his all. No plays off for the Kentucky boy, it sounds.
James Young is going to shut people down.
“He has the ability to be a very good, if not lockdown, defender. He has a lot of length and quickness at the wing position that will give smaller two guards fits.”
Oh, he can shoot, too.
It’s the year of the Dribble-Drive.
Calipari hasn’t used the Dribble-Drive as much as expected here at UK. Last year’s team didn’t have the pieces to do it; the 2012 team just threw it up to Anthony Davis; and Knight and Jorts worked the high-screen game in 2010-11. But this year, the Dribble Drive will be a big part of what they’re doing offensively and they’re already working on it in September.
Be sure to give the full report your time.
I’m watching Monday Night Football as I write this and it seems the announcers can’t go ten minutes without praising Danny Trevathan and Wesley Woodyard for Denver. “Wildcats” appears to be the word of the night in the booth as the two former Cayts are ballin’ against the Raiders. Remember, Trevathan was a two-star recruit and Woodyard was a low three before arriving at Kentucky. Those are two guys who worked for it when many wrote them off.
In NBA news, DeMarcus Cousins ate dinner with Kings owners, including new minority owner Shaquille O’Neal, Monday night. DeMarcus is close to signing that $80-million max deal as the franchise counts on him to be the face of the team’s resurgence. It’s a big year for Boogie and he’ll have Shaq in his ear as a mentor.
And right on cue, Wesley Woodyard just LEVELED Terrelle Pryor while Danny Trevathan stripped the ball.